Best competition barrels for a bolt action?


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wacki
August 16, 2008, 12:35 AM
Replacement barrels for .308 winchester bolt action rifles....


Who makes the best (or one of the best) competition barrels?

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bogie
August 16, 2008, 12:59 AM
I'd go with (and not in this order - at this level, they're pretty much all good) a "select match" or equivalent grade from Shilen, Hart, Broughton, Krieger, or even Douglas. Be prepared to spend money, and don't just hand it to your local gunsmith. Get someone who understands precision chambering to do it.

BTW, your local gunsmith will tell you that everything he does is "precision."

Right...

If the chamber sucks, why bother on the barrel?

FWIW, a Shilen Select Match will run you $329. Tell them Bogie said to send you one of those coozies they had made along with it.

CDignition
August 16, 2008, 01:31 AM
Bartlein, Mike Rock, Obermeyer, Kreiger. Alot of good ones.

wacki
August 16, 2008, 01:57 AM
Interesting that nobody seems to post stats on their barrels giving you an idea as to what kind of accuracy to expect under ideal conditions. The only person that gives you any clue is mike rock:

http://www.rockcreekbarrels.com/serv01.htm

taliv
August 16, 2008, 02:12 AM
my advice would be to start with a gunsmith well known for producing benchrest-match-winning rifles and then ask their advice on which barrel to get.

my experience in talking with gunsmiths is that they're usually tuned in to lots of little details from the various mfgs that change subtly quite often.

cpttango30
August 16, 2008, 02:29 AM
Kreiger (http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/) Is my first choice because they use Cut rifling which does not add stress to the barrel like button rifling.
Shilen (http://www.shilen.com/#) best button rifled barrels out there.
Pac-nor (http://www.pac-nor.com/)
Hart (http://www.hartbarrels.com/)
Lilja (http://www.riflebarrels.com/)
Broughton (http://www.rifle-barrels.net/)
Bartlin (http://www.bartleinbarrels.com/)
Spencer (http://spencerriflebarrels.com/)
Douglas (http://www.benchrest.com/douglas/) I have one on my 308 it is about 30 or so years old too.

my advice would be to start with a gunsmith well known for producing benchrest-match-winning rifles and then ask their advice on which barrel to get.


+1 on that. Go to the gunsmith you want to do the barrel change and ask them what barrel they recommend. Now each smith will have his favorite barrel. I learned from my old gunsmith that if you want a rifle built then tell the smith what you want then listen when he tells you what you need and have him build that one.

A good smith will not lead you down the path of poor accuracy.

bogie
August 16, 2008, 07:07 AM
And know enough to know that if your gunsmith starts shining you, you need to send the thing off... Bubba ain't gonna be able to order a pre-chambered barrel out of Brownell's, and turn a few thou off to have it fit your rifle. Sort of. That isn't what you want, right?

Oh, gee. How could I forget some of those folks...

Kreiger
Shilen (nice guys at the company - they shoot benchrest and are very serious about customer service)
Pac-nor (Eh... I wouldn't include these guys - fine for an "ordinary" hunting rifle)
Hart (Excellent company - the folks who run it shoot benchrest, and take precision seriously)
Lilja (never have met Dan, but have heard plenty of good things)
Broughton (met some folks, and they do have a following)
Bartlin (hearing VERY nice things)
Spencer (Clay Spencer takes his stuff very seriously, and produces barrels which have the potential to be consistent winners)
Douglas (one of my benchrest mentors swears by 'em)

If you can get him to do it, Col. Billy Stevens does some excellent work on hunting rifles, altho he may be a bit turned off on 'em, because I know one fellow who got irritated that his rifle stopped shooting - doh, it helps to clean it correctly, and at least occasionally...

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 16, 2008, 09:29 AM
Bogie, I would like to point out that not *everyone's* "local gunsmith" is a bubba with their head up their rear. The really good ones are local to somebody.

bogie
August 16, 2008, 12:54 PM
True - I live within 20 miles of one of the top five benchrest gunsmiths in the country.

But there are a BUNCH of Bubbas out there...

Heck, most -competent- gunsmiths won't take the care that you'll need for a precision chamber.

skinewmexico
August 16, 2008, 01:43 PM
I personally don't think there is any difference between the top barrel makers. They all shoot better than the shooter.

rcmodel
August 16, 2008, 01:50 PM
They all shoot way better then the cheapest ammo you can buy at Wally-World too!

Unless you plan to handload match grade ammo for them, don't waste your money, or the barrel.

rcmodel

SlamFire1
August 16, 2008, 03:34 PM
I personally don't think there is any difference between the top barrel makers. They all shoot better than the shooter.

I have been using as a gunsmith, a gentleman who is one of the best Long Range Shooters in the US. He is also making barrels. And this statement is substantially correct. Each type of production process, (cut, button, broach) has its own process problems that must be mastered. In the end, the barrel quality depends on the skill of the guy making the barrel.

Which can be ruined by a poor chambering job.

If you want a good barrel, use what the winners use. They are the best Quality Control Inspectors around, and will bad mouth inferior barrels in a heart beat.

taliv
August 16, 2008, 04:47 PM
most of them shoot better than some shooters.

bogie
August 16, 2008, 04:50 PM
This is who I'd use for a precision/varmint rifle.

http://www.stevensaccuracy.com/html/rifle_services.html

taliv
August 16, 2008, 05:07 PM
bogie, you ever used http://longshotriflesllc.com/ ? He's a heckuva lot closer to you than alabama. He made a great gun for me spring before last.

MTMilitiaman
August 16, 2008, 06:11 PM
Lilja (never have met Dan, but have heard plenty of good things)

I know there are a lot of good choices out there.

But I will be going with Lilja for the simple reason that I have met him. Not only is he a first-class shooter with lots of knowledge on the subject, based on a lifetime of experience in the business, but he's a genuinely good guy. He makes an excellent barrel and he keeps his business just outside a small Montana town called Plains, which is the area I spent my childhood. It is a small community that benefits from the business Lilja brings to it. Good friends of the family work there. They know the quality of the product they produce and put a good deal of pride in their jobs.

My dad put a 30 inch Lilja #5 stainless fluted on a custom .338 Remington Ultra Mag he built on a Remington M700 action. It was our first venture into custom rifles but Lilja was more than happy to answer questions and provide us with insight. Then he hooked my brother up with an 8-32x56 Nightforce for his AR-50.

Just as a heads up, Lilja built the barrel that Rob Furlong, the Canadian sniper in Afghanistan that took the record 2430 meter confirmed kill shot, used on his McMillan Tac-50.

Great barrels and an absolutely great guy as well. I have all the respect in the world for him, and so as far as I am concerned, there is no need for me to look anywhere else for a barrel.

Walkalong
August 16, 2008, 06:48 PM
If you can get him to do it, Col. Billy Stevens does some excellent work on hunting rifles, Billy did the last barrel on my Bench gun. He is a first class individual and does great work. He is also a hell of a shooter. :)

skinewmexico
August 16, 2008, 06:50 PM
A lot of the winners buy several barrels, then get rid of the ones that don't shoot as well.

SprayAndPray
August 16, 2008, 09:40 PM
How about http://www.lothar-walther.de/html/3.php
they´ve only been making barrels since 1925 or so.

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