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Thread: Tension/Compression barrels, water-cooled, etc

  1. #1
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    Tension/Compression barrels, water-cooled, etc

    For yall that have messed around with tension or compression barrel setups, along with water cooled, did they show promise? Would you say that they have the ability to shoot better than the barrel could have naked with some load tuning?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhotrod View Post
    For yall that have messed around with tension or compression barrel setups, along with water cooled, did they show promise? Would you say that they have the ability to shoot better than the barrel could have naked with some load tuning?
    I never messed with a water cooled barrel, but did build a tensioned barrel for my Rail Gun.

    It was a lot of work for no appreciable gain.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhotrod View Post
    For yall that have messed around with tension or compression barrel setups, along with water cooled, did they show promise? Would you say that they have the ability to shoot better than the barrel could have naked with some load tuning?
    Not exactly what you're asking about, I'm sure...but, I wrapped .080(IIRC) thick heat shrink tubing on the full length of a barrel once. That barrel could not be made to shoot until I cut it off. Didn't matter if I tuned by powder charge/type or the tuner. It just would not shoot with that on there.

    Like I said, it's probably not specifically what you're asking about but I still found it interesting. --Mike
    Last edited by mwezell; 05-19-2017 at 09:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    heat shrink

    Quote Originally Posted by mwezell View Post
    Not exactly what you're asking about, I'm sure...but, I tried .080(IIRC) thick heat shrink tubing on a barrel once. That barrel could not be made to shoot until I cut it off. Didn't matter if I tuned by powder charge/type or the tuner. It just would not shoot with that on there.

    Like I said, it's probably not specifically what you're asking about but I still found it interesting. --Mike
    very interesting thanks for posting

  5. #5
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    No doubt Mr Ezell, any seemingly wacky crazy experiments with stretching, compressing, cooling, or any sort of tube or wrapping your barrel with something are welcome. Im just curious to see what all people have done, and what they learned from it.

    Do yall think Mr Pendergrafts water cooled setup shot the way it did due to his tension/cooled setup, or could the same thing have been acclompished regardless of the tension being there and it was more a testament to good barrel + good bullets/load?

    Also, slightly off topic, do yall think theres any advantage to a slightly tapered bore, or bit of a choke at the muzzle like they do with the Anschutz and other rimfires? Ive heard most all Mullerworks barrels are this way.
    Last edited by jbhotrod; 05-20-2017 at 12:33 AM.

  6. #6
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    tension Compression barrels water cooled etc

    I remember SKIP OTTO having a water jacket on his rai gun.
    He did very well with it.
    since his passing someone has bought that rig, Maybe he will chime in about it.

  7. #7
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    Taper in barrels

    Easy way to test taper in barrels, if you have the capability is to obtain a hammer forged barrel, lap it, then reduce the diameter at the muzzle end, if you want a gradual reduction/choke in the interior, reduce the diameter along a taper.

    The stresses resultant from hammer forging will cause a reduction in internal diameter.

    There are a series of interesting article by Vernon Briggs, James Higley and Brian Vuksanovich entitled "Experiments with Hammer Forged Barrels", link to the second series provided,
    "http://www.learningace.com/doc/2610877/b7eec6600a88a9be733a3c57b884a2e2/experiments-with-hammer-forged-barrels-on-ar-15s-part-ii"

    It appears Vernon Briggs is responsible for overseeing the hammer forging process at Ruger for their barrels, while the latter two are gun loving college professors!

    Also interesting is there is a tuner mounted on the end of the barrel in photos!

    The series of articles are an interesting read on the process. To note in their accuracy testing, they lap the barrels. The series of articles can also be found in copies of Precision Shooting Magazine over a period of years.

    Link to 1st article: https://www.scribd.com/doc/117177767...Forged-Barrels

    Other articles:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/1171...arrelsonAR-15s
    Last edited by papadetail; 05-20-2017 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Added more links

  8. #8
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    With centerfire calibers, there is enough pressure to keep the bullet obturated to fit the bore..which also expands under these pressures. While I don't think a belled muzzle is a desirable trait for a barrel , I don't think a "choke" is necessary. I think a uniform bore diameter and twist rate are very important aspects of a good barrel, though. Some likely feel differently about this. The rf crowd is very big on taper lapping. Again, I think it's much less critical to have a choke than to have uniformity, but, they are dealing with much lower muzzle pressures than with cf and I can see it being more debatable in that game. Barrel length, of course, plays a role in muzzle pressures, too. FWIW. Just something else to ponder and another interesting aspect of the game.

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    I think the only thing anybody has learned has been that if it won't shoot well enough to win....get another one. Sure, folks have won matches by doing something "different" with their rifles but it's the exception rather than the rule. I suppose what I'm trying to say here is that it costs a lot of money, more money, to do it differently than the standard rifle and it's money not well spent in the long run. Any rifle that costs more to rebarrel, or is more difficult, than the "standard" rifle is just that...more expensive or more difficult. Again, some of the "different" rifles shoot quite well but so do some of the "run of the mill" rifles.

    Nobody has found the Holy Grail. I get the impression that folks are close to that little "something" that makes a rifle shoot very well but we're dealing with so many variables it may be lost in the noise. What I learned in the years I spent shooting groups is that if you have a good shooting rifle DO NOT MESS WITH IT. Get a new barrel and if that one won't shoot, get another one but do not fix on the rifle itself just because you can.

    And....NO...it's not the competitor...it's the rifle. There's basically two kinds of "losses" at a given match One is where the guy shot a bad condition and the other is the guy that was beat before he left home.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for replying yall. How about barrel length? Say you took the best shooting rifle/barrel/scope ya ever had, do you think it would shoot worse if the barrel was the same in every way except for being longer? And I aint talking about shooting worse due to sketchy tracking and balance. Specifically the barrel's mechanical accuracy, would it be worse at say 26-28"?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbhotrod View Post
    Thanks for replying yall. How about barrel length? Say you took the best shooting rifle/barrel/scope ya ever had, do you think it would shoot worse if the barrel was the same in every way except for being longer? And I aint talking about shooting worse due to sketchy tracking and balance. Specifically the barrel's mechanical accuracy, would it be worse at say 26-28"?
    I think we gain little or nothing from length, generally speaking and as most people think, when talking about bbl length. But, I do think that every good barrel has sweet spots, just like with tuners. But I don't think we can simply state matter of factly that any given length is better than another..i.e., 24 being better than 23 or 25 inches long. Some people have had success with crowning back a bit at a time. I think this can have merit but if it's like tuners, a very small change can make a big difference.

    One of, if not the very best, barrel I've ever had..I was the third owner of. Both previous owners said the barrel did not perform for them, on their rifle, in their stock, on their rests..yada, yada. All I did was set it back and re chambered it and it flat came alive! I didn't do anything special..just set it back enough to get rid of the existing tenon and chamber. Whatever it is that happened, that barrel was SPECIAL afterward. I wonder how many truly great barrels are discounted too soon. Until we know what made the difference, it's a long and expensive road to duplicate, IMO. That barrel had a lot to do with me getting into testing and making tuners. They aren't all of it, but I think tuners are the right direction to look in, for what happened with that barrel. When something special like that happens, I think it's the whole package working well together to make it happen, though...not just a tuner or barrel or stock...etc.

  12. #12
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    Most of us are in the 100/200/300 yard game. Barrel length is of little consequence at these yardages, as all it does is offer a little more velocity.

    One of the best LV 6PPC barrels I have is down to 19 1/4 inches. It still shoots over 3400 fps with my standard load.

    I have a 30BR barrel that is down to just under 20 inches. It still might be the best barrel I have. It's on it's 3D setback. It still shoots an average 3020 fps with the load I use.

    My 1-8 twist 6BR has a 27 inch barrel. I left it long to simply to get as much velocity from the 100+ grn bullets out of the 6BR case. I built it specifically to shoot out past 300 years, but have won a 200 yard and a 300 yard NBRSA Registered VFS Match with it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Most of us are in the 100/200/300 yard game. Barrel length is of little consequence at these yardages, as all it does is offer a little more velocity.

    One of the best LV 6PPC barrels I have is down to 19 1/4 inches. It still shoots over 3400 fps with my standard load.

    I have a 30BR barrel that is down to just under 20 inches. It still might be the best barrel I have. It's on it's 3D setback. It still shoots an average 3020 fps with the load I use.

    My 1-8 twist 6BR has a 27 inch barrel. I left it long to simply to get as much velocity from the 100+ grn bullets out of the 6BR case. I built it specifically to shoot out past 300 years, but have won a 200 yard and a 300 yard NBRSA Registered VFS Match with it.
    Exactly Mr Jackie. But what I meant and I guess I shouldve framed the question as, is the reason ~20" barrels are the most popular due to mostly making weight? Or could one say that more often than not, that 19.25" that shoots so well(as an example) may not be so hot as a 28"er? Personally I dont think barrel stiffness helps accuracy but for the purposes of discussion lets say that when we stretched your 19.25" barrel to 28 we also increase the diameter accordingly to match the stiffness it had as a shorty. Are the short barrels inherently easier to tune, inherently shoot better, etc? Would we see the same groups we do now, if rules mandated like a 26 or 28+ inch barrel? Basically, why has BR gravitated to the shorties? Would yall say its mostly to make weight while still taking advantage of decently heavy profiles/contours or is there more to it?

  14. #14
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    I'm pretty sure folks build rifles to make weight first and then shoot well secondly. I has to make weight but it doesn't have to shoot well. There's 10lb rifles out there that will shoot better than many unlimited rifles and given the right circumstances...better than most.

  15. #15
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    tension Compression barrels water cooled etc

    The 20 inch stiff short barrels came into vogue in the 70's with the Remington 40x BR series of rifles.

    There was a lot of experimenting at the time but the 20 inch was mainly to make weight with the wood stocks at the time.


    20 inch barrels seemed to improve accuracy at the time a Short stiff tube was popular, and necessary to make weight in the 10.5 pound class .

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