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Thread: Hammer Forged Vs Button, which is the stronger system?

  1. #1

    Default Hammer Forged Vs Button, which is the stronger system?

    From what I have read HF is the stronger of the two. Is this true?

    If you're wondering why this question. Well where I hunt I encounter rain & grit, which at times can find it's way into my action & barrel. Never had a problem before but I have been using HF barrels.
    Will a "Button" Lothar Walther barrel be in the same league strength wise or does it have more chance of letting go?


    PS- I just found this thread. Worth another look.
    Last edited by 340Wby; 12-09-2008 at 11:59. Reason: PS added

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    In general the cold hammer forged barrels are tougher barrels and more rigid with better wear characteristics. No one type of rifling is necessarilly more accurate but cut rifled barrels are much more precise dimensionally than the other two. Cut is also more expensive, hammered is the cheapest operation but the machine is very expensive.

    All that being said, as you mentioned Lothar Walther barrels, I don't think there is a better production barrel made than the Lothar Walther barrel. I have them on several rifles and find them to be the smoothest barrels I've ever used and always superb accuracy. I really like those barrels.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    I have heard that hammer forged are slightly tougher. Many people try to say that one method of rifling is way better then the others but that is simply not true. All have advantages and disadvantages in: cost when it mass production, cost in low production number, availability, flexibility of barrel type, strength of material, suitability to flute, accuracy as the barrel heats, and so on. For accuracy, stress relieving during the barrel making process is at least as important as the method of rifling.

    If you get a chunk of grit or sand down the barrel and shoot, you will scare up the barrel no matter how it is made. Hammer forged might be slightly tougher but it will not be tough enough. There are various hard coatings for the inside of barrels such as chrome, starite (sp), Nitrides, and ceramics. These may help in such a case but the cost on a custom barrel would likely be very high.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Enough rain and especially grit will wear out any steel used for a rifles action and barrel. Hammer forging should produce a slightly tougher surface as the surface of the bore (lands and grooves) is cold worked around the rifling form. A cut or buton barrel is deep drilled then either the grooves are cut, or the button is pulled through and the lands and groovs formed. Since buttoning is a cold forming process it would also tend to surface harden the bore.

    With that all said, I've yet to hear a scientific study to see which form of rifling provides the longest barrel rifle. The type of steel used seems to have a bigger affect on how long a barrel lasts before the hot gases erode away the throat.

    My thinking is, properly maintained todays sporting rifles will last for tens if not 100's of thousands of rounds, though you'll go through a few barrels in the process. Abused, you can ruin a rifle in a few seasons.


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