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Posted: 12/27/2021 7:31:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Tranquility]
I am going to buy another prefit barrel for my AI AE. The last four I bought have been 6.5 CM Bartleins and they have been great but I see you can get Proof Research prefit AI barrels and they are $600 instead of $850. Are Bartleins that much better?

They certainly seem to be more popular.
Attachment Attached File


I am getting a steel barrel and AI now uses something close to a heavy Palma contour.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 8:09:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: ScoutH57] [#1]
Just because it’s most popular doesn’t mean it’s objectively better. People look at those charts and buy the top one thus perpetuating it. (Not that you can go wrong with Bartlien)



I have 2 actually  3(plus 2 a buddy has) Mcgowen barreled actions that are absolutely tac drivers and one is getting up there in age for 6.5 creedmoor.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 9:40:37 AM EDT
[#2]
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 9:59:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Tranquility] [#3]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:
You had four Bartleins and know they work. Only you can figure if it’s worth it to try something different. Proof makes a good barrel but Bartlein are my favorite. You could try the Proof if you are curious. What’s going to be the end use?
View Quote

Mostly target shooting, including PRS practice and competitions. A little F Class and coyote hunting.

My biggest worry is it will be some weird chamber size and be sensitive to brass sizing and seating depth (I guess that's more of a gunsmithing issue than barrel manufacturer) or that it will just be of lesser quality and wear out faster or not hold good groups.

I tried the new heavier 2018 (?) AI profile in a 26" for my last one. It was just under a pound heavier but it pushed my rifle to over 20 pounds which, unless I really stay in shape, makes long dry fire sessions a bit of a chore. Personal problem I know.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 10:05:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Tranquility] [#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScoutH57:
Just because it’s most popular doesn’t mean it’s objectively better. People look at those charts and buy the top one thus perpetuating it. (Not that you can go wrong with Bartlien)



I have 2 actually  3(plus 2 a buddy has) Mcgowen barreled actions that are absolutely tac drivers and one is getting up there in age for 6.5 creedmoor.
View Quote

What would you consider getting up in age?

My one barrel went from half MOAish to 2 to 3 MOAish very quickly after around 3200 rounds. I tested it before and after a 200 round match before having a smith borescope it to confirm. I fired a few fast strings at matches but fairly tame loads.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 10:19:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: ScoutH57] [#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Roddy556:

What would you consider getting up in age?

My one barrel went from half MOAish to 2 to 3 MOAish very quickly after around 3200 rounds. I tested it before and after a 200 round match before having a smith borescope it to confirm. I fired a few fast strings at matches but fairly tame loads.
View Quote



Right about 3000 rounds(give or take 50 or so) in 6.5 Creedmoor that's basically for local PRS type stuff generally 10 round strings is as hot as it gets. I'm sure the end is nigh but as of right now it's velocity is consistent as are the groups.


ETA: just for reference I've shot exclusively 140 ELD Hornady Factory ammo with this one.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 10:37:38 AM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScoutH57:



Right about 3000 rounds(give or take 50 or so) in 6.5 Creedmoor that's basically for local PRS type stuff generally 10 round strings is as hot as it gets. I'm sure the end is nigh but as of right now it's velocity is consistent as are the groups.


ETA: just for reference I've shot exclusively 140 ELD Hornady Factory ammo with this one.
View Quote

It was weird my velocities stayed high and my SDs weren't bad even after the groups opened up.

My 24" Tikka CTR shoots the same loads about 75fps slower and my buddy's has close to 5000 rounds through it. I'm guessing Tikkas are looser bore or something so I guess that can be a trade off.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 10:51:32 AM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScoutH57:
Just because it's most popular doesn't mean it's objectively better. People look at those charts and buy the top one thus perpetuating it. (Not that you can go wrong with Bartlien)



I have 2 actually  3(plus 2 a buddy has) Mcgowen barreled actions that are absolutely tac drivers and one is getting up there in age for 6.5 creedmoor.
View Quote
Reminds me of the fever around Rob S's AR15 chart. There were people banned on TOS because they didn't agree.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 10:52:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Rob01] [#8]
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 12:25:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Tranquility] [#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rob01:


Yeah the chambering will be more on the gunsmithing side but if ordering a prefit it should tell you what freebore it is and the rest of the chamber size should be close and within spec and not weird. You should be able to order the contour you want also. So if getting up there then drop the contour down to an M24/40 or something similar.

For what you are doing I am sure either would work. Both will be accurate enough for the needs listed above. As for wearing out faster, well you kind of know how the Bartleins will be but the Proof should be close. That 3000 round area is a good area to figure for replacement. I have had 6.5 barrels go out at 2300 rounds and gave one now that is getting close to 3000.

ETA: About the chart above. That is the top 100 shooters in each league. Not all users. So it gives an idea of what they use. Here is the chart from the PRS site of what all their paying PRS members use for barrels.

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/19859/Bartlein_PRS-2218412.png
View Quote

Appreciate the reply. The prefits I am looking at come in limited contours. There are lots of smiths who can chamber and work on a barrel but these are AI endorsed and well priced so I like grabbing one off the shelf.

Still similar numbers for Bartlein across the board lot of shooters seem to think they are worth 40% more than a Proof. I will have to decide between Bartlein's special sauce VS. about 300 rounds of loaded ammo.

If it means my groups will go from 0.3 or 0.4 MOA to 0.5 MOA I can live with that. It means a substantially shorter barrel life or substantially larger groups it may no be as desirable. I guess I should just order one, or both. It's only money.
Link Posted: 12/28/2021 11:54:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: borderpatrol] [#10]
There are over a dozen companies that make outstanding barrels nowadays. Every barrel is an individual, so you never know what you are getting until you get some time behind it. I have purchased Krieger barrels that were okay, around 1 moa, nothing to write home about. I have purchased WOA $225 service rifle barrels that stacked ten rounds just over a half inch at 100 yards.

40 years ago, any rifle that would consistently group close to 1 moa was to die for. The few companies that made custom barrels (Hart, Douglas) would usually get you close to there. Now we have come to expect, even demand, sub moa performance. We even expect it from factory rifles and are disappointed if it doesn't happen.

Anyone who has tried a lot of barrels will tell you all of the major makers are good to go. The exceptional barrel, the one that shoots almost any load extremely well and tuned loads under .5 moa can come from any one of them. Getting a hummer barrel is the luck of the draw. I know people won't like this answer. Everyone would like to purchase precision and get "the best barrel available", but it just doesn't work that way.  

Bartlein
Krieger
Lilja
­Shilen
Pac-Nor
Hart
Broughton
Brux
Douglas
S­chneider
Rock Creek
Lothar-Walther

are all capable of manufacturing world class barrels. I have never tried any carbon fiber wrapped barrels and probably won't, not because they don't work, but because I'm more of a tradionalist.
Link Posted: 12/28/2021 5:52:36 PM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:
There are over a dozen companies that make outstanding barrels nowadays. Every barrel is an individual, so you never know what you are getting until you get some time behind it. I have purchased Krieger barrels that were okay, around 1 moa, nothing to write home about. I have purchased WOA $225 service rifle barrels that stacked ten rounds just over a half inch at 100 yards.

40 years ago, any rifle that would consistently group close to 1 moa was to die for. The few companies that made custom barrels (Hart, Douglas) would usually get you close to there. Now we have come to expect, even demand, sub moa performance. We even expect it from factory rifles and are disappointed if it doesn't happen.

Anyone who has tried a lot of barrels will tell you all of the major makers are good to go. The exceptional barrel, the one that shoots almost any load extremely well and tuned loads under .5 moa can come from any one of them. Getting a hummer barrel is the luck of the draw. I know people won't like this answer. Everyone would like to purchase precision and get "the best barrel available", but it just doesn't work that way.  

Bartlein
Krieger
Lilja
Shil­en
Pac-Nor
Hart
Broughton
Brux
Douglas
S­chneider
Rock Creek
Lothar-Walther

are all capable of manufacturing world class barrels. I have never tried any carbon fiber wrapped barrels and probably won't, not because they don't work, but because I'm more of a tradionalist.
View Quote


Proof offers plain SS barrels also
Link Posted: 12/28/2021 5:58:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: MemeWarfare] [#12]
Originally Posted By Roddy556:
I am going to buy another prefit barrel for my AI AE. The last four I bought have been 6.5 CM Bartleins and they have been great but I see you can get Proof Research prefit AI barrels and they are $600 instead of $850. Are Bartleins that much better?

They certainly seem to be more popular.
https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/365646/Best-Rifle-Barrel_png-2218313.JPG

I am getting a steel barrel and AI now uses something close to a heavy Palma contour.
View Quote



Looking at the most popular equipment across an entire competition field is pretty useless. I would just look at the subset of that data that isolates the top 20% (black and dark blue) of competitors and look at what just those people are doing. Who GAF what the bottom 20% are doing? That’s just harmful info.

Also look at the top shooters who aren’t sponsored and look at their equipment.
Link Posted: 12/28/2021 6:57:17 PM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ScoutH57:
Just because it’s most popular doesn’t mean it’s objectively better. People look at those charts and buy the top one thus perpetuating it. (Not that you can go wrong with Bartlien)



I have 2 actually  3(plus 2 a buddy has) Mcgowen barreled actions that are absolutely tac drivers and one is getting up there in age for 6.5 creedmoor.
View Quote

Except Bartlein is the best barrel you could ever buy.
Link Posted: 12/29/2021 7:36:49 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By airsix:



Looking at the most popular equipment across an entire competition field is pretty useless. I would just look at the subset of that data that isolates the top 20% (black and dark blue) of competitors and look at what just those people are doing. Who GAF what the bottom 20% are doing? That’s just harmful info.

Also look at the top shooters who aren’t sponsored and look at their equipment.
View Quote

The bottom 20% of the top 100 PRS shooters are still great shooters. It's still just one data point.

It turns out I may get one made locally as exporting is becoming more difficult than it used to be.
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 2:15:27 AM EDT
[#15]
Not an expert on this subject but: I recently got my first rifle with a bartlien barrel. This is my first “precision” rifle. I consider myself to be @ a 1/2 moa shooter if I am on my game. Prior to getting this rifle I had quite a few groups sub .5 and a couple groups sub .3. The majority of my groups have run .5-.8”.

With this new rifle few groups are over .5 when I am on. I have shot multiple groups sub .3 and two groups sub .2. Over all this barrel averages .25 less than my previous best barrel.

I really like this barrel.

Ymmv. Good luck!
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 2:48:03 AM EDT
[#16]
Being you fall into that minority of shooters that actually shoot enough to go through barrels I’d probably order one of each. If the proof doesn’t meet your expectations you could probably get a big chunk of your money back with how crazy it is.

You know how the Bartlein’s perform.
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 2:09:27 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SpeyRod:
Not an expert on this subject but: I recently got my first rifle with a bartlien barrel. This is my first “precision” rifle. I consider myself to be @ a 1/2 moa shooter if I am on my game. Prior to getting this rifle I had quite a few groups sub .5 and a couple groups sub .3. The majority of my groups have run .5-.8”.

With this new rifle few groups are over .5 when I am on. I have shot multiple groups sub .3 and two groups sub .2. Over all this barrel averages .25 less than my previous best barrel.

I really like this barrel.

Ymmv. Good luck!
View Quote

Those barrels really help you figure out other parts of your overall program, like refining loading practices.
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 2:53:34 PM EDT
[#18]
Both are excellent cut-rifled barrels.

For the same diameter, Proof offers a carbon fiber-wrapped alternative that drops some weight without sacrificing precision -- per Norm Crawford (retired Delta sergeant major, Palma shooter, and long-range Camp Perry National Champion whose M14 record still stands).

If both barrels shoot small groups, the Proof (theoretically) gives you a real-world mobility advantage over a week-end match for smack-talking points.
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 3:05:51 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sinister:
Both are excellent cut-rifled barrels.

For the same diameter, Proof offers a carbon fiber-wrapped alternative that drops some weight without sacrificing precision -- per Norm Crawford (retired Delta sergeant major, Palma shooter, and long-range Camp Perry National Champion whose M14 record still stands).

If both barrels shoot small groups, the Proof (theoretically) gives you a real-world mobility advantage over a week-end match for smack-talking points.
View Quote


Actually they’re both doing carbon wrapped or plain barrels. Proof is just known for the cf and bartlein only started offering them in the last year or two.

Op I think there’ll both shoot well. Idk which will last longer besides the long life bartlein mod400bb steel that costs a premium. Bartlein gives you the option for whatever contour, land/groove type, twist direction or gain twist that you want but again, at a premium.

I have a 6.5cm cf proof on my fix and it hammers. 22” 6.5 SS gasser barrel delivered today that I hope is a shooter. If it is I want to try the 24” gasser 6cm competition contour barrel.
Link Posted: 12/30/2021 6:23:57 PM EDT
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sinister:
Both are excellent cut-rifled barrels.

For the same diameter, Proof offers a carbon fiber-wrapped alternative that drops some weight without sacrificing precision -- per Norm Crawford (retired Delta sergeant major, Palma shooter, and long-range Camp Perry National Champion whose M14 record still stands).

If both barrels shoot small groups, the Proof (theoretically) gives you a real-world mobility advantage over a week-end match for smack-talking points.
View Quote

At the price he quoted he's definitely talking about their standard stainless non carbon wrapped barrels.
Link Posted: 1/23/2022 11:09:13 AM EDT
[#21]
I shot bartlien barrels forever but last 5 or 6 barrels I’ve got were proof pre fits and they shoot just as good. If it came right down to it with both barrels side by side I would take the one that was cheapest.
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