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Thread: Light Rifle Barrels

  1. #1

    Default Light Rifle Barrels

    I'm working on a list of components for a really light mountain rifle and the barrel keeps tripping me up. What barrels are custom builders using to get a sub 5 pound rifle in stainless? Krieger for example says a minimum #5 for a .30 caliber. If I go with a CM barrel, I can get it down to 2 pounds in a 27 inch tube, but I don't want to risk rust and corrosion in the mountains with a CM barrel if I don't have to. I could get a CM Cerakoted or something, but I'd have to baby it I think.

    Here's what I'm pondering for the build:
    -300RCM caliber (Close to 3000fps with a 150gr bullet out of a 20" barrel). Might go with a 22" barrel to get a little more speed, but a 20 incher would be great for bushwacking.

    - Krieger or Benchmark barrel. Heard good things about Rock Creek, but not familiar with them. (sub 2 pounds if I go with CM)

    - Pierce Titanium short action with extra skeletonizing done by them (16oz action and bolt)

    - Oregunsmith Pendleton Stock, or possibly send rifle and barrel to Lone Wolf to do (16-18oz stock ideally)

    - Jewell Trigger


    Any thoughts or advise on how to go stainless barrel safely and get it in the 2 pound range? Proof Barrels have crossed my mind, but I'm not sold on a thick tubed carbon barrel.

  2. #2
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowcamoman View Post
    I'm working on a list of components for a really light mountain rifle and the barrel keeps tripping me up. What barrels are custom builders using to get a sub 5 pound rifle in stainless? Krieger for example says a minimum #5 for a .30 caliber. If I go with a CM barrel, I can get it down to 2 pounds in a 27 inch tube, but I don't want to risk rust and corrosion in the mountains with a CM barrel if I don't have to. I could get a CM Cerakoted or something, but I'd have to baby it I think.

    Here's what I'm pondering for the build:
    -300RCM caliber (Close to 3000fps with a 150gr bullet out of a 20" barrel). Might go with a 22" barrel to get a little more speed, but a 20 incher would be great for bushwacking.

    - Krieger or Benchmark barrel. Heard good things about Rock Creek, but not familiar with them. (sub 2 pounds if I go with CM)

    - Pierce Titanium short action with extra skeletonizing done by them (16oz action and bolt)

    - Oregunsmith Pendleton Stock, or possibly send rifle and barrel to Lone Wolf to do (16-18oz stock ideally)

    - Jewell Trigger


    Any thoughts or advise on how to go stainless barrel safely and get it in the 2 pound range? Proof Barrels have crossed my mind, but I'm not sold on a thick tubed carbon barrel.
    There are several options. You can order a #1 from Rock or from Pac-Nor (probably others, but I know those will contour them to your needs), you could go with a carbon fiber barrel (BTDT and won't do it again), or you could acquire a barrel blank and have a gunsmith turn it to your specs. I've done it each of those ways and will say that option 3 is the fastest way and you'll end up with a barrel that is contoured exactly as you want. FWIW, I think I remember paying $35 to have the last barrel turned/duped by a gunsmith....
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  3. #3
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'd give Pac-Nor a call and ask them about duping Remington's mountain rifle profile barrel. I would think that would work pretty good with that Pierce titanium action. I've been very pleased with Pac-nor barrels in terms of accuracy and the ease of cleaning them (fouls less than most factory barrels that I've used in the past).

  4. #4
    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Lilja makes nice barrels.

    At 20" for a #1 could come under 2.5lbs.

    http://www.riflebarrels.com/products...s.htm#straight

  5. #5
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    If you want a ss barrel, and it sounds like you do, don't bother with Kreiger. I called brux to order a Remington 700 mountain dupe, and they flat out told me they will not do one based on....ready for it?....Kreiger's policy.
    Kreiger fears that ss mountain contour barrels could burst in cold weather and brux has adopted their policy.
    Go Douglas, shaw, pac nor or lilja....they will all dupe a 700 mountain tube.
    I'm not a metallurgist, but I'll still call BS on kreig or brux.... Kimber, Forbes, Nula, (ala Douglas and shaw) and others make fine shooting rifles with perfectly safe, thin tubes.
    And by the way..lone wolf is ancient history. They are now "proof research" and specialize in...well...whatever. Military application barrels etc, but not their great summit stock. Long gone it would appear.
    Darn shame.


    Call browns precision and order a Kevlar 16 ounce "pounder"... go pierce Ti action, you could have a 4' 14 ounce stick.....just wear a mouth guard when shooting a magnum to keep your fillings.
    And btw...if you are a righty, screw the build and buy a Kimber Montana...my wife's .308 weighs 4. 13 naked with a few Ti goodies and it drives tacks, it gets no better.
    Proud to be an American!

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the information guys, I appreciate it. I called some smiths yesterday and some of the guys making ultra lights are making their own barrels (Oregunsmith, Wayne York). Others are just lathing them down as 1Cor15:19 said above.

    Fullkurl,
    Proof will put a Lone Wolf on an action/barrel if you send them the entire thing. I spoke with them last week for awhile about it. They really are pushing for their Proof Barrels though and I'm just not sold on the concept yet, nor the appearance of those broomsticks. They do the bedding and Cerakoting they said for $1500. Pretty steep, but I guess if you figure $300 for cerakote, $700 for a stock, then $500 for their time and work, it's not too awful.

    I want a 4.5 pound rifle is what I'm aiming for, naked. I'm certain it can be done and be done with something accurate. I have a Forbes M20 in .308 on the way and they claim 4lbs 12oz, but we'll see how it falls on the scales. I've been very happy with the accuracy of my NULA and hopefully the Forbes keeps up with that with the Shaw barrel. If nothing else, I could have a smith pull the barrel and rechamber it in .260 to squeeze a little flatter shooting and high BC's with the 6.5mm's.

    I'll likely put a Leupold VXIII 2.5x8x36 on it in some lightweight Talley's. Unless there is a lighter mounting system that is reliable? Stick a Boonie Packer Sling on it and I should be good to hike 100 miles up and down the mountains.

  7. #7
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the lone wolf insights, SCM.
    There is no way I'd go carbon barrel. That cost, bulk (they are wide in spite of their lightness) and hassle isn't necessary.
    And stock-wise I'd really consider the browns pounder for strength and cost.
    That said, my son has a LW summit and it's a great lightweight stock.

    Also... if more guys would actually try a factory mountain tube they might be surprised. I'm a lefty (lazy right eye) and I've built several lightweight rifles. I haven't built a superlight, but I very well may in the future. I have a line on a titanium lh action pretty reasonable.
    My latest build is right at 5'15'' and it is a very practical, low cost SS 700 lefty. The factory tube I had screwed on drives tacks and it cost me $100, and that was a bit high but it was a very rare SS .280 rem caliber mountain barrel. A $400 mountain dupe wouldn't shoot any better.
    There is room to lighten, heck it isn't even in an edge stock (it is a Micky KS)...Kampfeld would drop 2 ounces with a bolt and magbox tweak, and a flip flop pad would drop 3 ounces. Lopping 2" off the tube would drop a couple ounces. I could be in at about 5'8-9 ounces without an expensive stock.
    A lone wolf or Browns pounder would put me in at 4' 8-10 ounces.

    Proud to be an American!

  8. #8
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Kimber....with a flip flop recoil pad and some skeletonizing on the mag box 4'10'' is likely.
    Tough to beat for an almost factory tack driver.
    Proud to be an American!

  9. #9

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    Awesome looking rifle's FullKurl, thanks for posting those. I'll see how the .308 Forbes shakes out and will work on getting my components for the lightweight build. Although, I must say, going with a factory Kimber Montana and just doing some pretty simple modifications to get it down lighter than their Ascent is looking pretty good right now. I like the CRF and safety on those for sure. Kevin Weaver put together a really light .375Wby for me on a Pre64 Win action. That's my coastal lightweight rifle though, so a pound or so heavier than I want for my mountain rifle.

    I need to look into the extra weight savings in the firing pin (titaniums...etc), Trigger Guards, Triggers,...etc. Seems tough to find spec weights on triggers. I'd like a Jewell, but it sounds like the Shilen's, Timney's, and Rifle Basix are pretty decent as well.

  10. #10
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    Take a look at Twisted Barrel in Wyoming as well.

    I built a M700 SS in 300H&H with a 25" #2 Lilja and a MPI Rifles Inc style stock (22oz). With the 25" barrel and the short/light stock the balance point was a bit far forward for my liking so I sent it out to have the barrel fluted in the interrupted pattern. I chose Marty at Twisted Barrel b/c he was the only one I contacted who would flute a #2 in .30 cal for me. I also asked him to slab the action to remove additional weight.

    Between the barrel fluting and action slabbing, he removed 9.1oz of metal. After a LW firing pin and bolt fluting/web skeletonization by Kampfeld, the bare rifle come in a 5lb 8oz. There was no notable change in the accuracy of the rifle post fluting.

    I am currently awaiting arrival of a 6.5-06 AI being built on a Colt Light Rifle Action that I also had slabbed using a Mullerworks 1-8" barrel in Winchester Featherweight pattern finishing at 23". I have another MPI Rifles Inc style stock on hand ready to go which weighs in at 20.5oz. I am hoping the build will come in sub 5lbs.

    For the next one I am asking myself if the extra 5-6oz is worth and additional $1k to use a Pierce TI over a CLR or 700 SS action?

  11. #11

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    Thanks AK416, I emailed Twisted Barrels with a few questions on my plans.

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