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DizzyJ

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For those who shoot precision rifle, who would you recommend for getting a top of the line precision barrel for long and short range precision/accuracy?

Ive done just a small amount of research on this and see some reoccurring names pop up.
Bartlien
krieger
Hawk Hill
Mcgowen
And others I’m not as familiar with.

Who do the top shooters use?
Have you had experience using any of the above, or another name that you feel is as good or better than the ones listed?

If so, who and why would you choose them?

Thanks in advance!
 
Add Lilja to the mix.
I have three McGowens, two Wilson Arms, and had one Hart (shot out). Any one of them will do and there might be a handful of shooters in a thousand who can shoot their gun to the limit of its accuracy.
I chose McGowen back in 2015 because of their availability. Excellent customer service. No idea what their turn-around is now. All three will out-shoot me any day.
The smith who threaded and chambered my Wilson Arms said they were really nice - concentric, very little runout on either end, great looking bore. WA is a CT company, not to be confused with Wilson Combat, who also makes fantastic barrels.
I have also read shooters write good reviews of Lothar Walther barrels.
You'll find articles on what the top shooters use in BR, F-T/R, PRS and so forth. AccurateShooter.com has excellent info on the main pages (not forum). Then you get into the opinionated stuff in the forums, etc.
@fclassjohn here on this forum is also on Accurate Shooter and is local to the PNW. He posts many extremely informative videos on gear. Not sure if he has done any on barrels.

So, what do you want to do with it, what action are you mating it to? Shouldered or barrel nut? What caliber? It's a rabbit hole !
 

DizzyJ

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Add Lilja to the mix.
I have three McGowens, two Wilson Arms, and had one Hart (shot out). Any one of them will do and there might be a handful of shooters in a thousand who can shoot their gun to the limit of its accuracy.
I chose McGowen back in 2015 because of their availability. Excellent customer service. No idea what their turn-around is now. All three will out-shoot me any day.
The smith who threaded and chambered my Wilson Arms said they were really nice - concentric, very little runout on either end, great looking bore. WA is a CT company, not to be confused with Wilson Combat, who also makes fantastic barrels.
I have also read shooters write good reviews of Lothar Walther barrels.
You'll find articles on what the top shooters use in BR, F-T/R, PRS and so forth. AccurateShooter.com has excellent info on the main pages (not forum). Then you get into the opinionated stuff in the forums, etc.
@fclassjohn here on this forum is also on Accurate Shooter and is local to the PNW. He posts many extremely informative videos on gear. Not sure if he has done any on barrels.

So, what do you want to do with it, what action are you mating it to? Shouldered or barrel nut? What caliber? It's a rabbit hole !
Accurate shooter is one of the places I started. Thank you for that reference! I’ve read many valuable articles through them over the years.

I was thinking a Savage action, but I haven’t really gotten that far yet to be honest. I’ve had extremely good luck with every savage rifle I’ve owned and loaded for, but I know there are steps up from them especially when the barrel warms up, cools down, etc etc.

I’m open to any and all pertinent info and advice.
 
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DizzyJ

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And I’ve shot Rock River predator barrels (Wilson I believe), and they grouped even factory ammo surprisingly well.

Guess I’m looking for the best of the best, or at least a level where you can’t really tell them apart performance wise.
 
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Guess I’m looking for the best of the best,
LOL, are you trying to troll and draw out all the barrel/action/trigger snobs? It's gotta be a BAT and Lilja.... J/K
Edit - Though I haven't spent much time there, I understand there's also a lot of good info on Benchrest central.
 

DizzyJ

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LOL, are you trying to troll and draw out all the barrel/action/trigger snobs? It's gotta be a BAT and Lilja.... J/K
Edit - Though I haven't spent much time there, I understand there's also a lot of good info on Benchrest central.
Surely there’s some common top barrel maker names everyone agrees on?
 

DizzyJ

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Edit - forgot, have a X-caliber sitting on the shelf that I haven't chambered yet....
Good read. They had a similar article I read earlier on the precision barrel makers. This seemed to have even more information.
 

ron

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For Highpower Rifle (AR) competition Bartlein and Krieger are the most popular. But it matters
very much who chambers the barrel. White Oak Armament (WOA) and Compass Lake Engineering
(CLE) are the 2 company's that most competitor's use. Last barrel I bought was a Krieger with a
CLE chamber rather than a Wylde chamber. Longer barrel life.
 
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DizzyJ

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For Highpower Rifle competition Bartlein and Krieger are the most popular. But it matters
very much who chambers the barrel. White Oak Armament (WOA) and Compass Lake Engineering
(CLE) are the 2 company's that most competitor's use. Last barrel I bought was a Krieger with a
CLE chamber rather than a Wylde chamber. Longer barrel life.
So I would buy the barrel blank from the manufacturer and then send it off to one of these two outfits?
 

ron

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So I would buy the barrel blank from the manufacturer and then send it off to one of these two outfits?
No both company's chamber barrels in several different manufactures and twist rate. The
exspensive barrels Bartlein and Krieger will last more rounds but the WOA $225 barrel will
shoot just as well.

 

DizzyJ

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Sounds like this may require a new reciever as well. For some reason I thought it would be a barrel purchase and then install on a current action. Perhaps that’s not a good route to go?
 

ron

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No you can put it on any spec upper receiver, A4 or A2. Just order the right barrel feed ramps matching your upper.
I used a new Rock River A4 receiver because I Loctite the barrel to the receiver.;)o_O
 

DizzyJ

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No you can put it on any spec upper receiver, A4 or A2. Just order the right barrel feed ramps matching your upper.
I used a new Rock River A4 receiver because I Loctite the barrel to the receiver.;)o_O
Probably didn’t clearly state my intentions. Looking at doing this with a bolt action rifle. :)
 
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I have excellent results with the Proof Research stainless steel barrels.
One on a Zermatt Origin action in 6mm ARC is 1/4 MOA regularly.
One on a Surgeon RSR in 6.5 Creed that owns everything inside 1400 yards and is capable to a mile.
One on a Rim-X in 22 LR that is not too ammo sensitive like most precision rimfire guns are.
Another on my primary hunting rifle in 7mm-08 (this one is carbon fiber to save weight).
Getting another Proof Carbon Fiber blank spun up on a Tikka action in 308 Win in a short 16.5" length right now.

I have used Lilja, Bartlein, Hart, Shilen, Douglass, Krieger, Benchmark and Brux. All are quite good, but I think the gunsmith is more of a deciding factor in the performace of the finished rifle.
 

DizzyJ

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I guess the next question would be what gunsmith to chamber a precision barrel if you staked your success on it?

This is assuming the place you bought the barrel from didn’t chamber it, etc.
 
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FWIW each discipline tends to have its go-to barrels from my experience. In F-Class it's Brux, Bartlein and Krieger. High Power is mostly the same, in PRS there's a little overlap but there's other brands that stand out and in Benchrest it's totally different barrels that are preferred. Some barrel manufactures seem to cross more disciplines but I don't know any manufacturer who is dominant in every discipline.

But no matter how good the barrel, the gunsmith is ultimately going to dictate its true potential. A wonky chamber job and the barrel is useless for precision purposes.
 
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I went with McGowen for a Savage hunting rifle I put together. They did excellent work, can't say enough good things about them. It's better than me shooting off hand. Right at an inch from bags lobbing 250 gr 35 Whelen Remington factory ammo, good enough for elk this year. I can only assume one shooting higher BC projectiles would be great, I'm also shaky McGee, even at the bench. Lead time for me was just north of 12 weeks when I ordered it last October. They had to wait for the temperature to come up before they could blue it.
 
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