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Thread: opinion of most accurate barrel maker?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default opinion of most accurate barrel maker?

    Getting ready to try to put together a lighter 30 something cal. Not sure what yet but looking for some input on who you think makes the most accurate barrels.

    On a side note, does after market fluting effect accuracy?

    I'm thinking of trying to put something together in to 2K range minus the scope. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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    I hate to pop anyone's bubble about "barrel makers" but there are but a few actual "makers" of barrel blanks and companies such as PacNor, Douglas, Kreiger, Lilja, the list goes on ...... will often go in together to save money on "lots" of barrel blanks - The "magic" comes primarily from knowing how to assemble them - Case in point, a good friend of mine, John Noveske, barrelled a lightweight 308 for me with a "cull" he took from the "bad" barrel box in the corner at PacNor that shoots 1/4 MOA with virtually any load I want to try in it - No barrel is "perfect" per se, being able to recognize that and install it in a manner that negates the flaws is one of the secrets - Lapping is another and he showed and explained that a barrel can actually have too smooth of a bore for the bullet to travel truly down it's length - I am sure I'll get a bunch of negative comment for this so I'll stop right here and just enjoy my knowledge and the accuracy perfection it creates for me - One more question to pose, "why" would a gunsmith in the business of rebarrelling rifles put energy into making a barrel last longer ? "Accuracy" is only part of the equation in the search for barrel nirvanna - And PLEASE don't misconstrue what I say here to mean that I think those barrel installers are less than honest or competent because that is NOT the case in any way and I would knowingly use any of them if in the market for a new barrel - ER Shaw is considered by many to be a second rate barrel company but in fact has been in business longer than most and knows what is right and what doesn't matter in the process, you just need to ask the right questions when ordering, one can save an appreciable amount of $$ that way and still get a very good product - "Fluting" is fluting, don't make no difference when it's done as long as it is done correctly - CryoGenically treating steel after all the machining and "trauma" is over really does work, otherwise the medical industry (where it started) wouldn't utilize the process, has proven physically tangible effects but has not been proven to be an "accuracy enhancer", but well worth the cost and trouble IMO

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    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    There's lots of good barrel makers out there!....I have 5 rifles with Pac-Nor barrels and they all shoot very well, I just had a 50 BMG put together with a Brux barrel, it shoot as good as any rifle I own .25 MOA! Brux "skip-flutted" it too, looks very nice!

    I would look at a cut barrel like Brux, Kreiger, Rock creek and Obermeyer IMO.......

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    HS Precision also does cut rifling - It really doesn't matter much if it's done correctly

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    I wish I knew. Krieger, Lilja, PacNor, Loather Walther, etc. How is any one able to know, especially average guys like me. Reckon I would have to look at my target and see if I was satisfied.

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    If there was a "best" or "most accurate" there would only be one maker and everyone else would be out of business. I've primarily used Douglas for years and have never had to take one off because it wouldn't shoot well.
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    Now that Mr Noveske is too busy to tend to such things as "bolt guns" anymore (and before John came along) I gravitated to Douglas barrels mostly and was never EVER disappointed with the barrel or the smithin' "if" Douglas did that too - I've had an issue or two along the way with other "smiths" though .... Honestly, it is not "rocket science" and any gunsmith (or machinist) who wants to be, can be an excellant barrel installer / rifle accurizer AND any of them could order a barrel from any of the aforementioned barrel "makers" - I can get long winded, I surely know, so one last comment from me ... it makes no sense to send a gun across the continent for work "IF" you have someone local who is known to be good - NOBODY has "magic" abilities

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    I've used numerous makes of barrels in the past and found some differences, but my sampling size has been fairly small and I'm unable to make finite pronouncements. There are numerous manufacturers that produce a lot of good barrels and some great barrels, while there others that produce a lot of great barrels and a few outstanding barrels. I like to increase my odds when I can so I'll often use a maker that normally produces great barrels with hope for a gem, but sometimes I simply do not need an outstanding barrel and will gladly refrain from paying an extra 100-150$ and waiting the 6 month lead time. In that case I spring for a Douglas which is certainly a good barrel maker and normally available quickly. I've recently used Brux and Shilen for sporter projects and have had BR rifles with Kreiger, PacNor and K&P barrels. my best barrels, imagined or not, have been from Kreiger. By best I mean they produced the greatest accuracy over the life of the barrel (also having the longest life by a significant margin), not necessarily the best individual group.

    I can take fluting or leave it. I'd rather normally drop a contour size than pay for the fluting work, but not always. As to whether it hurts the barrel or accuracy--IMO the less machining done is better on all accounts, but done properly it's okay.
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    Gary Schneider makes a fine barrel too. He doesn't seem to feel it necessary to do a lot of marketing, and doesn't get much hype from the magazine writers, but his barrels are popular with many BR shooters, and some of the government black ops types use his barrels too. I have one of his in .338 and it's a fine shooter.
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    I have used a ton of different brands for customers rifles and usually had good luck with all of them. I use Shilen or some bargain basement deal I find for my own projects, simply because I don't make a ton of money and don't demand BR acurracy from my hunting rifles as they are usually of a medium to large bore and not much fun to shoot from a bench for groups. Not that Shilen rifle barrels aren't good, just that they are the cheaper of the well known makers. That said I personally own rifles wearing barrels from Shilen, Douglas, PAC-Nor, MRC, and Johnson as well as a bunch of factory barrels. All of them shoot satisfactorily and the only difference is in how easily they clean up. The MRC is by far the smoothest and easiest to clean rifle barrel I've ever seen, on a side note it was also the most cantankerous to thread and get a smooth chamber in, like trying to machine bubblegum.

    For my customers I always ask what brand they want to use and if they have no preference or ask for mine they generally get one of Dan Lilja's barrels. I have never had a barrel from them not shoot, they always have a smooth bore mostly free from toolmarks, and they machine great with the tools I use. One thing I like about them which the consumer generally need not worry about, as it ads nothing to the final cost, that is that Lilja's come nearly polished and ready for the blue tank right out of the tube they ship them in. As I said that won't matter to you but it is nice for me.
    As the above posters have said, its hard to go wrong with a custom barrel so either take your pick or just trust your gunsmiths recommendation. Odds are you won't be disappointed.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Getting ready to try to put together a lighter 30 something cal. Not sure what yet but looking for some input on who you think makes the most accurate barrels.

    On a side note, does after market fluting effect accuracy?

    I'm thinking of trying to put something together in to 2K range minus the scope. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Well, you have a budget, so I would start from there. Do you already have an action? If not, a lot of "pre-blue printed" Remington actions are in the market these days - that will save time and costs of paying a gunsmith to do it for you if that is a consideration.

    If you are set on fluting, I would get it done by the manufacturer of the barrel. Lilja is one who does that for extra cost.

    http://www.riflebarrels.com/products...ting.htm#flute

    Without the fluting, your options increase. Krieger, Lilja and others usually have a good supply of .30 cal barrels on hand so you don't have to wait months for your blank. Also, .30 cal is obviously extremely popular and most good barrel makers make very accurate ones. When you're looking at premium barrels, it comes down to personal preference. Do you like BMWs or Mercedes?

    Set your budget, look on the websites for availability and flip the coin. All Lilja's barrels are hand lapped and show little fouling. I'd love to have a Krieger on something, but my one premium barrel is a Lilja .260 Rem. Super accurate.

    Also, with most of the premium barrels, as long as your gunsmith does a good job of crowning the muzzle, chambering, and mating it to the action, your accuracy problems are most likely going to come from the stock and bedding job - not the barrel.
    Last edited by GD Yankee; 05-27-2012 at 13:27. Reason: extra info

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Gary Schneider makes a fine barrel too. He doesn't seem to feel it necessary to do a lot of marketing, and doesn't get much hype from the magazine writers, but his barrels are popular with many BR shooters, and some of the government black ops types use his barrels too. I have one of his in .338 and it's a fine shooter.
    David Tubb uses Schneider barrels exclusively. He is arguably the best long range shooter in history.

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    Look up the benchrest forums and see what barrels the winners are using.
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    I own a rock creek, very accurate and cleans easy. I own a Krieger on a 300wsm, shoots great. My brother has Krieger and benchmark and they all shoot great including Broughton. I have heard Brux shoot great and clean great. I just ordered a Lilja for a 264wm so I will see how that does. I think all the top barrel makers make great barrels.

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    Since you have a nice budget for this rifle my opinion might not mean much. I have 2 semi custom rifles I've had put together, I had to scrimp and save for both. I went with a choice not seen on here yet, the Adams and Bennett from midway. Before any of you turn up your noses let me say something. I have only been reloading about 5 years, I consider myself an amatuer compared to a lot on this forum, but I was able to make both of the aforementioned rifles shoot 3 shot one ragged hole groups. One rifle has taken game cleanly out past 400 yds. The cost of the barrel and all work associated to mating it with my model 700 donor rifles was under $200 for a newly rebarreled rifle ready to shoot. On the minus side the A&B barrels are on the heavy side and would need turned down and probably fluted to make a light weight rifle. Just my .02.
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    You can't go wrong with Kreiger or Hart for a custom barrel. Most barrel makers don't offer fluting until you get into the heavier barrel contours, just something to thing about.

  19. #19

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    Had customs built with the following barrels, Douglas, Shilen, Lilja, Pac-Nor,Krieger and all ended up after load work shooting certain loads at least 1/4" and at times under. Anyone who says that one barrel companies barrels are the most accurate needs to demonstrate the fact by empirical evidence and not by assumed emotion or personal preference or sentiment but with actual tested and demonstrated proof. I for one would be interested in the test that shows one company producing the most accurate barrels and also the method of testing that one employed to draw a final conclusion.
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