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Gunshine State Native
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Posted: 1/17/2012 3:14:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2012 7:11:01 AM EST by evlblkwpnz]
ETA: Clarity. I have removed my graphs because I feel that InfiniteGrim's processing of the results is far superior.

I would like to thank all of you who have shown interest in and offered support. There were some times during this where I wanted to just give up. You helped us see it through.

I would like to thank Peengwin, Felton, archad, Pavlovwolf, and InfiniteGrim for their contributions here. I would like to also thank Aimless for letting this train roll out until we reached the end of our testing. They all absolutely deserve credit here as I did not do this on my own, far from it. I'm just a stubborn guy who wanted to be a part of getting to the bottom of this or at least scraping the top of what the truth might be. I think we merely shed some light into the black hole of wonder that surrounds these barrels. If anyone else would like to do their own testing and have it linked in this post, after review, I will most certainly consider it and post them if they appear legitimate. I welcome any further independent testing.

To make it a little easier, I have linked to InfiniteGrim's posts on page 21 for those that might want to see the targets and processed results without wading through 20 pages to find them. InfiniteGrim spent 3 hours on this, so please appreciate.

.... the targets

.... the processed results


In a nutshell, I feel it is fairly safe to say that these barrels, and probably any other FN manufactured CHF barrels, are reasonably similar in performance. However, with Spike's and PSA's recent rise in price, I think many might feel a little better about spending a few more $ for the Centurion, BCM, or Noveske. The choice to go with a Noveske would be fairly obvious (proprietary profile, brand recognition, and reputation). The choice to go with Centurion would be a geared more toward a few different things (Monty is active military.... NAVY SEAL!, has an excellent reputation, and some people like for things to match and he offers sights, rails, and some other items for the AR platform). The choice to go with BCM is really obvious (excellent reputation and Paul has an extremely loyal following).

Spike's has a pretty hardcore fan base here too, so many may be fine with the increase in price. PSA is gaining some momentum here as far as fans go, in spite of some of the issues that they were having a while back, but many may be more inclined to get the Spike's for a few more bucks. However, I was impressed with how well the 12.5" PSA shot. I bought it for use on a host upper and it is apparently a keeper.

They are all winners, IMO. Pick a rollmark and price point.
I am a slave to my creations.... my image cannot be seen in them, but they bear my heart and soul - evl....
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 4:52:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2012 3:56:34 AM EST by 9divdoc]
Nice work guy

Very informative
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:15:54 AM EST
In.

Makes sense to me.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:41:05 AM EST
Thank you for your contribution!

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:47:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By evlblkwpnz:
"OP" does not "admit" claims in other thread are inaccurate. Not sure where the system got that, but my speculation in the original post of the other thread was confirmed 100% accurate.

Other than length, some of the profiles, some of the crowns, and some of the gas port sizes, ALL of the FN manufactured CHF barrel blanks used to produce barrels for 5 different companies ARE INDEED THE SAME. Some of the barrels even share the exact same exterior machining specs, aside from rollmarking, of course.

ALL of the blanks come from the same material, go through the same testing, get the same chrome lining, receive the same finish, and are held to the same standards. The finished barrels come from the same inventory. If you do not believe it, suit yourself and do your own research. The testing is pointless, but I am going to do it anyway to attempt to satisfy the "hard data" crowd here even though they will say that I need to fire 50,000 rounds through each barrel, have a sample lot of 500 barrels from each company, and test them in all of the extreme temperatures/conditions that one might find on planet Earth I am going to spend my time and money doing this, so please keep your antagonistic comments to yourself and have a little respect for the fact that I am going to go well out of my way to contribute what YOU have asked for. If you do not trust my testing, buy barrels from the 3 companies, as I have, and do your own testing. I own/co-own 3 businesses (none are in the firearms industry), so spare time is very hard to come by, but I will likely do the testing on the last weekend of this month or the first couple of weeks in February. I would prefer to wait until I have an optic on a QD mount that is better suited to target shooting. Please understand my position and please exhibit some patience. Let's try wearing our "big boy" pants....

ANYONE who would like to come to SE GA to contribute to, film, video, or personally witness this testing, please IM me.


How can you support that your claim is 100% accurate? What is your source of this information? If you are going to make such a claim, you should back it up with sources. That is all anyone is asking for.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:47:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By 9divdoc:
I was under the impression(perhaps erroneously?), that there are two different "grades" of barrels involved....

FN standard M4 type barrels and M249 "Machine Gun Barrels" ...aka "double chrome lined"

You are only going to test those barrels that are claimed to come from M249 cold hammer forged blanks and have "double chrome" lining correct?

thank you for your efforts to clarify various manufacturers claims



FN makes a button rifled M16 barrel for the military. I assume they would also sell barrels with this process if someone wanted to buy them. I think the buyer would have to provide specs for the profile and length to avoid issues with TDP.

Rumor is that the MP/HPT non CHF barrels Palmetto is buying are FN button rifled barrels. I have not seen that admitted by PSA though.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:52:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By wolverine05:
Originally Posted By evlblkwpnz:
"OP" does not "admit" claims in other thread are inaccurate. Not sure where the system got that, but my speculation in the original post of the other thread was confirmed 100% accurate.

Other than length, some of the profiles, some of the crowns, and some of the gas port sizes, ALL of the FN manufactured CHF barrel blanks used to produce barrels for 5 different companies ARE INDEED THE SAME. Some of the barrels even share the exact same exterior machining specs, aside from rollmarking, of course.

ALL of the blanks come from the same material, go through the same testing, get the same chrome lining, receive the same finish, and are held to the same standards. The finished barrels come from the same inventory. If you do not believe it, suit yourself and do your own research. The testing is pointless, but I am going to do it anyway to attempt to satisfy the "hard data" crowd here even though they will say that I need to fire 50,000 rounds through each barrel, have a sample lot of 500 barrels from each company, and test them in all of the extreme temperatures/conditions that one might find on planet Earth I am going to spend my time and money doing this, so please keep your antagonistic comments to yourself and have a little respect for the fact that I am going to go well out of my way to contribute what YOU have asked for. If you do not trust my testing, buy barrels from the 3 companies, as I have, and do your own testing. I own/co-own 3 businesses (none are in the firearms industry), so spare time is very hard to come by, but I will likely do the testing on the last weekend of this month or the first couple of weeks in February. I would prefer to wait until I have an optic on a QD mount that is better suited to target shooting. Please understand my position and please exhibit some patience. Let's try wearing our "big boy" pants....

ANYONE who would like to come to SE GA to contribute to, film, video, or personally witness this testing, please IM me.


How can you support that your claim is 100% accurate? What is your source of this information? If you are going to make such a claim, you should back it up with sources. That is all anyone is asking for.


Who has a source saying the barrels are different?

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 6:03:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By wrc777:
Originally Posted By wolverine05:
Originally Posted By evlblkwpnz:
"OP" does not "admit" claims in other thread are inaccurate. Not sure where the system got that, but my speculation in the original post of the other thread was confirmed 100% accurate.

Other than length, some of the profiles, some of the crowns, and some of the gas port sizes, ALL of the FN manufactured CHF barrel blanks used to produce barrels for 5 different companies ARE INDEED THE SAME. Some of the barrels even share the exact same exterior machining specs, aside from rollmarking, of course.

ALL of the blanks come from the same material, go through the same testing, get the same chrome lining, receive the same finish, and are held to the same standards. The finished barrels come from the same inventory. If you do not believe it, suit yourself and do your own research. The testing is pointless, but I am going to do it anyway to attempt to satisfy the "hard data" crowd here even though they will say that I need to fire 50,000 rounds through each barrel, have a sample lot of 500 barrels from each company, and test them in all of the extreme temperatures/conditions that one might find on planet Earth I am going to spend my time and money doing this, so please keep your antagonistic comments to yourself and have a little respect for the fact that I am going to go well out of my way to contribute what YOU have asked for. If you do not trust my testing, buy barrels from the 3 companies, as I have, and do your own testing. I own/co-own 3 businesses (none are in the firearms industry), so spare time is very hard to come by, but I will likely do the testing on the last weekend of this month or the first couple of weeks in February. I would prefer to wait until I have an optic on a QD mount that is better suited to target shooting. Please understand my position and please exhibit some patience. Let's try wearing our "big boy" pants....

ANYONE who would like to come to SE GA to contribute to, film, video, or personally witness this testing, please IM me.


How can you support that your claim is 100% accurate? What is your source of this information? If you are going to make such a claim, you should back it up with sources. That is all anyone is asking for.


Who has a source saying the barrels are different?


Come on, use your head. He's the one making the claim, so he needs to provide the support.

Sometimes you need to think before you post.


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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 6:11:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 6:13:43 AM EST by thornejc]
My friend works out at FN manufacturing and all of their CHF barrel blanks are produced by the same process and with the same materials regardless of who they are made for (with the exception of blanks produced for the M249). PSA is located in Columbia, SC with FN so it is possible that they got a better deal because they are local.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 6:14:31 AM EST
So, do all the FN double lined, CHF barrels also have the tapered bore or is this only done for Centurion?


Also, how much variance was there in gas port sizes?

I for one appreciate your efforts to bring this informtion to light. I look forward to seeing your shooting results.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 6:55:58 AM EST
Oh yes, the butthurt will be strong in this thread. I'm thinking that all FN barrels are going to end up being very similar, whatever name is on it is irrelevant. What's the scheduled date for this test?

The real issue here is that people are intensely emotionally invested in their expensive brands. For a company like PSA to sell a basically identical product challenges their decision to pay a premium for something else. People don't like to pay extra just for the brand name, they try to find any differences (parked under FSB) and pretend like those are worth the extra money they paid. Just face it, expensive brands charge more for the name, not necessarily because they have better products.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:09:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By evlblkwpnz:
"OP" does not "admit" claims in other thread are inaccurate. Not sure where the system got that, but my speculation in the original post of the other thread was confirmed 100% accurate.

Other than length, some of the profiles, some of the crowns, and some of the gas port sizes, ALL of the FN manufactured CHF barrel blanks used to produce barrels for 5 different companies ARE INDEED THE SAME. Some of the barrels even share the exact same exterior machining specs, aside from rollmarking, of course.

ALL of the blanks come from the same material, go through the same testing, get the same chrome lining, receive the same finish, and are held to the same standards. The finished barrels come from the same inventory. If you do not believe it, suit yourself and do your own research. The testing is pointless, but I am going to do it anyway to attempt to satisfy the "hard data" crowd here even though they will say that I need to fire 50,000 rounds through each barrel, have a sample lot of 500 barrels from each company, and test them in all of the extreme temperatures/conditions that one might find on planet Earth I am going to spend my time and money doing this, so please keep your antagonistic comments to yourself and have a little respect for the fact that I am going to go well out of my way to contribute what YOU have asked for. If you do not trust my testing, buy barrels from the 3 companies, as I have, and do your own testing. I own/co-own 3 businesses (none are in the firearms industry), so spare time is very hard to come by, but I will likely do the testing on the last weekend of this month or the first couple of weeks in February. I would prefer to wait until I have an optic on a QD mount that is better suited to target shooting. Please understand my position and please exhibit some patience. Let's try wearing our "big boy" pants....

ANYONE who would like to come to SE GA to contribute to, film, video, or personally witness this testing, please IM me.


The profile, crown and gas port sizes contribute significantly to the function of the rifle. Having said that, have you considered what similarities that really leaves you with?

From what I can surmise, that means they're made from the same type of steel, have the same chamber/rifling and they undergo the same process for chrome lining.

It seems to me like the differences could very well be more crucial than whatever it is that remains the same

Noveske's stainless barrels are manufactured on Pac-Nor's machines using Pac-Nor's blanks, but when you compare them to the ones Pac-Nor sells, you'll see it's a good example of how a rifle maker's "recipe" (specs) can make fairly substantial differences in how the barrel actually performs.

I'm not trying to pee in your cornflakes or keep you from doing your test...I'm just trying to understand your definition of "the same" and also understand the real point of testing one barrel from each manufacturer.

I can't help but think that if PSA loses, PSA fans will say the test was inconclusive (not a big enough sample size)...if it outperforms the others, then we'll have legions of PSA fanboys proclaiming their barrels are better than a Noveske/Centurion/whatever.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:11:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
Oh yes, the butthurt will be strong in this thread. I'm thinking that all FN barrels are going to end up being very similar, whatever name is on it is irrelevant. What's the scheduled date for this test?

The real issue here is that people are intensely emotionally invested in their expensive brands. For a company like PSA to sell a basically identical product challenges their decision to pay a premium for something else. People don't like to pay extra just for the brand name, they try to find any differences (parked under FSB) and pretend like those are worth the extra money they paid. Just face it, expensive brands charge more for the name, not necessarily because they have better products.


You hit the nail on the head on this post Kilroytheknifesnob, I agree 100% but that does not mean my butt don't hurt a bit. Kinda sad on a couple of things I purchased

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:20:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 7:21:19 AM EST by Kikken]
Originally Posted By ColdBlood:
I can't help but think that if PSA loses, PSA fans will say the test was inconclusive (not a big enough sample size)...if it outperforms the others, then we'll have legions of PSA fanboys proclaiming their barrels are better than a Noveske/Centurion/whatever.


Yeah, but that goes both ways. If the test shows similar accuracy, then the $$$ fans will say a sample size of one means nothing.

The bottom line is that someone is putting his money where his mouth is and doing the test, and that is great news. Maybe some more people will too, and then the sample size increases.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:32:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 8:00:49 AM EST by Yojimbo]
Personally, it doesn't matter to me if the PSA barrel proves to be as accurate as the Noveske or Centurion barrels or not.

If the PSA can prove relaible and shoot about 2 MOA I would still consider it good to go for a quality FN CHF barrel for use on a fighting gun. It would hard to go wrong any FN manufactured barrel, especially at that price range.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:40:41 AM EST
I really don't have a dog in this fight but I think some of the comments that have been posted in this and the other thread are ridiculous and deny common sense. I'm going to lay out some facts that I think we can all agree on and then make some conclusions based on simple economics.

Fact: FN makes cold hammer forge barrels from M249 blanks for Noveske, Centurion Arms, and PSA.
Fact: FN is an ISO compliant company and Government Contractor. The barrel steel must meet basic TDP requirements for the M249 SAW and be certified before it arrives in the factory.
Fact: The specific manufacturers can make different design specifications to their barrels, ie gas ports, crowns, and profiles, but the basic steel used is the same.
Fact: Shipping heavy items, such as barrels, is extremely expensive. Shipping costs are passed on to the consumer through higher retail prices.
Fact: PSA is located about 15 minutes from the FN plant and has no need to have barrels shipped. Local pick up is possible. Shipping costs are either eliminated or greatly reduced due to geographic location.
Fact: PSA FN/CHF barrels are less expensive, are made from the same blanks, but may have different profiles, gas ports, and crowns than the Noveske or Centurion Arms.

Conclusion: PSA FN/CHF barrels are made from the same blanks and are cheaper for the consumer because of the (however much) reduced cost of shipping the product from the factory to the retailer. We don't know if the gas ports are the same size because no one has measured them yet (OP?). The "tapered bore" of the Centurion might be an added feature that costs more, Noveske and PSA don't mention it. The PSA "light weight" and Noveske "skinny profile" appear to be identical from the pics on both companies web sites.

Noveske has been around and has a proven track record of putting out top end rifles assembled by people that know what they are doing. Centurion Arms is relatively new but the owner, Monty, brings his own credibility and I haven't read one negative review. PSA has just started distributing FN parts under their label, but has had some assembly issues and other growing pains. The owner is quick to respond and their customer service appears to be good to go.

It would be great if PSA would post up the specs to their FN barrels, such as gp size and crown info. It would be even better if they identified their source for LPKs, bolts, and bolt carriers. If they come from FN great, if not no big deal. Noveske used/uses CMT parts.

Just my contribution. Thanks OP for doing the testing.

Rob


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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:46:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By Yojimbo:
Personally, I doesn't matter to me if the PSA barrel proves to be as accurate as the Noveske or Centurion barrels or not.

If the PSA can prove to to relaible and shoot about 2 MOA I would still consider it good to go for a quality FN CHF barrel for use on a fighting gun. It would hard to wrong any FN manufactured barrel, especially at that price nlrange.


Oh hell...I bet it's capable better than 2 MOA (assuming all other variables are out of the equation). Being made from the same materials by FN, I don't think there's any question as to whether it's a quality barrel. My point is that you can't discount the fact that there are other differences with the Noveske (not sure about Centurion).

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 7:53:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By RobNC:
I really don't have a dog in this fight but I think some of the comments that have been posted in this and the other thread are ridiculous and deny common sense. I'm going to lay out some facts that I think we can all agree on and then make some conclusions based on simple economics.

Fact: FN makes cold hammer forge barrels from M249 blanks for Noveske, Centurion Arms, and PSA.
Fact: FN is an ISO compliant company and Government Contractor. The barrel steel must meet basic TDP requirements for the M249 SAW and be certified before it arrives in the factory.
Fact: The specific manufacturers can make different design specifications to their barrels, ie gas ports, crowns, and profiles, but the basic steel used is the same.
Fact: Shipping heavy items, such as barrels, is extremely expensive. Shipping costs are passed on to the consumer through higher retail prices.
Fact: PSA is located about 15 minutes from the FN plant and has no need to have barrels shipped. Local pick up is possible. Shipping costs are either eliminated or greatly reduced due to geographic location.
Fact: PSA FN/CHF barrels are less expensive, are made from the same blanks, but may have different profiles, gas ports, and crowns than the Noveske or Centurion Arms.

Conclusion: PSA FN/CHF barrels are made from the same blanks and are cheaper for the consumer because of the (however much) reduced cost of shipping the product from the factory to the retailer. We don't know if the gas ports are the same size because no one has measured them yet (OP?). The "tapered bore" of the Centurion might be an added feature that costs more, Noveske and PSA don't mention it. The PSA "light weight" and Noveske "skinny profile" appear to be identical from the pics on both companies web sites.

Noveske has been around and has a proven track record of putting out top end rifles assembled by people that know what they are doing. Centurion Arms is relatively new but the owner, Monty, brings his own credibility and I haven't read one negative review. PSA has just started distributing FN parts under their label, but has had some assembly issues and other growing pains. The owner is quick to respond and their customer service appears to be good to go.

It would be great if PSA would post up the specs to their FN barrels, such as gp size and crown info. It would be even better if they identified their source for LPKs, bolts, and bolt carriers. If they come from FN great, if not no big deal. Noveske used/uses CMT parts.

Just my contribution. Thanks OP for doing the testing.

Rob



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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 8:11:17 AM EST
Tagged, this will be very interesting and the butthurt will flow

Thank you op for doin thus, i wish i had to money to do testig like this

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 8:13:45 AM EST
nice to see someone actually step up to the plate and do a test of the CHF FN barrels instead of arguing that there is no way in hell "gasp" a PSA FN barrel be able to match a Nov/Cent barrel. ,
thanks and look forward to your results

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 9:37:41 AM EST
If is makes any of you feel better, I will be first in line to be butt hurt. I have purchased 1 Centurion Arms 11.5" LW barrel and 2 Noveske 10.5" N4 barrels in the past year. Most if which have been purchased within the last 2 months and I would have considered PSA had I known what thier barrels really start as. Crowns and profile are things that I can get past. I have no problem enlarging ports if that is what I need to do in order to achieve the reliability that I expect from a weapon. I am not new to modifying and working on weapons.

I am at work and will be posting again tonight. I have a few questions pertaining to testing methods, equipment, and what data needs to be recorded to make this as thorough and proper as possible.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 10:27:36 AM EST
If you're going to do all this testing (which I, along with many others, are very appreciative of) then you gotta get your hands on a chronograph as well as it would be a shame to not be able to get the velocity while you do all this testing.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 10:49:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By RobNC:
I really don't have a dog in this fight but I think some of the comments that have been posted in this and the other thread are ridiculous and deny common sense. I'm going to lay out some facts that I think we can all agree on and then make some conclusions based on simple economics.

Fact: FN makes cold hammer forge barrels from M249 blanks for Noveske, Centurion Arms, and PSA.
Fact: FN is an ISO compliant company and Government Contractor. The barrel steel must meet basic TDP requirements for the M249 SAW and be certified before it arrives in the factory.
Fact: The specific manufacturers can make different design specifications to their barrels, ie gas ports, crowns, and profiles, but the basic steel used is the same.
Fact: Shipping heavy items, such as barrels, is extremely expensive. Shipping costs are passed on to the consumer through higher retail prices.
Fact: PSA is located about 15 minutes from the FN plant and has no need to have barrels shipped. Local pick up is possible. Shipping costs are either eliminated or greatly reduced due to geographic location.
Fact: PSA FN/CHF barrels are less expensive, are made from the same blanks, but may have different profiles, gas ports, and crowns than the Noveske or Centurion Arms.

Conclusion: PSA FN/CHF barrels are made from the same blanks and are cheaper for the consumer because of the (however much) reduced cost of shipping the product from the factory to the retailer. We don't know if the gas ports are the same size because no one has measured them yet (OP?). The "tapered bore" of the Centurion might be an added feature that costs more, Noveske and PSA don't mention it. The PSA "light weight" and Noveske "skinny profile" appear to be identical from the pics on both companies web sites.

Noveske has been around and has a proven track record of putting out top end rifles assembled by people that know what they are doing. Centurion Arms is relatively new but the owner, Monty, brings his own credibility and I haven't read one negative review. PSA has just started distributing FN parts under their label, but has had some assembly issues and other growing pains. The owner is quick to respond and their customer service appears to be good to go.

It would be great if PSA would post up the specs to their FN barrels, such as gp size and crown info. It would be even better if they identified their source for LPKs, bolts, and bolt carriers. If they come from FN great, if not no big deal. Noveske used/uses CMT parts.

Just my contribution. Thanks OP for doing the testing.

Rob



Thanks for this post

Does FN make any CHF barrels available for purchase by private individuals that are not made from M249 blanks?

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 11:13:11 AM EST
In for the results and videos.

Good luck!
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 11:27:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By buckjay:
If you're going to do all this testing (which I, along with many others, are very appreciative of) then you gotta get your hands on a chronograph as well as it would be a shame to not be able to get the velocity while you do all this testing.


I may be able to scrounge one up.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 12:30:28 PM EST
I would suggest that you put them all in a solid rest such as a lead sled to eliminate as much human error as possible.
Still, one barrel may like some or all of the ammo better than the other barrels. I still say the only way to truly determine the accuracy potential for each rifle for a true comparison would be to work up several loads of several weights for each barrel, and test them on the same day, under the same conditions. Even two barrels from the same company that are exactly the same specs that come off of the assembly line back to back can be different, and often are. You may have one that shoots 75gr well, and the other not, but will shoot 69gr well. Even two different brands of the same grain may differ as much as 2 or 3 moa.

For instance.
My AR Performance 6.8. My 90TNT load is 29.8 gr of Re7 and a COAL of 2.295 inches. 2925fps It shoots 5 shots at 100 yards of .420
The same load with the difference being a COAL of 2.28 shoots into 1.2 inches at 100 yards Velocity is 2935fps
The same load with the only difference being 29.0 gr of powder, shoots 5 shots at 100 of 2.5 inches,
The 29.0gr load with a COAL of 2.28 shoots into a group of 1.5 moa,

Personally, if you have the time, I would work up an accurate load with a 55gr, a mid weight bullet, and a 75 or 77gr for each barrel. Test best loads against best loads for each barrel from the same bench on the same day, same conditions, and with the same shot sequence ( timing, cool down etc). After that, you should include the popular ammo, surplus etc for each.

One other thing is to use 10 shot groups. 3 means nothing. 5 is ok for working up loads, but 10 will really show where you stand.

I would like to thank you for what you're doing.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 12:40:47 PM EST
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 12:52:05 PM EST
Can anyone confirm that the gas port size and barrel crown is different? I'd bet they aren't...

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 12:52:26 PM EST
I've been wondering how well PSA's barrels stack up.
Looking forward to results.
Thank you OP for taking the time to do this.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 1:19:21 PM EST
One thing that surprises me is - why hasn't PSA done the testing themselves?

Generally when someone is new and they're offering a product similar to the top shelf offerings at a lower price they will have testing done to really show the consumers what the actual difference is. I'm curious as to why PSA would not have done this (and if its because they're afraid people would discount their findings on the basis of bias then sponsor a respected 3rd party to do such testing) as if it indeed is the same barrel you think they'd be marketing the shit out of it.

Which is why I'm skeptical they're the same barrel. Because if they are then PSA has to have the absolute worst marketers in the world.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 1:20:23 PM EST
what are the 5 companies that use FN manufactured CHF barrels OP is talking about?

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 1:35:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By buckjay:
One thing that surprises me is - why hasn't PSA done the testing themselves?

Generally when someone is new and they're offering a product similar to the top shelf offerings at a lower price they will have testing done to really show the consumers what the actual difference is. I'm curious as to why PSA would not have done this (and if its because they're afraid people would discount their findings on the basis of bias then sponsor a respected 3rd party to do such testing) as if it indeed is the same barrel you think they'd be marketing the shit out of it.

Which is why I'm skeptical they're the same barrel. Because if they are then PSA has to have the absolute worst marketers in the world.


A lot of times when a manufacturer sells something to several companies with different price levels there is a non compete clause. It protects the vendors that have the higher prices, which in turn protects the manufacturer by keeping the orders from those companies coming in. In a case like that, the lower cost companies wouldn't be allowed to specify and compare. It happens all the time, even in this industry. Many companies use the exact same bolt and or carrier, yet you will only get the manufacturer's name and no specifics between them and the other dealers.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 1:54:04 PM EST
Here's a thought.
Go to 5 different grocery stores and buy 5 cans of the Campbell's soup. Each one will have a different price, yet they are all the same.
Why?
Answer, different stores pay different amounts due to shipping, quantities bought, and other things. Also, different stores will have different amounts of overhead to pay for as well, which may include salaries, power consumption, taxes,etc. Some stores will even use the Average Annual Income Index of the area that a particular store is in, and charge less for the same product in a store in a poorer area, and more in a richer area. Walmart does that. I can buy the same product in a town that is 20 miles south of me for 10% average cheaper than I can for the same product in a town 22 miles north of me. SO for the same product, you will have a different end user price.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 1:58:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
Originally Posted By buckjay:
One thing that surprises me is - why hasn't PSA done the testing themselves?

Generally when someone is new and they're offering a product similar to the top shelf offerings at a lower price they will have testing done to really show the consumers what the actual difference is. I'm curious as to why PSA would not have done this (and if its because they're afraid people would discount their findings on the basis of bias then sponsor a respected 3rd party to do such testing) as if it indeed is the same barrel you think they'd be marketing the shit out of it.

Which is why I'm skeptical they're the same barrel. Because if they are then PSA has to have the absolute worst marketers in the world.


A lot of times when a manufacturer sells something to several companies with different price levels there is a non compete clause. It protects the vendors that have the higher prices, which in turn protects the manufacturer by keeping the orders from those companies coming in. In a case like that, the lower cost companies wouldn't be allowed to specify and compare. It happens all the time, even in this industry. Many companies use the exact same bolt and or carrier, yet you will only get the manufacturer's name and no specifics between them and the other dealers.


pavlovwolf - I will be helping with this range trip. I am trying to round up a chrono, as well as a proper rest. I was going to post the question to those with more experience than I in what would be the minimum needed, data wise, for this range trip to be considered fruitful.

We will have a sampling of FN barrels, number not certain yet but a minimum of 2. Since the FN barrel is the point of interest here, we will get those done first and move on to the other stuff we bring.

If I cheese enough, we'll have a chrono and rest.

I have a bunch of XM193A. I also have enough Federal Tactical .223 55 grain bonded soft point, and can probably get enough Hornady TAP for ten shot groups. Handloads take me too long to source, unless someone wants to donate 60-80 rounds.

As for the testing, I fully agree with the 10 shot group. I've never taken a measuring device to a group, but we can do pictures with a scale. If that won't be sufficient, please post some standardized instructions or a method what will help ensure consistent measuring.

I have an HD video camera, but haven't had success uploading videos. Maybe this is a good time to get that worked out?

So I'm clear on what we need to come back with, we want scale pictures of 10-shot groups? Chrono results? Would that be the minimum? Of course, any malfunctions or other odd behavior are to be included. I just need to make sure I bring all the equipment we'll need for a good test and proper documentation.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:18:38 PM EST
If you can get to upstate SC to get the chrono and ammo, I will load you some 55gr fmj with varying charges, up to 27gr depending on how long it will be before you guys get ready to go. I can load 10 rounds of each charge of 26.gr, 26..5gr, and 27gr. for a total of 60 as long as I have enough powder. I already have several hundred of the 27gr and 26.8gr load. If I had more unloaded bullets I could do more.

You would have to mail or bring back the chronograph though, and the cases lol. You can keep the projectiles.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:20:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 2:21:21 PM EST by buckjay]
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
A lot of times when a manufacturer sells something to several companies with different price levels there is a non compete clause. It protects the vendors that have the higher prices, which in turn protects the manufacturer by keeping the orders from those companies coming in. In a case like that, the lower cost companies wouldn't be allowed to specify and compare. It happens all the time, even in this industry. Many companies use the exact same bolt and or carrier, yet you will only get the manufacturer's name and no specifics between them and the other dealers.


That doesn't answer my question. The example you gave would apply to buying the same product from different retailers (ie why is Noveske barrel cheaper at Retailer X compared to Retailer Y). What I'm talking about is simply getting the correct info out to the masses.

There's nothing stopping PSA from discreetly hiring a reputable 3rd party to do in depth testing and analysis, comparing the PSA barrel to Noveske and Centurion Arms. If they are indeed the same thing and PSA knew this all along they would be absolutely stupid not to have someone do a full analysis comparing the barrel's accuracy, velocity, etc.

Word travels pretty fast in the internet community (where a lot of their sales are based) and being able to link to a definitive analysis (similar to Molon's analysis) would be irrefutable and would bring a serious boost to sales (who doesn't like more sales?) which is why I find this a bit puzzling.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:38:17 PM EST
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:38:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By buckjay:
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
A lot of times when a manufacturer sells something to several companies with different price levels there is a non compete clause. It protects the vendors that have the higher prices, which in turn protects the manufacturer by keeping the orders from those companies coming in. In a case like that, the lower cost companies wouldn't be allowed to specify and compare. It happens all the time, even in this industry. Many companies use the exact same bolt and or carrier, yet you will only get the manufacturer's name and no specifics between them and the other dealers.


That doesn't answer my question. The example you gave would apply to buying the same product from different retailers (ie why is Noveske barrel cheaper at Retailer X compared to Retailer Y). What I'm talking about is simply getting the correct info out to the masses.

There's nothing stopping PSA from discreetly hiring a reputable 3rd party to do in depth testing and analysis, comparing the PSA barrel to Noveske and Centurion Arms. If they are indeed the same thing and PSA knew this all along they would be absolutely stupid not to have someone do a full analysis comparing the barrel's accuracy, velocity, etc.

Word travels pretty fast in the internet community (where a lot of their sales are based) and being able to link to a definitive analysis (similar to Molon's analysis) would be irrefutable and would bring a serious boost to sales (who doesn't like more sales?) which is why I find this a bit puzzling.


It has everything to do with it. Do you not think that PSA and Noveski, and any others that are using these barrels doesn't know what the specs are? They know. If you read Jamin's posts, you can see he is "officially" and purposefully obtuse in those answers, while he is open completely to giving the specs of other things. That tells me one thing. He is forbidden to disclose the data.

Now, another question I have asked, but it hasn't been answered.

Why hasn't Noveski or others that charge more not come forward with the same info that we are asking PSA for?
It would answer the question just the same right?
It would justify the higher prices that they charge right? Good for business right? Well?
Silence???????????
Why?
Perhaps they are forbidden as well, due to a contact.

There are a lot more reasons for the barrels being exactly the same other than port size,etc, than there are for them being different. They have all been covered. Manufacturing processes alone account for much of it. Business structure is another. Shipping is yet another.

This test being done may help to show how close or how far apart they truly are, or it may not. The only thing that will ever make this go away is for someone to send the barrels of each company out for an analysis.
Well, one other thing. Each company could break the contract that they signed, which would damage the industry and the companies, since they wouldn't be allowed to buy from FN any longer.
Or, FN could some out with the info, which would also damage the industry, the companies involved, and the customer, since all of the companies would then need to charge the same for the barrels, so you wouldn't see PSA uppers at $400.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:44:38 PM EST
Here's a good example for you.

I have a company that I buy loaded 6.8 ammo from.

SSA sells the same ammo.

This little company buys brand new first run SSA brass.
He uses the same primers as SSA ammo.
He uses the same powder as SSA ammo.
He uses the same projectile as SSA ammo.

SSA ammo in that load was close to $20 a box.

Little company sold his for $15.20-( it's now $17 ) a box.

Why?

One reason was that you don't get a fancy package with it. That's probably .10 cents there.

What are the other reasons?
You answer those questions, and you'll answer the one involving the barrels.

He was not allowed to advertise his ammo as having SSA components due to a non compete clause, yet it was the exact same ammo.
He even sells SSA brass on his site, and is allowed to advertise that.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:54:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
It has everything to do with it. Do you not think that PSA and Noveski, and any others that are using these barrels doesn't know what the specs are? They know. If you read Jamin's posts, you can see he is "officially" and purposefully obtuse in those answers, while he is open completely to giving the specs of other things. That tells me one thing. He is forbidden to disclose the data.

Now, another question I have asked, but it hasn't been answered.

Why hasn't Noveski or others that charge more not come forward with the same info that we are asking PSA for?
It would answer the question just the same right?
It would justify the higher prices that they charge right? Good for business right? Well?
Silence???????????
Why?
Perhaps they are forbidden as well, due to a contact.

There are a lot more reasons for the barrels being exactly the same other than port size,etc, than there are for them being different. They have all been covered. Manufacturing processes alone account for much of it. Business structure is another. Shipping is yet another.

This test being done may help to show how close or how far apart they truly are, or it may not. The only thing that will ever make this go away is for someone to send the barrels of each company out for an analysis.
Well, one other thing. Each company could break the contract that they signed, which would damage the industry and the companies, since they wouldn't be allowed to buy from FN any longer.
Or, FN could some out with the info, which would also damage the industry, the companies involved, and the customer, since all of the companies would then need to charge the same for the barrels, so you wouldn't see PSA uppers at $400.


You're missing the point.

Noveske has no need to come out with any information. They have already set the standard. They've been around for long enough, and people have used their barrels for long enough (and tests have been done) so people know exactly what they get when they buy a Noveske. They can charge what they charge because of this.

PSA is the new kid on the block. If they have the same product as Noveske why wouldn't they discreetly sponsor someone to do the in depth testing to put away any rumors? Don't give me the crap about contracts, we're in the 21st century here. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how to get information out as absolutely anyone could do the testing I'm suggesting - there is no exclusivity or contract signing going on here.

Also I don't believe this stuff about shipping costs being a reason to a lower price. The difference in shipping freight in state and continentally is not going to be that big of a difference. In fact I'd argue they'd be at a disadvantage in having to pay sales tax. The only argument is volume. If PSA can buy 100 times the inventory then prices are going to be lower.

Anyways, all of this is silly without testing. The point is PSA pays attention to what people care about. HPT, MPI, properly staked, etc. If they have the same product as Noveske or Centurion Arms they would be stupid not to have sponsored some testing already to put all this misinformation to rest. And please, don't tell me they're bound by contract. That is the biggest crock. There is nothing stopping them from having a Tom, Dick, or Harry to publish the testing.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 2:57:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
Here's a good example for you.

I have a company that I buy loaded 6.8 ammo from.

SSA sells the same ammo.

This little company buys brand new first run SSA brass.
He uses the same primers as SSA ammo.
He uses the same powder as SSA ammo.
He uses the same projectile as SSA ammo.

SSA ammo in that load was close to $20 a box.

Little company sold his for $15.20-( it's now $17 ) a box.

Why?

One reason was that you don't get a fancy package with it. That's probably .10 cents there.

What are the other reasons?
You answer those questions, and you'll answer the one involving the barrels.

He was not allowed to advertise his ammo as having SSA components due to a non compete clause, yet it was the exact same ammo.
He even sells SSA brass on his site, and is allowed to advertise that.


Sorry but thats just silly. You answered it yourself when you said "Little company sold..."

PSA is not a little company. They can afford to prove why their barrel is the same as Noveskes (and thus increase their sales). Marketing 101.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 3:02:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By Kilroytheknifesnob:
The real issue here is that people are intensely emotionally invested in their expensive brands.


/end thread

It's embarrassing to know you paid hundreds more for the same barrel.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 3:03:56 PM EST
It's really no secret. It's not like there are a bunch of companies in the US tooled up to make CHF M249 barrels.
Think about it.
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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 3:12:10 PM EST
Originally Posted By buckjay:
Originally Posted By pavlovwolf:
Here's a good example for you.

I have a company that I buy loaded 6.8 ammo from.

SSA sells the same ammo.

This little company buys brand new first run SSA brass.
He uses the same primers as SSA ammo.
He uses the same powder as SSA ammo.
He uses the same projectile as SSA ammo.

SSA ammo in that load was close to $20 a box.

Little company sold his for $15.20-( it's now $17 ) a box.

Why?

One reason was that you don't get a fancy package with it. That's probably .10 cents there.

What are the other reasons?
You answer those questions, and you'll answer the one involving the barrels.

He was not allowed to advertise his ammo as having SSA components due to a non compete clause, yet it was the exact same ammo.
He even sells SSA brass on his site, and is allowed to advertise that.


Sorry but thats just silly. You answered it yourself when you said "Little company sold..."

PSA is not a little company. They can afford to prove why their barrel is the same as Noveskes (and thus increase their sales). Marketing 101.


PSA is,/ or was a little company until recently. If fact, until a just over a year ago they didn't even have a storefront, or sell to retail/walk ins for the most part, It was run from the warehouse offices.

Shipping is real cheap when you can go out at lunch with your pick up truck and get a shipment of barrels.

And, Noveski being established has nothing to do with what the make up of their barrels is. It just means that they were buying and selling them before PSA. They have just as much to gain by divulging the info as PSA does. If they both shoot very close to each other ( and from a lot of the threads I've seen, they are damn close ), Noveski in fact has more to gain by proving you're getting a lot more for the money that you're spending with them.

Furthermore, if either company was to send samples out, and it was found out and traced back to them, and there is a contract in place, they would be in violation, and they would no longer be able to offer that same barrel.

As I've said many times before, I've been in retail all of my life, at all parts of the chain. Manufacturing, distribution, and sales. Sales from the manufacturer to the retailer, and sales from the retailer to the end user. I know what goes on at all levels.

I've been the manager of the accounts department in a major corporation that sold to different retailers. I know what shipping costs do to prices, and I also know that we sold the same product, with different labels to three different companies, that sold them at three distinct price points.

In fact, we had two lines that sold the exact same product. One was sold at a huge mark up. The other line was sold under a company owned store and a different name for 30% less. All of the product was packaged and shipped side by side. The only difference was the phone number you called to order. One product was sold and advertised in very high end,. high fashion magazines, and the other was in magazines that served a less affluent customer.


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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 4:13:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 4:13:38 PM EST by 2minkey]
as someone else has pointed out, it's NOT shipping that is making a price difference here. i just shipped a barrel for about 11 bucks. that's a tiny increment of the price difference between PSA and noveske...

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 4:36:41 PM EST
I'm looking forward to seeing the results. I've suspected they are the same. It's no surprise none of them have published a comparison, as I'm sure they all have a contract with FN to not do so.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:04:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 6:25:42 PM EST by zipseattle]
I've got no skin in this game - not a fanboy of PSA, Noveske, or Centurion. I am a fanboy of facts. Those who insist that shipping costs have no bearing at all on the cost of a barrel are deluding themselves. To state the obvious, a pallet of barrels is heavy. Not so long ago I was involved in a sale of heavy steel items that were shipped coast to coast. Cost of the material alone - $74,000. Cost of the shipping - $21,000. The customer paid for both.

An extreme case? Yes, but it is a real example. In my business, we ship about $7 billion (yes, with a B) of material annually, all over the world. Dense, heavy costs more. And we have hundreds of people employed to manage our logistics, as well as our transportation solutions to drive cost out of our shipping.

A person doesn't have to "buy" the idea that shipping factors into final price. And I don't have to "buy" the idea that the sun rises in the East. But then we would both be wrong...

Shipping on parts is just one of many expenses that are accounted for in the pricing model, along with the cost of material, payroll, advertising, etc.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:05:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 5:07:02 PM EST by RobNC]
Originally Posted By 2minkey:
as someone else has pointed out, it's NOT shipping that is making a price difference here. i just shipped a barrel for about 11 bucks. that's a tiny increment of the price difference between PSA and noveske...


You shipped one barrel, or a 4 lb package. Call up UPS/Fed Ex/etc. and see how much it would cost for you to ship 100 barrels at around 400 lbs from South Carolina to Oregon. Now compare that to taking your own truck at lunch to pick up the same 100 barrels 10 minutes away from your warehouse.

The companies involved are not going to release their specs, no one in this industry does for a variety of reasons. I am surprised that we even known that FN makes the barrels in question. The only way we will find out certain dimensions is if a Member who owns both is willing to strip down his barrels with a caliper and camera close by.

IF PSA is sourcing their small parts from FN then they are at a huge advantage over everyone else that doesn't produce their own parts in house simply by removing shipping costs. Add in low overhead and less-expensive SC labor (most likely NOT union) and PSA has a huge advantage economically over other assemblers.

Unfortunately it is almost certain that PSA is under legal obligations from their suppliers not to reveal who their suppliers are. With the notable exception of the barrels that are only produced by one company in the nation, FN.

I will be following this with interest.

Rob

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:13:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By RobNC:
Originally Posted By 2minkey:
as someone else has pointed out, it's NOT shipping that is making a price difference here. i just shipped a barrel for about 11 bucks. that's a tiny increment of the price difference between PSA and noveske...


You shipped one barrel, or a 4 lb package. Call up UPS/Fed Ex/etc. and see how much it would cost for you to ship 100 barrels at around 400 lbs from South Carolina to Oregon. Now compare that to taking your own truck at lunch to pick up the same 100 barrels 10 minutes away from your warehouse.

The companies involved are not going to release their specs, no one in this industry does for a variety of reasons. I am surprised that we even known that FN makes the barrels in question. The only way we will find out certain dimensions is if a Member who owns both is willing to strip down his barrels with a caliper and camera close by.

IF PSA is sourcing their small parts from FN then they are at a huge advantage over everyone else that doesn't produce their own parts in house simply by removing shipping costs. Add in low overhead and less-expensive SC labor (most likely NOT union) and PSA has a huge advantage economically over other assemblers.

Unfortunately it is almost certain that PSA is under legal obligations from their suppliers not to reveal who their suppliers are. With the notable exception of the barrels that are only produced by one company in the nation, FN.

I will be following this with interest.

Rob


Rob, you and Zipseattle have a better understanding of the way things operate than most. I can assure you, that PSA is non union as well. Being from NC, you know we don't really take kindly to unions in the workplace, and the majority of union members in our two states are police and teachers, and other government unions. Regular non government workplace unions are rare here. We had a pretty good game of Whack a mole , and shooting gallery last few times unions tried moving in here. The companies that did allow them in, have pretty much all closed down. A union company can't compete with a non union company in a right to work state like South Carolina.

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:16:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2012 5:17:44 PM EST by Saddlerocker]
Many of PSA's recent prices have been "Introductory" as well.
All these little things could add up to the savings.

There are too many unknowns, Maybe the barrels are Batch tested no individual.
They would appear and perform the same in tests, you could never know.
Not saying thats happening at all, but we dont make barrels, especially HF barrels, we have no idea what can and cannot be done.

The accuracy tests is a small piece of the puzzle, but by no means solid evidence of anything.
If these barrels stay at current prices they are a great deal, but cant ever be proven to be the "Same"

And really, if you read something on the internet about these barrels, and how they differ, then you can probably repeat it here

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Link Posted: 1/17/2012 5:17:55 PM EST
Much better thread. Much better discussion. A little criticism gets people to step up their game. Instead of "I bought a barrel and it looks like the other barrel so it must be just as good as," we are getting some actual input as to why it may really be as good as or equal to. Obviously, NDAs make this thing a little harder than a manufacturer just laying all their cards on the table. Props to the OP for his follow through on this.

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