Stainless or Hammer forged barrel?


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CCFD1414
November 6, 2010, 12:29 AM
I'm building a RECCE upper and was looking at using a Rainier Arms select 5.56 stainless barrels, would I be better off with the stainless barrel or a cold hammer forged barrel? I'll use it for "precision" shooting, and for a hunting/woods gun, I have a 16" carbine for personal defense and plinking

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Bartholomew Roberts
November 6, 2010, 09:28 AM
benEzra has some very informative links on that subject in this thread:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=553220

Z-Michigan
November 6, 2010, 11:04 AM
Are you trying to get sub-MOA accuracy? A good stainless barrel may give you an edge there. Otherwise the hammer-forged, chrome lined barrel is likely to be more durable across all kinds of usage and conditions.

Offfhand
November 6, 2010, 03:29 PM
Stainless and "hammer forged" are not mutually exclusive. Many, probably most, production grade stainless barrels are rifled by "hammer forged" process. So take your pick.

S. Hill
November 6, 2010, 03:55 PM
I'm building a RECCE upper and was looking at using a Rainier Arms select 5.56 stainless barrels, would I be better off with the stainless barrel or a cold hammer forged barrel? I'll use it for "precision" shooting, and for a hunting/woods gun, I have a 16" carbine for personal defense and plinking
That's like asking, "Do you walk to school, or carry your lunch?"

Like Offhand said, one is the material that the barrel is made from (stainless or chrome moly), and the other is the process by which the rifling is produced (cut, hammer forged, or buttoned).

Most likely, your confusion is a result of the Rainier advertising. Their barrel options must be "Stainless" (rifled some way OTHER than hammer forging) and "Hammer Forged" (never stainless).

GunTech
November 6, 2010, 04:04 PM
In the past I have leaned towards broach cut, single point barrels for precision use. However, in my experience it seems that the barrel maker is more important to the accuracy than the process. My latest LR rifle has a Lilja barrel that is button rifled, and it shoots amazingly well.

I'm not sure where the notion that hammer forged barrels are the best for precision shooting comes from. You do need a very expensive machine to make hammer forged barrels, but if you look at benchrest shooter, who demand the highest levels in precision, you won't see many hammer forged barrels. There may be some valid arguments that hammer forged barrels have more longevity.

Z-Michigan
November 6, 2010, 09:08 PM
Stainless and "hammer forged" are not mutually exclusive. Many, probably most, production grade stainless barrels are rifled by "hammer forged" process.

This is 100% true as a general statement. However, I don't know anyone currently making an AR-15 barrel out of stainless steel with a hammer forging process. All the hammer-forged AR barrels I know of are 4150 or 4145 (Ruger) chromoly steel. All the stainless AR barrels I know of are button-rifled. I would welcome any correction!

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