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  #1  
Old 04-30-2006, 1:52 AM
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xenophobe xenophobe is offline
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Default Barrels: Stainless Steel vs Chrome Moly

I think it doesn't really matter. I researched this a couple years back, and this is the info I could find and thought some people might find it useful:

Here's what I could find on the SS vs CroMo from the "BIG Guys"...

Shilen doesn't have anything to says about this, but they do say they hand lap both SS and CroMo barrels:

"By and large, we don't think breaking-in a new barrel is a big deal. All our stainless steel barrels have been hand lapped as part of their production, as well as any chrome moly barrel we install."
http://www.shilen.com/frequent.htm#H...ilen%20barrel?


Hart doesn't say, but it appears they only offer SS as they don't have any prices for bluing, only teflon finishing...


Krieger says this:
Q: Which is better Chrome Moly or Stainless Steel?
A: For the most part neither one is better than the other. The only difference we find is that sometimes the chrome moly might take a little longer to break-in and might have a little more affinity for copper or seems to show it easier. In terms of barrel life and accuracy, we can find no difference.
http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/RapidC...CompanyId=1246


Lilja:
"A stainless barrel has a longer and more accurate life than the standard 4140-type chrome/molybdenum steel barrel because stainless steel resists heat erosion in the throat better. "I also get a better final finish with stainless," Lilja said.
http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles...f_accuracy.htm

The grades of stainless used for barrels are fairly machinable and offer a longer accuracy life over conventional chrome-moly.
http://www.riflebarrels.com/articles...fle_barrel.htm


Obermeyer Barrels (Boots is the guy who invented the 5R rifling):
"Nevertheless, the greater cost of stainless steel does not automatically imply that it is a better material than chrome-moly for a given application."
http://obermeyerbarrels.com/steel.html


Gary Schneider (the guy who makes the barrels for the USMC M40A1-3 sniper rifles, and IMO, one of the best small-run barrel makers out there) still does not have a website.


Mike Rock (another barrel making 'legend' who made barrels for the Army M24) doesn't have an opinion posted on his site either...
www.rockcreekbarrels.com


All in all, I would NOT hesitate to buy a barrel from ANY of these manufacturers under any circumstance. All are top-notch in my book, and it doesn't get better than this.
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Old 04-30-2006, 2:00 AM
bear308 bear308 is offline
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^ Awesome post, very informative.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:20 AM
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I've always understood it to be a durability issue.

The chrome-lined barrels resist wear and erosion better over extended periods of time and tend to be more forgiving in the maintenance & cleaning department. Wee bit lower on the accuracy scale as compared to match-grade barrels, but more than acceptable for military usage. The everyday average shooter likely will not tell much difference between the two.

As for barrel break-in..... I've heard both ways. But..... Most opinions I've heard tends to lean towards "barrel break-in" as being an urban legend.

My understanding is that the higher grade barrels will be delivered to you ready to fire. They've already been smoothed out and "broken in" so to speak. Any match-grade barrel from a reputable manufacturer will shoot well right from the get-go unless you are abusing it.

For your general usage types of barrels where accuracy isn't being measured in 1/100MOA you should be fine, too. Just don't try to simulate full-auto fire on your first range session.

Clean 'er up before you shoot it the first time and enjoy yourself.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:25 AM
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Chrome lined barrels do last longer. They are also easier to clean, the detriment is accuracy. You'll lose 1/4-1/2 MOA of accuracy by most accounts, depending on how well the barrel is manufactured and how well it is plated.

Most of the barrel makers I noted above do say that a proper break in procedure should be followed, even on their hand lapped barrels.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1371
I've always understood it to be a durability issue.

The chrome-lined barrels resist wear and erosion better over extended periods of time and tend to be more forgiving in the maintenance & cleaning department. Wee bit lower on the accuracy scale as compared to match-grade barrels, but more than acceptable for military usage. The everyday average shooter likely will not tell much difference between the two.
While this is true, to be clear the above bigwigs are discussing stainless steel versus chrome moly steel (chrome moly being your standard "blued steel" material), not stainless vs. chrome-lined. Stainless vs. chrome-lined is a whole different story.
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Old 04-30-2006, 1:08 PM
blacklisted blacklisted is offline
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Now that we're on the topic of stainless barrels, does anyone here have experience with the WOA 1:7 20" Service Rifle barrel? I've got a few questions about it.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2006, 1:26 AM
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m1371 m1371 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt-man
While this is true, to be clear the above bigwigs are discussing stainless steel versus chrome moly steel (chrome moly being your standard "blued steel" material), not stainless vs. chrome-lined. Stainless vs. chrome-lined is a whole different story.

Ahhhhh..... I totally misinterpreted the entire post. My mistake.
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