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Old 10-16-2003, 07:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9

Anyone have an opinion on the best barrel? This is the foundation of a great shooter. WHo makes the barrels for Kikmber, Wilson, Baer etc, Are all the barrels of the same configuration, 1:16 left for instance? research on the web shows most barrels are in the $149 range and some higher than $200. And I am sure there are 2-3 ways to manufacture a barrel.

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Old 10-16-2003, 10:31 PM   #2
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Alot has been written and talked about regarding barrels here. My .02 is that most of the after market barrels are pretty good. I would have to include the following of examples I have shot and liked. BarSto, Kart, Wilson, and Nowlin.
Most, with the exception of the Kart are stainless. Some prefer stainless and I think it really depends on where you live. Preferences between smiths vary. More importantly is the fit. If your barrel was fit to lock up consitently the result which is what most of us judge a barrel by will be very satisfactory. It is rare that most people shoot a .45 barrel to the point of needing it replaced. However, I prefer that mine are able to be as accurate as I am capable of shooting. I know my limitations I don't generally know the gun's. Read and ask questions regarding the different types of barrels. They all have their claim to fame, but one thing is for sure... poor fit=bad barrel, fit correctly=great barrel for thousands of rounds. FWIW.
Old 10-16-2003, 10:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 440
Steve is absolutely correct. The best barrel in the world, fitted poorly will (in all probability) not last, and not give you what you want. A mediocre barrel that is fitted correctly is (in my opinion) virtually forever. Most reasonable .45 acp loads have low enough pressure and velocity that you would probably be able to purchase a new automobile with the money it would cost you in ammo to "shoot it out".
Most decent barrels will (if fitted correctly) outshoot most marksmen.
This is (of course) only my OPINION.
Old 10-17-2003, 11:35 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9
Thnaks for the replies and information. So what I gather is that a good barrel fitted properly is the ticket to a good shooter, and a great barrel fitted poorley is a bad shooter.
Is this the reason that a Dan Wesson Pointman is so accurate from the factory; they know how to fit a barrel? I can see from research that only a few manf gurantee any kind of accuracy and they usually cost a lot, except for the DW Pointman.
I do not own a Pointman, but I have shot one a few times, I do own a Kimber Royal II with a few Wilson parts, and Meprolite Night Sights. It Shoots very Good, but is choosey on the ammo to get good results. I think most Pistols are like that though.
Anyway, some good posts so far. :wink:
Old 10-17-2003, 01:24 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,580
I belive the high-end Dan Wessons use Jarvis match barrels, which are quite good to begin with. Properly installed, they are very accurate.

But if I had to pick 1 barrel maker out of the blue to call the "best" based on my experience, I'd probably say Schuemann with their AET barrels.
Old 10-18-2003, 12:34 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 76
I concur with Sean on the AET barrel. What little knowledge I have of them is that they shoot better than any barrel I've ever used...not much, of course. When a good barrel maker produces 1" barrels, another 1/4" smaller group at 50 yards is insignificant to most people...but not to Scheumann! FWIW, I use Kart barrels in every 45 wadutter Bullseye pistol I make. Some folks like the SS Barsto for FMJ hardball rounds and they do seem to shoot that type ammo better than most. But there again, it's a marginal thing. You'd need access to either a barrel tester or a Ransom Rest to tell the difference.

Old 11-28-2003, 09:56 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 27
i was reading thru clark customs' catalog. it states that a match barrel is basically a barrel with oversized lugs and i assume the quality of the different manufacturers' barrels themselves is not as much factor as the fitting of a barrel by a gunsmith. safe assumption?

also, clark customs will take your factory barrel and weld extra material to the lugs and hood and refit the barrel to the slide. does anyone know why other gunsmiths don't offer this?

according to clark most factory barrels are just as accurate and they offer the same accuracy guarantee on a refitted factory barrel accuracy job as they do with a new match grade barrel that's fitted.

they do have a statement in their catalog stating that springfield barrels need to be tested before they will do an accuracy job on them. anyone know why this is so? i assume the new custom loaded models have barrels on par with other manufacturers, but did springfield have a problem with barrels in some of their previous models?

and while on the topic of barrels, the guy at the gun shop i go to mentioned that smith & wesson barrels aren't that great. i took it more as a statement from an anti-S&W guy, but a month or so back there was an article comparing a walther p99 and a smith & wesson sw99. the p99 averaged better groups. on top of that, i ran across novaks custom shop site: ... ptions.htm

they offer an option to install a match grade barrel on the smiths. other than the paraord, the other gun manufacturers don't have an option for an "accuracy job".

i'm not trying to bash s&w, but do they have inferior barrels?

last question, is crowning a barrel worth the money?


Old 11-28-2003, 11:16 AM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 76
I don't know what you're wanting to build, but here's some general information. Every test I've done, as well as every test I've read, shows the Kart as being #1 or #2 for accuracy, but usually by only a small margin because most match barrels are very accurate.
On welding barrels. Yes, it is done and it works just fine. Historically it was the norm because there were no "match" barrels with oversized hoods and lugs...and short chambers. I suspect there are several national records still held by welded-up Colt barrels, but those records were shot by some great national champions and whether their scores would have been better with more accurate barrels is debateable. Believe me, the average High Master NRA shooter would have a difficult time differentiating between a 1" barrel and a 1 1/4" one.
One benchmark you could remember is that a finished match-grade 1911 in .45 caliber should shoot no more than 1/4" larger group at 50 yards than its barrel did out of a barrel tester with the same ammo.
And, are S&W barrels any good?? Yes, they are...but not always, just like any other maker's barrels.
BTW, most 'smiths will probably agree that it's much easier to fit a new NM barrel than it is to weld and fit a standard barrel. And, the NM barrel will have a short chamber that we can cut to our favorite dimension.
I cannot somment on the Springfield barrels because I do not use them in a NM pistol.
I forgot one of your questions. If a barrel doesn't seem to shoot as well as it should, crowning just might bring the group into acceptance...but only if the original crown was not cut properly or has been damaged.

Old 11-28-2003, 06:30 PM   #9
Posts: n/a
Bob makes some excellent points regarding match barrels and their capabilities. I carry a gun with a stock Colt barrel and it shoots better than I can. However, I CAN feel the difference between a stock fit barrel and a match fit it a Bar Sto or a Kart. I live in AZ so a Kart is no problem with regards to rust. Hell, Kimber barrels aren't bad. But if I was going to ask for a barrel to be fit on one of my carry guns I would ask for a Kart or a BarSto. I have not shot the Schuemann barrels but have seen them prior to installation and the look excellent. Point is make sure your barrel is fit properly and make sure the rest of the gun is shootable. FWIW.
Old 11-30-2003, 07:47 AM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 9
Great Information!

This is some great stuff posted here. Thanks a bunch for all the great Info! :lol:

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