November 7, 2006, 07:28 PM
I'm looking at AR's. What are the advantages of a chrome barrel?
Also, what exactly is lead/copper fouling in a barrel? Is one worse than the other? [insert clueless smiley]
November 7, 2006, 07:32 PM
Chrome barrels reduce the corrosion within a barrel if it isn't cleaned right away. Copper fouling happens when the bullet swagged the grooves and it leaves some copper behind.
November 7, 2006, 07:38 PM
When you fire a bullet down the barrel, some of the bullet is "rubbed off" on the bore.
Lead bullets can leave quite heavy deposits and this can be difficult to remove, since there's really no human-safe chemical that will dissolve lead.
Copper bullet jackets also leave copper fouling, and if this is allowed to build up it can degrade accuracy.
A chrome lined bore lasts longer since the hard chrome resists the erosion of firing.
It also resists corrosion that would corrode and pit an uncoated bore.
Since hard chrome is so "slick" fouling doesn't stick to it as badly, and the barrel is easier to clean.
About the only down side to a chrome lined bore is it's not quite as accurate as a uncoated barrel.
To be fair, this is not noticeable in most standard firearms, and is only an issue in high grade Match or varmint barrels where you're trying to squeeze the last tiny bit of accuracy out of the gun.
On the average rifle, hard chrome is a "win-win".
November 8, 2006, 04:47 AM
But,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,this is all dependant on how well the chrome was applied and if it has started to flake/chip off. NSFWG has conducted tests in which weapons were fired full auto and they failed at less than 1,000 rounds. Reason was the chrome flaked off and caused damage to the barrel during the firing.
November 8, 2006, 10:55 AM
Most shooters don't shoot enough to warrant a chrome barrel. The only reason I would want a chrome barrel is if I had a fully auto ar. I have 2 ar's, one SS and I will never shoot enough to wear out the barrels and I shoot fairly often with them...
November 8, 2006, 11:15 AM
I wish almost every gun I owned had a chrome lined barrel. Not so much to prevent wear, but I feel they are easier to clean, offer a slight edge in reliability when the chamber is also plated, and for corrosion resistance. As mentioned most people aren't going to "wear out" your average AR barrel, but there are some other benefits. Whether those benefits are worth the extra cost is up to the buyer.
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