What are the advantages and disadvantages of fluted barrels
Posted Mar. 21 2009 - 01:32 PM
Posted Mar. 21 2009 - 01:39 PM
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Posted Mar. 21 2009 - 02:11 PM
The latest trend in barrels, beside cryogenic treatment either during the manufacturing stages or as an aftermarket process, is fluting. There's really no controversy about fluting; it works. Fluting a barrel definitely lightens it, stiffens it and cools it faster because it exposes so much more surface area. Because a certain wall thickness must be maintained for safety reasons, however, a barrel must be of a heavier contour than normal and the flutes can only be so deep. Depending on the length, width and depth of the flutes, the trade-off in terms of weight come close to being a wash. The net result is a thicker barrel than normal, but one that weighs about the same as a thinner, non-fluted one. How-ever, you still have the advantages that flutes provide. While on the subject of flutes, E.R. Shaw, Inc., was granted a patent recently for helical flutes. Because the flutes spiral around the outside of the barrel, they are longer for any given barrel length, and therefore lighten it to a greater degree and expose more surface area than a straight-fluted barrel. For the time being, Shaw plans to offer their helical-fluted barrels only in a non-tapered configuration, but hope to perfect the process to include tapered sporter barrels as well.
Lilja on fluting(link).
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Posted Mar. 22 2009 - 02:11 PM
Posted Mar. 22 2009 - 02:19 PM
Its a compromise.
A heavy barrel has better harmonics (more mass so less vibration) but they don't cool well.
Light barrels cool well but don't have as good harmonics (less mass so more vibration).
Contoured barrels, fluted/M4, are somewhere in between offering a touch of both.
Posted Mar. 22 2009 - 07:12 PM
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