I was hoping to get some insight from you guys who shoot long range targets on barrel options, I have a new Browning A-Bolt II 7mm-08 that I cannot get to group for the life of me, only rifle I own that I cannot keep under an inch at 100yds despite my best handloading efforts, best I can do is a temperamental 1.25-1.5" load and factory fodder sprays like a shotgun pattern. I figure is must be a defective barrel or chamber since the action seems tight and it is factory glass bedded. I was doing a little looking and it seems there are several reputable companies that I can choose from, one stands out as a real potential value and the others are higher priced but well known names, E R Shaw makes custom barrels for a very reasonable price, they run under $200 if you don't need any fancy cosmetic stuff and the few user reviews I have read on Midway seem positive. Krieger, Lilja, and Shilen all run around $130 more but are the bigger names. I have owned a bunch of rifles but have never bought an aftermarket barrel before are the big names worth the price, and am I wasting money trying to tune a Browning? This is the first one of their rifles I have owned.
My objectives are not too demanding, I am wanting a rifle under 10lbs that can hold 1/2MOA with quality hunting bullets and precise handloads, I can do it in a 6lbs Tikka I would think a heavier barrel on a Browning could do at leased as good. I might also re-chamber to 284 Win or another short action standard bolt face cartridge that can wield heavier bullet a little better.