Fluted vs. Non Fluted


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Sniper4Life
March 25, 2007, 07:46 PM
Which is better and why? Is fluting worth an extra $100 on a custom barrel?

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shaggycat
March 25, 2007, 07:53 PM
It depends. What is the purpose of the rifle?

Art Eatman
March 25, 2007, 07:58 PM
The idea for a fluted barrel is mostly to maintain the stiffness of a heavy barrel, but without the weight. Along with this is the idea that the greater surface area will facilitate cooling.

For a hunting or plinking rifle, fluting is pointless. There are arguments pro and con, insofar as benchrest and target rifles.

Me, I kinda go along with Gale McMillan, who didn't really see the point in them, even for benchrest. I tend to say, "Yessir!" to world record-holders. :)

Art

Sniper4Life
March 25, 2007, 08:25 PM
I intend to use it for long range shooting. Very possibly F-Class.

Barrel Specs
.308
Polygonal Rifling
28in
Straight Countour
Chrome Moly
?(Fluting)?

10-Ring
March 25, 2007, 08:31 PM
For me, it really depends on how I shoot. If I take my time & shoot relatively slowly, I don't need the fluting. If I shoot quickly & need the barrel to dissipate heat more effectively, I would get the fluting.

waumo
March 25, 2007, 08:36 PM
Fluting looks cool but that is the extent of the value. If I can get it for little
or nothing, I do. But I would never pay $100+ on barrel to get it.

Jim Watson
March 25, 2007, 08:40 PM
I shoot some F-class, most recently this morning; alongside the service rifle, match rifle, and Palma guys. I see very few fluted barrels. You don't need the weight savings with an 18 lb weight limit on F-T/R and most folks would rather have the mass of a heavy barrel for a heat sink than flutes for a radiator. My straight taper to .875" seems stiff enough.

Add the hundred bucks to your scope budget.

USSR
March 25, 2007, 08:51 PM
Which is better and why? Is fluting worth an extra $100 on a custom barrel?

Sniper4Life,

Depends upon the length and contour of the barrel, the type of rifling, and the type of stock you will be using. While there are several advantages of fluting, IMHO, the most important is to balance the rifle when a long, heavy contour barrel is installed. If you are getting a 26" or 28" barrel with a heavy contour that results in a muzzle diameter of .900" or more, you should consider fluting. If you don't, you will have an unbalanced rifle that will feel like it wants to fall out of your hands. This can be mitigated somewhat if you are using a McMillan A2 - A5 stock, as these McMillan's are quite heavy in the buttstock, which will help offset the forward weight in the barrel. A properly balanced rifle should have the balance point at or slightly forward of the front action screw/bolt. Regarding the type of rifling, I would not have fluting done on anything other than a cut rifled barrel. The reason is, with a cut rifled barrel the fluting is done prior to rifling and lapping. With a button rifled barrel the fluting must be done after the rifling is done and this requires that the barrel be stress relieved. I have had a 26" Krieger MTU contour barrel fluted by Jack Krieger, and a 28" Obermeyer AMU contour barrel fluted by Boots, and am happy with both of them. Hope this has been of some help.

Don

rbernie
March 25, 2007, 08:52 PM
For a rifle that I will likely shoot offhand and that only has heavier contour barrels available, I'll run a fluted barrel to get the weight down. Doesn't sound like you need that benefit, so I'm with those that suggest spending the money elsewhere.

U.S.SFC_RET
March 25, 2007, 09:11 PM
Its not worth the money to flute, but if it makes you feel better.:D
Honestly though, put the money into the next scope or reloading. You will probably be better off for it.

Essex County
March 26, 2007, 01:02 PM
Although I have one fluted barrel I wouldn't pay extra for one. I prefer unfluted if I have a choice. Essex

MrDig
March 26, 2007, 04:01 PM
I voted for it but here is what I think about it.
Fluting offers both weight reduction and tensile strength. The significance of the changes will be argued ad nauseum. Another bonus is heat dissipation due to increased surface area.
IMHO the one true benefit is the fact that there will be significantly less flex in longer barrels that are fluted. 24 to 26 in bbls will show the benefit of fluting in MOA on the paper. Is it worth the expense? That depends on your application. For the average hunting rifle no probably not. If you plan on doing a significant amount of target shooting at longer than 300 yards it may be. Lots of rounds P'doggin or Yote busting, it might be worth it as well.
On a typical 22 or 20 inch Bbl Fluting is a superfluous expense.

chris allen
March 26, 2007, 04:21 PM
NO!NO! NO! Fluting does not ADD strenght to a barrel.

If you take a barrel before you flute it and then flute it the UNFLUTED BARREL is stiffer.
However if you take 2 barrels the SAME WEIGHT one is fluted and one is not the Fluted barrel is stiffer .(IT DOES NOT GAIN STIFFNESS FROM THE MACHINE PROCESS OF BEING FLUTED)

Personally fluting looks racey but not really practical.

Fluting is nothing new .The real craze of fluting started in the 70's with the metallic sillouhette shooters.They had a restriction of weight of 10 lb.2oz(if I remember correct)Weaver came out with the T series of scope that were good at the time .Remington heavy barrel 700 in 308 or 7-08 were the calibers of choice.The Remington plus the scope were too heavy so guys started fluting barrels to get a slight reduction in weight.

Its is a bunch of hooey about cooling faster and making barrels stiffer.

CHRIS

MrDig
March 26, 2007, 04:50 PM
The real craze of fluteing started with Octagonal Bbls in the early days. it is nothing new really. Smiths noted that the Bbls cooled down more quickly if the flats of the bbls were concave.
P.S. While I didn't state that Bbls needed to be of equal weight to see the difference of fluted v unfluted I was aware of it. I will stand by what I said on 24 to 26 inch Bbls. Unless someone can show me Data to the contrary.

USSR
March 26, 2007, 06:42 PM
If you take a barrel before you flute it and then flute it the UNFLUTED BARREL is stiffer.
However if you take 2 barrels the SAME WEIGHT one is fluted and one is not the Fluted barrel is stiffer .(IT DOES NOT GAIN STIFFNESS FROM THE MACHINE PROCESS OF BEING FLUTED)

That is correct, the comparison is made between two barrels of equal weight and length.

Don

rbernie
March 26, 2007, 08:53 PM
http://www.varmintal.com/aflut.htm

CONCLUSION ON BARREL FLUTING....

When comparing two barrels of equal weight, length, and material but one is solid and other is fluted, the fluted barrel will have:

A larger diameter

Greater stiffness

Vibrate at a higher frequency

Less sag (vertical end deflection from the barrel's own weight while in a horizontal shooting position)

Fluting a solid barrel will:

Reduce its weight

Reduce its stiffness

Increase its natural frequency of vibration

Decrease its sag.

Reducing the weight of a barrel by fluting makes a stiffer barrel than reducing the weight by decreasing its diameter.

A shorter barrel of the same section, solid or fluted, will sag less and vibrate at a higher frequency

rbernie
March 26, 2007, 08:55 PM
http://www.fulton-armory.com/fluting.htm

Excellent article - relevant conclusion as follows:
A fluted barrel has much less rigidity than a plain barrel of the same diameter, and more rigidity than a plain barrel of the same weight. But those comparison barrels are not, cannot, be the same. The plain barrel of "same weight" will have a necessarily smaller diameter than the corresponding fluted barrel. The material in the fluted barrel is arranged, due to its greater major diameter, more advantageously to resist bending than the plain barrel's material. So you can have your cake or you can eat it, but not both!

chris allen
March 26, 2007, 09:06 PM
I have run a gunsmithing business for 20 years and when you have a milling machine and tools sitting idle it is easy to push the idea of fluting. Simply business.One must be honest with people of plus and minus of fluting.

chris

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