Best aftermarket bull barrel?


June 25, 2012, 12:11 AM
Shopping for an aftermarket barrel is getting confusing, there seems to be several good options for Savage rifles, but what do you guys consider to be the best and best value?

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June 25, 2012, 01:20 AM
CBI is considered one of the best. They are a sister company to Krieger. I used a CBI to convert my 10FP to 6.5x47 Lapua. I love it.

June 25, 2012, 01:05 PM
I have shot barrels from krieger, brux, Shilen, mike rock, and bartlein. In the end the all shot better than me, with the only exception being the mike rock. That may have had to do more with the chamber than the barrel though. Just pick a quality hand lapped barrel, and you usually won't go wrong.

June 25, 2012, 03:29 PM
keep us updated kachok, id like to see what you do with the savage

June 25, 2012, 03:45 PM
Shilen select match pre-threaded and chambered. I suggest purchasing from Jim Briggs (Northland Shooter). My select match cost about the same as what Shilen wanted for the standard ss match and he shipped within a week. At the time, Shilen was about 6 months out for delivery.

Krieger supports Savage actions, but you'll be on the wait list (~ 5 months). Also, a Krieger blank plus their service fees to get it Savage ready is going to cost more than the Shilen.

Edit: I read the thread title again: 'Best aftermarket bull barrel?'. I have no idea what the best is. But the Shilen is probably the best deal for a premium barrel for a Savage.

Steel Talon
June 25, 2012, 04:20 PM
Im a big fan of Krieger barrels...

June 25, 2012, 05:35 PM
I'm a Krieger fan ever since I got my first. I waited 5 months for mine and would do it again with the accuracy I got.

June 26, 2012, 12:27 AM
I shoot a Krieger heavy varmint on my precision .308. There are several good barrels out there, but I've never had any reason to go with anything other than a Krieger.

Although the wait for a Krieger usually runs about 6 months, check out their "inventory list" of what they have on hand. I got a barrel for one of my builds in under a week.

If this is going on a Savage, I'd suggest doing away with the barrel nut and having the barrel fitted like they do on a Remington. Staying with the barrel nut is going to limit the diameter of the barrel to accommodate the nut.

June 26, 2012, 12:33 AM
Don't Laugh, but have you heard of E.R. Shaw? They have a good website. Its worth looking at. My rifle currently being built is getting a Krieger.

June 26, 2012, 09:15 PM
Even though it's less expensive than a Kreiger, Pac-Nor ( is the best. Have them chamber the barrel for you and true and fit the action.

June 26, 2012, 09:44 PM
Pac-Nor is the best

That's a pretty bold statement, considering the competition. Still, odds are that you'll be satisfied with whatever you get, if you stick with those brands with a reputation for quality. Krieger, Brux, Rock, Bartlein, etc.

If you're interested in a Bartlein, I do believe that the guy that owns Grizzly Tools is a shooting enthusiast and he sells their barrels on his website. The last time I checked it out, he had a pretty good selection. I think it's

As for the Pac Nor barrels, those are worth consideration too. I've never used one on a bolt gun, but their barrels used by Noveske do shoot very well.

Since you're going the route of getting a custom barrel, I'd also give some thought to the chamber cut. I don't know a whole lot about reamers, but I am fortunate to have a world class builder near me. When he puts something together for me, I just tell him what ammo it is that I prefer and he cuts the chamber to accommodate it. I had my latest cut for a 175gr SMK in .308, so all I have to do is load to the standard 2.8" OAL spec and it puts the bullet touching the lands.

June 26, 2012, 10:04 PM
I notice no one has mentioned mcgowen yet.

June 27, 2012, 01:16 AM
I've used 5 ershaw barrels and 3 of those are on savages. I'd go that rout and use some of the spare cash on a action trusting or fluting or a trigger. I just finished a 98mauser builtpd with them in December. I won't go to a different company as long as they are in bussiness

June 27, 2012, 02:35 AM
I don't know who's the best....but all mine have been Shilen.

I have no complaints.

Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX!

June 28, 2012, 08:41 AM
What barrel thickness can I use without having to replace the barrel nut setup on the Savages, I don't think I need a 1"+ those are crazy heavy.

June 28, 2012, 10:38 AM
If I remember right, the thread diameter is just a tad over 1" for non magnum calibers.

You last post is a bit confusing. The title of your thread indicates that you are looking for a bull barrel, yet you say that you don't need a barrel that is 1+" in diameter. Maybe a bull barrel isn't what you want.

I suppose that the term "bull barrel" is subject to some interpretation. My experience has been that barrels classified as bulls have been 1.250" at the breech end and about 1" at the muzzle.

June 29, 2012, 12:14 PM
As has been mentioned, several of the big barrel outfits now offer Savage barrels that you can install yourself. You don't have to go the Pre-threaded/chambered route either. Typically the PTC barrels such as the ones from Shilen are short chambered and still require a gunsmith. They have barrels that are savage specific that you can install in your garage with a couple of task specific tools. No gunsmith required. Technically yes, these are PTC but in Shilen terms atleast you're talking about 2 different products, so keep that in mind.

Have a look at, they usually have a couple of mfg's in stock. Also there is a smith on the Savageshooters forum that stocks Savage barrels and maintains a list of what he's got for sale at any given time. There's usually a plethora of various contours and calibers, I'm guessing one of them should meet your needs. They'll also occasionally do a group buy from a big mfg. I have a buddy who got in on one of those for a 260 bbl a couple months back and it should arrive any day.

Anyway, short version is look at the two sites mentioned above and you'll find what you need.

June 29, 2012, 01:19 PM
Why not get a varmint contour instead of a bull barrel? Weight is always an issue and I never found the bull barrel to offer any advantage over the varmint contour...beside adding a bunch of weight to the rifle.

I don't think you can go wrong with Benchmark, Brux, CDI, Shilen, Pac Nor or McGowen.

I think a better question is who has them in stock...unless you don't care about wait times. Pre Fit Savage barrels are the way to go...especially if the item is in stock.

My McGowen and Shilen Select match both shoot lights out and I got them from Jim Briggs very quickly.

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