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#5747324 - 05/16/15 10:01 PM Barrel Tuners
charlesb Online   content
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Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
It's kind of hard to imagine, but when you fire a rifle, the barrel whips around like a water hose. There's a lot less movement of course, but it doesn't take much movement to throw the bullet off at an angle, either left/right or up/down.

Barrel tuners do the same basic job as developing a special hand-load for a particular gun - It adjusts the barrel vibration so that the bullet leaves the muzzle at a "sweet spot", where the barrel in in-between whipping left or right, up or down. This greatly enhances the gun's accuracy.

The barrel tuner does this a lot faster than trying out one load after another, usually getting dialed-in within ten rounds. It does it a heck of a lot cheaper, too!

The more consistent your loads are, velocity-wise, the more good that a custom hand-load or a barrel-tuner can do for you.

With the barrel tuner, you hit the "sweet spot" by tuning the barrel, not the load. This means that it works just as well with factory loads as with hand-loads. You can get the primary advantage of hand-loading - with good quality factory rounds.

The Winchester/Browning BOSS is just a patent on a particular barrel-tuner design, not on barrel-tuners in general. I am surprised that they are not offered by more manufacturers, considering the advantages they offer. See the BOSS video on YouTube, to see what I'm talking about.



A secondary but attractive feature of a barrel tuner is that the tubular, movable weight at the end of the barrel can also serve as a muzzle-brake, or as a flash-hider. The BOSS unit provides two weights, one drilled to act as a muzzle-brake, and one that is not.

If it were up to me, there would be a BOSS unit on every rifle I own. Unfortunately, the aftermarket for muzzle-brakes is severely limited. That's a real shame, as barrel tuners are the most significant advance in rifle technology to come down the pike in many, many years.


Edited by charlesb (05/16/15 10:26 PM)
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#5747356 - 05/16/15 10:24 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Some true statements.

How long have they been around? I've known about them for 15 years.

Another reason for performing precise load development for any rifle is not only to tune the load to the barrel sine wave, but also to achieve the lowest Extreme Spread (ES). And the lowest extreme spread achieves the most consistent shooting rifle and load at any distance. A wide extreme spead, of course means a wide variance in velocity, but down range that equates to a wide spread within the vertical trajectory. Faster traveling bullet impacts higher on a target than a slower traveling bullet with the same ballistic coefficient and bullet weight.

Why don't the majority of competitive shooters use barrel tuners?
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#5747362 - 05/16/15 10:29 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: FiremanJG]
T Bone Online   happy
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Registered: 09/20/09
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Loc: Up in the cheap seats..
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG

Why don't the majority of competitive shooters use barrel tuners?


This is what I've always wondered.. Not suggesting it's a gimmick at all, but I just don't see the pro's using them..
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#5747372 - 05/16/15 10:35 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: T Bone]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: T Bone
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG

Why don't the majority of competitive shooters use barrel tuners?


This is what I've always wondered.. Not suggesting it's a gimmick at all, but I just don't see the pro's using them..


The answer is that not only are they working toward a load that leaves the barrel at the momentary pause from upward deflection to downward deflection to achieve harmony between load and barrel, but also a low extreme spread from shot to shot. So that the elevation correction at any range is always correct for the load. Then we can know that factor is removed and only have to worry about temperature and density altitude that may effect vertical dispertion, not the load.
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#5747381 - 05/16/15 10:40 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
charlesb Online   content
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Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
A lot of benchrest rimfire competitors use them. In fact, most of the aftermarket tuners made today are intended for that single purpose.

I dunno how long they've been around. I'll try and find out though, now that you brought it up. I'm sure that there is some interesting history involved.

Without a pretty low extreme spread, the tuner can't really do you much good. Same goes for handloads, of course. This is why one can't expect a tuner to give you really great accuracy with cheap (Russian) ammo.

Most of the centerfire competitive shooters rely on custom handloads to achieve the same purpose. They're missing a good bet though, as the custom loads often require compromises on velocity that would not be necessary with a tuner helping them out. They could develop a load, paying attention to extreme spread and velocity, and then let the tuner do the tuning as far as barrel harmonics are concerned.

Years ago, I designed a tuner for AR15's... To get past the Browning/Winchester patent, my tuner required the use of a dial caliper to measure and record the fore/aft settings. My idea was to include a cheap plastic vernier caliper with each tuner. Like many fellows with bright ideas though, I only made two of them for myself, and never did the negotiations necessary for production.

To make a tuner, all you really need is a 1 1/2 - 2 inches of threading on the barrel, and a tubular sleeve that can be turned to move forward or back. A lock nut to hold it in place and some way to measure and record settings, and you're in business. The heavier the sleeve, the less distance it will have to travel in order to make a difference. - Somewhere in there is a happy medium, something pretty close to the proportions that Browning came up with.



Edited by charlesb (05/16/15 10:48 PM)
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#5747473 - 05/17/15 05:35 AM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
FiremanJG Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I can absolutely see the benefit in a tuner on a rimfire.
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#5747540 - 05/17/15 08:08 AM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
dee Offline
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Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 4664
Loc: Red River way
I've seen pics of a few benchrest guns running tuners but not many and memory serves well they were open class rail guns.
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#5747560 - 05/17/15 08:25 AM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
kmon1 Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20287
Loc: Texas
Had 2 7mm-08 rifles for a while, when I got the second one it was an A-Bolt with the Boss since I wanted good accuracy with the same loads. Tuned it to the pet load for the Remmy 788 and both shot well with the same load. I got rid of the Browning since I didn't really like the muzzle break. 6 months later Browning came out with the non-ported boss.

Competitive 22 rifles were you don't reload and need all the accuracy possible are where the most tuners are used from what I have seen.
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#5747824 - 05/17/15 11:47 AM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
DStroud Offline
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Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1156
Loc: Waco
I have been using the same barrel tuner on all my recent barrels ...... His name is Derrick. Load and Shoot easy peasy. wink

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#5747842 - 05/17/15 12:03 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9398
Loc: Lewisville, TX
It's simple. The barrel tuners tune the harmonics by adjusting the counter weights on the end of the barrel. The ammo MUST stay the same, or else the tuning will change. Ammo stays the same, and barrel is adjusted.

The best way to tune the rifle is by changing the ammo, and keeping the barrel the same. This is what you are doing when you are doing load development.
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#5749227 - 05/18/15 12:34 PM Re: Barrel Tuners [Re: charlesb]
Judd Online   content


Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 10748
Loc: Sachse, TX
I've got two and played with them a bit. I've not been overly impressed as it is something else to screw with aka screw up. They aren't a move and forget deal...you need to really spend some time burning powder in different conditions and figure out where it needs to be set during each humidity/temp/wind condition.

I am without doubt it can/will tighten a good barrels groups up...but it comes with a cost that isn't worth it to me.
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