Nitride chromoly vs stainless barrels
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Nitride chromoly vs stainless barrels

I am about 75% done with my first build. On my first build I have a Vltor MUR upper, Mega forged lower, Noveske NSR handguard, Loki weapons lower parts kits, and a Loki 16" nitrided chromoly barrel. Still need a buffer assembly, bolt carrier group, gas block and, muzzle break.When all is said and done, I will have about $1,200 invested in this build minus optics. I can deal with those numbers, is good so far?

I want to do a 2nd build with a 18" or 20" barrel in 556, but I'm getting a lot of mixed reviews. I want a barrel that is going 1st accurate, 2nd last a long time (medium amount of shooting), and 3rd doesn't break the bank to build. Build #2 will be a punt the same as my 1st, except barrel length and I might use a Noveske gen 2 forged lower.

My biggest concern is the barrel. I've read and heard both sides and seen test result supporting both nitrided chromoly and stainless barrels. As far as accuracy goes, I've been told they are about equal, but the opinions start with barrel life, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance. I would like to get wisdom, knowledge, and expertise between the 2.

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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AZ,

The key rests with the type and amount of shooting you will be doing. If you are going to be shooting a lot of rounds at the same time with not giving the barrel time to cool off some. Stainless is not your cup of tea! They are normally more accurate then the Chrome Molly Barrels but you are picking the Fly S out of the pepper. A good Chrome Molly Barrel is capable of shooting 1 MOA groups at 100 if it is a good quality barrel. While the Stainless heavy barrel is certainly capable of shooting 1/2 to 1/4 MOA at 100. The key is do you want it for tactical or precision shooting? If it is precision shooting I would recommend the Stainless Heavy or Match Barrel. Bottom line is with the stainless and limited heat exposure to the Throat of the Rifle and accuracy will last a long time. With excessive firing and increased throat heat exposure that is what is the true enemy of any barrel. For precise accuracy I would go with the stainless heavy barrel of match barrel. For considerable amount of prolonged heat exposure and rounds. And basic good accuracy the Chrome Molly is best! Hope this helps.

Lt.

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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LoL man u got it BAD. Note even done with your first and already planning out your next one eh?

For the best of both worlds, get a stainless. Break it in till you get the accuracy you want out of it then take it off and send it out to get melonited/nitrided.

If you want a good barrel that won't break the bank check out ar15performance.com. they have a nice 20" cmv 5r rifled melonited barrel for less than $200 shipped. My firend just built one with this barrel and gets 1.5" at 100 yards with milspec m193. He has not fully broken it in yet and has yet to try match ammo. (Next trip) I'm guessng it'll be a sub moa barrel with match grade ammo.

If you want a slow fire tack driving range queen, Sniper's made the best suggestions. Stick with a heavy profile stainless. Just don't plan on humping it around, it'll be a heavy beast.

As sor the difference between stainless and cmv, from what I understand ss is easier to work on. Thus rifling it is easier which produces a more consistant barrel. But it'll wear faster. Define ur uses a bit more and they will lead you to the right choice.

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Old 08-26-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentTikki
LoL man u got it BAD. Note even done with your first and already planning out your next one eh?

For the best of both worlds, get a stainless. Break it in till you get the accuracy you want out of it then take it off and send it out to get melonited/nitrided.

If you want a good barrel that won't break the bank check out ar15performance.com. they have a nice 20" cmv 5r rifled melonited barrel for less than $200 shipped. My firend just built one with this barrel and gets 1.5" at 100 yards with milspec m193. He has not fully broken it in yet and has yet to try match ammo. (Next trip) I'm guessng it'll be a sub moa barrel with match grade ammo.

If you want a slow fire tack driving range queen, Sniper's made the best suggestions. Stick with a heavy profile stainless. Just don't plan on humping it around, it'll be a heavy beast.

As sor the difference between stainless and cmv, from what I understand ss is easier to work on. Thus rifling it is easier which produces a more consistant barrel. But it'll wear faster. Define ur uses a bit more and they will lead you to the right choice.
I've always been a pistol person, but last few years I've found shooting rifles to be very relaxing. I have a Sig M400 and RRA entry tactical with a heavy barrel, and I had a bushmaster m4 and a S&W M&P 15X. I'm expecting my first build to out shoot both of my current ones.

I read somewhere that nitriding a stainless barrel ruin the barrels corrosion resistance, but don't know that to be accurate cause I only read it in one forum. I have a friend in brownells gunsmith school that is gonna ask his instructors tomorrow.

Only reason I question is cause I've never shot stainless barrels except pistols. I shot my ex-brother-in-laws Kimber 6.5x55 Swedish and shot 3 rounds in a 1" group at 200 yards. It had a chromoly barrel and I thought it shot good. I have noticed that chrome lined barrels aren't as tight shooting.

But thanks very much for the input, and for the record I do have it bad.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper03
AZ,

The key rests with the type and amount of shooting you will be doing. If you are going to be shooting a lot of rounds at the same time with not giving the barrel time to cool off some. Stainless is not your cup of tea! They are normally more accurate then the Chrome Molly Barrels but you are picking the Fly S out of the pepper. A good Chrome Molly Barrel is capable of shooting 1 MOA groups at 100 if it is a good quality barrel. While the Stainless heavy barrel is certainly capable of shooting 1/2 to 1/4 MOA at 100. The key is do you want it for tactical or precision shooting? If it is precision shooting I would recommend the Stainless Heavy or Match Barrel. Bottom line is with the stainless and limited heat exposure to the Throat of the Rifle and accuracy will last a long time. With excessive firing and increased throat heat exposure that is what is the true enemy of any barrel. For precise accuracy I would go with the stainless heavy barrel of match barrel. For considerable amount of prolonged heat exposure and rounds. And basic good accuracy the Chrome Molly is best! Hope this helps.

Lt.
What about nitrided chromoly barrel?
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Nitriding does not ruin the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Nitriding will improve the corrosion resistance. The process becomes part of the metal, makes the surface harder, and improves lubricity.

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Old 08-27-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckhorn_cortez
Nitriding does not ruin the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. Nitriding will improve the corrosion resistance. The process becomes part of the metal, makes the surface harder, and improves lubricity.
Will it extend the life of the barrel, if so you help me make my decision. Who could nitride a SS barrel and how much would it cost?
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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AZ,

Do not want to bust the bubble! But regarding the stainless barrels as good as they are today and as accurate as they are! They are fine without anything being done to them. When for example you have a good quality 16 in. stainless barrel that will shoot 1/2 to 3/4 MOA at 100 yards and 20 in & 18" barrels that are capable of 1/2 to 1/4 MOA groups at 100. I have had two RRA 20 in barrel varmint rifles and still have one. They both shot 1/4 MOA Groups when I had a good day on the bench! And no more than you will probably shoot, which would cause excessive heat in the throat area of the chamber the stainless wear consideration factor is really insignificant. And as Tikki advised if it ever wears out years down the road. Then spend the extra money for the nitrided barrel if you want one. And honestly I believe you would be spending money that would not produce any advantage if any? I know it could not improve the accuracy when we are speaking about the above MOA's
Good Luck on your choice!

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniper03
AZ,

Do not want to bust the bubble! But regarding the stainless barrels as good as they are today and as accurate as they are! They are fine without anything being done to them. When for example you have a good quality 16 in. stainless barrel that will shoot 1/2 to 3/4 MOA at 100 yards and 20 in & 18" barrels that are capable of 1/2 to 1/4 MOA groups at 100. I have had two RRA 20 in barrel varmint rifles and still have one. They both shot 1/4 MOA Groups when I had a good day on the bench! And no more than you will probably shoot, which would cause excessive heat in the throat area of the chamber the stainless wear consideration factor is really insignificant. And as Tikki advised if it ever wears out years down the road. Then spend the extra money for the nitrided barrel if you want one. And honestly I believe you would be spending money that would not produce any advantage if any? I know it could not improve the accuracy when we are speaking about the above MOA's
Good Luck on your choice!
I'm looking into a Wilson Combat 18" 416R SS barrel. I wanted the the nitride treatment corrosion resistance and wear resistance. I'm not one to be forgiving on my guns when at the range, but I do take good care of them. I plan on making the 18" build a hunting rifle, and my hunting trips sometimes get pretty extreme (kayaking lakes and river and coastal areas).

Thanks for the input and correcting what I had read on another forum. The person in the other forum seemed a little uneducated and illogical, so I wanted to get the opinion of somebody with experience and/or knowldge.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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Ok, here's the best of all worlds thing to do.

Buy a stainless barrel.

Break it in. Then shoot it with the ammo you plan to hunt with. If you get the consistency you are satisfied with, with the ammo you want to use, then clean it out, take it off and send it out to get FNC'd.

FNC will increase corrosion resistance. And make the barrel last 3 to 5 times longer.

But first make sure it will do what you ask of it before investing the time and money to FNC it.

Also consider Rainer Arms Match, Black Hole Weaponry, Noveske, JP Enterprises, and White Oaks Barrels.

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