Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom


Barrel Fluting:


I'm planning to trade my 30/06 700 BDL in on a Remington 700 VS-SF in .308. I'll stick a Leupold Mk4 M3 10X on it with those angled Baer mount & rings. Maybe later on sell the stock & switch over to a UARS stock. Paint it up all ugly and then shoot all summer getting ready for S.M.

Jim <hampshire@mediacen.navy.mil>
Ft. Meade, MD USA - Monday, November 16, 1998 at 20:05:47 (EST) 


Jim,
Dude, take some advice and stay away from the fluted barrel Remington. They are sexy, cool and all of that but I don't understand why people are so into them.

1. THey make the gun lighter. Bad thing. A "sniper" rifle needs to be barrel heavy it makes your position steadier.

2. Increases heat disapation. Not a problem unless you plan to fighting off zulus and doing mucho rapido fire.

3. They look cool. Despite numerous rumors to the contrary, style points won't get you over in training

Almost every gunsmith worth a shit will warn you off of fluted barrels for reasons that a gunsmith could elaborate on. These reasons are concerned with stresses on the barrel.

And on the stock, check out the H&S Precision stock line.

gooch <gooch@stormmountain.com>
USA - Monday, November 16, 1998 at 22:26:56 (EST) 


Gooch, You wrote:
>Almost every gunsmith worth a shit will warn you off of fluted barrels for reasons that a >gunsmith could elaborate on. These reasons are concerned with stresses on the barrel.

In 1994 I ordered a Hart .30 cal. 1:12" barrel for my .300 Mag. Wimbledon rifle. Soon after I began to have cold feet as far as weight was concerned. We're looking at about 16 to 18 lbs. total; and I'm only a little guy. Called up one of the Harts and he said that as long as my barrel hasn't been reamed yet, there would be no problem with fluting. Believe me, the Harts will not flute a barrel if it will hurt accuracy. Their reputation is on the line with every barrel that leaves the factory.

BTW, the fluting they do is by grinding not by milling. When done in the proper order of things, fluting is not harmful at all. And this was before cryogenic treating also.

Just dug up the very first targets shot with this rifle at 100 yds (07/04/94). Light switching wind, overcast. To briefly describe the rifle it is a Hammond's built, McMillan prone stock, Hall Express action, Jewell 1.5 oz. trigger., 24X Leupold, custom dies, etc, etc, you get the picture.

Mind you, this is day one at the range. With 72.5 gr. of IMR 4831 (128.5 on the Culver) and Berger 190 VLD's the first two groups were .200" and .400"; with more vertical than horizontal. Switching to 190 gr. Sierras the next group was .450". I sure wish that I had only shot 10-shot groups and more of them. But three consecutive 5-shot groups is pretty indicative of repeatable accuracy. I shoot at quarter inch black dot for range work.

The fluting ($90.00) knocked off about a pound, but it is still too heavy for me to comfortably support in a long match. But I'm glad I did it. It would be unusable to me without the fluting.

That's all for now.
Ron N. <rcn8@accnorwalk.com>
Buckeye USA - Tuesday, November 17, 1998 at 01:56:52 (EST) 


About Barrel Flutting. I have to agree with Gooch. You dont need it on a sniper rifle. Put it this way what is easier to make perfect a round barrel or one with a bunch of slot ground into it? The answer is obvious. Flutting is popular in HighPower Matches because it cools better.... Now that is done by custom smiths and not on an assembly line. How precise do you think remington can do that. Also a HighPower rifle will generally shoot into 1/2 to 1 minute and that is all that is needed to clean. Don't buy a factory flutted barrel.

Mike M. <DMMDNLN@AOL.COM>
Berkeley, Calif USA - Tuesday, November 17, 1998 at 20:26:04 (EST) 


Hi guys,
Just my 2 cents worth on barrel fluting. Well not exactly my two, I got it from Boots. Some of the info that he sends out on his price sheet says that he seems to think fluting makes his barrel shoot a little better. I might add however, that no human being could see the difference when shooting it out of the shoulder. He is talking about bench groups. He flutes them before he rifles them, and he can do it on an already light contour unlike some of the others. I agree that the mass market ones, as well as any buttoned barrels that are fluted, should be avoided. I happen to like rifles that aren't heavy, and they don't seem to affect my shooting any.

Brian <bmurph@mail.caps.maine.edu>
USA - Tuesday, November 17, 1998 at 22:39:21 (EST) 


To Flute or not. In the past few years I have owned the following rifles 700 remingtons. I don't customize other than my own trigger work and accuracy bedding etc.NO professional customizing allowed.
standard hvy bbl .223PSS,308PSS, 220 swift .243v wood stock & another .223police model (one of the first they did.)
and stainless flutted barrels in .223,308,300win mag. (also tested a 25-06 flutted stainless and another .300 win mag that belonged to someone else in flutted barrel. I fired all these for effect and loaded all to best performance I could get. I'll spare you the details for now but the only thing I
have left is the flutted stainless 700s. Not only do they weigh less
which is an assett as far as my use goes!
All the flutteds shot better than the others and the worst flutted stainless shot better than the best round barrel. I am not suggesting that the flutted barrel is the reason but this is the results I've had. Maybe the others can be customized to shoot as good but from the factory this is the way I tested them for what it's worth and late mod. remingtons are the only thing I'm talking about. It could be the stainless (but that will be challenged) could the twist in some cases but I tried tailored loads. Or it could be that the harmonics are a bit dampened by the nature of the flutted barrel? Roll your own conclusions.

B.Rogers <brogers@elkhart.com>
USA - Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at 02:02:00 (EST) 


Gooch and Mike: About the flutd barrel. I had a good amount of time to mull over what was said about the fluted and I was going to dance on this keyboard and start to explain all the fluted attributes. But in retrospect, the both of you are absolutely correct that in SNIPER use it only requires one, maybe two shots and not sustained fire where the barrel really heats up. Cold barrel shots are the thing here. Now you really made feel bad and because 1/2 of the barrels I have are fluted. Oh well, live and learn from the logical master of his trade. Mister Gooch, that is why you are the master and I am , well, I guess, the (and I really hate to say this) ... the grasshopper.

Al Ostapowicz <aaostapowicz@worldnet.att.net>
Sitting Here humbled by the Profound Statements by Gooch in , Ohio USA - Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at 02:06:45 (EST)  


On Fluting Barrels,
Been there done that!! I've talked to more barrel maker's and gunsmith's than I care to remember on fluting, and your all right!! (In your own way). Fluting will "NOT" inhance accuracy only decrease weight. If the fluting is done correctly it will "NOT" effect the accuracy adversely. If the fluting is done after machining then the barrel must be cryoed to releive the stress put in it by the fluting.
Most gunsmiths like the fluting because it's $100 to $150 in their pocket. Unless weight is a "Critical" factor take "MISTA GOOCHS" advice and save your money. Thats why we call him "MISTA GOOCH"!!

Pat <mrbullet@hotmail.com>
USA - Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at 11:09:51 (EST) 


Yo,

Is there some disagreement that a sniper rifle should have some weight to it? When I made my post refering to the non-advantage of fluting I stated that a sniper rifle (not a hunting rifle or an across the course rifle) should have some mass to the barrel. Remington recently put out info on the M24TC and seemed to think that it was a good thing that the weight was under 10 lbs. I don't see it.

When you are shooting from a sling, weight can mentally/physically distress a shooter who can't handle the weight due to a poor position, lack of resolve or bad mental managment. But when a sniper is shooting from a supported postion such as a ruck sack, bipod etc. the weight of the rifle will help to steady the position and reduce felt recoil and muzzle flip as well as making it steadier during the range estimation process. I have shot lighter rifles such as G3's, M14's, M16's, SSG's etc that didn't have the ass that a M40A1 or a M24 has and found the relative lightness to be a distractor. At least that is what I have found.

As far as heat disapation goes, of course a sniper is concerned about heating up the barrel. But it will be very rare indeed, except during some training, when a sniper is going to be firing more than a couple of rounds at a time. We engage key selected targets only. Even in an assault we are taught to keep the rate of fire down as it is not our job to engage MANY targets, we still look for the key targets which will most effect the enemies abiltity to fight. If I shoot 3 riflemen and let the radioman go, I have failed in my mission. If I blast a squad and let their Squad leader go, I also fail. So in situations such as counter ambush, reppeling an assault on a defensive position, etc. the sniper is not going to be to concerned with the problem 95% of the time. Isn't one of the reasons for the bull barrel better heat management anyway?

Besides, I and many others have dealt just fine with extreme heat (100 plus) and rates of fire of over 1 round a minute for 30 minutes or more with plain bull barrels. Just keep the ammo out of the sun and you will be okay.

When I make comments on here it is to the LE/Military sniper community working in a field environment. You all will notice that I stay away from most of the reloading, bench rest and gunsmithing conversations because many times snipers have to compromise between what is more accurate and that which is more durable/reliable in the field. What may work fine at Perry might cost a grunt his life or at least a failure of a mission. We military and LE snipers should pay attention to what is learned by the National Match, long range and bench rest shooters but we always need to remember that there is not an automatic corrolation between the two.

Keep taking notes.
Gooch <gooch@stormmountain.com>
USA - Wednesday, November 18, 1998 at 17:06:37 (EST) 



 
Fluting - Wouldn't own it, wouldn't do it, have no use for it. Gunsmiths love it because it brings in more money! Our M24s fire more rounds rapidly during training than any sniper in his right mind would consider except to prevent a DIP. No change in impact, no change in zero, no problems. We do use sniper rifles and not some fragile rifle that a bench rest shooter, or cross the course shooter would make up. Remember guys, pick one, can't do both. Either do the sniper rifle or do the accuracy rifle, they are incomaptable. The more accurate the rifle the more fragile it is and the more problems you will have with it in a field environment. I want the weight for aid in steadying the weapon dring firing. I have never seen an equally constructed weapon with fluting beat the accuracy of a non fluted. We tested both and found the fluting to be pretty but not necessary. Fluting done badly is a disaster, ask the guy in Saudi who's sniper rifle blew at the point where the bottom of the fluting met the bottom of the groove in the rifling. Yes folks it was a custom barrel not factory! The fluting was set too deep by accident. The amount of steel between the two points was not enough to contain the pressure. As Gooch stated, he and I talk about sniping and not bench rest, cross course, reloading, or gunsmithing, just what works after doing this job since 1968.
 
Rick <RBowcher@aol.com>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 00:55:59 (EST) 

That flutting has to be done right to be worthwhile of course. I've seen it so deep it's dangerous and so shallow it's worthless. I was a hard sell myself but I have come over.
Honestly guys there is a real worthwhile reduction in heat there if you don't consider the few ounces of weight an advantage. You'd have to talk to some real techies on that. I confess! All my rifles are hvy bbls except for a few choice high mountain hunting rifles. I just thought ole Gooch was getting a little off course there and needed to splain hisself to the boy scouts out there. Rick I was 99 percent sure you knew the 300 win was different than the .308 but you come accross with so much info if I prod you a little it's worth the ass
kickin I get. One more little thing about the weight though. I think there is sure a point of diminishing returns on rifle weight. Some where the piece becomes more unwieldy and harder to repoint (slower) to bear on target. What point is that? Is the strength and training of the shooter the determination of it? Or is there a length factor in the overall weapon. (Leverage affect). Is the application the variance target (which would seem to favor heavier) to "Let's get the hell out of here Sniper work" or Mountain sheep hunting? Scratch that last one as a factor on this page.

B. Rogers <brogers@elkhart.com>
USA - Thursday, November 19, 1998 at 23:41:55 (EST) 


Fluted barrels, it would seem that removing metal from the barrel would allow it to heat up faster. I would think that for a fast two or three shots you would actually get a higher barrel temp from a fluted tube than an uncut tube. Anybody have two identical rifles, one fluted and one not that we could set the pyro on and find out?

Rich <dick2@clarkston.com>
WA USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 04:37:38 (EST) 


Enough on flutting. If it is done by a production line it is hit or miss if it will effect groups. Why take the chance on a Sniper Rifle.

Mike M. <DMMDNLN@AOL.COM>
Berkeley, Calif USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 12:17:00 (EST) 


The flutted barrel has more surface area than the round one and also is thinner. Actually the heat is disappated a bit better. Like the coolings fins on your stereo amplifier. Large blocks of metal tend to hold the heat. However certain materials such as silver or copper do conduct heat at a high rate. Aluminum is good but the steel is not really good at it. The nature is from hot to cold. Were there no barrel at all. The heat would immeadiately disappear. Actually as I see it the barrel is a barrier to the heat escaping. The Heavy barrel is stiffer and seems to use the laws of inertia (body at rest tends to stay at rest)when it's stablized by the shooter. However I should mention that when it's in motion the same forces (body in motion tends to stay in motion)making it a little slower to bear on target but a little sooner to stabilize at was pointed out. There could be a case for either as a sniper rifle. The shorter heavier barrels seems
to be better for quick work due to the fact that the leverage against the shooter is less than longer barrels so that it tends to stabilize quicker after the shooter attempts to bring it to rest. If one were to measure the outside temperature of a barrel the flutted would probably show a higher temperature sooner. But it would probably cool quicker and it could be argued that that is useless in Sniper applications and I tend to agree. Expansion rate would be a
better check. But who is to say that a rifle might not shoot better if the bore expands a bit as far as the all important group size is concerned (depending on the application). It is just less predictable if it changes. If weight were the criteria for good shooting I would tie a brick on the end of my barrel. But no thanks.

B.Rogers <brogers@elkharr.com>
USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 12:17:03 (EST) 


By the way you don't need to flute to get the same effects and cheaper. Take your barrell to the local body shop. After plugging both end have them sand blast it with heavy grit. The roughing increases the surface area such that infra red emissions are dramatically increased.

As an example fluting increases surface are by maybe 15%, this makes it lighter but for single shot it is only a detriment, for multiple shot a heavy barrell transmits the heat poorly but will absorb sveral shots before deteriorating the performance. But if you are talking a long day at the shooting gallery. Stay in the shade and increase your barrell surface aree by as much as 50% by bead blasting.

I can hear in the background: do both, don't get sand in the barrell, don't get sand in the action, how do I know enough is enough, Sarge can be found by the sand trail. All of this whispering in the New
Mexico winds.

tom <tom.scott@lmco.com>
here, there USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 12:48:38 (EST) 


Bill - Man I thank you for not reaming me a new one after that post. It came out very blunt and harsh. That was not the intent. I think I took out a bad day on you and that was uncalled for. I think it would be fun and worth while to have a few cold ones and compare notes. You have knowledge in areas that I'm sorely lacking and I'd lke to pick you brain housing. On the weight of a sniper rifle, we prefer heavy due to the positions we have to shoot out of and the heavier weapon helps. The weight is based on the point of diminishing returns. Anything over 14 - 15 pounds gets my nod for dancing on the border. Yes that is the M24! I have walked with it in my arms during Just Cause in Panama, it is not a comfortable weapon and swinging the weapon onto target from the carry position is just plain slow. However, once in a position, and supported, the swing is easy and rapid. Added to this is the fact that with the weight, the weapon "settles" onto target very nicely without the normal "jiggle" that many weapons have after a rapid swing. One of the points for aiding in the swing is where you position your weapon on the support you are using. If a swing to target is expected then position the support more to the trigger guard ( about 1/2 way), if steady is needed, then position the support more to the end of the forestock. This means it takes more movement of the butt to effect the muzzle. While when the support is positioned towards the trigger guard the butt only has to swing alittle to effect a change in the direction of the muzzle. One of the problems in the military is that all weapons must be all things. Thus the M24 is the length required to permit it to be jumped in while fully assembled. I do not know what would be the best length, because, believe it or not, it was never considered in the equation due to the jumping requirement. On strength and training, I feel that the training has more to bear than the strength aspect. The human body is great at becoming strong enough to do what is necessary for the task and the training will make the body strong enough, and teach the body to economize movement.

Again Bill I apoligize for the shortness in that post and thank you for not flaming my butt. Going to bed and dream of a free several weeks without students. They graduated today and I'm off for a whole three days!

Rick <RBowcher@aol.com>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Friday, November 20, 1998 at 23:39:49 (EST) 


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