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3crowns
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Posted: 5/17/2009 10:45:26 PM
How do Lothar-Walther stainless barrels compare quality-wise to others?
RobarSR60
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Posted: 5/18/2009 12:06:53 AM
It's German steel. What's not to love?
juslearnin
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Posted: 5/18/2009 12:34:46 AM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2009 1:42:29 AM by juslearnin]
It just so happens I shot mine today for the first time at 600 yds. I have a friend who is an excellent machinist, who built a rifle for me with a LW stainless barrel in 260 rem. We used one of the FN SPR actions, and it is in a hogue full length bedded aluminum stock. We shot with a gusting wind coming from about 90 degrees which varied from almost nothing to what we guessed was around 10 mph. I shot two 8 inch groups, and one which had 4 out of five into six inches, but the fifth opened it up to 11 1/2. This was only the third time I have shot at this distance, and considering the wind, I was pretty happy with the results. I was correcting for 2 moa for wind (12 inches), and was still around one moa off to the side. Most of the group dispersion was horizontal, and I was not even trying to read the wind while shooting, so I think the barrel was shooting well.

There are many others who are shooting much better groups on this board, but I will tell you that this barrel must be able to shoot for me to be able to do even this well. The shooting was done prone off a bipod, across a valley all with 5 shot groups. I have shot a one or two 1/2 MOA 100 yd groups with the rifle from a bench as well while working on loads.

LW supposedly uses a harder stainless steel than most other manufacturers, which makes it a little harder to machine without chattering, but is supposed to increase the useful life of the barrel. Most companies use 416, Lothar calls theirs "LW 50". I saw somewhere that it was thought to be similar to 17-4, and my friend who had recently built a custom receiver out of 17-4 bar stock, said it machined very similar to that. It sounds like you should discuss this with your smith before buying, as it looks like a lot of them won't work with the LW barrels because of the difference in the material. I think we turned mine at a little over 300 rpm to thread and chamber.

From what I have read, most folks rate them as very good quality, although you don't see them used as much in the US. I am not sure that most folks who are really "in the know" would rate them in the very highest tier of barrels, but at worst they seem to be a close second. Apparently they do pretty well in competition in Europe. I chose one because I wanted the most longevity I could get with a decent barrel. If you are a benchrest guy, I would search the records to see which barrel makers are winning, and go with one of them, as you might be happier that way. If, like me, you are a person who wants to shoot from field positions, I am not sure you will see a big difference.

ETA: If you look here they call the steel "LW50/17-4".
Here is a link to the biggest discussion on the Lothar barrels that I could find on 6mm br.
New? Want to learn the basics about ARs? Want to know what kind of rifle to buy? Go to: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=342873
Silent_Knight
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Posted: 5/18/2009 12:46:18 PM
I had an LW50 barrel on an AR. It shot very nice, but I was a little concerned about using solvents containing ammonia. LW says that if you use them the solvent must be 100% removed before firing. If it is left in the barrel, then it will pit the barrel wrecking accuracy.

Well, there goes butch's 7.62 and my favorite...Shooter's choice. Alcohol must be used after cleaning with solvents to get it all out.

I thought that was a bit of a hang up.
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/18/2009 4:46:11 PM
LW50 is a proprietary stainless steel. Comparing apples to apples, it wears about twice as long as 416. I have always had excellent results from LW AR15 barrels. If I were to use an American blank, I would use the Douglas Premium, 1:7, .224 blank. I clean my LW50 barrels with homemade Ed's Red or Kroil...to clean the carbon. I do NOT decopper until accuracy falls off. When I decopper, I use a nylon brush and Rem Clean (Remington 40x, or whatever its called this week). LW50 does cut differently than 416. LW may be able to give you advise on machining it. In Europe, these barrels are considered an excellent barrel.
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/18/2009 4:47:18 PM
Originally Posted By juslearnin:Most of the group dispersion was horizontal...

What was your vertical dispersion?
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
juslearnin
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Posted: 5/18/2009 5:45:49 PM
Originally Posted By SuperiorBarrels:
Originally Posted By juslearnin:Most of the group dispersion was horizontal...

What was your vertical dispersion?


4", 5", and 1 1/2 plus my flier. Still not great, but I am learning.
New? Want to learn the basics about ARs? Want to know what kind of rifle to buy? Go to: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=342873
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/18/2009 6:03:44 PM
[Last Edit: 5/18/2009 6:04:23 PM by SuperiorBarrels]
Originally Posted By juslearnin:
4", 5", and 1 1/2 plus my flier. Still not great, but I am learning.


Still sub MOA.

In my book, that's good shooting.
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
Ryo
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Posted: 5/18/2009 6:46:18 PM
They are great barrels. Either way you look at it, it's extremely good. I just wonder how they compare to Noveske's SS barrels. I doubt I could tell the difference on paper.

I'm using a 18" LW on a VIS-2A. Very accurate groupings.
illegitimi non carborundum, post proelia praemia
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/18/2009 7:10:11 PM
Shoot several side by side.
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
AdamJ
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Posted: 5/18/2009 9:39:41 PM
I have a prefit on a savage action in 243 1-8 twist. It is a nail driver, with handloads using 105 bergers it averages .34 for 5 @100. The best so far at LR has been 5 into 1.25" @400 yds and 5 into 6"T x 11"W @ 950 in a 10-12mph full value wind. The first 3 at 950 made a nice triangle that measured 4 3/8" before the wind caught up to me on the last 2 rds. I was informed by LW about the ammonia issues and the LW50 steel, the technician I talked to told me as long as you clean out the ammonia real good before firng you will be okay. I have used butches on this barrel since it was new. I never leave the bore soaked for more then 10-15 minutes at a time and when the cleaning is done I blast the bore out with non-chlorinated brake cleaner for 10 or 15 seconds then patch that out. I will say that my barrel when new was kinda prone to coppering, but after about 50 rds this was no longer a problem. I have 425 rds and it still shoots like a laser and the bore cleans up great, usually clean about every 100 rds or so, unless I think the barrel might have took on some condensation or other form of moisture. Been thinking about getting another LW prefit in 260 for a 20" 308 savage I got, but don't feel like using up my limited supply of primers finding that magic load.
3crowns
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Posted: 5/18/2009 10:10:27 PM
The one I'm looking at is a full Heavy AR-15 barrel, but I'd want my 'smith to turn it down to a Medium-Heavy diameter, at least under the handguard. Any problem doing that?
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/18/2009 10:14:13 PM
Originally Posted By 3crowns:
The one I'm looking at is a full Heavy AR-15 barrel, but I'd want my 'smith to turn it down to a Medium-Heavy diameter, at least under the handguard. Any problem doing that?


You may wish to talk to Lothar Walther about that.
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
bfarrin1
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Posted: 5/19/2009 7:26:43 AM
Originally Posted By SuperiorBarrels:

In Europe, these barrels are considered an excellent barrel.


In Europe, Peugeot maintains a 15% market share - 32% in France alone.

There are those than consider them an excellent automobile.

Captive Market? You betcha.

Originally Posted By 3crowns:
How do Lothar-Walther stainless barrels compare quality-wise to others?


For the same money(or less), you can do better.

Look at the winning equipment list of your favorite gun sport.




RobarSR60
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Posted: 5/20/2009 12:25:57 AM
Originally Posted By bfarrin1:
For the same money(or less), you can do better.
Look at the winning equipment list of your favorite gun sport.



There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Walther barrels. They're as good as any other quality barrel on the market.
Ryo
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Posted: 5/20/2009 12:33:24 AM
Originally Posted By RobarSR60:
Originally Posted By bfarrin1:
For the same money(or less), you can do better.
Look at the winning equipment list of your favorite gun sport.



There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Walther barrels. They're as good as any other quality barrel on the market.


+1

They are great barrels. Better than the average barrels for sure.
illegitimi non carborundum, post proelia praemia
SuperiorBarrels
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Posted: 5/20/2009 12:14:24 PM
[Last Edit: 5/23/2009 8:41:14 AM by SuperiorBarrels]

  • All Lothar Walther barrels are imported, and made of German manufactured steel. As the steel is made (continuous batch), it is gamma inspected.

  • The American barrel market is a difficult market to break into. Shooters have long standing personal preferences, sometimes ranging as far back as their great grandfathers.
    Captive Market? You betcha.

  • Selling firearm related parts between European countries is difficult. Each country has its own restrictive regulations. I have an importer in Finland wanting my barrels. Though he has an import permit, I can export to him ONLY if I pay a yearly fee of $2650 for an export license, AND an additional $300 for each export, AND the export must be approved by several bureaucratic U.S. departments. If the export is not approved, I am still out the money for the annual and particular export fee ($2950). This is the U.S. government RESTRICTING exportation of firearm related items, including barrels. Free market, MY ASS!
    Captive Market? You betcha.

  • Bushmaster uses Lothar Walther .50 BMG LW50 stainless barrels.

  • State Arms (Klaus Horstkemp) used Lothar Walther LW50 stainless barrels.

  • Now, East Ridge Gun Company (bought State Arm’s after Klaus’ death) uses Lothar Walther LW50 stainless barrels.

  • Serbu Firearms use Lothar Walther .50 BMG LW50 stainless barrels.

  • Many custom rifle makers use Lothar Walther barrels.

  • Lothar Walther profiles barrels for large firearm manufacturers using customer supplied Canadian 4150 steel, from a Canadian steel consolidator.

  • SB has a barrel shooting at the Wimbledon Cup.


From:
http://sgrcustomrifles.com/custom-built/


“Custom built for Art Cheney of Benton Kansas . Stolle Kodiak .308 Palma w/ Lothar Walther MW bbl., McMillian MBR, Nightforce 12x-42x-56MM, Jewell Trigger/bottom safety”


“100 yard Target. My custom gun is shooting great. I love this Lother Walther barrel. It shoots in the high 1’s to Mid 2’s at 100 yds, 1/2 MOA at 400yds. and 3/4MOA at 600yds.”


20" Hoplite upper. 10 rounds Black Hills 75 grain. Target is a standard sheet of paper. Hoplite barrel is a slightly fluted Lothar Walther 1:8 polygon with Hard Blue.
The weather that day, recorded by the National Weather Service.
"WIND (MPH)
HIGHEST WIND SPEED 17
HIGHEST GUST SPEED 21
AVERAGE WIND SPEED 8.1
HIGHEST WIND DIRECTION SE (150)
HIGHEST GUST DIRECTION SE (150)"
Every good man deserves a good rifle. That starts with a Superior Barrel.
SPR, SDM-Match, & 16" mid-length Lothar Walther barrels.
www.superiorbarrels.com & www.shop.superiorbarrels.com
Hard Blue: no other barrel lasts longer.
AdamJ
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Posted: 5/20/2009 8:04:54 PM
Well in italy they like Ferrari and Lambo for racing over corvette and vipers, don't mean the vette and vipers suck does it?
jmt1271
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Posted: 5/21/2009 3:06:00 PM
I just sold my LaRue, because I simply prefer shooting my GAP. That said, the LW barrel on the LaRus F-ing impressed the hell out of me through 180 rounds. With basically no load development I was getting consistent .6MOA groups with plenty in the .5 range.

The only other LW barrel I have is on a Gunny Hathcock commemorative rifle, but I am not going to shoot it.

LW has left a great impression on me.


Wheres-Waldo
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Posted: 5/22/2009 3:36:09 PM
I shoot a 300WM with a 26" LW every week-end....
The most accurate rifle I have ever owned.
LCPL Thaxton-USMC 2111 2nd LAR, 2nd MARDIV, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Ted Nugent for President