number of grooves 4 vs 6


January 28, 2010, 11:35 AM
hey guys just bought a new rifle with a 4 groove barrel, which is better for accuracy 4 or 6 groove barrels? thanks.

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January 28, 2010, 11:39 AM
it doesn't really matter

January 28, 2010, 11:43 AM
why go through the extra step for 6 groove barrels if it doesn't really matter? thanks.

January 28, 2010, 02:06 PM
Because it really doesn't matter, except a manufacture can say, Well we use six groove barrels.

The war department proved during WWII that 2-groove barrels shot as good as 4-groove barrels. I have one on an 03A3 Springfield sporter that shoots sub-MOA.

The other reason is, many if not most factory barrels today are button rifled, instead of cut rifled.

The more lands the rifling has, the less metal the rifling button has to displace from the grooves when it is pulled, kicking & screaming, through the reamed hole.


January 28, 2010, 02:32 PM
I have a bunch of six groove Douglas 308 barrels. They shoot fine.

I have a couple of Krieger four groove barrels, .223 and 308, they shoot fine.

I have shot out a couple of .223 Wilson six groove barrels. They shot fine.

I have one Wilson six groove on a 30-06, it shoots fine.

US military barrels, the Krag, M1903 were all four groove. The M1903A3 had four groove and two groove.

The two groove barrels shoot cast bullets better than the four groove.

These old military barrels are not that good compared to today's barrels. We have better barrels today.

Having even number of grooves may keep the cutters in line when rifling a barrel. So that is probably why so many barrels have even number of grooves.

I do not know why barrel makers started using six groove barrels. In old NRA reprints, I think the thought was more grooves meant less bullet distortion. I do not know of 8, 10, groove barrels. I think microgroove barrels were 12 groove.

The quality of the barrel and the quality of the chambering job are far more important to accuracy than the number or type of grooves.

January 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
It has to be 5R rifling, don'tchaknow?:D

I have no clue how many grooves my barrels have in them. I don't make barrels. I don't care.

I do care how they shoot. Microgroove barrels do work (at least for rimfires, which is all I have in Microgroove).

January 28, 2010, 03:36 PM
so no advantages one over the other? thanks.

January 28, 2010, 03:51 PM
I remember years ago that supposedly 4 groove barrels shot that harder, military type, bullets better than the 6 groove versions, which supposedly did better with the softer jacketed bullets like Sierra Match Kings.

IIRC, this was from either Krieger or Obermeyer. Don't remember which.

January 28, 2010, 04:20 PM
6 or 4 groove barrels shot the matchkings better?

January 28, 2010, 04:23 PM
My M1917 30-06 has a left, 1 in 10 twist, 5 groove barrel. I get the best of both worlds. It really shoots accurately!


January 28, 2010, 04:27 PM
now im confused, thanks mickey.

January 28, 2010, 04:54 PM
That's my Job! :D:banghead::D

Seriously though... I don't think it matters much. Just go out and shoot it like you stole it!


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