Chrome lined AR barrel or not?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by Snakedriver, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    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? :confused:
     
  2. Car54

    Car54 New Member

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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.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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
     
  4. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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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
     
  5. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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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.
     
  6. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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    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.
     
  7. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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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.
     
  8. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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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. :cool:
     
  9. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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    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.
     
  10. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Uh oh, I'm only 5 miles from the beach and it's always humid as hell around here! :eek::confused::eek::confused:
     
  11. luan87us

    luan87us New Member

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    If you're in a humid area it might be worth getting a chrome lined barrel as it will be more corrosive resistant. Chrome lined does lose out on accuracy a bit but honestly unless you're making a living out of your accuracy I rather choose durability over accuracy. You want to enjoy your gun as long as you can right? But chrome moly is gonna do you just as good. All in all it comes down to what you want out of your rifle, what will you be doing with it? Are you going to shoot at target more than 100-200 yards with it? For me personally I would never have to hit targets out of 100 yards range so I don't worry much about getting all that accuracy. I was able to hit everything in my sight (targets from 20-50 yards) today with my chrome-lined barrel from PSA.
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    you will be just fine unless your in the habit of never maintaining your weapon. chrome lining in humid environments is only needed if your living in a foxhole getting rained on while waiting for the enemy to come thru the wire for weeks on end...

    ive got a high standard HD 22lr my great uncle used to carry floundering on the texas gulf coast he would spend weekends out in the flats sometimes weeks. he used that gun for decades and its not chrome lined. the bore is bright and shiny. all he did was clean it when he got home.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  13. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

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    I agree w/ lots of what has already been said.

    I prefer chrome lined barrels for what I do. I would like to get ahold of a SS 1:8 16" upper though.
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    We learned in the jungles of Vietnam that for harsh use and moist climates you'd better have chrome lining. And if you can't get around to cleaning right away. Myself, I want chrome lined and will pay the difference. And I bet you get it right back if you want to shoot cheap steel case ammo. Chambers can get rough and even pitted which causes extraction problems. I'm sure a rifle like Filthy 14 wouldn't do nearly so well with just chrome moly.

    Of all the folks that complain about trouble with steel case I wonder how many have chrome lined chambers. In fact that would be an excellent poll to do.

    As far as accuracy, basic ARs are good to 2-3 MOA which is plenty good enough for most uses.
     
  15. luan87us

    luan87us New Member

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    I'm from vietnam :p But hmm interesting about steel case. My friend was telling me his Ruger 556 didn't like steel case. I guess I know why. Gotta try some of these still case on my soon. If it feeds it good I might use it since it's much cheaper.
     
  16. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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    You're right about chrome lining the chamber with steel case ammo, but steel case is more damaging to bolt face and extractor. That wears them out.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    to me it makes 0 sense to go with an accuracy barrel then shoot cheap pos steel case crud thru it. heh
     
  18. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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    As far as accuracy goes, the material of the barrel doesn't matter too much until you're shooting beyond 300 meters. Chrome line and chrome moly is good stuff, I wouldn't worry to much between them. Most manufacturers chrome line or chrome moly the bore and phosphate kote the outside.
     
  19. AznZOhAn

    AznZOhAn New Member

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    Its cheaper so you can afford to buy a new bolt and cleaning supplies in the money you save on ammo.
     
  20. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    luan, I spent 12 months in Vietnam back during 1972-73 and it was a beautiful country that would have been very enjoyable to visit had it not been for the angry ones that were always shooting at us. ;)

    This thread has all been very, very informative and the truth is, none of my other dozen or so rifles have chrome linings in them and none of them have any rust or corrsion inside or out on them. Two are over 100 years old and another is nearly 70, yet the bores all shine like mirrors. As has been said, proper maintenance is the key. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011