Benchmark 2 groove barrel, good or bad? - RimfireCentral.com Forums

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Old 06-08-2021, 09:45 PM
Kiddshooter

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Benchmark 2 groove barrel, good or bad?



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Guy’s, I’m looking for opinions and any observations any of you might share on Benchmark 2 groove barrel performance. I’ve heard their accuracy drops over in cooler temps? I only see one listed on the PSL shooters equipment list, but last I looked it was in the top 10 shooters. Got a chance to get one and just trying to get any information, good or bad.
Thanks
Kiddshooter
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:03 AM
Tad_E

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While I do not have any personal experience with a two groove benchmark, the things I have gathered from gun smith's that do have experience with them, have told me the key to making one shoot well is getting the chamber straight in one. They claim from the interior geometry it is harder to get the reamer to run straight while cutting the chamber. Again, I have no experience fitting one myself but other competent Smith's I have talked to about them have told me this and of course this is critical for any barrel to shoot well but extra critical in a two groove.

The fall off in the cold talk comes more from the side of twist rate than the actual two groove part of the barrels from my understanding as well. Back when the two groove barrels were being used more often for BR builds, coincidentally alot of them were also 1 in 17 and 1 in 18 twist rates which needed warmer temps to stabilize the bullet to the degree needed. I think the two grooves, in 1 in 16 twist rate and chambered straight, would not give any unusual problems. Still would come down to how good the rest of the aspects of the barrel and rifle its fit to are.

In my opinion, a person looking for a new rimfire barrel would be in the best position to just buy a shilen ratchet and get it fit. Shilen ratchets probably have the highest ratio of being fit to a rifle and shooting acceptable than anything else obtainable. Not saying there aren't other barrels out there that are capable of shooting well or that buying a ratchet is a guarantee of success, but best chance of getting something you will be satisfied with will be with a ratchet in my opinion.

Tad
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:15 AM
2500X
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Tad has it correct.
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:08 AM
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A BM 2gr now vs. a ratchet who knows when is a no brainer for me.
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:28 AM
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Guys, Thanks for your replies and insight. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for.
Kiddshooter
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Old 06-09-2021, 02:50 PM
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Don't know much about the 2-groove barrel, but I have two 3-groove Benchmark barrels that shoot really well.

Doug
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Old 06-09-2021, 07:23 PM
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3 grove for me
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Old 06-09-2021, 08:47 PM
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Thanks for the information guys. Can anyone expand on 2 vs 3 groove performance differences? It seems most custom
Rifles are using 4, Anschutz uses 8. I was thinking fewer grooves may not
be as affected by wind. Is that thought wrong?
Jim
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:40 PM
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More than a few theories -- how many have actual evidence, I don't know. I've read that an odd number is better than an even number as the bullet deformation (from the lands) is not symmetrical with an odd number. Another theory? I have no idea, but as I said, my two Benchmark 3-groove barrels shoot really well.

Doug
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Old 06-09-2021, 09:42 PM
2500X
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I had a BM 2 groove 17.5" twist on my 10.5lb benchrest rifle and in cool/cold temps it would not stabilize and would keyhole. Since I shot in NY, it didn't stay long on my rifle. I test shot a rifle with a BM 3 groove barrel and it shot well. So, I tried one on my sporter class rifle and that particular barrel was just ok. I then had a Shilen ratchet put on my sporter and that shot better. I still have the BM and if my Shilen's accuracy really drops off I'll put it on. Every barrel is a rule onto themselves. Someone else will likely have a different experience.

The idea for less grooves or shallower grooves or lands with a radius on them is to make them less susceptible to wind drift. I've had barrels that handled the wind very well and some that were wind sensitive. Just as long as they were predictable in their performance, I could deal with them. You just have to learn the proper hold-offs for the conditions, using wind flags. Though less wind sensitive is obviously better. I had a Broughton 5R barrel on my sporter that was amazing in the wind, but, alas, it eventually lost it's edge.

As Tad stated, the problem with the 2 groove barrels is that gunsmiths had difficulty cutting good, straight chambers in them. A 2 groove with the proper twist and a good chamber can shoot very well if it was expertly taper lapped (which is the case with any barrel).

Last edited by 2500X; 06-09-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:37 PM
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Dbr65 and 2500X, really appreciate the information from people with hands on
experience!
Thanks
Jim
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddshooter View Post
Guys, Im looking for opinions and any observations any of you might share on Benchmark 2 groove barrel performance. Ive heard their accuracy drops over in cooler temps? I only see one listed on the PSL shooters equipment list, but last I looked it was in the top 10 shooters. Got a chance to get one and just trying to get any information, good or bad.
Thanks
Kiddshooter
3 groove reverse taper, draper engineering analysis is good enough for me. marty
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earnest View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddshooter View Post
Guy’s, I’m looking for opinions and any observations any of you might share on Benchmark 2 groove barrel performance. I’ve heard their accuracy drops over in cooler temps? I only see one listed on the PSL shooters equipment list, but last I looked it was in the top 10 shooters. Got a chance to get one and just trying to get any information, good or bad.
Thanks
Kiddshooter
3 groove reverse taper, draper engineering analysis is good enough for me. marty
When was the last time you saw any benchmark barrels in the winners circle? Yeah I'll be waiting
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:38 AM
vlnbyr

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I shot a BM 2 groove the year I finished 3rd nationally in the ARA A-line. Todd Wooten and I were both top 10 at ARA Nationals shooting my Lazer BM 3-groove.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:57 AM
2500X
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Barrels

Barrels - Theories abound.

Over the years I've seen barrel designs and mfg become hot and then not. When I started with rimfire BR the Lilja Tight Bore was the hot barrel. I shot one, it was ok but not the best barrel I've owned. I've owned or shot barrels from Lilja, Benchmark, Broughton, Shilen, Rock Creek, Muller and Hart. I've owned or shot 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 groove barrels. Some were minimally invasive and others conventional. Twist rates were 1-16, 1-16.5 and 1-17.5. Most were button-rifled and some were cut-rifled. Some were straight of various diameters and some were reverse-tapered.

If barrel makers truly really knew what it took to consistently make a winning barrel, we all would have hummers. The reason for all the theories and differences in barrel making is that good, mediocre and poor barrels can be made from all of them. Some mfgs seem to make more consistent barrels - for a time at least. I think the quality of the bore drilled before rifling and the quality of the of the taper lapping finishing has as much to do with barrel accuracy as anything. That, and the quality of the chamber cut into them. 6-7 years ago the cut-rifled barrels produced by Rock Creek (and a few others) were much maligned. Yet, I had a Rock Creek that was the best barrel I ever had on my heavy rifle that won on the State, Regional and National level. Why? Who the heck knows. I'm just glad I gave it a try. The best barrel I had on my sporter was the before mentioned Broughton 5R and it was a true hummer. I tried other Broughton 5Rs and they were nothing special, but, by then the guys who did the lapping for them moved on to other companies.

With barrels you truly pays your money and takes your chances.
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