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Thread: Chrome Moly Barrel vs Stainless pros cons?

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    Member hntr's Avatar
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    Default Chrome Moly Barrel vs Stainless pros cons?

    Some here with more experience may be able to help.

    So what is the better barrel material regardless or corosion resistance.

    Which is more durable considering round count and wear/throat erosion.

    Any difference in accuracy?

    I'm building a rifle and i want the best barrel material the coating will take care of corrosion resistance.

    Thanks

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Stainless wins on all counts, though I don't think there is an appreciable difference in accuracy, but the stainless barrels have better resistance to erosion, so their effective life is longer.

    As far as corrosion resistance, if you're hunting coastal areas coat the exterior of the barrel, and make sure you run an oiled patch through the bore at the end of each day. Stainless still rusts, just not as fast as chro-mo.

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    Member Thumpem''s Avatar
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    I agree with Paul H. As far as accuracy goes you do not want a chrome lined barrel. The barrel length can sometimes make up for this but chrome lined barrels are "battle barrels" meant to take abuse of sand and all kinds of materials except moisture. Most ARs have these barrels unless they are topped with a stainless bull barrel. Chrome lined barrels are rigid and most of the time not as accurate as good stainless barrel. Go with the stainless. It will not rust as fast and you will have a more accurate rifle.

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    Just curious, but how does barrel length make up for inaccuracy as a result of chrome lining? Not sure I follow.

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    This is ripe for a good arguement!!

    CM is the best barrel and if you coat it properly it will be rust free except for the bore which still needs to be maintained.

    Chrome belongs on a Harley!!

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    CM tends to machine smoother and easier than most stainless and the bore tends to be smoother. If both are properly lapped, I suppose it wouldn't matter much. Stainless usually doesn't blue very well if you want a blued gun. It does polish up nice if you want a shiny gun. Just get barrel made by one of the better barrel makers and it's hard to go wrong. Just don't ask which one as that will get you answers of every barrel maker that exists and that brand X is the ONLY barrel worth having.
    I too am curious about the crome lined longer barrel accuracy thing.

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    I think there are some people who are confused in this thread thinking Chrome-moly means Chrome lined. It does not. For the purposes of this debate, Chrome-moly simply refers to NON-stainless steel.

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    41xx steel is a family of steel grades, as specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alloying elements include chromium and molybdenum, and as a result these materials are often referred to as chromoly steel or CRMO. They have an excellent strength to weight ratio, are easily welded and are considerably stronger and harder than standard 1020 steel.
    While these grades of steel do contain chromium, it is not in great enough quantities to provide the corrosion resistance found in stainless steel.

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    I have always choosen stainless steel and many others do as well. The following is from Dan Lilja's website....

    ..."The barrel maker must choose the type of steel the barrels are made from. Most often this would be either a chrome-moly steel such as 4140 or a stainless steel such as type 416. The important characteristics of the steel are its machinability, longevity, and strength. Other considerations are secondary, such as its ability to be blued or resistance to corrosion. Almost 100% of the barrels used in competitive bench rest shooting are made from stainless steel. The grades of stainless used for barrels are fairly machinable and offer a longer accuracy life over conventional chrome-moly. They are also more resistant to some of the harsh cleaners used by accuracy shooters. A side benefit is their ability to resist corrosion." (Lilja).

    I was at the SCI conference in Reno a couple of weeks ago and I attended a seminar by Kenny Jarrett, who also recommended stainless over chromoly.

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    Member Thumpem''s Avatar
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    My bad I guess I was assuming you meant chrome lined barrel.

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    Barrel length affects accuracy and muzzle velocity of your bullet. The longer the the barrel, the more accurate your rifle will be at long range. Your projectile will also travel a further distance in the barrel with extremely high pressure behind it allowing it to accelerate faster.

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    Thanks for the info guys, I'll go with Stainless. Now, does anyone know if stainless can be nitrided?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hntr View Post
    Thanks for the info guys, I'll go with Stainless. Now, does anyone know if stainless can be nitrided?
    yes, the following is a cut and paste...

    Examples of easily nitridable steels include the SAE 4100, 4300, 5100, 6100, 8600, 8700, 9300 and 9800 series, UK aircraft quality steel grades BS 4S 106, BS 3S 132, 905M39 (EN41B), stainless steels, some tool steels (H13 and P20 for example) and certain cast irons. Ideally, steels for nitriding should be in the hardened and tempered condition, requiring nitriding take place at a lower temperature than the last tempering temperature. A fine-turned or ground surface finish is best. Minimal amounts of material should be removed post nitriding to preserve the surface hardness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpem' View Post
    Barrel length affects accuracy and muzzle velocity of your bullet. The longer the the barrel, the more accurate your rifle will be at long range. Your projectile will also travel a further distance in the barrel with extremely high pressure behind it allowing it to accelerate faster.
    Sorry to disagree with you, but if anything, a longer barrel would be less accurate than a shorter one. The harmonic effect is more pronounced the longer the barrel is. Short and fat is where it's at for accuracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Builder View Post
    Sorry to disagree with you, but if anything, a longer barrel would be less accurate than a shorter one. The harmonic effect is more pronounced the longer the barrel is. Short and fat is where it's at for accuracy.
    The basic formula for calculation of muzzle deflection is:
    D = (W*l^3)/3*E*Ix

    I agree that stiffer is better. There is such a thing as too short. Short barrel disadvantage is decreased muzzle velocity which will increase wind drift. There is such a thing as too long as well.

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    Muzzle velocity has nothing to do with accuracy so long as the bullet is stabilized. Wind drift is an outside variable that we are unable to control but can adjust our point of aim for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpem' View Post
    The basic formula for calculation of muzzle deflection is:
    D = (W*l^3)/3*E*Ix
    Now you need to plug numbers into your math problem and show us the difference between 16" and 30".

    Harmonics can be tuned out but short, fat and stiff has a wider more friendly sweet spot for accuracy over a wide range of conditions.

    Here is a senseless comparison, shooting and reloading is full of extreme examples like this. A 32gr .204 Ruger leaves at more than 4100fps. A 300gr 338LM leaves at 2750fps. That little hot rod .204 has more than three times the drop and less than half the velocity of the big slow bullet at 1800 yards and the 338 is still running super sonic.

    The point is, blanket statements like longer is better and faster is further doesn't fly. In both examples I am comparing proven ballistics from two of my rifles with 26" barrels.

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    If I rebarrel my 30-30, which shoots cloverleafs at 50yds with it's 20in bbl. And I use a 24in barrel, which will gain me about 50fps, will it suddenly get even more accurate?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpem' View Post
    The basic formula for calculation of muzzle deflection is:
    D = (W*l^3)/3*E*Ix

    I agree that stiffer is better. There is such a thing as too short. Short barrel disadvantage is decreased muzzle velocity which will increase wind drift. There is such a thing as too long as well.
    If I read that correctly the barrel length is cubed, then divided... Its role in determining deflection is clearly huge. Trying to salvage an argument by bringing in another extraneous variable (wind) is disingenuous, +P...
    art

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    So if I slow my bullet way down it will still be accurate?

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