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Thread: What are your thoughts on a custom barrel?

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    Member IglooBoy88's Avatar
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    Default What are your thoughts on a custom barrel?

    Interested to know what your thoughts on a custom barrel. I am interested in getting a barrel for my 7mm rem mag.

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    My thoughts would be, what are you going to be doing with this rifle that warrants a 'custom barrel? For most 'normal' shooting/hunting that I have done over the years, I have found that the barrels in most factory rifles, will shoot better then I can hold. No matter what the source of the barrel is, they all need to be taken care of and in some cases, broken in properly.
    Now are you building a rifle from the action up, then I would be considering a 'custom' barrel.

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    You can probably buy a new, certainly used, rifle cheaper than buying a new barrel and having a first class gunsmith install it properly.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IglooBoy88 View Post
    Interested to know what your thoughts on a custom barrel. I am interested in getting a barrel for my 7mm rem mag.
    I've lots of thoughts on rebarreling rifles. There are numerous considerations beyond the cartridge that you select.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    My thoughts:

    1. Stainless match grade barrel to start with. Lots of good barrel makers to choose from.
    2. I'd go 5-groove, but I'm odd that way. 4-groove would be ok too.
    3. 1:9 twist. 1:8 if you're really into heavy, VLD-style bullets.
    4. Special throating geometry if you're set on a particular bullet.
    5. The gunsmith who does the barrel fitting, headspacing and stock bedding is more important than the barrel itself IMO.
    6. 24" or 25" barrel length. I finished my custom .264 @ 25"
    7. I hear good things about cut rifled grooves, but all I've ever run are button rifled. Lead times on button rifled barrels are shorter I think.
    8. #2 contour should be about right.

    P.S. - I assume this is for a hunting rifle.

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    Member IglooBoy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post
    My thoughts:

    1. Stainless match grade barrel to start with. Lots of good barrel makers to choose from.
    2. I'd go 5-groove, but I'm odd that way. 4-groove would be ok too.
    3. 1:9 twist. 1:8 if you're really into heavy, VLD-style bullets.
    4. Special throating geometry if you're set on a particular bullet.
    5. The gunsmith who does the barrel fitting, headspacing and stock bedding is more important than the barrel itself IMO.
    6. 24" or 25" barrel length. I finished my custom .264 @ 25"
    7. I hear good things about cut rifled grooves, but all I've ever run are button rifled. Lead times on button rifled barrels are shorter I think.
    8. #2 contour should be about right.

    P.S. - I assume this is for a hunting rifle.
    Yes, this is for a hunting rifle. My rifle was a gift from an uncle of mine, so the gun has a lot of sentimental value. The original barrel is not performing well, so I decided I would go for a custom barrel. But I've been talking to friends and it's always nice to hear of other peoples opinions and insights.

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    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    I have many custom barrels, both cut & button, which they all shoot very well, my thoughts: I love them!

    I can tell you all you want to know about custom barrels, but first there may be an easy/cheap fix to remedy your “original barrel not performing” so let’s start at the start!....what model/brand is this gun from your uncle? What’s the bore look like? Rusted/pitted? Crown look ok?, or damaged?
    "Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous" ~ Reinhold Messner

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    Default custom barrel

    I would also suggest making sure the barrel was clean, as in using a good copper removing solvent and use until the patch comes out clean. Oil the barrel after that! or it will rust within a day.

    On the custom barrel part, I use either Lothar Walther or Krieger and both are superlative! If you don't want to spend that much, there really is nothing wrong with the Adams & Bennet barrels sold by Midway. One of the other responders said the smith is as important as the barrel and I would also agree with that.

    Enjoy the quest. Best wishes. J.

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    There are so many variables when putting a flat shooter together. Most off the shelf rifle will out shoot the buyer long before it wares out. So the next question is what are your plans for the rifle to warrant putting a new barrel on it? Just like a chain... it will only be as strong as the one weak link a rifle will only be as sharp as the barrel, in combination with the action, trigger, headspace, or scope. So there is a lot there to figure out and expense to get done to figure out that it is just another good hunting rifle and your average shot group and YOUR average group is 3/4moa @ 100yds.


    Now if there is damage to the barrel that is a whole another reason to re barrel

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    Member IglooBoy88's Avatar
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    I had some barrel damage, which is the reason I am looking for a barrel. Has anyone heard of Mcgowen barrels and how they perform?

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    No personal experience with McGowen, but they are top notch.

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    If I had a rifle with a bad barrel, I would certainly rebarrel it, but for a hunting rifle, I wouldn't go all out for the best bench rest barrel. The McGowen would be fine as would most any of the after market barrels. Shilen, Douglas even Shaw would suit me fine. Who installs the barrel and who makes the ammo are as important as the barrel IMHO.

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    If all of the above cleaning and inspections of your current barrel don't pan out, then a new pipe is probably in order.
    You can buy a match grade or select match grade barrel directly and have them send it too you for a local smith to put together. Shilen, Douglas, Schneider, Hart are all GREAT barrels. There's more out there, but you get the jist.
    Some outfits will not only rebarrel your gun, but they'll also accurize your rifle. They'll shoot it and even do proper barrel break in procedures for you.
    For example, Hill Country Firearms in Texas is one that does those things, and more.
    Not sure what kind of $$ you wanna drop, but just the barrel alone that's of really good quality might start around $500, maybe a tad more. Not positive.
    You can also buy a barrel and have it and your gun sent to Christensen Arms and have them lathe it, carbon wrap it and do an install.
    Lots of options out there..

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    https://www.grizzly.com/products/category/365000

    Heres a good place I've found to get bartleins without the lead time of getting it straight from bartlein themselves.

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