Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fluted Barrels

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WayBeau, Jan 30, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Is there an advantage to having a fluted barrel, or is it just an aesthetic thing? I like the looks of them, but was just curious if they improve accuracy or handling.
     
  2. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,135
    Saves weight.
     
  3. JDGray

    JDGray Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,131
    Location:
    SW MI.
    My Rem 700 LTR .223 is my most accurate rifle, and the barrel just happens to be fluted. It sure dont hurt accuracy!:)
     
  4. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,162
    Location:
    Huntville, AL
    It also provides more surface area, which should disipate heat faster if you are doing alot of shooting.
     
  5. joed

    joed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,152
    Location:
    Ohio
    About 5 years ago I purchased a new Savage 12 stainless with Choate stock and fluted barrel. Believe I paid about $850 for the rifle and kept it 3 months. No matter what I did the POI would change as the barrel heated. After the second shot you could see the bullets just walk up and to the right from where the first 2 hit. Even took it to my gunsmith who couldn't do anything with it either.

    I'll never own another fluted barrel after owning that rifle. Others praise them.


    And before someone gets me mad by saying a fluted barrel is stiffer than a non fluted barrel read below.

    If we compare a fluted barrel to one that is not fluted, both weighing the same, the fluted barrel is stiffer. This is because the fluted barrel will be of a larger diameter than the unfluted barrel of the same weight and length. Increasing the diameter of a barrel greatly increases its rigidity.

    It sounds like fluting a barrel improves barrel accuracy by increasing barrel stiffness. If you read the whole statement and take it in total, it simply states that a fluted barrel will generally be more accurate than an unfluted barrel (of the same weight) because it is larger in diameter and hence stiffer.
     
  6. Joemyxplyx

    Joemyxplyx Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Thicker barrels are stiffer than thin barrels. Thick profile barrels tend to be more accurate than thin barrels. Fluting is done to remove excess metal from a thick barrel while retaining the thick profile. The idea is the thick parts of the barrel provide stiffness while the flutes remove weight.

    AFAIK there are no empirical studies of how much this works. I think fluting should work to provide accuracy with light weight.

    I do know spiral fluting will destroy the stiffness of the barrel while providing no advantages except looks.
     
  7. LoonWulf

    LoonWulf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,265
    Location:
    Hawaii
    why would spiral fluting be worse then strait flutes?
     
  8. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    3,954
    Location:
    West GA
    Several months ago, USSR posted a link to some really good info on this.

    Short answer was a button rifled (most common) barrel should not be fluted and a cut rifled (not as common) barrel could be fluted. If you asked him, he might give you a link to the full story.
     
  9. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    2,097
    I have a couple of fluted barrels from Hart. The way it was explained to me, I came away with the understanding that fluting was done for 3 reasons. Weight, Cooling, and Aesthetics. The ones I have are extremely accurate and they don't seem to heat up as quickly on P-Dog shoots as my bulled barrels tend to. They are .220swift and .22-250. One of them is the spiral fluting (.220swift) and the other is straight. I see no difference whatsoever in stiffness but I will admit that the spiral barrel seems to be much more sensitive to harmonic changes than the bulled barrels are.
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    8,995
    Location:
    USA
    Skip flutes & tapered barrels if you want top accuracy.
     
  11. Damon555

    Damon555 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    The south
    My experience has shown that there is very little advantage. The weight savings and added surface area for cooling is minimal. They sure are pretty though......
     
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,086
    Location:
    Georgia
    You get some of the stiffness of a heavy barrel with some of the weight savings of a thinner barrel. Not sure if it really works as advertised or not, but in my experience it doesn't hurt.

    My Winchester EW has a standard profile, but fluted barrel, my Featherweight has a much thinner, non-fluted barrel. When the stocks are removed and the barreled actions weighed they are exactly the same.

    The EW is more accurate, but it is impossible to say the thicker fluted barrel is why. It could be any number of reasons, but at least in theory the thicker stiffer barrel should be more accurate.
     
  13. Joemyxplyx

    Joemyxplyx Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    The stresses from firing try to wave the end of the barrel up and down. Look at some slow mo videos of rifle firing. The thicker the barrel, the more it resists this waving motion. The primary resistance to the waving motion, compression and tension, is at the outside of the barrel.

    I visualize this as like a wood beam under compression and tension. If you take a 2x4 between two supports on edge (stronger than laying it flat) and load some weight on it, the tension is right on the bottom of the 2x4. Nick the bottom with a knife or saw and the 2x4 will break.

    This is why wooden I beams are replacing 2x10 rafters. All the tension stress on the I beam from the weight of the house is on the bottom of the rafters. The wood between the top and bottom of the rafter is to keep the top and bottom separated. You can drill holes all day in the middle of the rafter. Just don't cut holes in the bottom of the rafter.

    A fluted barrel is like a rafter in that all the stress are at the top and bottom of the barrel. The flutes remove metal while the ridges between the flutes provide the stiffness. Spiral fluting removes the metal that is handling the tension and compression of the barrel. A spiral fluted barrel is no stiffer than the size of the barrel at the bottom of the flutes. Something like twisting an I beam into a corkscrew pattern. All the structural integrity and strength goes away.

    I hope I made this clearer. The concept is not that hard. It's just that it's visual. Explaining it with words is difficult for me.
     
  14. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,218
    There is some merit to the premise that the increased surface area of a fluted barrel allows it to cool faster; however it also needs to be pointed out that the reduced mass of the barrel causes it to heat up faster. Compared to the same barrel before fluting, it will get to the point that it must be allowed to cool after fewer rounds fired. The net result is somewhere akin to a wash.
     
  15. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,796
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    I agree.
     
  16. ns66

    ns66 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    290
    in theory i agree fluted barrel has some merits
    but
    fluting need to cut steel, which will introduce metal defect/fatigue/deformation, so is it really better? i don't know
     
  17. USSR

    USSR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    8,452
    Location:
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    I believe this is the article that MtnCreek referred to:

    http://www.border-barrels.com/articles/bmart.htm

    Fluting should only be done with a cut rifled barrel, otherwise you can wind up with the problem that joed had with his Savage. I have two fluted barrels, one a Krieger, and the other an Obermeyer, and have had no problems with a wandering POI. As far as the benefits of a fluted barrel, the only practical one I can see is balance: it allows you to have a heavy contour barrel without making it totally muzzle heavy. A well balanced rifle should have it's center of gravity near the front action screw.

    Don
     
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    12,705
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I would guess that the difference is so slight as to be negligible if every other aspect of the rifle isn't already perfect.
     
  19. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,234
    Location:
    Wild & Free Oklahoma
    I hunt in areas that have a fine dust problem. The dust gets into the rifle action, on the scope lenses and anywhere else that offers a landing surface. For that reason I wouldn't even consider a fluted barrel. BW
     
  20. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    964
    Location:
    Thatcher arizona
    the stainless one is my mauser 308, 24" barrel. it shoots in the 4s-5s up to 10 shots as fast as i can reload it.
    the bottom one is my 7mm mag it will shoot in the 7s all the time. ive put 18 rounds into 1.1 in at 100yds.
    my buddies sendaro wont do it and they both have 26" barrels .835 at the muzzle. ill keep my fluting. its for some people, not for others. the 7 mag is my hunting rifle
     

    Attached Files:

    • 308.jpg
      308.jpg
      File size:
      196.4 KB
      Views:
      69
    • 046.jpg
      046.jpg
      File size:
      85.4 KB
      Views:
      33
  21. awgrizzly

    awgrizzly Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Messages:
    392
    I gotta say guys, you're being handed several good sounding reasons to buy a fluted barrel (maybe add the triangle one too) besides it looks cool. What we gotta do here is not look a gift horse in the mouth and go cool. It's a guy thing. =o)
     
  22. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,976
    For me, there is zero benfit. I fire between 3 and 5 rounds, then allow my rifle to cool completely. Too, I like heavy rifles. My M700 Police (fully equipped) weighs 19 pounds. :D

    Geno
     
  23. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,020
    Location:
    Northern Orygun
    This is what Kreiger has to say about fluted barrels.

     
  24. joed

    joed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    2,152
    Location:
    Ohio
    You're the first to explain why that rifle had a wandering POI. After 2 shots it would start to wander and always in the same pattern. For 3 months I played with the bedding hoping it would help, nothing did. My rifle builder said it was the barrel but never blamed the fluting. For what I paid for that rifle I was not going to sink any more money into it.

    Since then I will not own a rifle with fluted barrel.

    Below is a 6 shot group with that Savage. The first 2 shots were always good with anything after going up and right. Once cool it would repeat the same pattern again. I still have nightmares of these groups.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  25. WayBeau

    WayBeau Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Thanks for the replies. I always thought it was just an aesthetic thing, but after reading the replies here, I'm definitely coming around to the functional advantages. I'm not a target shooter, but who doesn't want the most accurate rifle they can have?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page