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Posted: 6/19/2001 11:08:59 AM EDT
This is from Bushmaster's FAQ page. Concerning fluting:
Fluting (machining lengthwise grooves into the outer surface of the barrel) increases the surface area of the barrel - thereby allowing increased radiational cooling of the barrel mass. This process also adds to the "stiffness" of the barrel which enhances its accuracy. A third benefit of fluting is that the barrel is lighter after machining removes the steel in those lengthwise grooves. A fluted barrel will last longer, shoot straighter, and is considerably lighter than a standard heavy barrel. The accuracy gains would be most noticeable at longer distances or to the competition shooter, but for only $50 additional for most Bushmaster barrels, many feel that the benefits of fluting are well worth the cost.
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Is this just a marketing ploy to get more money, or do they believe what they say? All else being equal, it DOES look better! [:)]
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 11:11:41 AM EDT
You can't add to the stiffness by removing material. The fluted barrel will be stiffer than a round one of equivalent cross section. It will not be stiffer after fluting than before. IMO, fluting is for looks. Norm
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 11:18:08 AM EDT
Well, I guess that's part of my question. Bushmaster specifically says that it "...adds to the 'stiffness' of the barrel..."! The way it sounds, if you flute their heavy barrel, you'll have a lighter weight barrel that will cool quicker, be more 'stiff', and shoot straighter. Are they lying to us?
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 11:23:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2001 11:20:33 AM EDT by Norm_G]
I doubt they're deliberatly lying. This is not an uncommon misconception. A fluted barrel is stiffer than a round, unfluted barrel [b]of equivalent cross section[/b]. Many people leave out the bold words and get it wrong. How much stiffer could you make your car/truck/bike frame by cutting away metal? See what I mean? There will be more exposed surface area, so it may cool slightly faster, if that's a concern. It will be lighter, but not much. It does look neater, no doubt. I do like the looks, but it's not worth the $ to me. Norm
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 12:16:42 PM EDT
As far as cooling, the additional surface area is not a whole lot more. I did see an article that stated(and calculated) how the greatest increase in surface area was by texturing the barrel by bead blasting.
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 12:50:46 PM EDT
Here's the deal on fluting as a mechanical engineer would describe it. Take two barrels of equal diameter. If you flute one, you will have a LOT less weight, more surface area for cooling, with a small reduction in the barrel stiffness. If you use the same amount of material, then the fluted barrel will have the same weight, be stiffer (but also larger overall diameter), and still have better heat dissipation. The downside: Milling flutes into a barrel 'may' warp it if done incorrectly.
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 2:41:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2001 2:38:41 PM EDT by warlord]
I have a Bushmaster 16" fluted BBL. It kinda looks sexy, but that's about it. My personal feeling if I had to do it over again, I would just buy the plain unfluted barrel, and use the bucks for something else.
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 2:45:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rich in CM: The downside: Milling flutes into a barrel 'may' warp it if done incorrectly.
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Fluting of the barrel is done BEFORE rifling, to prevent those problems. That is why fluting is generally not done on finished/rifled barrels.
Link Posted: 6/19/2001 6:40:40 PM EDT
"Fluting"? "Toot My Flute" IMHO this is a total bullshit ripoff. Aesthetically? well, if it floats your boat, shove off and enjoy the cruise...I DON'T BUY IT!....Show me (1) Camp Perry Winners using the "toot my flute" rifles and/or (2) empirical proof that it makes a damn bit of difference. Otherwise, "flute" your barrel, get a nice tattoo, and a nose ring.
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