Barrel: Standard vs. Stainless vs. BFH


PDA






snakyjake
February 24, 2010, 02:59 AM
I'm looking at Bravo Company AR15 barrels and they have 3 material/process types:
Standard
Barrel, Forged, Hammer (BFH)
Stainless

I need some help choosing the one I want, and I don't know the advantages or disadvantages of the choices.

My thoughts are the differences in: corrosion resistance, longevity, reliability stronger, harder, weight, accuracy, easy to clean, doesn't dent/scratch easily, abuse, less manufacturing error, etc.

I'm sure any will do whatever I'll want, but part of my ownership is knowing why I bought what i did. I'm looking for some explanations of why someone would choose a particular type of barrel?

Thanks,
Jake

If you enjoyed reading about "Barrel: Standard vs. Stainless vs. BFH" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Kurt_D
February 24, 2010, 05:06 AM
Accuracy will probably go to the SS simply because it's not chrome lined, is a heavy profile, and was probably made with maxium accuracy in mind.

Weight depends on barrel profile, the hammer forged and standard rifles are probably M4 profile to they have that covered.

Harder... they'll all scratch if they're dropped, bend if you try hard enough, etc.

Corrosion resistance is probably about the same for all. SS speaks for it self and the other two are hard chrome lined and parked.

Easy to clean and abuse goes to the chrome lined barrels.

Longevity going from longest to shortest: 1) hammer forged chrome lined 2) standard chrome lined 3) SS. I mean honestly though, unless you're burning barrels on full auto and/or trying to run 20K+ rounds though one you ain't going to see a difference.

So basically it depends on what you want. Precission: you will probably want to go stainless and the extra weight of the heavy barrel will help. Generally good all around and saving some $$ in the process: standard chrome lined and M4 profile. Gotta have the newest trend going OR honestly going to run full auto and/or many thousands of rounds: cold hammer forged chrome lined.

If they're all coming from Bravo they will all be quality.

snakyjake
March 2, 2010, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the helpful information Kurt.

I was glancing at some other sites, and notice LWRCI barrels have "NiCorr surface conversion has proved more lubricious, harder wearing, more heat and corrosion resistant than the hard chrome normally used in the bore. Our barrels can handle 20,000 rounds before replacement, as compared to 6,000-10,000 rounds on a standard M4." Sounds great...is it really better or just marketing hype?

For bolt carrier group, I notice BMC has IonBond, LWRCI NiCorr, POF NP3. Are they all basically the same?

Tirod
March 2, 2010, 11:43 AM
Yes and no. They all prevent corrosion and resist abrasion, they aren't the same process. Most of them are coming from the automotive industry and are variations on dry film lubricant applications. Basically, the surface is impregnated with plasma sprayed carbon to slick it up. Nissan and Hyundai are using it this year on flat tappets, eliminating heavier roller tappets, gaining a horsepower, and putting a dollar more profit in the bank. The surface hardness of most of these treatments is high. To remove it basically means refinishing the part to a smaller dimension - you have to machine it off.

Hammer forged barrels are European standard and have been for thirty years. Big American makers have had them for a while, I understand handgun makers switched a long time ago. It just wasn't polite to discuss it in public because the typically underinformed American buyer was fixated on old school technology. The debacle with the '64 Winchester 70 taught most manufacturers to keep quiet about improvements in production. It seems while nobody wants to be paid low wages to hand fit an expensive bolt gun, they expect it to be done that way and sold for less than cost. Not happening. It's the main reason jobs get outsourced - we have priced our labor off the market.

If your company can afford the machine, a hammer forged barrel can be made cheaper and quicker than button rifled, with no scoring marks or break in required. Inside of annealed dead soft steel, you at least get some grain refinement that follows the lands and increases abrasion resistance. That's one reason hammerforged barrels are reputed to last longer, and why they are specified in Europe. Our milspec standard is still 50 year old button rifling, largely because that's what Colt does. It may change in the future.

Chrome lined is nice, spec for full auto, and a pain to achieve as the barrel must be cut oversized and plated back to dimension. It's actually considered not as accurate, and not used on precision rifles. For blasting lots of battlefield fodder at high rates of fire, OK. Again, what the military made spec isn't necessarily the most accurate - their standard is 2MOA on the battlefield. More is taxpayer abuse.

Choose the barrel type for what you plan to shoot. If you want something else, it won't be because it's better, it'll be because you plan to impress someone else who thinks it is.

Kurt_D
March 2, 2010, 02:18 PM
I was glancing at some other sites, and notice LWRCI barrels have "NiCorr surface conversion has proved more lubricious, harder wearing, more heat and corrosion resistant than the hard chrome normally used in the bore. Our barrels can handle 20,000 rounds before replacement, as compared to 6,000-10,000 rounds on a standard M4." Sounds great...is it really better or just marketing hype?

For bolt carrier group, I notice BMC has IonBond, LWRCI NiCorr, POF NP3. Are they all basically the same?

Marketing hype. What's the point? "our barrel can go 20K rounds on FA where a standard M4 would burn out in 10K" when 1) you're shooting semi auto b/c you can't have/afford FA 2) the barrel cost twice as much, you can buy another standard M4 barrel to replace the one that wears out 3) your rifle probably won't see 5K rounds, let alone 10K and it's semi which means it'd probably last closer to 15K before you see issues?

Again with out knowing what you'll be doing or want to be doing it's hard to recommend a barrel. For general use - plinking, hunting, defense, a little competition it's going to be hard to beat a Bravo (or Saber is the other brand they carry) chrome lined button rifled barrel for the money. If they're still running their sale on their hammer forged chrome lined barrels then the little extra $$ might be ok because it's different, but I wouldn't pay a premium for it.

Last chrome lined can be very accurate, the process has become more regulated. Look at FN's .308 bolt guns CDNN was selling a while back. Medium heavy profile, chrome lined guaranteed 1 MOA or less with test target. But generally I agree, it's easier to get a very accurate SS or chrome moly barrel.

On bolt carriers groups, same thing, it's going to be hard to beat a standard chrome lined BCG. 1) chrome lined on the inside is what you want, every thing else is bling 2) properly staked gas key will help in reliablity 3) I've went with M16 carriers for a little extra weight to help smooth cycling, they do little else 4) MP testing of the bolt is nice but I've never had a bolt break yet 5) extractors - if you go Bravo Company they will install their spring kit automatically which aids extraction, with other brands a o-ring around the spring is nice. It seems to ensure extraction and also controls the ejection better.

Zerodefect
March 2, 2010, 03:11 PM
The Standard BCM barrel is about the same as Colts barrel on the 6920 etc. It is chrome lined.

The Stainless is a plain stainless barrel. Good for acuracy. Cheaper to make. Best for target use I guess.

The hammer forged barrel is similar to the comparable to the standard but is made using a better technique as noted above. It still has a chrome lining.

All of BCM's barrels seem to be exceptional high quality. You just have to decide if the extra cost of the BFM is worth it, because we'll probally never know for sure.

BCM's seems to have standard Carbine, middy, and rifle profiles. Chrome lining is a must in combat rifles. SS barrels are better for long range maybe.

If you enjoyed reading about "Barrel: Standard vs. Stainless vs. BFH" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!