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Thread: Chrome lining

  1. #1
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Default Chrome lining

    I searched before posting, but couldn't find anything substantive. I'm building another AR upper and trying to weigh the benefits, if any, of using a chrome lined barrel. At this point, I'm thinking not, and I'll just have to replace the barrel every 5,000 rounds or so.

    From what I can tell, theoretically if you could get a perfectly uniform coating and rifling, it would would wear significantly slower than a standard SS or Chrome Moly barrel. However usually there are parts that receive a thicker coating, and with the rapid heating/cooling that occurs in hard use, the chrome would begin to flake and chip rapidly. Then of course you'd wish you had the unlined barrel.

    Can anyone speak from experience?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    The military doesn't seem to have any issues with chrome lined barrels.
    Now what ?

  3. #3

    Default Chrome

    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    The military doesn't seem to have any issues with chrome lined barrels.
    True. M2 barrels were chrome lined and stayed shiny on my boat, while the 20mm and 40mm pitted in the sea environment, due to lack of care.

    T99 Arisaka can look pretty bad, but the bores look good, and they all shoot reliably.

    Of note, however, match shooters do not have their barrels chrome lined as a rule.

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    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Well, the manufacturers like to brag about how a chrome lined barrel gets more life, however I have seen unlined barrels with 20k+ shot through them. It really depends on how you shoot it.

    My rifle has 500+ through it currently but since i take my time between shots and clean it well (unlined barrel) it still looks brand new.

    Really depends more on how you are going to treat it. If it will sit for a week between getting fired and cleaned, chrome is better. Otherwise, I stick with unlined.

    Now if its a shtf rifle, go with chrome everything.

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    Chrome lining seems to work fine and I would not be afraid to use it. It is very hard and will likely resist barrel wear more. However, barrel wear is more about temperature when fired then number of rounds. If you plan on repeated mag dumps then the chrome lining may be the ticket. However, if you never get the barrel very hot then it may not help much.

    The big problem with chrome lining is that it has to be done after the chamber is cut and it has some thickness. So the chamber must be cut over size and then chromed. If you are looking for the best posible accuracy and a min spec. chamber then the chrome may hurt, or not be posible. Also being hard it will not be posible to have the barrel set back later if needed, though I am not sure it is posible or economic to set back a AR barrel.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen-ak View Post
    T99 Arisaka can look pretty bad, but the bores look good, and they all shoot reliably.
    I have 2 Jap type 99 Arisakas and they are both shooters. I have one that looks like it was buried at the high tide line on Iwo Jima for a couple years, and another that looks like a new penny made by a true artist of steel. Both will shoot MOA or very close to it with good ammo that I make from 30-06 brass.

    I would always go chrome any time I have an option, there is a reason the military does!
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What is your intent for the upper? Is it going to be a "tactical" type upper, or a varmint/target upper?

    Personally, I want my rifle to be as acccurate as possible, so I sold my chrome bored AR and am having an upper built with a stainless match grade barrel.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Great feedback guys - thanks! I'm surprised there's not more negative about the chrome flaking. It would be a tactical type use and there's certainly the possibility of large mag dumps.

    I'd like to be at sub 1 moa at 100 yards, it's only going to be a 16" barrel, so I'm not going for long range here.

    I'd like to find a threaded HBAR chrome lined barrel with M4 feedramps now...

  9. #9
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen-ak View Post
    True. M2 barrels were chrome lined and stayed shiny on my boat, while the 20mm and 40mm pitted in the sea environment, due to lack of care.

    T99 Arisaka can look pretty bad, but the bores look good, and they all shoot reliably.

    Of note, however, match shooters do not have their barrels chrome lined as a rule.
    True and they don't need them. For those guys, chrome lined bores can mean the difference between winning and losing a match. If I were to buy or build a dedicated competition or varmint AR I'd forego the chrome lined barrel too. My ARs have a different purpose and chrome lined barrels are better suited to them.
    Now what ?

  10. #10

    Default Chrome

    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    True and they don't need them. For those guys, chrome lined bores can mean the difference between winning and losing a match. If I were to buy or build a dedicated competition or varmint AR I'd forego the chrome lined barrel too. My ARs have a different purpose and chrome lined barrels are better suited to them.
    Quite. Not only do they dont need them, they do not want them.

    Rule of chrome:

    Shoot good: no chrome

    Won't corrode quickly: chrome

    Examples:
    M14 Rack grade has chrome barrel
    M14 NM GI barrel has no chrome.
    Current Mil Standard for M16A2,A3, 727 and M4 is chrome barrel

    I observed on my boat tour that non chromed barrels corroded very quickly when not cared for in a salt water environment.

    The shooter asked whether or not to chrome.
    Reasons to chrome or not chrome vary, two I know about are listed above.

    My application is that recent purchases I made include a CMP upper, no chrome and a M4, w/chrome.

    AFA flaking: I have not seen it over time in the old T99's or firing lots of M2 MG or M16's.

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