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Cut or Buttoned rifled barrels

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Wouldn't heat treatment after re-profiling relieve any stresses that had built up?

Re-Pete

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To an extent, yes. To fully relieve the stresses the barrels would have to be annealed and that's not something you want to do to gun barrels. Makes them a little soft...   A conventional stress relief takes place at a much lower temperature and for a shorter time. It will remove most of the stresses in the barrels and again, that might not be a great thing. They could end up less than straight depending upon how they were made in the first place and then subsequently machined... 

Please bear in mind though that most of what we are talking about in this thread only matters if you are a superb shot and really can get the best from your equipment. Most of us can't. Any decent factory made gun, let alone one from the several truly great gunsmiths that frequent these pages, will be more than adequate for mere mortals. If the likes of baldie or bradders were to offer us a fluted gun with a button rifled barrel, free, gratis and for nowt, we'd snatch their paws off !

 

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I asked the question because I have a straight taper s/s blank (6mm bore), and to fit it on the rifle I want to use, it will need to be shaved down to a Palma profile, which means taking quite a bit off.

I think I'll give it a go........it's not much use in the cupboard, and it's been there long enough for me to have forgotten how much it cost...............🙂

Re-Pete

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On 6/10/2018 at 2:48 PM, Moorlander said:

What about cryo freezing barrels for stress relief ?

Cryo is a heat treatment, it simply means that you lower the temperature rather than raise it. Phase changes will occur, metallurgical transformations and volume changes will still ensue.

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Actually, it doesn't. Wiki tells you a lot about the applications it is used for, making wondrous claims for the process, but doesn't correctly explain how it works - or frequently doesn't work.  Apply critical minds, oomans, to aught you read on t'interweb. (That includes our spiel too. You don't have to believe us.)

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5 hours ago, meles meles said:

Actually, it doesn't. Wiki tells you a lot about the applications it is used for, making wondrous claims for the process, but doesn't correctly explain how it works - or frequently doesn't work.  Apply critical minds, oomans, to aught you read on t'interweb. (That includes our spiel too. You don't have to believe us.)

Indeed.

You need to click on the references to get a better insight, not just skim over the first paragraph

+I guess you are still using Encyclopaedia Britannica for research :)

 

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This still rumbling on?

Apparently my new 243 barrel on the AX is of the 'inferior' button barrel type. Never bothered asking. First 3 shots (with 3 different loads) printed 7mm at 100m and that was with having to break position between each shot. First 10 (all different loads) was inside 0.6 moa.  Interestingly (for me) was that the group was not vertically strung. Who knows.

I was glad when my 'smith brought it up, apparently most people would rather wait 4 months for a cut barrel than take a button that is in stock. Sample size of 1 admittedly, but it suggested to me that whatever the key variable is that affects precision in this application, it is not the rifling.

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11 minutes ago, Chanonry said:

This still rumbling on?

Apparently my new 243 barrel on the AX is of the 'inferior' button barrel type. Never bothered asking. First 3 shots (with 3 different loads) printed 7mm at 100m and that was with having to break position between each shot. First 10 (all different loads) was inside 0.6 moa.  Interestingly (for me) was that the group was not vertically strung. Who knows.

I was glad when my 'smith brought it up, apparently most people would rather wait 4 months for a cut barrel than take a button that is in stock. Sample size of 1 admittedly, but it suggested to me that whatever the key variable is that affects precision in this application, it is not the rifling.

There are people out there who have money to burn (God bless them for that😀) but in many cases their ambition exceeds their ability 🤣

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Or perhaps they don't have money to burn and so stick with what they know works.

ive probably had 12 or more cut rifled Bartlein barrels and every single one has worked, some were easier to get working than others, but they all shot or still do shoot 1/2 MOA. Anything above that and you will never be seriously competitive at F class, I'm not sure of the accuracy levels required for CSR or PRS.

Button or cut rifled, the costs will be same to purchase and chamber so why take a chance, fantastic if you can afford to, but most of us can't so we stick with what we know and what people win with. That's not to say that buttoned rifled barrels don't shoot, they clearly do, Broughton and Benchmark are testament to that.

 

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37 minutes ago, Elwood said:

Or perhaps they don't have money to burn and so stick with what they know works.

ive probably had 12 or more cut rifled Bartlein barrels and every single one has worked, some were easier to get working than others, but they all shot or still do shoot 1/2 MOA. Anything above that and you will never be seriously competitive at F class, I'm not sure of the accuracy levels required for CSR or PRS.

Button or cut rifled, the costs will be same to purchase and chamber so why take a chance, fantastic if you can afford to, but most of us can't so we stick with what we know and what people win with. That's not to say that buttoned rifled barrels don't shoot, they clearly do, Broughton and Benchmark are testament to that.

 

I’ve yet to see a top end cut barrel blank that’s the same price as a buttoned one, so there is that, although given the cost of barrel life based against rounds fired the extra cost is negligible, especially as the cost of ammo fired down the barrel will exceed the cost of the barrel....or even the complete rifle

As an example of this, I’ve always said it’s more economical to buy an AR15 (@£2000) and 6000rds of ammo (£2400) than it is to buy a .303 Rifle (£600) and 6000rds of .303 (£4800) coz that’s an awful expensive way to miss 🙂

Good barrels are good barrels, and many times it’s brand loyalty.

kreiger make a great barrel, but in tests to select the best barrel for their SDM rifles, the AMU found that Douglas buttoned ones shot better

So find the barrel that has the features you desire and buy that.

with regards to accuracy in relation to f Class vs CSR or PRS etc, people are looking for the same baseline results

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Brand loyalty, you have probably hit the nail on the head.

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Elwood said: "Brand loyalty, you have probably hit the nail on the head."

Largely true, but while I don't like mediocrity in anything, and have always saved to buy what I consider "good stuff", price does come into it, as does availability.

And "brand" doesn't necessarily mean that it was lovingly hand made by the descendants of the original company, it can also mean it was mass produced in the far east, "badged" and a huge mark-up applied.

Pete

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Pete, I'm quietly confident that all my Bartleins were made in America 😁

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1 hour ago, Re-Pete said:

Elwood said: "Brand loyalty, you have probably hit the nail on the head."

Largely true, but while I don't like mediocrity in anything, and have always saved to buy what I consider "good stuff", price does come into it, as does availability.

And "brand" doesn't necessarily mean that it was lovingly hand made by the descendants of the original company, it can also mean it was mass produced in the far east, "badged" and a huge mark-up applied.

Pete

It means "I've had a ** {insert barrel brand name here) and it shot rather well, so I'll only buy those in future"

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A valid point, but I'd always give the cheapest option a go somewhere down the line. And I certainly wouldn't avoid a brand because somebody else bought a dud or it wasn't "fashionable".

As an example, a couple of years ago, we needed a biggish estate to carry, among other things, two lots of shooting stuff and the associated paraphernalia. So we bought a Skoda................I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people fall about at the thought of anyone buying one of these "shite  Eastern European heaps", but the car is simply, as it's name implies, Superb.............so far.

Pete

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So from all the reply's, I guess every manufacturer has the capability of making an exceedingly accurate barrel. I guess it comes down too who can do it the most often. Since I've been shooting, I've rarely heard a bad word about Krieger barrels, is it not too far fetched to say there top dog in this barrel making business. Though they do come with a price tag.

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10 hours ago, SBP said:

So from all the reply's, I guess every manufacturer has the capability of making an exceedingly accurate barrel. I guess it comes down too who can do it the most often. Since I've been shooting, I've rarely heard a bad word about Krieger barrels, is it not too far fetched to say there top dog in this barrel making business. Though they do come with a price tag.

Yes it is far fetched to say Krieger are the top dogs when it comes to the most accurate barrel making. Think about this logically, how would you test for the maker of the most accurate barrels in a way that was scientifically acceptable and thoroughly conclusive?

Krieger certainly have lots of championship wins to their name and world records but so do other companies. If someone breaks a world record with an "XYZ" barrel you can be sure there will be a lot of interest in those barrels, if soon half they field is using them then the good results grow and it spirals. A few years later someone else wins with an "ABC" and those barrels become flavour of the season. Competition shooters can be a funny breed when looking for that competitive edge but who can blame the, them? at the highest level these are the people pushing the boundaries of accuracy and load development understanding . 

Without doubt Krieger make excellent barrels as do Bartlein, Douglas, Brux, Pacnor, Benchmark and Shillen to name only a few. I could easily name another half dozen if pressed, I might not have used all of them myself but there is plenty of people who will have and had excellent results with them. Interestingly and probably not by co-incidence the vast majority are cut rifled barrels.

The plain reality of highly accurate barrels is that most shooters do not possess the load development understanding and/or shooting skills to be certain they have got the best from their barrels, as such how can the majority of the opinions you hear have any real meaning or show any kind of meaningful results with this level of 'Regular Joe' testing? 

I have yet to see a bad cut rifled barrel from any of the makers I have used. I have seen plenty examples of guys who couldn't get there barrels to shoot as well as they expected only to see someone more experienced at load development and a better shooter achieve the results they wanted for them.

Making a high quality rifle barrel is a fairly straightforward and well known process, many companies do it and they all achieve great results.

Developing a highly accurate and repeatable load is something entirely different and in most cases its left to guys who have little experience or are just not as thorough or good at it as they think they are , yet they seem to do the judging when it comes to who makes the best barrel? - something doesn't seem quite right there I think?

If your happy with Krieger barrels then stick with them, they are indeed very good and Im always happy using a Krieger myself. However, if your next rifle builder suggests trying a Bartlein or any other barrel he feels confident in then dont be afraid to try one, you probably wouldn't be disappointed in one of them either. If it doesn't shoot as well as you hoped then go back and tell him, if he's reputable I expect he will have a system in place to determine if the problem lies with your load development and shooting skills or the barrel.

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Seems to me that a lot of assumption and brand loyalty,   rather than scientifically  proven facts come into play when reading discussions on "what barrel's best" .  I find such debates a little circular because too often they're without proper context or meaning.  The analogy could be compared with say motorcycles.  Come TT week or the BSB series, certain brands of bike may stand out as being reliable, fast and the "best handling" when the truth is that  many of these engines will have been fettled by a handful of respected engine builders in workshops in the UK, even some of the so called factory offerings, and ridden by the world's top riders....both aspects so far removed from our riding needs and skills that we wouldn't be able to (probably) better our riding prowess on any given track over a production bike we're comfortable with.  We certainly wouldn't have the skills or the where with all to say with any certainty which was "best".

Barrels are a little like that.  It's hard to find a truly awful barrel these days...most of the big brand names seem to produce decent tubes.  Unless you're in the top 5% of competition shooters (and loaders) I doubt that most of us, on results alone, could hand on heart claim that one type of barrel betters another, so we just stick with what we know or shoot well.  I've a variety of barrels from cold hammer forged to button rifled and they all shoot about the same. Some copper a little quicker than others but with great care in load development and shooting, I can extract about 1/2 moa from just about all of them...one cost just £440 for the blank.

There seems to be a lot of brand snobbery and people buying on names based on a manufacturer supplying a world class shooter or the like.  I can see why someone at the top of their game might want to eliminate the slightest possibility that a barrel was somehow holding back their results a fraction, because at the top level, some are winning world titles by a fraction, so that brand then gets recognised as "the best".  For most of us mere mortals, our needs are so far removed from that, that it tends to make the arguments quite meaningless.

A lot of self-titled "precision shooters" seem to get too bogged down in technical details when they perhaps ought to just get out and shoot more.

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12 hours ago, VarmLR said:

Seems to me that a lot of assumption and brand loyalty,   rather than scientifically  proven facts come into play when reading discussions on "what barrel's best" .  I find such debates a little circular because too often they're without proper context or meaning.  The analogy could be compared with say motorcycles.  Come TT week or the BSB series, certain brands of bike may stand out as being reliable, fast and the "best handling" when the truth is that  many of these engines will have been fettled by a handful of respected engine builders in workshops in the UK, even some of the so called factory offerings, and ridden by the world's top riders....both aspects so far removed from our riding needs and skills that we wouldn't be able to (probably) better our riding prowess on any given track over a production bike we're comfortable with.  We certainly wouldn't have the skills or the where with all to say with any certainty which was "best".

Barrels are a little like that.  It's hard to find a truly awful barrel these days...most of the big brand names seem to produce decent tubes.  Unless you're in the top 5% of competition shooters (and loaders) I doubt that most of us, on results alone, could hand on heart claim that one type of barrel betters another, so we just stick with what we know or shoot well.  I've a variety of barrels from cold hammer forged to button rifled and they all shoot about the same. Some copper a little quicker than others but with great care in load development and shooting, I can extract about 1/2 moa from just about all of them...one cost just £440 for the blank.

There seems to be a lot of brand snobbery and people buying on names based on a manufacturer supplying a world class shooter or the like.  I can see why someone at the top of their game might want to eliminate the slightest possibility that a barrel was somehow holding back their results a fraction, because at the top level, some are winning world titles by a fraction, so that brand then gets recognised as "the best".  For most of us mere mortals, our needs are so far removed from that, that it tends to make the arguments quite meaningless.

A lot of self-titled "precision shooters" seem to get too bogged down in technical details when they perhaps ought to just get out and shoot more.

If you look a the clay/trap/skeet shooting world, all the top shooters seem to do equally well with which ever brand is sponsoring them,  with both gun and cartridge.

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When setting up a barrel in the lathe to chamber, it is possible to clearly measure differences in land/groove dimensions and I feel the more expensive brands of cut rifled barrels certainly measure up better against the cheaper brands of button rifled barrels, I see these poorer dimensional tolerances regularly, the differences are not huge but they are measurable. To what extent this matters to Average Joe and his 400yd field gun Im not sure. From my own testing at longer ranges I feel I can get better results from the likes of Bartlein and Krieger barrels barrels than the cheaper buttoned or factory spec barrels at the highest level.

Im no barrel snob, if I could get what I wanted from the cheaper button rifled barrels I would certainly use them. Ive spent quite a bit of time testing them and considering testing is expensive in terms of time and high quality components I reached a point where it made no sense to continue further. My own results over a number of barrels showed me they were not capable of the accuracy or consistency I need. Im sure many other competitive shooters have found his, hence why we are were we are.

Dont get me wrong, these cheaper button rifled barrels are still very good and will do the job for many people if used in the appropriate type of application and expectations are realistic. There is a place and a price point for them all although the water does get a bit muddy when people start charging cut barrel prices for buttoned - a case of caveat emptor Im afraid! 

In all walks of life, things that cost more generally have a good reason for it, not always but most of the time Ive found - the old saying "buy once cry once" springs to mind :)

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I think Al that in your case, you are in that top percentage and for all the reasons you've given, a good cut rifled barrel clearly matters for your needs. so clearly you're no barrel brand snob.  Not all of us can shoot (or load) like you though!  Out of interest, what would you say the difference was in spread of group for say an average button rifled or hammer forged barrel compared with a cut Krieger barrel  (assuming the same ammunition is used of course) at say 1000 yds?

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Big Al, (and others)

Re your comment " Think about this logically, how would you test for the maker of the most accurate barrels in a way that was scientifically acceptable and thoroughly conclusive?", do you have a suggestion ?

We ask because we're thinking of setting such an assignment as a Master's project in metallurgy and have started drafting the outline of the hypothesis we'll challenge students to test.

All constructive input would be welcomed.

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4 hours ago, VarmLR said:

 Out of interest, what would you say the difference was in spread of group for say an average button rifled or hammer forged barrel compared with a cut Krieger barrel  (assuming the same ammunition is used of course) at say 1000 yds?

I haven't compared the barrels at 1000yds as I never felt the results for the cheaper buttoned barrels at 100yds showed me enough promise to do that.

Typically my benchrest rifles need to agg under 0.250" as a minimum over 4 x 5 shot groups and that has always been quite easily achievable with a cut rifled Bartlein or Krieger and good quality components. The cheaper buttoned barrels were agging in the 0.375" region under the same appraisal conditions and the same level of load development.

Groups at 1000yds can vary depending on conditions but again if we were to shoot in similar conditions the factory sporter class will usually have groups sizes about 2/3rds bigger than the top light or heavy guns, that would all be running premium cut rifled barrels.

Im going to chamber a cheaper button rifled barrel as a fire forming barrel for my 6BRA's, I was thinking about doing some 1000yd load development with it just for fun and to see how it performs. 

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