[b]Barrel: Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel[/b] - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-01-2004, 06:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1
[b]Barrel: Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel[/b]

I plan to buy a new Remington 700 in .22-250 for varmit hunting. What is the best:
VS - Carbon Steel Barrel
VS-SF Stainless Steel Fluted Barrel
Accuracy? Barrel Life?
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:51 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 139
Hey Redfish, there's a whole slew of pro's/con's for each barrel type and opinions will vary between one shooter to another. An argument for stainless barrels is that SS barrel throats erode less than CM barrels. I can't prove/disprove the argument. I have barrels of both varieties and have no qualms from either. But to address your specific question: I'd opt for the VSSF because the flutes are aesthetically appealing and do lend to quicker barrel cooling versus a non-fluted barrel. As to accuracy, each gun/barrel will differ depending on ammo preference. Barrel life, will depend primarily on how well you take care of the barrel (read: cleaning) and your rate of fire.

Good Luck!
Old 08-09-2004, 09:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 155
DEA hit most of the nails on the head. In short both make good rifle barrels, if you get a quality barrel. Some years back the carbon steel was prefered because final lapping ( smooth finish) was difficult to achieve in stainless barrels. Good news is the new stainless barrels are way past that and this is a non issue.

If you are looking for the most accuracy ( tiny benchrest stuff ) no factory barrel is going to give you top preformance. If you have access to Ken Waters series read his write up on a 6x47 rifle in a factory 40X Remington. This is a custom shop rifle close to $2000 today. Bottom line he bought one a it shoot about 1 MOA slightly better maybe. For the top dollar price it shot like a dog. He handed it to a benchrest builder with 3 conditions, can't change the stock, can't change the barrel, can't change the trigger. His smith cut 2" out of the barrel and rechambered the rifle, pillar bedded, and floated the barrel. The rifle shoot a best group thereafter of .19 inch and several very close to this.

Today most factory guns are free floated and pillar bedded. What they haven't fixed is SAAMI spec chambers ( and they aren't going to for product liability reasons) they are loose and sloopy for true nats ass accuracy.

Options are either rechamber your rifle, or rebarrel your rifle for a real fix. Another option is get a chamber cast, and have a custom neck sizing die made, and reload your own. This is the cheapest route, but you really need to have a good bore to start with this or the rechambering option and a certain amount of risk is involved.

Fluting is good because it dissapates heat, heat causes both bore erosion and stringing when the barrel warms up. Many guns will fire 2-3 shoots reasonably accurately. A lot of hunting rifles are 2 shot wonders, but 5 round groups; the accuracy opens up by an additional 1 MOA or better. This is why target barrels are heavy contours, more metal heats up slower, has less barrel droop, and is stiffer: cyro treating and fluting are both pluses.

Hope this helps
Old 08-23-2004, 09:06 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 147
Barrel Options

Simply cryogenically treat your barrel and don't handload the hottest loads. Also, don't shoot the rifle so quickly as to overheat it and it should last ~10,000 rounds of acceptable accuracy.

Contact 300 Below in Decatur, IL. You can send the barreled action (minus the trigger mechanism).

Personally, I like carbon steel - primarily due to the ease of finishing/re-finishing and the possibility of the SS developing microcracks in (admittedly exceedingly) cold conditions -- which isn't an issue with 99% of the end users.

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