Frequently Asked Questions

General Topics:
>Is this the barrel only, or does it come with any attachments (like the barrel extension)?

An AR15 Barrel is not really a barrel until it has an extension installed and a gas port drilled. The extension is included with the barrel. It is not possible to headspace and drill the gas port without it. My barrels do NOT include a front sight base, barrel nut or any handguard parts required to mount typical handguards. These are available as an option, but most of my barrels get used with a free-float handguard tube.

>Is the muzzle crowned?

Of course the barrel is crowned. There is no way to get a barrel to shoot good without a perfectly centered
crown. As the bullet leaves the bore, you are uncorking roughly 8-15,000 PSI of gas pressure. If the bullet opens the valve unevenly, the rush of gas out one side will tip the bullet and throw it out of balance. "Out of balance" spells less accuracy. I cut the crown on a lathe, pulling the tool from the bore outwards. This guarantees there will not be any kind of burr there. I usually do not do deeply recessed crowns, but I will if you request it. Barrel threading is available as an option.

>Which barrels on your website do you consider to be "standard"?

All of our barrels are custom made. "Standard" is the grade of barrel. Our Standard grade barrels are better barrels than are offered on most production rifles. Example manufacturers of barrels in standard grade are ER Shaw and Adams & Bennet. Example manufacturers of barrels in match grade are Shilen and Douglas. Standard grade barrels are offered in 223, 7x40 Improved and 300x221.

>What's the material of the barrel?

4140 Chromoly Steel or 416 Stainless Steel as provided by the barrel blank manufacturers. I use barrel blanks from companies like Douglas, Shilen and Krieger so I leave the choice of steel to these companies. They have much more experience in choosing the right material and heat treating for the job of making a barrel than you or I do.

>Is it chrome-lined?

No, Chrome lined barrels are only available when a company mass produces them. The chrome needs to be applied after the chamber work is done. This requires special barrel blanks and chamber reamers, made larger than spec and then plated back down to spec size. It would be cost prohibitive to do custom barrels with chrome lining. Any barrel that is chrome lined is certainly not a match grade barrel. It is not possible to put the attention into the chamber details that you need for extreme accuracy when you are mass producing barrels.

>Finally, what twist rate(s) do you offer on standard grade barrels?

224 caliber 1:9", 1:12" or 1:14" depending on what supplier has in stock
300-221 Caliber 1:10"
On standard grade barrels, you can not specify a twist rate.
On match grade barrels, you can specify a twist rate.

>I assume I can buy one of your uppers and just share the bolt and carrier group between my current upper and the new upper right?

Technically, you can, but I do not recommend it. Basically, the barrel and bolt should be kept as a pair through it's life cycle. Here's why: When it's new, there are small burrs and machining marks. The bolt and barrel will wear against each other until these are smoothed out. They will reach a point where they fit each other perfectly and the wear will stop. If you take that bolt out and put it in another barrel, it will begin to wear against that barrel instead. If you swap back and forth a lot, both barrels and the bolt are going to wear out much faster than if each barrel had it's own bolt. If you are doing a simple barrel swap on your upper, it should be no problem to use the old bolt as long as the headspace is checked. I headspace all the barrels that I build with a brand new bolt, but I will use a bolt that you provide to chamber your barrel if you provide it ahead of time.

>It looks like I would have to trim a lot of brass to make some of your cartridges, is there an easier way?

If you want a way to trim a LOT of 223 brass fast, get a 1/2" center cutting endmill from a machine tool store.
Get a cheap drill press vise and bore a 3/8" diameter pocket about 3/8" deep centered in the jaws.
Put the endmill in the drill press (or bridgeport if you have one) and center the drill press vise under the cutter.
Put a piece of brass in the vise and trim to length. Set your quill (depth) stop and have fun...
With a sharp cutter and solid clamping, you will not need to deburr the cases as the edges are usually perfectly square.

>What will I need to install one of your barrels on my upper?

A barrel wrench, pin punches/allen wrenches, maybe a receiver block, at least 45 minutes your first time.

>Is it possible to get the barrel fluted?

I am not really setup for fluting, but I keep getting requests. The high end barrel blanks like Shilen and Douglas are stress relieved blanks. I want to run an experiment and fire some test rounds before and after fluting to see if it affects the accuracy. My concern about cutting flutes would be that it introduces new stress into the blank. If this is the case, the barrels would need to be stress relieved after fluting to shoot well again. This only adds to the cost of the process... After talking with Krieger about fluting, I now only want to make barrels from a Krieger fluted barrel blank. They are one of the only companies doing it the "right" way. The right way to do fluting is after boring and profiling, but before rifling and final lapping. Krieger single-point cut barrels are pricey, but they are some best as well.

>What thread sizes get used on 6.8 and 300x221 barrels?

As you probably know, 1/2"-28 is the standard thread size used on 5.56 barrels. Many muzzle accessories are available with this thread spec, but some of them will not clear a 6.8 or 30 caliber bullet. Some combinations of bore size and thread size can leave a very thin barrel wall at the threads. I prefer to have at least 0.100" barrel wall thickness at this junction. It's possible to stretch the barrel at this point by torqueing the muzzle device into place. The proper way to install a muzzle device on a barrel with a thin wall would be using loctite and very little torque. I can open up the muzzle device for bullet clearance and also open up the thread size to a larger size which leaves a stronger connection to the barrel. See my services page for details. Below you will find a table with common thread sizes, common bore sizes the the resulting wall thickness at the threads. It is my opinion that 1/2"-28 threads should NOT be used on barrels with a bore larger than 6mm.

Thread Spec: 1/2"-28 9/16"-24 5/8"-24

Barrel wall thickness when above threads are used with below bore sizes

5.56mm / 223 0.112" 0.139" 0.170"
6mm-223 0.102" 0.129" 0.160"
6.8mm SPC 0.085" 0.112" 0.143"
300x221 0.070" 0.097" 0.128"
9mm / 357 0.046" 0.073" 0.104"

Acceptable Marginal Unacceptable

On 17 Remington:
>I am interested in a 17 Remington barrel. Are the bolt carrier and head are the same as for 223?

Yes, there are several cartridges in the same family: 17rem, 204 Ruger, 221Fireball, 222, 223, 222Magnum and 5.6x50.
There are umpteen wildcats based on this case head and we can chamber for most of them if they work in the AR15 action.

On 223 Remington:
>Can you do a 5.56 NATO chamber?  I know it is a little different that a .223 chamber.

No, we do not recommend the 5.56 chamber because a couple of the critical accuracy dimensions are larger. Click Here for a comparison of 223 to 5.56 reamer dimensions. The headspace is longer, making the brass require more sizing each time you reload. The throat has 5 times more space for the bullet to move around before it settles into the rifling. This is not good for accuracy. If you will only be shooting factory ammo, you can request that we chamber closer to the maximum headspace gauge instead of the minimum gauge. This will make the chamber more reliable as there is room for a piece of powder or a little dirt without the case failing to chamber. Deeper chambers will wear out the brass faster and require trimming more often than minimum spec chambers.

On 300-221/300 Whisper:
>Who makes your 300-221 barrels?

I build them myself, using barrel blanks from major barrel makers.

>Do I need an adjustable gas tube with your 300 whisper barrel?

Yes, If you want to use both ends of the performance range the whisper offers.
No, if you want to stick with one or two specific loads, we can taylor your gas port to match them.
The adjustable gas tube is a nice accessory because you can then run a larger gas port in the barrel and adjust the gas flow to your specific loads. Normal AR barrels are drilled 0.089" and most 223 loads with the proper powders will work the action just fine. In the whisper, I have found the same size works fine with near max loads using light to medium weight bullets. I recommend that we drill the gas port 0.120" and use an adjustable gas block or tube to fine tune functioning. The standard gas tube measures 0.120" on the inside, so a gas port in the barrel any larger than that is a waste. Ideally, you want just enough gas to function the gun, but not so much that you beat up the brass and buffer. If you want the front sight on the barrel, you have to go to an adjustable gas tube. If you do not need a front sight, there are adjustable gas blocks that use a standard gas tube.

>Do your 300 whisper barrels require special length gas tubes?

Yes and No...
It really depends on what you want to do with your barrel.
If you are ordering a 1:8" twist barrel, I usually use a pistol length gas tube for shooting subsonic heavy bullets.
If you are ordering a 1:10" twist barrel, I use a carbine length tube as the 10" twist will not stabilize the really heavy bullets used in subsonic loads.

>Can you thread my 300 Whisper barrel for a suppressor or muzzle brake?

Sure, just specify the threads. There is an extra charge for this.


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