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Mar 25th, 2012
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SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? #7024460
01/04/18 03:58 PM
01/04/18 03:58 PM
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BigDad Offline OP
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I'm about to re-barrel one of my Savage (Stevens 200) rifles to 6.5X55 SE, 1:8 twist, 22 heavy sporter contour and Im trying to decide if I should go with Stainless or Carbon Steel (Chrome Moly). Use will be long range target shooting and medium range hunting. I'm in to performance not aesthetics so finish and appearance is not a major concern. Cost seems to be similar between SS and CS from most of the barrel manufacturers depending on finish.

The questions I have are:
Durability will one out last the other?
Accuracy is one potentially more accurate that the other?
Cleaning is one easier to clean that the other?

Id also like to hear any other feedback you may have.


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7024614
01/04/18 05:13 PM
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My understanding is stainless is "tougher" so I always buy stainless. Maybe someone with more metallurgical knowledge can confirm or deny that.

I've not seen one be more precise shooting than the other.

Stainless is not "rust-proof", but it is rust resistant. I've left fouled barrels in the safe for 10 months. Pull them out, and they are zeroed on a dime in two shots. Can a carbon barrel do that? I can't say.

The only difference I have noticed in getting one type barrel clean over another, is cut rifled versus button rifled. Seems the cut-rifled requires less passes to get clean patches.



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Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7024634
01/04/18 05:33 PM
01/04/18 05:33 PM
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Stainless is much easier to clean/de-foul than carbon steel.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7024652
01/04/18 05:42 PM
01/04/18 05:42 PM
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Stainless is softer than carbon steel

SS preferred for its corrosion resistant

You will wear out the internal grooves before rust /
corrosion becomes a problem (if basic care in place )

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7024693
01/04/18 06:10 PM
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Speaking of rifling, is 5R preferred over 6 groove or visa versa? I've read that 5R lowers pressure due to lands/grooves offsetting each other.


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7025000
01/04/18 09:50 PM
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6.5x55 is just a Creedmoor wannabe. Get the original. Buy a 6.5 Creedmoor. bolt


Scott
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7025089
01/04/18 10:43 PM
01/04/18 10:43 PM
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I"m a SS kind of guy.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: scottfromdallas] #7026027
01/05/18 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
6.5x55 is just a Creedmoor wannabe. Get the original. Buy a 6.5 Creedmoor. bolt


I know, the Creedmoor is the be all end all, yawn. smirk I have a long action and I'm an avid reloader so I'm choosing the 6.5X55, a little extra case capacity and will feed better in my rifle.


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026056
01/05/18 04:06 PM
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Also, I'm old and nostalgic. smile


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Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026084
01/05/18 04:21 PM
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All of the high-end barrel mfgs use stainless pretty exclusively, if that says anything. As far as end-user feedback goes, I don't believe anyone that says they can tell a discernible difference between Stainless and Carbon steel.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026100
01/05/18 04:35 PM
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Seems as though if there is a difference it is negligible at most. I would go with stainless every time just for corrosion resistance.


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Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026111
01/05/18 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: BigDad
Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
6.5x55 is just a Creedmoor wannabe. Get the original. Buy a 6.5 Creedmoor. bolt


I know, the Creedmoor is the be all end all, yawn. smirk I have a long action and I'm an avid reloader so I'm choosing the 6.5X55, a little extra case capacity and will feed better in my rifle.

Good choice. I can't think of anything the Creedmoor will do that the Swede can't. I didn't look at the numbers but with that longer case, I'll bet the Swede can do some things the Creedmoor can't, but what do I know. I didn't look at brass availability either. That's the only concern I can think of and I doubt it's an issue.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026233
01/05/18 06:23 PM
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I've decided to go stainless. I think I'm gong to give X-caliber barrels a try. They're giving away a free muzzle brake with the purchase of a pre-fit barrel.

Regarding 6.5x55 brass, Lapua makes it and I don't see them stopping anytime soon. I really like their brass and get a lot more firings out of it than most other brass.


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026607
01/05/18 11:45 PM
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BigDad,

I only have two 6.5s and they are both 6.5x55s. I have a Ruger and CZ full stock.


Scott
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026616
01/05/18 11:49 PM
01/05/18 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Stainless is softer than carbon steel


There are a ton of variables, but as a whole that is incorrect.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: scottfromdallas] #7026676
01/06/18 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: scottfromdallas
BigDad,

I only have two 6.5s and they are both 6.5x55s. I have a Ruger and CZ full stock.


How do they shoot?


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026731
01/06/18 01:44 AM
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CZ shot well right from the box. Has the set trigger which brings the pull down to a hair trigger. It's a 1 in 8.6 twist with a 20.5" barrel. I did load development about 5 years ago and haven't shot it in a few years. Killed a deer and a bobcat with the old fashioned 155 Lapua Mega. I also tried various 140s and it worked well. The only bullet that would stabilize was the long 160 Woodleigh. You could see the keyhole in the target.

I just started working with the Ruger again. I gave up about 2 years ago. The trigger was 8.5 lbs. I took it to a gunsmith and he made it worse. Now it pulls between 4.5 lbs and 10+ lbs. It's all over the place. They guy didn't charge me for it. I finally bought a Timney and it came this week. I'm going to get it installed and see how it shoots. I have 3 other Ruger 77s and they generally shoot very well with a little bedding and trigger work. Ruger is 1 in 8 so should be good with any 6.5 bullet.

I did all my load development for my 257R and my 6.5x55 with H4350 so I'll have to start over with another powder. I'll probably move to H4831SC or IMR 4451.


Scott
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7026824
01/06/18 03:02 AM
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Good luck with the Ruger and load development Scott.


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: TDK] #7027110
01/06/18 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: TDK
Quote:
Stainless is softer than carbon steel


There are a ton of variables, but as a whole that is incorrect.

I was going to say this earlier but decided to keep my mouth shut but since you brought it up. I'm no metallurgist but can listen and understand. My friend Carl, machinist that makes aircraft parts explained this to my pee brain when I asked him for a piece of stainless so I could attempt a knife. Another friend who actually makes good knives explained it to me again. What I gathered is that in general stainless is harder than carbon, but there are different grades of both and after heat treating/hardening all react different. At the end of the day, when aftermarket barrels are considered I would guess that both are plenty hard. One could ask a manufacture for Rockwell hardness data, but there's probably a reason it is not public or commonly published. I'll bet they are the same hardness, or so similar for shooting purposes, it's irrelevant.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7027187
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Generally speaking barrels are pretty low hardness, usually low 30's on the Rockwell scale. The biggest difference is hardness levels equal, SS will have higher toughness which should impact wear resistance and of course be harder to machine.

Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7027290
01/06/18 06:30 PM
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Way back when Ed House, Ed's Gun's in Richardson, figured out how to make his Electro Nickleing process commercially viable, and later sold it to Colt who marketed the finished product as "ColtGard"...I was told that Stainless was not a good medium for gun manufacturing becuase it did not cut or machine cleanly with the tools of the day back in the 70's and "feathered" easily.

Obviously that has changed, but I have had a Browning ABolt that had some thumb nail sized corrosion spots on the barrel that looked like "white rust" bubbley looking splotch's, and my now long time retired smith at Lake Texoma, Ray Zipper said it was not at all unusal with poor maintenance as the cause as he was buffing them off with a emory cloth, and told me to make sure I left a coating of any sort of protection just the same way as I should treat a CM blued surface.

Since then I have had several SS guns in Winchester & Tikka with no issues in tarnishing or spotting, and they have been as accurate as the blued CM stuff from the same manufacturer.

Worst blued gun I ever owned was a Remmy 710 that was rusted in the NIB box when I got it home, and rusted every time I touched it or even took it outside...I "painted it black" and traded it off, and should have kept the Stevens 200 Stainless 30'06 I got in return, to use for a rough gun...it needed a new stock and a better scope but would shoot better than Minute of Deer with any commercial ammo I ran thru it...but the super cheap hard plastic stock rattled when I breathed on it, or looked at it hard, and looked like it had stress cracks forming anywhere there was a screw hole.
Ron


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Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7027442
01/06/18 09:43 PM
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Well, I pulled the trigger on a SS barrel from X-Caliber. I hope it turns out to be a shooter. Now I have to purchase dies, brass and bullets. I think I'm going to give 143gr ELD-Xs a go first. I have some Norma MRP, H4831SC and IMR4350 laying around so will try those powders first.

Barrel Specs:
Savage Pre-Fit
Barrel Steel: 416R Stainless Steel
Savage Shank Size: Small / Standard
Rifle Chambers: 6.5 X 55
Bolt Action Contour: 7 - Heavy Bull Sporter 1.220 2.75 1.000 6 .750
Savage Barrel Length: 22"
Caliber & Twist Rate: (6.5mm) .264 1:8 Twist 5R Groove
Muzzle Options: 11 Degree Crown
January Muzzle Brakes Free: Pepper Pot 5/8 X 24 .750 OD SS
Finish: Polish


Joe
Re: SS or Carbon Steel Barrel? [Re: BigDad] #7027620
01/07/18 12:56 AM
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Sounds good, give us a look when its screws on

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