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I am currently looking to put a custom barrel on one of my .17 HMR's. Now, I'm not looking for the pros and cons of my custom project. I would just like opinions on what the best custom barrels are. Shilen, Douglas, Hart, Pac-Nor all come to my mind. If you could please give me your opinions, and why you think that particular barrel is the best, I would really appreciate it. Maybe make a list with your #1 at the top and work your way down. Also, maybe recommendation of a really good rimfire gunsmith. Thank you all in advance.

Chunckchucker
 

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Volquartsen makes a very nice barrel, but reall any of the high end barrel maker's will work great. See if Green Mountain makes the barrel you want. They make high end barrels for 10/22's that are just about as good as any of them for way less money. I have a top of the line Volquartsen with in SS with flute's and a comp. on it, I also have a GM barrel on another 10/22 I built for my nephew. The GM barrel is just shy of being the same as the Vol. barrel. I paid $260 for the Vol., and $78 for the GM! Both will hold well under a 1/2" group. If I had to do it again...... Green Mountain all the way!
 

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I built up a 77-17 and used a grn mountain barrel. It would shoot minute of angle but I was looking for better. I bought a used Clark barrel, installed it, when I shot it I thought boy this isn't any better. But the barrel was clean after twenty rounds it tighten up. Shot a 5 shot group at 100 yards.........1/2 inch, four were 1/4 inch. Darn flier.

Clark barrels are made by Walther/Lothar.
Lilja barrels would have been my first choice, but the bucks weren't there.
Green Mountain barrels are a good choice for the price.
 

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gunns105,
Did you do a trigger job on your gun? With a good trigger, crisp and under 2.5 lbs., you should get better than 1" group's. (Also, I know if there is so much as a puff of air those .17 cal. seem to drift. A buddy of mine has a Cooper in .17 HMR and if it's not dead calm forget it! And thats a $1000 gun.) Also, being a cheaper barrel, maybe they are not as consistent as say a Volquartsen and you may have got one that is not quite as good as another? Most of the one's I have seen or read about, are very accurate. But, they are .22's and at 50 yard's for the most part, but still, these guy's are holding down to .250" and even under!
 

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Lilja would probably be hard to beat. Shilen would be right there with them. I agree on the Green Mountain suggestion. You can get a barrel from them that will be over twice as cheap, and shoot just about as good. But if you want to pay for the very best barrel, and don't mind spending the money, get the Lilja. If it were me, I would call Green Mountain. The difference in .0002 in my opinion you won't be able to see the difference in the way it shoots. That's my 2 cents.


Brad
 

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I don't know if you could say there is a #1 barrel maker but you could say there is a top tier list of barrel makers. I shot in CF Bench Rest competition for about 10 years with a 6mm PPC and 6mm BR. Most of the barrels used in competition top ten equipment lists were Hart, Lilja, Shilen with some Krieger and an occasional Pac-Nor barrels. All of these guys make fine barrels IMO. Some barrel makes offer 2 different grade levels and some don't so keep this in mind when shopping around. Unfortunately from an accuracy standpoint a good barrel is not the only thing that has an effect on accuracy. The reaming of the chamber and its dimensions. Bullets. bedding, stock design, scope set up all are large players in the accuracy picture.

I have owned and or still own barrels for rifles from Hart, Lilja, Shilen, Krieger, and Pac Nor. Also have a Clark Barrel on a 10/22. As you can see I do not even know who makes the best barrel.

You may run into the same problem on the 17 HMR that I have run into on the 22 Mag. In that their are no really outstanding match or target chambers out there for the mags. Like they have for 22 LR. I have a Lilja made and chambered 22 mag barrel for a 77/22. He has his own design target chamber for a 22 mag it is shorter in the bullet to land engagement area ....a good thing. But I got to say the clearance between the case and the chamber wall is a little more than I was expecting for a 22 mag target chamber.
 

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brad541thb said:
Lilja would probably be hard to beat. Shilen would be right there with them. I agree on the Green Mountain suggestion. You can get a barrel from them that will be over twice as cheap, and shoot just about as good. But if you want to pay for the very best barrel, and don't mind spending the money, get the Lilja. If it were me, I would call Green Mountain. The difference in .0002 in my opinion you won't be able to see the difference in the way it shoots. That's my 2 cents.

Brad
Brad is right. Give GM a try. Colt.45 has one smithed onto his sako (by Haze) and I have a custom Lilja. On any given day, you can not tell any difference between the two.
 
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