Chrome-lined or non chrome-lined barrel? Why?


January 29, 2003, 04:49 AM
Hello. It is my understanding that american manufacturers seem to prefer non chrome-lined barrels whereas european manufacturers prefer chrome-lined barrels even in the most inexpensive SGs.
So, what's the difference between chrome lined and non chrome lined barrels. Is it something that has to do solely with cost? Do the latter tend to rust more easily? I have noticed that it is easier to clean a crome lined barrel after a session at the range.
If you folks have any ideas drop here a line (or two)
Thanx ;)

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Dave McCracken
January 29, 2003, 05:56 AM
I've not the foggiest notion of why US makers don't plate their bores. OTOH, plating is not universal overseas, either.

The upside of plating is that there's less chance of corrosion and cleaning is easier.

Downside, it's more expensive and modifying the bore(like a long forcing cone or changing a fixed choke) is nigh impossible.

January 29, 2003, 06:04 AM
So, it is better to opt for a chrome-lined barrer if there is a choice. I would really like a 870 with a chrome-lined barrel..

Stay Safe ;)

Duke of Lawnchair
January 29, 2003, 01:11 PM
With proper maintenance, chrome lined bores are superfulous. The only reasons why I can justify a chrome bore are:
1) corrosion resistence
2) greater surface hardness

People shoot steel shot through their non-lined bores all the time, so surface hardness isn't an issue.

Dave McCracken
January 29, 2003, 05:00 PM
My oldest 870 barrel was made in November of 1950, the first year of production. After 8-10K of loads, including lots of goose loads(oft shot in corrosive environments),no probs.

Other shotgun barrels I know of with lots of salt marsh and swamp hunts behind them are equally pristine.

Good maintenance makes chrome plating unnecessary, and bad maintenance will mess up anything, including chrome.

Do as you wish....

January 29, 2003, 06:22 PM
Anyone who down plays chrome lined bores must just like cleaning their shotguns :)
I have both. The chrome lined bore requires no scrubbing! Just a qucik swipe with solvent and a clean patch, Done. The unlined barrel requires brushes and solvent and more brushing and more solvent. Take 3 times longer to clean

Duke of Lawnchair
January 29, 2003, 06:36 PM

Chrome bore in a rifle, I dig. For a shotgun, I think it isn't needed.
Cleaning the bore of the Sears Roebuck M200 and my chrome lined semi shotgun is about the same.

I'll be picking up an 870 fairly soon, so I'll have to get back to you folks on that one.

January 29, 2003, 07:18 PM
It's a "balance" thing.

European SG barrels are oftentimes much thinner, which makes it more prone to corrosion, wear, etc. The chroming of the barrel goes to offset problems associated with thinner barrels.

US barrels can be much heavier and is not as quickly affected by corrosion/wear problems.

January 29, 2003, 07:58 PM
Most of the mid line to expensive o/u's are not chrome- lined to my knowledge, unless that's changed.

Perhaps, incorrectly, I have always assumed some manufacturers chrome- lined because they were using cheaper bbl steel. Either way it doesn't seem to matter much as maintenance on a shotgun bbl is rarely needed. More so on a hunting gun in wet conditions.

Chrome in the chambers would be good to prevent surface rust from plastic shells, but again that's mostly a cosmetic issue.

Sir Galahad
January 29, 2003, 10:56 PM
A lot of chrome-lined shotguns are probably of Russian make. They're used to chrome lining bores. The Soviets started doing this for two reasons. First, it is easier to clean and also doesn't rust if the soldier had to wait a day or so to clean his weapon. Further, a lot of Soviet and Warsaw Pact ammo was corrosive. Second, the chrome extended barrel life because it's harder than steel. Most Soviet and Warsaw Pact ammo was/is bi-metal jacketed. That is, the bulletis not all-copper jacketed. It is steel with a copper wash. The chrome lined bore negated any excessive wear from the bi-metal jackets, though the wear factor is actually very overblown.

A chrome-lined shotgun would indeed be easier to clean. There are advantages to it. But as others have pointed out, proper weapons care will eliminate an actual need for a chrome bore with a shotgun. The reason the Russians chrome line the Saiga-12 bore is because they have a production line of this shotgun and it is also a military weapon that they use and their military specs their shoulder small arms to be chrome lined. Also, all of their gun barrel works are large assembly lines and specced for military (and former military arms plants) and so it's just as easy to chrome line all Saiga shotgun barrels so there is no confusion as to which get chromed and which don't.

January 30, 2003, 12:06 AM
Beretta auto's and all Benelli auto's (don't know about the nova)
have chromed bores. HK's Fabarm line all have chromed bores. I've seen SKB auto's and O/U's with chrome lined bores as's got nothing to do with "cheap" quality steel or thin barrels.

What other makes come with chromed bores?

Duke of Lawnchair
January 30, 2003, 12:14 AM
Beretta auto's and all Benelli auto's (don't know about the nova)

The Novas have chrome bores.

January 30, 2003, 05:18 AM
Who else, let me see... Franchi, A. Zoli, Lanber, Fabarm


January 30, 2003, 11:46 AM
Actually I think the barrels in Berettas and Benellis are probably of higher quality steel than many of the others. That's why they can get away with thinner barrels - stronger steel. Who needs or wants extra weight? Not me anyway.
Regardless of whether anyone thinks that chrome lined barrels are necessary or not, they are nice to have, and all things being equal, preferable to non-chrome lined.
Of course a Benelli barrel alone costs as much as an 870.

January 30, 2003, 12:20 PM
Of course a Benelli barrel alone costs as much as an 870.

OK I will break the news then. Where I live an 870 costs approx 550 euros, whereas a Nova costs approx 450 euros. Current exchange rate is 1 euro per 1,08 USD.

Stay Safe ;)

January 30, 2003, 02:50 PM
That's not the case here in the states, I can assure you!

January 30, 2003, 04:08 PM
Chrome lining is supposedly an expensive hassle to deal with for environmental reasons due to the chemical disposal involved in the process. It raises the price of US made guns quite a bit, and is part of the reason why only a few US manufacturers of AR15's still chrome their bores or chambers. Overseas, with few rules on the nasty chemicals involved, it is a cheap process. This explains why we see so many cheap imported surplus rifles with fully chromed bores.
I'd imagine that the case is the same for shotguns. Since the only real disadvantage of chrome bores in rifles is decreased accuracy, I can't see why you wouldn't want one in a shotgun.

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