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Old September 24, 2008, 09:02 PM   #1
10-96
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M1 Chrome lined

Anybody have actual experience with a chrome line Garand bbl? Neither of mine are set up for competition, nor will they be any time in the next few years. But I remember seeing them advertised somewhere and thought, "Why not? There isn't THAT big of an accuracy difference between AR bbl's that are chromed and them that aren't."
Input? Ideas? Are they still available?
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Old September 24, 2008, 10:07 PM   #2
wjkuleck
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We (Fulton Armory) have them, in stock, they're Criterion by Krieger, and they shoot as well as the unlined Criterions.

Definitely recommended. We'll be having a sale starting tomorrow sometime (as soon as I can get it set up!) on 'most everything except rifles & uppers, so now's the time to get one .

Regards,

Walt
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Old September 25, 2008, 09:33 AM   #3
wjkuleck
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All I can say is what we've found, and what our customers report. The Criterion by Krieger barrels are a light-year beyond what we had been accustomed to in the past. Yes, we were surprised, too. The biggest surprise comes in the AR-platform barrels, where you can actually get a rifle to shoot well enough (1/2 MOA or so) to see the difference, if there is any.

Regards,

Walt
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Old September 25, 2008, 01:39 PM   #4
10-96
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Walt,
I unnerstand FA does installation, safety, function tests, etc. Do I send the entire rifle in safe condition, just the barreled action, field stripped, or what? Would I save $$ if I purchase the bbl, hang onto it, and send it with my buddy to Camp Perry next year? Only reason I ask about that is that I've heard better deals can be had there as oposed to your in-house work. Sounds odd- but I have heard it from more than one person.

Also,
I still have the old Garand ('50's-'60's hack job, 1903 2-groove bbl, possible re-weld). Any ideas of what to do with this thing? Before I found out what I know now, I shot it quite a bit- sadly enough, the darn thing shoots great.
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Old September 25, 2008, 04:07 PM   #5
wjkuleck
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Hi, 10-96,

For the Complete Technical Inspection, mail in the whole weapon, so that you get, well, the Complete Technical Inspection .

Yes, we do support the Camp Perry participants with "specials" on parts and labor; we do a lot of rebarreling work, for example. If you're not in a big rush, you could save some money by buying a barrel during the current sale (Ohio sales tax, which we have to charge at Camp Perry, would be a wash vis-a-vis shipping from MD, and you're not likely to get the barrel for less at the Nationals) and having us do the install at Camp Perry.

As for your FrankenGarand, I have one just like it, sleeved two-groove barrel & all. Nearly all of these (with the '03 barrel, that is) are built up on welded receivers. Check out the Welded Receiver FAQ Article on the Fulton ARmory FAQ Page for mine. Generally the quickest giveaway is the clip latch slot. It was nearly impossible to get both halves to line up so perfectly that there's not a "step" on the edge of the slot as you go from one end to the other.

I've inspected one weld job so good that you couldn't tell from the toolmarks on the right side without bright sunlight and at least 3x magnification. You could feel the step, though. That one was "short," so short it wouldn't fit into an unmodified stock! Needless to say, it had no firing pin retract at all, and thus would be quite hazardous to shoot. Too bad; it had all NM parts, including the barrel, op rod and gas cylinder!

If the firing pin retract is correct, and both lugs are bearing, and the headspace is OK, chances are it's not super-dangerous. However, unlike the '60's and '70's (and even the '80's), we have a plethora of good real Garands to shoot. Back then a weld job was the only way to get a Garand except for the one-a-lifetime DCM rifles, for which the qualifying was quite intimidating (I know, I looked into it, finally did it just as the CMP was starting up).

So, no need to take any chances at all, as remote as they might be, for damage to rifle or self .

Best regards,

Walt
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Old September 25, 2008, 07:08 PM   #6
Unclenick
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Walt,

I went through having my local chief of police (small town) fingerprint me for the FBI background check the DCM required. Got a decent shooter, though, and finally shot out the barrel and am looking at new ones.

Tell me, how is headspace managed in the chrome lined barrels, since you obviously can't ream them? Do they just fall under the standard GI spec for interchangeable barrels? If so, what typical chamber headspace results are you getting with them?

Am I correct that your standard GI contour barrel as well as the chrome lined one are Criterions and the one labeled Krieger is a cut rifled barrel from Krieger's old facility?

Thanks,
Nick
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Old September 26, 2008, 09:01 AM   #7
wjkuleck
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Because you're working with a GI receiver and bolt, the vagaries of the M14-type-rifle world are avoided. I honestly don't know what the guys are getting for headspace, but the barrels are dimensioned to come up on the "GO" end of the range. Remember we can gain a thousandth or three by lapping the bolt, if needed. Once the barrel is installed, really the only way the headspace can change is by bolt wear—which generally outlives most shooters .

I have a chrome barrel here in Ohio to install one day, but there are just too many projects right now! Come to think of it, do I have a "spare" receiver? Hmmm...

As for the barrel source, Nick, you are correct.

Best regards,

Walt
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Old September 28, 2008, 01:32 PM   #8
10-96
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Hmm... get my one good Garand chrome barreled, or buy that wedding ring? ... how much do ya'll charge to play stupid if you get a call from a hacked off fiancee?
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Old September 28, 2008, 04:52 PM   #9
wjkuleck
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Hey, dunno about y'all, but a good woman is harder to find than a good barrel, and a lot easier to lose!!

Best regards,

Walt
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Old September 29, 2008, 01:58 AM   #10
10-96
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LOL!
As always, Thanks Walt!
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Old September 30, 2008, 10:12 AM   #11
Unclenick
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Walt,

One last question. The last time I barreled a Garand it was with a Wilson standard profile barrel for my then new (to me) John C. Garand match gun I built on a CMP Belgian returned receiver. That barrel comes short chambered, and I was dismayed to find its short chamber was wider at the breech end than my pull-through reamer would touch. Not a problem the short chambered heavy weight Barnett barrels have, but heavy barrels are, of course, not allowed in the as-issued matches.

Are your Criterion non-chrome lined barrels short chambered, or unchambered, or do they have the same pre-made chamber dimensions the chrome-lined ones do? I assume the Krieger is unchambered, as the M1A match heavy barrel I got direct from him a decade back came that way, but perhaps the standard contour version you sell is different?

Thanks,
Nick
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Old September 30, 2008, 10:27 AM   #12
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Just some additional anecdotal evidence: I have a custom-built M14 that has a chrome-lined Krieger/Criterion barrel. Chamber is amazingly tight, headspaced at 1.631 (which is more bolt/chamber installation than barrel manufacture, but I digress).

I was shooting naked irons on this gun with Magtech 150gr FMJ retail ammo yesterday.

Shot a 5 shot group where 4 of the bullets were in the same hole... I had to really squint to make out each distinctive ring, I thought I had missed the target with 3 of the shots at first. Just astounded.

Of course the 5th shot ruined it all, but that was 100% me losing form from prone and sending it 2" to the right.

I really wish I had put that 5th shot in the same group... it'd be pretty cool to brag about having a 0.1MOA M14 rifle.

Probably all a fluke and I'll never reproduce the event again, but I have been extremely pleased with this barrel.
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Old September 30, 2008, 10:35 AM   #13
wjkuleck
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Quote:
One last question. The last time I barreled a Garand it was with a Wilson standard profile barrel for my then new (to me) John C. Garand match gun I built on a CMP Belgian returned receiver. That barrel comes short chambered, and I was dismayed to find its short chamber was wider at the breech end than my pull-through reamer would touch. Not a problem the short chambered heavy weight Barnett barrels have, but heavy barrels are, of course, not allowed in the as-issued matches.

Are your Criterion non-chrome lined barrels short chambered, or unchambered, or do they have the same pre-made chamber dimensions the chrome-lined ones do? I assume the Krieger is unchambered, as the M1A match heavy barrel I got direct from him a decade back came that way, but perhaps the standard contour version you sell is different?
OK, here goes.

Get a copy of The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide. Therein you will find the procedure for chambering a Garand for the proper headspace, before barrel installation. That will allow you to determine whether a given barrel requires headspacing, and if so, help you ream to the proper depth. Frankly, I have a pull-through reamer that I've never had to use. One reason Clint developed the off-rifle chamber reaming procedure was so that he could polish the chamber after reaming, which is not practical when you finish ream after the barrel is installed.

Our chrome-lined barrels are dimensioned so that they will 99% of the time make headspace; we can do this because we're working with USGI Garand receivers, which have perfect interchangeability, and USGI bolts, which, when new, also are interchangeable. The fly in the ointment is that unless you are very, very fortunate to find new components, the bolt and receiver will be used and thus worn, though the receivers don't wear very quickly unless grossly abused. (An aside: a fellow once approached me at a gun show with a factory-wrapped package of five brand-new complete Garand bolt assemblies. I used one for the build in The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide; I still have one left .)

If the above is the case, why then are non-chrome-lined barrels short-chambered? Mostly because you can finish-ream them. Finish-reaming will allow you to get "minimum" headspace if you're careful. Note that the barrels we offer are not "unchambered," they are short-chambered. A few turns with a finish reamer will complete the throat, and a few more will lengthen the chamber as needed.

Anyway, I don't often ask people directly to buy the book, but in this case, I'll make an exception. The whole subject of barrel installation, chambering & headspacing is exhaustively detailed and lavishly illustrated.

So...does this help?

Best regards,

Walt
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