Chrome lined AR barrel or not?
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
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Default Chrome lined AR barrel or not?

OK, so I'm starting my own AR build and I've been working my way through reading all the stickies here on the AR-15 Forum and I'm more confused than ever.

Last night I read where JD (Dillinger) said a chrome lined AR barrel does not yield the best accuracy in an AR and is made more for long term durability in automatic weapons like the M-16 & M-4. I respect his opinion, but I have also heard the opposite that chrome lined is the only way to go.

What results has everyone found in their own AR builds? Are the chrome moly. only AR barrels more accurate than the chrome lined ones?

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Old 07-16-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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One reason given, readily available on the 'net, is that when the barrels are lined with the chrome, it's possible not to get an even coating throughout the entire barrel. There could be spots that are micro-thousandths difference from other spots which could affect the travel of the bullet, thus affecting the accuracy.

A normal go to the range, shoot occasionally type person probably won't notice any difference. Someone in competition who want's to knock the gnat off a fly's butt at 200 yards probably would opt for a non chrome barrel.

FWIW, all mine are chrome lined, oops I just had a upper delivered with a stainless barrel. So not all are chrome lined anymore.

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Old 07-16-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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chrome lining is exactly what JD said it is for. the other added benefit is easy of cleaning and being highly resistant to corrosive ammo. accuracy suffers with a chrome lining.

its a lot harder to get pinpoint accuracy with chrome lining. this doesnt mean all chromed barrels are bad some can deliver match grade accuracy but its not the norm.

full auto or heavy use semi where accuracy isnt the primary goal chrome lined

semi where accuracy is important non-lined

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Old 07-16-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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JD, CAR, & JonM are exactly on the money!

Barrels that are chrome lined are an excellent application to increase the durability for a rifle but not my choice either when it comes to precision accuracy. Of course with a tactical gun you are picking the Pepper out of the Fly S--t! Because of the facts I will list below, does not make that much difference when speaking of a tactical defense weapon.
As a general rule the barrels will or are capable in producing the following groups and accuracy comparisons when benched with good ammunition and the shooter on a good day.

Tests were on a 1 MOA basis 5 shot grouping at 100 yards:

Stainless Steel (*Air Gauged) 1/4 to 1/2 MOA (Inches)

Stainless Steel (Standard Barrel) 1/2 to 1 MOA (Inches) (*Not Air Gauged)

Chrome Molybdenum (not CL Lined) 1/2 to 1 MOA (Inches)

Chrome Molybdenum (Chrome Lined) 1 1/2 - 2 MOA (Inches) *Increased
Durability

To explain as JD did about how the chrome process effects accuracy. I use the following explanation in my schools. *If you picked a barrel up and poured paint down the barrel. As the paint ran down the barrel and the excess came out the other end, When the paint dried in the bore, could we assume that the thickness of the paint that dried in the bore of the rifle might be a little thicker in one area compared to other areas where the paint ran down the bore? The same theory applies to the chrome lining process. Therefore while the projectile is traveling down the bore of the chrome lined barrel it could have more drag in one area than other areas on it's way out of the barrel. *Causing some drag points which intern slightly effects the accuracy in the chrome lined barrel.
However, If you live in an area that has a saltwater environment, very high humidity or in the case of a select fire weapon chrome lined barrels are the recommended barrel.

03

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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Chrome lined barrels have a longer barrel life by about 10,000 rounds. Chrome lining makes it easier to clean the bore and corrosion resistant.

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Old 07-16-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakedriver
OK, so I'm starting my own AR build and I've been working my way through reading all the stickies here on the AR-15 Forum and I'm more confused than ever.

Last night I read where JD (Dillinger) said a chrome lined AR barrel does not yield the best accuracy in an AR and is made more for long term durability in automatic weapons like the M-16 & M-4. I respect his opinion, but I have also heard the opposite that chrome lined is the only way to go.

What results has everyone found in their own AR builds? Are the chrome moly. only AR barrels more accurate than the chrome lined ones?
He's right. I have a RRA chrome-moly barrel that shoots circles around my S&W M&P chrome lined barrel. At 50 meters I put 120 rounds in a shot group the size of a silver dollar (rate of fire of 2 shots per second). Out shot a coworker with a bushmaster set up the same as my RRA (except mine was a factory barrel and we used 2 different rail systems.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:20 PM   #7
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I've gotten excellent accuracy from chrome lined tubes.

The FN SPR has a chrome lined barrel and is capable of excellent (1/4MOA) accuracy.

I have several M14s with chrome lined barrels that give sub-MOA accuracy.

A friend had a Colt Delta H-Bar (Chrome lined 1/7) with a Swarovski 6x. It would put 10rds of 55gr Israeli match into a group smaller than a dime.

Technically speaking, chrome lined is not as accurate. But practically speaking, it does just fine.

And the current crop of chrome lined barrels on the market are head and shoulders above the quality of the stuff from 20-40 years ago.

I like chrome lined tubes.

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Old 07-16-2011, 08:11 PM   #8
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This is all great stuff! Thanks for the imput, it saves me $40 on my RRA upper if I don't need the chrome lining. That's not a huge amount to save, but if it yields better accuracy with just the chrome moly. barrel, then that's the way I will go.

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Old 07-16-2011, 09:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakedriver
This is all great stuff! Thanks for the imput, it saves me $40 on my RRA upper if I don't need the chrome lining. That's not a huge amount to save, but if it yields better accuracy with just the chrome moly. barrel, then that's the way I will go.
You need chrome line if you're going battle in rain forest, coastal area, or the desert, so a chrome moly will do for hunting or urban combat against zombies, terrorists, or hogs.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AznZOhAn View Post
You need chrome line if you're going battle in rain forest, coastal area, or the desert, so a chrome moly will do for hunting or urban combat against zombies, terrorists, or hogs.
Uh oh, I'm only 5 miles from the beach and it's always humid as hell around here!
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