Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

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Abraham
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Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#1

Post by Abraham » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:50 am

I recently read an article describing the superiority of Hammer Forged barrels as distinctly longer lasting, achieve greater accuracy and other details making them a far better barrel vs. Button Rifle barrels.

My question: My Colt LE6920 has a chrome lined, button rifled barrel.

If it were a H.F. barrel would I have a vastly superior barrel or given that it's a chrome lined B.R. barrel, is there really that much difference in the long run?

Thanks!


The Marshal
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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#2

Post by The Marshal » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:18 am

Well, unless you are going to shoot out your barrel at 25K rounds, I don't think this an issue. :D


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#3

Post by Abraham » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:58 am

The Marshal,

Thanks for your input.

The article I read also mentioned that 'free floating' barrels are more accurate and I'm fairly sure that's true, but on a general purpose AR fixed barrel (if that's the correct terminology), that's not being used as a competition rifle and one I've yet to shoot over 50 yds, I also wonder how important that is?

At 50 yds with a 4 power scope, not a red dot sight, I probably shoot 2" or tighter groups (bench rest) with fmj average factory ammo, not super duper stuff... No, not fantastic accuracy, but good enough to get the job done if ever I 'need to protect hearth and home'.

So, in my rambling way, I'm wondering if the extra bells and whistles of H.F., Free Floating barrels, etc. is worth all the extra cost for a general purpose AR?

And, all are welcome to join in with their thoughts on these subjects.

Thanks!


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#4

Post by cyphertext » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:00 am

I have not heard that hammer forged barrels provides greater accuracy over button cut barrels. Actually have heard the opposite. Match grade barrels are not typically hammer forged.

Hammer forged barrels are said to last longer, but I wouldn't stress over it. The barrel on your Colt is a consumable... meant to be used and easily replaced. As stated above, I wouldn't stress over this at all. Shoot up your current barrel and then replace with the hammer forged if the life of your barrel was unsatisfactory.


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#5

Post by cyphertext » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:06 am

Abraham wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:58 am
The Marshal,

Thanks for your input.

The article I read also mentioned that 'free floating' barrels are more accurate and I'm fairly sure that's true, but on a general purpose AR fixed barrel (if that's the correct terminology), that's not being used as a competition rifle and one I've yet to shoot over 50 yds, I also wonder how important that is?

At 50 yds with a 4 power scope, not a red dot sight, I probably shoot 2" or tighter groups (bench rest) with fmj average factory ammo, not super duper stuff... No, not fantastic accuracy, but good enough to get the job done if ever I 'need to protect hearth and home'.

So, in my rambling way, I'm wondering if the extra bells and whistles of H.F., Free Floating barrels, etc. is worth all the extra cost for a general purpose AR?

And, all are welcome to join in with their thoughts on these subjects.

Thanks!
If you are trying to improve accuracy, I think your money would be better spent on higher grade ammo and a trigger than changing the barrel. Trying different ammo would be cheaper than changing the barrel.

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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#6

Post by Beiruty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:10 am

Hammer forged are excellent barrels, Steyr barrel is a great example. This is the domain of bolt action rifles.
As for Semi-Auto Precision rifles, there are ARs that can do 1MOA or 1/2 MOA. Check with RRA ARs.
Last edited by Beiruty on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#7

Post by Bitter Clinger » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:11 am

cyphertext wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:06 am
Abraham wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:58 am
The Marshal,

Thanks for your input.

The article I read also mentioned that 'free floating' barrels are more accurate and I'm fairly sure that's true, but on a general purpose AR fixed barrel (if that's the correct terminology), that's not being used as a competition rifle and one I've yet to shoot over 50 yds, I also wonder how important that is?

At 50 yds with a 4 power scope, not a red dot sight, I probably shoot 2" or tighter groups (bench rest) with fmj average factory ammo, not super duper stuff... No, not fantastic accuracy, but good enough to get the job done if ever I 'need to protect hearth and home'.

So, in my rambling way, I'm wondering if the extra bells and whistles of H.F., Free Floating barrels, etc. is worth all the extra cost for a general purpose AR?

And, all are welcome to join in with their thoughts on these subjects.

Thanks!
If you are trying to improve accuracy, I think your money would be better spent on higher grade ammo and a trigger than changing the barrel. Trying different ammo would be cheaper than changing the barrel.
:iagree: Along with a good bipod and training / coaching at distances greater than what you currently are experiencing.
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Beiruty
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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#8

Post by Beiruty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:12 am

BTW, for a general purpose plinking rifle, any AR that does 2MOA is good enough for 20" wide target all the way to 400 yards.
Then, the 223 bullets would be killed by the wind.
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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#9

Post by The Marshal » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:19 am

Agreed. Your accuracy will improve with a better trigger mechanism. Be prepared to spend some cash for that!
The barrel forging can make a difference, but mostly the difference between those two is service life. My understanding is HF is longer life than BF.
The Twist Rate on the barrel should be a more important factor.


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#10

Post by WTR » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:32 am

Premium bench rest barrels will be button cut.


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#11

Post by Abraham » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:42 am

Wow, thanks all for your insight.

Actually, I own 2 Colt LE6920's - both now have Geissele triggers. SSA-E and a G2S. I had them installed immediately after shooting the stock triggers which for me were crap.

And yes, H.F. barrels are supposed to last longer, but accuracy is improved (according to the article I read) if the barrel is free floated.

But, for the life of me, unless I'm missing something, a general purpose decent quality AR can perform adequately with button rifling and a fixed barrel, but I've not read of how much difference it makes.

Would such a difference be major? Minor?

Or, if one is just an average utility shot,(me) would I see a marked difference if I had H.F. free floating barrel?

I tend (without really knowing) given my shooting ability is average, are the superior barrel differences going to make me a much more accurate shooter?

I doubt it.

Am I wrong?

Thanks!


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#12

Post by Rob72 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:06 pm

WTR wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:32 am
Premium bench rest barrels will be button cut.
Bear in mind that "Match" makers have a very limited tool life for their cutters, general manufacturers, not so much. This has been one of the major issues with Ruger Mini-14 barrels for years. The increased cost of the new "Precision" barreled Mini-14s relates to either increased tooling cost, or they're outsourcing their barrels, now.

Short version, if you want a more accurate production barrel, hammer forged is usually better. Precision barrels, with a significantly lower round count/lifespan, should usually be cut.


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#13

Post by LTUME1978 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:31 pm

I have a Colt 6920 as well. I have Timney trigger on it (4.5 lb), which was the first upgrade. I later added a Troy "D" rail to free float and to be able to add doodads to it (I really like the Troy rail and it is easy to install). I can't tell you that free floating the barrel improved things a lot as I did not do enough testing before and after to know. I have a 4X ACOG on the rifle (old, tired eyes).

I load my own ammo and can easily get the rifle to shoot around 1 - 1 1/4 MOA with inexpensive, bulk quality components (55 grain bulk Hornady bullets, Military Surplus pull down powder that is supposed to be like H335 and Tula primers with mixed brass off of the ground at PSC). I did shoot some Lake City ammo out of it when I first got it and that ammo was not that accurate (2-3 MOA) but that may have been a function of my less than great shooting skills at the time (I have taken several rifle classes since). If you don't reload and want some factory ammo that is accurate, try the IMI 77 grain ammo (SG Ammo has the best price that I can find). I have not shot that ammo in the Colt AR yet (I only use the Colt for matches out to 300 yards) but have shot plenty of sub MOA groups with that ammo in a couple of other ARs. I would try that ammo before replacing the barrel or other parts if you like the rifle the way it is now and don't want to spend money on the hardware.

FWIW, the barrel on the Colt has somewhere around 9,000 rounds through it and I can't tell any degradation in accuracy yet.


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#14

Post by Abraham » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:04 pm

LTUME1978,

Thanks for the great information!


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Re: Button Rifle Barrels vs. Hammer Forged

#15

Post by MaduroBU » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:32 pm

Why then are all of the competition barrels cut and button rifled?

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