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Posted: 3/12/2005 3:25:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 3:30:17 PM EST by GunDraw]
I recently decided the barrel on my target AR is not gonna cut it. So I'm wondering, is it a bad idea for me to try and rebarrel my own upper with a precision barrel? The reason I ask is I remember looking through Bushmaster's website when I bought this AR, and I remember I looked at their "Varminter" barrel, and they stated "should be installed by an experienced gunsmith" where all the other barrels did not have such a disclaimer.

What is their concern? Should I not attempt to do this myself? I must admit, I will be a first timer at this, however, I'm pretty mechanically inclined and by looking at the instructions provided by Falarak(thanks BTW!) , I shouldn't have a problem with it (after buying the correct tools of course). So should I try to install my own "match grade" barrel, or is this something best left to the pros.

Also, anyone have some good suggestions of a nice barrel to put on. I handload and really want to start seeing some jagged holes from my AR. Suggestions are much appreciated. So far I've been considering Krieger and Wilson. However, I've also seen some who were crazy about RRA's SS varmint barrels. Anyone with more experience than I care to comment?

Thanks,
Gundraw
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 4:38:31 PM EST
If it were me, I'd follow the "if you have to ask, better leave it to the pros" policy.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:26:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 5:26:50 PM EST by justinwb]
I would do it, I did mine very easy!
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 5:46:44 PM EST
The only thing you need a pro for is the person who cuts your chamber. Someone like a John Holliger or a Frank White will cut you a chamber that is on center, thus your high priced barrel won't turn out to be a tomato stake.
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 7:47:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 7:57:12 PM EST by GunDraw]

Originally Posted By ker2222:
If it were me, I'd follow the "if you have to ask, better leave it to the pros" policy.


Why? I see what you mean, but I"m looking for reasons. I'm not gonna get my feet wet by looking at the pool.

As for the chambers (eodtech mentioned this), does Krieger or any of those barrel makers not have a finished chamber? Or are all of them just a rough chambering? I guess I'd like to put something together that's somewhat affordable, meaning a barrel ready to put in w/o the $$ for a smith. For instance, I know many have spoken about getting good (1/4" or so) groups with RRA' varmint barrel. Now I'm not saying that's the most I could spend (i'd put a cap at $350 or so), at the same token, that's along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'm not a competition shooter, but someone trying to hone in not only my reloading techniques, but my shooting skills as well. I need something that I know will shoot straight, but certainly not something "over the top" (I am a college student). Anything feasible for something like that?

Thanks for the input,
Gundraw
Link Posted: 3/12/2005 8:14:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/12/2005 8:17:36 PM EST by eodtech2000]

Originally Posted By GunDraw:

Originally Posted By ker2222:
If it were me, I'd follow the "if you have to ask, better leave it to the pros" policy.


Why? I see what you mean, but I"m looking for reasons. I'm not gonna get my feet wet by looking at the pool.

As for the chambers (eodtech mentioned this), does Krieger or any of those barrel makers not have a finished chamber? Or are all of them just a rough chambering? I guess I'd like to put something together that's somewhat affordable, meaning a barrel ready to put in w/o the $$ for a smith. For instance, I know many have spoken about getting good (1/4" or so) groups with RRA' varmint barrel. Now I'm not saying that's the most I could spend (i'd put a cap at $350 or so), at the same token, that's along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'm not a competition shooter, but someone trying to hone in not only my reloading techniques, but my shooting skills as well. I need something that I know will shoot straight, but certainly not something "over the top" (I am a college student). Anything feasible for something like that?

Thanks for the input,
Gundraw



Here is John Holliger's prices White Oak Precision - He uses a lot of Pac-Nor barrels too
AR Service Rifle Barrel, Stainless Steel, Match Grade $290
AR Service Rifle Barrel, Stainless Steel, Krieger $380
AR Match Rifle Barrel with Gas Manifold $320
AR Match Rifle Barrel, Krieger $400


Your better off having someone like John Holliger do the chamber, I have heard Krieger's in-house chambering leaves some to be desired.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:16:35 AM EST
By all means... do it yourself.

Purchase a good quality barrel with the barrel extension installed and chamber finished (like almost ALL of them are... you have to really looks and special request an unfinished barrel) and stick it on. Then float the sucker and be done with it.

The guidelines for building a Bushmaster varminter are exactly the same as with any other AR barrel.

I have heard good things about the Varminter barrels... rarely is anyone unhappy.... but if you want a tighter twist barrel for heavier bullets, look to WOA.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:04:16 AM EST
Well, perhaps I could get even MORE guidance on my wants/needs.

I am a the point where I do feel that in the near future, i'm gonna build my own m4gery (oh... so over-used... ). This means I can really dedicate this AR to nothing but good handloads with good grade bullets. That said, I happen to be a prarie dog addict and plan on a few shoots this spring (read, probably would like to shoot 55gr. v-max's etc)

So. Given EVERYTHING I will shoot should be around 55gr. or above, will 1:7 be too much twist fo these 52gr? 1:8 shouldn't should it? I mean, I live in KS to boot, and let's face it, anything lighter than 50gr. get's pretty wavey at 100, 200, 300 yds. with wind we have here. And to be honest, probably the BULK of the loads I will shoot will be 55 gr.

However, I would certainly like to try my hand at some of the heavier stuff for punching paper. The 69gr., 77 etc.

So it's established. Especially since I'm looking at a Home build pretty soon, I will pick up the tools to barrel this thing myself.

Now about the Varminter barrels ($370). Would I be looking at LOTS more resale value staying Bushmaster? Or am I throwing a little $$ out the window going that way? (Bushmaster has not exactly been known for GREAT prices ) and if I did go with WOP, which seems to fit my ticket. I take it either the service rifle or the match rifle would be best?

Thanks for help, I'm getting itchy to get this barrel off now!

Gundraw
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 1:55:19 PM EST
taggerino
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:10:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunDraw:
Well, perhaps I could get even MORE guidance on my wants/needs.

I am a the point where I do feel that in the near future, i'm gonna build my own m4gery (oh... so over-used... ). This means I can really dedicate this AR to nothing but good handloads with good grade bullets. That said, I happen to be a prarie dog addict and plan on a few shoots this spring (read, probably would like to shoot 55gr. v-max's etc)

So. Given EVERYTHING I will shoot should be around 55gr. or above, will 1:7 be too much twist fo these 52gr? 1:8 shouldn't should it? I mean, I live in KS to boot, and let's face it, anything lighter than 50gr. get's pretty wavey at 100, 200, 300 yds. with wind we have here. And to be honest, probably the BULK of the loads I will shoot will be 55 gr.

However, I would certainly like to try my hand at some of the heavier stuff for punching paper. The 69gr., 77 etc.

So it's established. Especially since I'm looking at a Home build pretty soon, I will pick up the tools to barrel this thing myself.

Now about the Varminter barrels ($370). Would I be looking at LOTS more resale value staying Bushmaster? Or am I throwing a little $$ out the window going that way? (Bushmaster has not exactly been known for GREAT prices ) and if I did go with WOP, which seems to fit my ticket. I take it either the service rifle or the match rifle would be best?

Thanks for help, I'm getting itchy to get this barrel off now!

Gundraw



A 1/7 or 1/8 will handle the heavy bullets, they will shoot the lighter bullets just fine (Just not the ultra fragile types or those for .22 Hornet).

The Service rifle barrels will be 20", Match Rifle barrels longer - at least 24".
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 5:38:56 PM EST
Go with Whte Oak. My service rifle has had 2 douglas barrels and now wears a PAC NOR. I bought my Match Rifle upper from WOA and it shoots as good as anything with the wilson on it. Franks White does the barrles for WOA. When my PAC NOR shoots out I may just get a Wilson from WOA to replace it. You can't beat the price or the quality. I replaced my Douglas barrels at 2000 to 2500 rounds. PAC NOR still going strong but only has 500 rounds through it. I'm curious to see how long my Wilson lasts. One thing is for sure.........they shoot!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:44:35 PM EST
Now that we are on it a little bit. What is the expected barrel life of an AR built with say a Stainless barrel from WOA, or a Varminter? Does it change at all with the twist rate? (I'm guessing not really, as almost always the barrel wear a throat erosion problem). As I say, I plan on building an M4 soon for my plinking/fmj/cheapo needs, so this would be exclusively a target/varmint rig. At the same time, I'd like to see it stick around a few years .

I am really starting to lean toward the WOP side. I feel like I could get a truly match grade barrel, for even less than the cost of Bushmaster's Varminter barrel. (which by no means looks like a low grade barrel, it's just perhaps WOP might put a little more into making it as good as possible) Am I thinking along the right tracks?

And how much SHOULD I expect to lose in value just by not going with a Bushy barrel. However, in all honesty, if this shoots the way I hope/think it will, I prolly won't be selling it.

Gundraw
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:23:45 PM EST
I've got a Douglas with 2500 rounds through the barrel that will still shoot 190+ at 600. The X count was dropping so I build another upper to use as my primary service rifle upper. The throat is worn so far forward I can't seat an 80 grain bullet far enough out to touch the rifling. Just for reference I seat mine about .015 back from the rifling. Even with the worn throat it will still shoot 190+ at 600 and shoot Master scores across the course but once they start to loose accuracy it seems like it goes fast. From my experience barrel life for NRA Highpower seems to be from 2500 to 5000 rounds. Douglas barrels seem to go fast but they shoot very good. I'll see how long my PAC NOR on my service rifle and my Wilson on my match rifle last.
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