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Posted: 1/5/2005 3:49:53 PM EDT
What companies out there produce high quality stainless steel barrels for AR's?
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 4:02:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 4:38:05 PM EDT
I have had really great results with Olympic Arms button rifled and broach-cut SUM (StainlessUltraMatch) barrels in both .17 Rem and .223 Rem. Excellent barrels for the $$$.
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 4:52:52 PM EDT
i'm considering a stainless barrell, what are the PRO's & CON's compared to chrome lined?
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 7:26:03 PM EDT
The RRA barrels are a great barrel for the money.  I like my Oly SUM barrels but they raised the price a year or so ago and they are not as a good a deal.

If you're using it for anything important then you might want to spend the money for a Douglas, Krieger, etc.
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 8:50:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2005 8:53:49 PM EDT by StormSurge]

i'm considering a stainless barrell, what are the PRO's & CON's compared to chrome lined?



Stainless:

    Pro:

Steel is soft, so can be machined and finished to high standards.
           
            They are all the rage now.

    Con:

Steel is soft, thus they are easily damaged by cleaning and attacked by some solvents.

             Wear out more quickly than chromed.

             Expensive.

             Despite the name, WILL rust.

*****

Chrome lined:

       Pro:

              Proper barrel steel and chrome plating will make it last longer.

               Quality from some manufactures comparable to stainless.

               Less expensive.

       Con:

               Not currently "in" with the flash fad crowd at the moment.

             

                 
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 9:18:18 PM EDT
There are multiple vendors who will sell stainless match barrels (or uppers) and basically guarantee they'll shoot better than 1 MOA.

Try to find a vendor selling a chrome-lined barrel with the same kind of assurance.

-z
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 9:53:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2005 9:54:21 PM EDT by dragonfd3s]
Stainless steel is extremely hard and strong compared to regular steel, not soft as was suggested.

Stainless Steel will also prevent rusting better than regular steel and is much more durable, but as was stated it can rust depending on the quality.

Stainless steel will also dissipate heat faster than steel

Stainless steel will resist warping under rapid fire more than steel will. (It will however start to glow sooner)
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 4:50:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 5:03:48 AM EDT
I found this interesting: yarchive.net/gun/barrel/barrel_steel.html
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 5:58:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2005 5:59:26 AM EDT by _DR]

Originally Posted By dragonfd3s:
Stainless steel is extremely hard and strong compared to regular steel, not soft as was suggested.

Stainless Steel will also prevent rusting better than regular steel and is much more durable, but as was stated it can rust depending on the quality.

Stainless steel will also dissipate heat faster than steel

Stainless steel will resist warping under rapid fire more than steel will. (It will however start to glow sooner)



Well sort of - if you do a bit of metallurgical research you can see that 416 stainless is a much softer grade of stainless steel than say, 410 stainless. Most barrels are made of 416 stainless. This is necessary otherwise it is more difficult to machine. I have seen 410 stainless barrels manufactured and for sale, but these tend to be very expensive and very few. The chrome lining in a chrome lined barrel is actually much harder than any weapons grade stainless steel since it contains a much higher quantity of chromium in its alloy than does either 410 or 416 stainless steel.
Link Posted: 1/6/2005 8:23:25 PM EDT
Stainless:

Con: Does not do well in extreme cold weather. May fail catastrophically.


*****

But, of course, like they said, it all depends on what you want it for.

If yours is for SHTF work, and we go into another Ice Age, that could mean trouble...

*****

But, consider that stainless is just the latest fad, mainly because of the new SDM/DMR models now entering service. But, why were these barrels adopted? Because the US military still confuses sniping with target shooting, and the specs for these barrels came from the target community, NOT the sniping community.

The new Army spec SDM/DMR barrels are the same as used in KD competition and are made to National Match spec. That means 1.1 inch diameter under the handguards...YERY heavy, great for the firing line, but not so good for the field.

The SPR, on the other habnd, came from the sniper community, and is .820 diameter under the handguards: a good compromise between weight and accuracy potential IMHO & YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 11:05:45 PM EDT
Storm

anyone you would recommend for good accurate 20-inch SPR barrels or uppers?
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:27:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
Stainless:

Con: Does not do well in extreme cold weather. May fail catastrophically.



Please explain further.  I have never heard that before.  What is considered extreme cold weather?  I regularly shoot in -10 to 15 degree temperatures.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 5:52:30 AM EDT
Wilson SS match barrels are very accurate as well.  I have had extremely good luck with the ones I have purchased from RRA.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 6:02:05 AM EDT
I have a Krieger. While working up some handloads yesterday I shot some Hornady 55 grain Vmax factory ammo and 5 shots in a .436 "hole at 100 yards
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 6:03:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 6:04:37 AM EDT by AR-shoot-r]

Originally Posted By rockytherotty:
Wilson SS match barrels are very accurate as well.  I have had extremely good luck with the ones I have purchased from RRA.


+1  
I bought a Rock River stainless steel heavy barrel directly from Rock River this summer.  I bought it for a DCM type upper I built to use in my high power league.  It was a 1/8, 20" post-ban.  The thing shot outstanding with regular Federal XM193 ammo.  I was able to get 1" groups @100yds and even a few 3/4" groups with open  NM sights.  That's not bad in my book and the barrel cost a heck of alot less than a krieger.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 7:26:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 7:37:28 AM EDT by mongo001]

Originally Posted By elokoman:
Storm

anyone you would recommend for good accurate 20-inch SPR barrels or uppers?



I don't think you will find a barrel labeled "SPR profile" in 20".  You could take the SPR barrel specs and have a 20" turned to those specs, with the extra 2" of length added and configured as you please.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 7:33:37 AM EDT
I have been getting some good groups at a 100 yards with a 20 inch SS barrel bought from RRA.
When I get the time and the weather gets behind me I will start going out to 200 and 300 yards.
I think Willson makes RRA barrels for them
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 7:53:26 AM EDT

Storm

anyone you would recommend for good accurate 20-inch SPR barrels or uppers?



Mongo had it right; if you want a 20" SPR you will have to have one custom made. In fact I am having this done right now for my "SPR twins"; one of these will be 24" and the other will be 16". I decided not jump on the Stainless bandwagon, as I have always had very good results from standard Bushmaster chromed barrels. Depends on what you want the rifles for, of course; mine are meant to be more of a combat rifle that a target shooter, so I opted for SPR type barrels (.820 vs 1.1") using standard chrome barrels for durability.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted By StormSurge:
Stainless:

Con: Does not do well in extreme cold weather. May fail catastrophically.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Please explain further. I have never heard that before. What is considered extreme cold weather? I regularly shoot in -10 to 15 degree temperatures.



I got this info from a metalurgist.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:33:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 8:38:33 AM EDT by Stickman]
So what is considered "extreme" temps?  

One of the continuing problems on this board is people posting info that they heard, but being unable to provide any real information.  A comment stated as gospel truth provides concern for a portion of SS users, but "Extreme temps" can be anything from -30 to a shooter in Alaska, to +30 to a shooter in the south.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:39:34 AM EDT
True.

I will get the relevant information and post it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:48:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dragonfd3s:
Stainless steel is extremely hard and strong compared to regular steel, not soft as was suggested.

Stainless Steel will also prevent rusting better than regular steel and is much more durable, but as was stated it can rust depending on the quality.

Stainless steel will also dissipate heat faster than steel

Stainless steel will resist warping under rapid fire more than steel will. (It will however start to glow sooner)



There ARE different grades of stainless.  Buyer beware.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:50:15 AM EDT

Here you go:

From: Bart Bobbitt <bartb@hpfcmgw.fc.hp.com>
Subject: Stainless Barrels vs. Cold Weather

Several arms companies have recently offered hunting rifles with a
stainless steel barrel.  Here's some cautionary information about
stainless steel barrels.

When the temperature goes down, stainless steel has less fatigue
resistance.  Its physical properties drop off with temperature.
There have been instances of stainless barrels in hunting rifles
bursting when the ambient temperature is around zero degrees, or
less.

Some custom barrel makers specifically caution against using their
stainless barrels in hunting rifles.  One (Krieger) doesn't even
make sporting/hunting barrels in stainless steel.  In a conversation
with B.J. Obermeyer some years ago, he told me that some of his
stainless barrels were installed in hunting rifles and used in
Alaska winter-time hunts.  Some of these barrels burst when fired.

Chrome-moly (i.e., type 4140 or 4150) barrels maintain their fatigue
resistance very well in really cold temperatures.  Stainless steel
(i.e, type 416R), typically used for rifle barrels, is the really
cold-weather culprit.

I'm wondering if anyone who has bought a new rifle with a stainless
steel barrel has noticed any cautions in printed material supplied
with the rifle.  Even more so, I'm wondering if rifle makers even
concern themselves with this issue.

BB
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:53:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dragonfd3s:
Stainless steel is extremely hard and strong compared to regular steel, not soft as was suggested.

Stainless Steel will also prevent rusting better than regular steel and is much more durable, but as was stated it can rust depending on the quality.

Stainless steel will also dissipate heat faster than steel

Stainless steel will resist warping under rapid fire more than steel will. (It will however start to glow sooner)


AR barrels are'nt made out of "regular" steel.  A good barrel is made out of chrome moly and chrome moly is more durable and stronger than stainless steel.  Stainless steel barrels are the most accurate, but the least durable when compared to a chrome moly barrel or a quality chrome lined barrel.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:53:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 8:55:07 AM EDT by StormSurge]
And:

Stainless steel was originally developed around the turn of the century and
its first application was in rifle barrels, the alloy is 410.  This is a
heat-treatable martinsitic grade of stainless that is still used today in
many applications.  Later a more machinable alloy was developed by adding
free machining additives to 410, this new alloy is 416.  A slightly more
refined version of 416 is now used by most of the custom barrel makers in
this country, 416R.  I have no idea what stainless alloy is used for pistol
barrels.

The bore life of stainless barrels depends alot on the particular
alloy and the hardness, the method by which the barrel is made, and the
presence of machining additives.  In general the use of selium or
sulphur would weigh against use of stainless in high stressed
environments due to poor notching characteristics. as typical alloys
like 416R while offering mirror finish machining, have failed when used
in M14 rifle barrels and other applications where exterior machining or
welding (as for the operating rod guide on an M14) was done.  This
would also suggest against use of stainless in hot belted magnums such
as the .300 Win. or 7 mm Mag. in light sporter barrels because the
presence of sulphide stringers, which could act as stress risers, could
affect ultimate strength.  Most button rifled stainless barrel are only
about 20-24 Rockwell C, whereas the lower sulphur grades which are
hammer forged are usually about .006 max. sulphur - nuclear grade
material, and are much stronger.  When I was at Ruger we used a type
415 stainless for .44 Mag. Redhawk barrels and cylinders, of Rc 35
Min., and this was incredibly strong stuff.  I don't know anybody else
except Steyr and HK who make barrels out of steel of this cleanliness.

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:01:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zak-Smith:
There are multiple vendors who will sell stainless match barrels (or uppers) and basically guarantee they'll shoot better than 1 MOA.

Try to find a vendor selling a chrome-lined barrel with the same kind of assurance.

-z

RIGHTON ZAK,,,,
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:57:05 AM EDT
OK, so what temps are extreme?  This is still unanswered.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:18:57 PM EDT
From: Bart Bobbitt <bartb@hpfcmgw.fc.hp.com>
Subject: Stainless Barrels vs. Cold Weather

Several arms companies have recently offered hunting rifles with a
stainless steel barrel. Here's some cautionary information about
stainless steel barrels.

When the temperature goes down, stainless steel has less fatigue
resistance. Its physical properties drop off with temperature.
There have been instances of stainless barrels in hunting rifles
bursting when the ambient temperature is around zero degrees, or
less.


Some custom barrel makers specifically caution against using their
stainless barrels in hunting rifles. One (Krieger) doesn't even
make sporting/hunting barrels in stainless steel. In a conversation
with B.J. Obermeyer some years ago, he told me that some of his
stainless barrels were installed in hunting rifles and used in
Alaska winter-time hunts. Some of these barrels burst when fired.

Chrome-moly (i.e., type 4140 or 4150) barrels maintain their fatigue
resistance very well in really cold temperatures. Stainless steel
(i.e, type 416R), typically used for rifle barrels, is the really
cold-weather culprit.

I'm wondering if anyone who has bought a new rifle with a stainless
steel barrel has noticed any cautions in printed material supplied
with the rifle. Even more so, I'm wondering if rifle makers even
concern themselves with this issue.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:45:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chewbacca:
OK, so what temps are extreme?  This is still unanswered.



Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:51:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 8:57:18 PM EDT by Zak-Smith]
As the virtual poster-boy for SS AR barrels (every one of mine is SS except the 16" MRP), I'm happy to do testing.  However, in the absense of one of my barrels blowing up at 0 or 20F, I don't think we'll learn anything.  (ETA: actually, I could construct a reasonably scientific destructive test, but it would be much more expensive.)

The SPR has a stainless barrel. Hasn't it been used in very cold conditions without blowing up?

Doesn't the M24 have a stainless barrel? (Remington says 416R for their M-24)   Those don't blow up in cold weather, do they?

The only contemporary SS barrels I've heard about exploding (without an ammo or headspace problem) were a certain batch of Sako barrels which had sulphur string defects in the metallurgy.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:54:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zak-Smith:
The only contemporary SS barrels I've heard about exploding (without an ammo or headspace problem) were a certain batch of Sako barrels which had sulphur string defects in the metallurgy.



Well said. And it oes without saying that such an inclusion would have KB any barrel of any material at any temperature.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:35:58 AM EDT
+1 Zak
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 4:40:35 PM EDT
+1 zak
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 5:11:29 PM EDT
OK guys I hope you are happy with your shiny stainless steel barrels. I tried to talk you out of them.

But, after the Ice Age sets in with full force, and you show up with burst barrels, don't expect any sympathy from me as the outlaw bikers/JBTs/zombies stage a mass attack...
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 5:59:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
OK guys I hope you are happy with your shiny stainless steel barrels. I tried to talk you out of them.

But, after the Ice Age sets in with full force, and you show up with burst barrels, don't expect any sympathy from me as the outlaw bikers/JBTs/zombies stage a mass attack...



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