Rimfire Central Firearm Forum banner

Opinions on "BEST BARREL" out there!!

1165 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  obx22
If you had to rebarrel you favorite, best shooting BR gun that you were satisfied with completely, who's barrel would you most likely choose to replace it, regardless of the price. Bolt gun or auto, doesn't matter. What would you choose to, bearing in mind that you really like the barrel you're taking off and you want one at least as good, or better. I plan on building a new rifle soon and I'd like your opinions. I know Lilja is very good-- Walther,Clark, Hart, Shilen, and many others. Replies will be interesting, I'm sure.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
The only rifle I ever changed the barrel on was my 10/22. I installed a Shilen match barrel and am pleased with the results. Although it is by no means a true benchrest gun.

I guess if we are talking true BR rifles you can look up match results and see what kind of barrels the competitors are using these days.
I'd use either Lilja, Shilen, Hart, or Kreiger. They've all been used on winning BR rigs and you really can't go wrong with any of them. All have a loyal following, and all can make very competitive barrels. Like all barrels, some individual specimens will shoot slightly better than others from each of those brands. Although all of those makes should shoot very well when properly set up on a BR rig, getting a truly exceptional barrel is pretty much sheer luck.

Walthar makes good barrels too, although I've never heard of a single BR competitor who uses them. I don't know for certain why, but I've heard it's because the stainless steel Walthar uses is a little more difficult to machine than the 416 stainless used in the other brands. Clark uses Walthar blanks.
I'd buy a Lilja, but only because I have one and am very happy with the way it shoots.

So much more goes into determining accuracy variations as small as you see in benchrest competition that I'm not sure anyone can really say whether a Lilja is better than a Shilen, for instance. Stick with the makers on your list (maybe add Krieger, Douglas, Obermeyer, K&P, etc. ) and I don't think you can go wrong.

There are even guys who are competitive with factory Sako and Winchester barrels.
I have a Walthar barrel on my BR Sako Sporter, progressive twist.
Fred K
Hey Mad
Shoot about a brick of off the shelf ammo, clean after every 100 rounds. Then shoot your match, it should start shooting.
Fred K
Hey Mad',
seems I read somewhere that a barrel can be too smooth, and lead just as bad as a slightly rough bore(mighta been on Lilja's or Blackstar's site). I guess shootings supposed to bring the bore to somekind of happy medium :rolleyes:

If I were ordering a modern barrel it'd probably be a 17 twist ratchet with a tight bore and a minimum of 25" long, straight taper from close to action diameter down to about .7 or even .6".
Have 'er chambered with a Win. 52D reamer and fitted to an action with a long front reciever ring.
Even then its something of a crap shoot.....
Take care,
fritz said:

I have a Walthar barrel on my BR Sako Sporter, progressive twist.
Fred K
Hey fritz, how does your Walther progressive shoot?
I agree with Warren.I'll take a Shilen ratchet barrel.If Shilen barrels are good enough for Tony Boyer then who am I to argue.Granted,he doesn't shoot rimfire.Second choice would be a Douglas or Pac Nor.

Hey mad,
Buy a brick of cheap ammo...give it and the rifle to a kid....let him shoot it all up for you while you shoot more serious stuff.
I would like to try a Border barrel from Scotland. Lots of good reading on the site even if you don't want to try one.



It shoots very well and does not foul up much. I have only had it for a short while. The Gunsmith I bought it from has won some state 50/50 matches. His wife also has won a number of matches around a couple of states.
Fred K
Did someone say "ratchet barrel"? I've asked this question before, but apparently, no one knows, since I've never got a straight answer...

I'll try it one more time.

If one was to look at a section of a ratchet barrel, would the profile be like a circular sawblade, as opposed to like a gear, as most "normal" barrel's profiles are?

yes, they do resemble a circular saw blade, least the examples I've seen. Oddly theres not much difference(shapewise)between the modern examples and a couple of Pope's I examined at a collectors show.
(Nothing new under the sun?) ;)
What is the idea behind the ratchet concept? Is it suppose to foul less, be more uniform, or is it less bullet distortion? Good explanation MAD. The ratchet barrel is interesting.
Black powder is very accurate--pressures are very consistent, but they were excellent marksmen too! I've seen those Schutzenfest targets and they are incredible!!! Thanks for the info. I'm wondering if it was easier for their rifling cutters to make those barrels uniform. I studied Kentucky rifles for a period once and some of the rifling in some of those barrels looked similar but not exactly like the ratchet type. Thanks for the replies--I'm planning another 10/22 since I sold mine. I want to go all out to make the "best" I can for informal shooting, and a little hunting. I got a picture in my mind with maybe AAA Claro wood--Classic stock--Kidd trigger--maybe a Clark mid weight barrel--or Lilja, or Douglas. I was leaning toward the mid weight barrel for esthetics, and this will not be a BR gun but I want it to shoot almost like one!! The last one I made was awesome--I regret selling it--and the other 3!!
Aren't the ratchet barrels supposedly better in windy conditions than a standard Shilen Match Barrel?:t

Has anyone ever tried Polygonal rifling?

My USP has that type of rifling, that is where the sides act to twist the bullet rather then using grooves for those who haven't seen it. Think of a bore shaped like a hexagon.

I wonder what that would produce in a .22...........

in my 2 10/22 BR guns, one is a Volquartsen barrel the other is a Titan barrel. I am very happy with both, but notice the Volq barrel to be a little better, but there are other factors that could explain this, threaded stainless receiver and a volq match bolt on the Volq 10/22.

AR barrels. Well, Kreiger barrels are excellent, Dont have any at moment, everytime I get one, I sell it to a customer. I have a lothar walther barrel on my Varmint AR and it is sweet.
Heckler & Koch used polygonal rifling in their model 300 .22mag and I've heard it was used in the model 270 .22lr. I've no experience with either.
Take care,
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.