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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 1/26/2022 2:00:38 AM EDT
I’m trying to finish up a 10 barrel test I started a couple years ago.  I should have been finished by now but my local shooting spot was developed so I was forced to use a range but it soon closed because of Covid.  The range is open again but I need to take a bridge to get there.  The bridge is closed for a 6 month rebuild and that changed my normal 4 mile trip to 80 miles.

I just finished the 8th barrel test and I have the 9th at home all ready to go.  I still need one more barrel.  All the barrels tested so far are low to mid tier (Black Hole, LaRue, PSA, Colt, BCM and Ballistic Advantage, etc.  I’d like to test a custom made barrel like a Kreiger or equivalent.

I use a Kreiger on my precision 308 AR I have been happy with it.

What would you recommend for an upper-end AR barrel?
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 3:55:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: KILLERB6] [#1]
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 9:50:06 AM EDT
[#2]
JP also makes a good barrel.
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 9:57:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: IwearMossyOak] [#3]
My 20" White Oak barrel is stupid accurate with 55gr V-max. They don't get talked about much on here, but if I was ever to buy another precision AR barrel, it would be a White Oak.

Granted, it is pretty heavy, and not "tactical" in the least.
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 10:55:42 AM EDT
[#4]
Rainier Arm's.

Not sure what tier they are. Mid to high? But I like em.
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 11:28:22 AM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IwearMossyOak:
My 20" White Oak barrel is stupid accurate with 55gr V-max. They don't get talked about much on here, but if I was ever to buy another precision AR barrel, it would be a White Oak.

Granted, it is pretty heavy, and not "tactical" in the least.
View Quote

So is my Larue Stealth
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 1:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: BlackdogADV] [#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KILLERB6:
Personally, I’d like to see a LaRue test.

There’s also Criterion and Douglas.
View Quote


So far the 18” LaRue Stealth is the clear winner.  I have a new 16” Stealth waiting to be tested next and I suspect it will shoot great as well.
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 3:15:56 PM EDT
[#7]
Compass Lake Engineering (CLE) Krieger/Bartlein, White Oak Precision Bartlein/Krieger, Craddock Precision Bartlein, JP supermatch

Rainier Arms Ultramatch, Criterion, Noveske, White Oak Armament

Rainier Match, LaRue, Ballistic Advantage premium series




Link Posted: 1/26/2022 3:18:55 PM EDT
[#8]
my 2 cents for Bison Armory. excellent barrels for the price, can get them color finished and precision head-spaced bolt
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 4:53:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Xram] [#9]
SuperJ above nailed it. Tier 1 means cut rifled Kreiger Bartlein Proof etc spun by a top name like Craddock, CLE, a few others. But WOA’s normal Wilson barrels, Rainer ultra match etc will still be a level above your BA and BCM mid-tier stuff.
Link Posted: 1/26/2022 9:45:07 PM EDT
[#10]
I've got a Craddock precision .223 from a shilen blank and it's stupid accurate - surprisingly shoots hornady black 75gr hpbt phenomenally well, I never ended up trying better match ammo.

also have a proof research cfw 224v barrel, they're expensive but again, very nice.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 1:54:32 PM EDT
[#11]
I’ll give White Oak a try.  $275 is a bargain compared to Krieger.  I’ll go for the stainless 18” SPR one.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 2:10:55 PM EDT
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:


So fat the 18” LaRue Stealth is the clear winner.  I have a new 16” Stealth waiting to be tested next.
View Quote


Is that the older barrel, when they were made by LW?
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 2:30:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: BlackdogADV] [#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperJlarge:


Is that the older barrel, when they were made by LW?
View Quote


I don’t know.  I bought mine about 6 years ago.  How do you identify the old vs new?

Update: I think LaRue started using their own barrels around 2012 so mine are the new style.  I have no idea how the LW’s shoot.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 2:39:02 PM EDT
[#14]
I have a Criterion, Proof research and a Shilen in AR variants.  I like BA but don’t really think they’re top tier in comparison to the barrels discussed here.  The criterion and Proof are awesome.  I haven’t used the shilen much yet but I’m hopeful it’ll be great.  I’d love to see other comparisons on these.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 2:51:11 PM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rickjames69:
I have a Criterion, Proof research and a Shilen in AR variants.  I like BA but don’t really think they’re top tier in comparison to the barrels discussed here.  The criterion and Proof are awesome.  I haven’t used the shilen much yet but I’m hopeful it’ll be great.  I’d love to see other comparisons on these.
View Quote


The Shilen should perform well. 2 of my older Rainier Ultramatch barrels had Shilen blanks. They shoot extremely well, but sadly, I’ve shot neither in over a year…possibly 2. Kind of makes me think I need to step back from the .22’s and use the AR’s a bit more.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 3:23:23 PM EDT
[#16]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:


I don’t know.  I bought mine about 6 years ago.  How do you identify the old vs new?

Update: I think LaRue started using their own barrels around 2012 so mine are the new style.  I have no idea how the LW’s shoot.
View Quote


I think Xtraxn, or whatever the flutes in the chamber are called, were added on the in house barrels and weren’t on the LW barrels. You could probably view that with a borescope, or if you have lines on fired cases, that may be a good indicator.


Hopefully you’ll get a chance to test a RA barrel. My 18” match averaged .71moa with factory IMI Razorcore 77’s. The Ultramatch should do a bit better. The match barrel was on sale prior to Christmas for 169$ iirc. If they come down that low again, it would certainly be worth grabbing 1-2 imo.
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 3:49:20 PM EDT
[#17]
10-shot group from a Krieger barreled semi-automatic AR-15 at 100 yards.  Extreme spread = 0.474".



...
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 10:23:34 PM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Molon:
10-shot group from a Krieger barreled semi-automatic AR-15 at 100 yards.  Extreme spread = 0.474".

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/28568/0002_55_blitzkings_from_223_krieger_51_t-2234103.jpg

...
View Quote


That’s excellent considering your using non-match ammo.  I found my LaRue really likes 52gr Vmax, I get a constant .65.  My match ammo is only slightly better but at 10X the cost.

My AR 308 has a Krieger barrel and shoots 1 ragged hole.  
Link Posted: 1/27/2022 10:52:50 PM EDT
[#19]
Krieger. One year wait, unless you order it from CLE, then about five months.

Link Posted: 1/28/2022 11:49:40 PM EDT
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Targis:
Krieger. One year wait, unless you order it from CLE, then about five months.

View Quote


I bought mine about 5 years ago.  They told me it was a 3 month wait but I got it in a month.  Krieger has great customer service and was easy to deal with.
Link Posted: 1/30/2022 6:59:31 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:
I’ll give White Oak a try.  $275 is a bargain compared to Krieger.  I’ll go for the stainless 18” SPR one.
View Quote


Money well spent.
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 9:35:15 AM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:


Money well spent.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:
I’ll give White Oak a try.  $275 is a bargain compared to Krieger.  I’ll go for the stainless 18” SPR one.


Money well spent.


They must have sold a lot of them on their Black Friday sale, still waiting for mine to come in. They did say 12-14 weeks when I ordered it, but it was $80 off
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 1:34:27 PM EDT
[#23]
Where does Odin works barrels fit in?  They’re $305 for a DMR 18”.
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 5:28:06 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:
Where does Odin works barrels fit in?  They’re $305 for a DMR 18”.
View Quote


The ones I have seen shoot pretty good. Guy at the range had a 6 ARC Odin upper, shot nice groups with Hornaday Black.
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 6:30:38 PM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackdogGS:
Where does Odin works barrels fit in?  They’re $305 for a DMR 18”.
View Quote


Somewhere between the RA Ultramatch and the RA match group. They use McGowan blanks, or they did recently. Likely a decent barrel, but they aren’t in the same category as the top blanks.

Link Posted: 2/4/2022 9:54:30 PM EDT
[#26]
Are ER Shaw barrels not considered top tier?  

If my 6.5 Grendel Faxon barrel doesn't impress I need to shop elsewhere.
Link Posted: 2/4/2022 10:01:58 PM EDT
[#27]
The top AR barrels are going to be Krieger or Bartlien tubes chambered by White Oak or Compass Lake.

Link Posted: 2/4/2022 10:07:28 PM EDT
[#28]
Ost.
Link Posted: 2/6/2022 9:03:10 PM EDT
[#29]
Iwearmossyoak hinted at something that I absolutely agree with.   White Oak and Compass Lake are probably the two best places to source a “precision” barrel for an AR.   They are just not as well known because they rose to their status from building national match/across the course guns, and that sport is not nearly as popular these days.   But the demand of the sport/discipline is why they became probably the best in The business.  

Holingers  “base barrels” are, or were Wilson blanks, and I’ve never owned one that wasn’t capable of 3/4 min accuracy or less with 24 grains of varget and a nosler or Sierra 77.  

The krieger’s he and Frank white put out boringly easy to load for and hold an x ring at 600 yards, if your capable of that.
Link Posted: 2/6/2022 9:03:59 PM EDT
[#30]
I guess I should have read the rest of the thread.  Airsix nailed it.
Link Posted: 2/22/2022 9:23:06 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Brandi:
Are ER Shaw barrels not considered top tier?  

If my 6.5 Grendel Faxon barrel doesn't impress I need to shop elsewhere.
View Quote


ER Shaw is an average barrel, nothing to write home about.

I have three. Two shoot very well, one is a dog.

Look at Wilson Combat if you want a 6.5 Grendel barrel. I have been very happy with their 5.56mm.

Ammo quality is more important than barrel quality IMO. I can get rack grade rifles shooting under 1 moa using Sierra Match Kings most of the time. Other bullets are a crap shoot. Nosler Custom Competition are very close to Sierra's. Hornady match bullets seem to be a little harder to tune, but shoot great from some barrels.
Link Posted: 2/23/2022 5:00:33 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By airsix:
The top AR barrels are going to be Krieger or Bartlien tubes chambered by White Oak or Compass Lake.

View Quote


This is correct.  
Cut rifled and chambered in CLE .223

Link Posted: 2/23/2022 5:09:21 PM EDT
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:


ER Shaw is an average barrel, nothing to write home about.

I have three. Two shoot very well, one is a dog.

Look at Wilson Combat if you want a 6.5 Grendel barrel. I have been very happy with their 5.56mm.

Ammo quality is more important than barrel quality IMO. I can get rack grade rifles shooting under 1 moa using Sierra Match Kings most of the time. Other bullets are a crap shoot. Nosler Custom Competition are very close to Sierra's. Hornady match bullets seem to be a little harder to tune, but shoot great from some barrels.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:
Originally Posted By Brandi:
Are ER Shaw barrels not considered top tier?  

If my 6.5 Grendel Faxon barrel doesn't impress I need to shop elsewhere.


ER Shaw is an average barrel, nothing to write home about.

I have three. Two shoot very well, one is a dog.

Look at Wilson Combat if you want a 6.5 Grendel barrel. I have been very happy with their 5.56mm.

Ammo quality is more important than barrel quality IMO. I can get rack grade rifles shooting under 1 moa using Sierra Match Kings most of the time. Other bullets are a crap shoot. Nosler Custom Competition are very close to Sierra's. Hornady match bullets seem to be a little harder to tune, but shoot great from some barrels.


I’m not saying your wrong, but my perspective is time is money. I’m not messing with load development on a
rack grade barrel.  Between range time and time on press it’s just not worth it IMO.  I’d rather spend the money on a barrel that 99% of the time is going to shoot out of the box between exceptional and perfect so to speak with proper ammo. It also may be a cost issue for anyone not already stocked up on reloading supplies.  
I realize some of you enjoy the development part. I don’t it’s just a necessary evil for me.    


 
Link Posted: 2/26/2022 1:02:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: MS556] [#34]
I'd love to see you test the Lilja M4 Navy 16".  Its the original SEAL Recce profile as built by Lilja for NSWC Crane back in the day and still in production.  I have one in my precision Recce type build.  Wylde chamber, 1:8 twist, hand lapped.

I'd like to compare results.  Mine seems more accurate than I can shoot, using handloaded Berger bullets (52 grain FB Target and 77 OTM) in benchrest prepped Lapua Match cases.   Trigger is a Geissele SSA-E.  A NM might get better results.

Its deeply sub MOA and likely sub 1/2 MOA, as many groups are when I don't screw up behind the trigger.  That is with my load development scope, an old but very good Japanese glass Burris Black Diamond 6-24x50 with 1/8 MOA tall target turrets and matching fine cross hair reticle.

I'd love to see what a better shooter could do with a Lilja barrel.  They do make other heavyish target profiles and lengths, Wylde chambered, all the way out to 24".  Lilja is a small benchrest oriented company that also makes the Olympic gold medal and international champion small bore .22LR barrels that go into the Bleiker rifles that dominate all small bore competition.  All their barrels are made to benchrest standards.
Link Posted: 2/26/2022 1:33:35 AM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SuperJlarge:
Compass Lake Engineering (CLE) Krieger/Bartlein, White Oak Precision Bartlein/Krieger, Craddock Precision Bartlein, JP supermatch
View Quote

CLE uses a lot of Douglas blanks also.

Add Lilja and thats a good list.
Link Posted: 2/26/2022 2:07:34 AM EDT
[#36]
I’ve got a 26 inch white oak that shoots pretty well
Link Posted: 2/27/2022 10:24:58 PM EDT
[#37]
I have 4 JP and 2 LaRue barrels.  I LOVE my JP barrels but will also admit, the LaRue barrels shocked me how well they shoot.
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