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Old December 18, 2008, 12:38 AM   #1
blacksky
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Advantages or not to a fluted barrel???

A fluted barrel offers more surface area that is supposed to cool faster. Are there any other advantages or disadvantages to this configuration?
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Old December 18, 2008, 12:51 AM   #2
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A fluted barrel has more rigidity than a standard barrel, but not the weight of a full bull barrel.
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Old December 18, 2008, 12:56 AM   #3
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With less material it heats up faster too. It's less rigid than the same contour barrel without the removed material.

It will weigh a bit less.

AFAIC it about aesthetics.

A fluted bolt makes a bit more sense to me, but I don't care to drop that kind of coin on something that will save a very marginal amount of weight unless I have a very light action to begin with ie... 700Ti.
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Old December 18, 2008, 12:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
A fluted barrel has more rigidity than a standard barrel
No sir (or madam), that's not right, unless you have a heavier contour to begin with.
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Old December 18, 2008, 01:20 AM   #5
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A fluted barrel will be stiffer than a standard barrel of the same weight.

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Old December 18, 2008, 01:27 AM   #6
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Firingline forum from 05-10-2008

Why are Rifle Barrels Fluted?

From Shilen Barrels FAQ

What about "fluting" a barrel?
Fluting is a service we neither offer nor recommend. If you have a Shilen barrel fluted, the warranty is void. Fluting a barrel can induce unrecoverable stresses that will encourage warping when heated and can also swell the bore dimensions, causing loose spots in the bore. A solid (un-fluted) barrel is more rigid than a fluted barrel of equal diameter. A fluted barrel is more rigid than a solid barrel of equal weight. All rifle barrels flex when fired. Accuracy requires that they simply flex the same and return the same each time they are fired, hence the requirement for a pillar bedded action and free floating barrel. The unrecoverable stresses that fluting can induce will cause the barrel to flex differently or not return from the flexing without cooling down a major amount. This is usually longer than a shooter has to wait for the next shot. The claim of the flutes helping to wick heat away faster is true, but the benefit of the flutes is not recognizable in this regard until the barrel is already too hot.
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Old December 18, 2008, 01:30 AM   #7
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because it looks nice
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Old December 18, 2008, 01:46 AM   #8
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they cool off faster, but if you think about it, they also heat up faster.. i don't know if anyone has done any studies on what the perfect balance is.

Generally speaking, you aren't really adding strength, you're just removing material in such a manner that it doesnt sacrifice strength. Same concept as I-beams in construction.
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Old December 18, 2008, 06:31 AM   #9
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The advantages of fluting are few. If a rifle has a bull barrel and the stock is routed out for that diameter, but the owner thinks the barrel it too heavy, a fluted barrel can be installed to restore the balance while fitting the stock.

The fluting's small increase in surface area doesn't significantly improve cooling as much as bead-blasting the surface of a round barrel.

Accuracy by fluting may be affected more in centerfire barrels that heat up more than .22LR barrels in normal circumstances. The diameter of the barrel being fluted can make a difference in the heat warpage effect. Thinner sporter barrels are probably affected more than bull barrels with the same fluting depth.

But, fluting adds sex appeal, especially spiral fluting. "Ya pays ya money and ya makes yor choice."

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Old December 18, 2008, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
But, fluting adds sex appeal, especially spiral fluting. "Ya pays ya money and ya makes yor choice."
I have a savage 22-250 that came fluted. I can't imagine it removed more than a half pound of material. I would not pay extra for it.

Sex Appeal

LOL.
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Old December 18, 2008, 09:03 AM   #11
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I have two Rem 700's with stainless fluted barrels... They look cool. They may take off a small amount of weight... They look cool... They surely throw a monkey wrench into the consistency of heating and cooling cycles... They look cool.. I don't think a barrel needs to be any more rigid than it is before fluting (I don't think fluting adds to rigidity either)... They look cool... I wouldn't pay extra for fluting (bought mine dirt cheap from Dad).. They look cool...
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Old December 18, 2008, 09:12 AM   #12
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I-BEAMS

Its as much A Sales Gimmick as anything. The only advantage(if it is one)is weight reduction. If you notice most of the accurate factory barrels are not fluted. If it were an advantage all of the companies would go fluted. Common SENSE tells me if you have A certain size barrel and you remove strips of metal from it how could anyone think it strengthens it. We're not talking I-Beams here.
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Old December 18, 2008, 09:26 AM   #13
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The last 2 posts say it all.

You guys are some smart cookies.
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Old December 18, 2008, 09:39 AM   #14
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
Common SENSE tells me if you have A certain size barrel and you remove strips of metal from it how could anyone think it strengthens it.
stronger v. barrel of the same weight, not of the same diameter without flutes. I believe it probably does.

I agree it is marketing ploy. The cost to benefit is almost nothing. You could add all kinds of other features to your rifle before this made much sense from a performance standpoint. From a looks standpoint? Cherry stock, then a fluted barrel. Lets see how many people dislike my cherry stock.
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Old December 18, 2008, 10:27 AM   #15
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a fluted barrel is lighter and is cool looking. Beyond that, I don't think they serve any purpose. I don't think they really cool any faster then non-fluted barrels. How fast they heat up is a factor of how thick they are.
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Old December 18, 2008, 10:31 AM   #16
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Since no one pointed out the obvious... They look COOL!!!!
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Old December 18, 2008, 10:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Since no one pointed out the obvious... They look COOL!!!!
Do they? They remind me of big shiny wheels on an old Buick.
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:12 AM   #18
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If you have ever grabbed them heavy wheels on a fine OLD american lathe and vertical mill, machine out by your self for a project, you come to enjoy various types of machining for various reasons... especially if you are NOT a machinist when you do this...
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:15 AM   #19
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No, I've never operated a mill or lathe. Wish I had access to one, but alas I don't. If I did, fluting would not be high on my list.

This would be:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=947189
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:21 AM   #20
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All I know is that the last super shoot I went to I saw no fluted barrels. If it had even a slight advantage the benchers would use it. Tom Sarver supposedly says it is useless, he holds the 1000yrd record in both score and group size.
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:23 AM   #21
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I've fluted several barrels. The goal was to lighten up the gun for my state biathalon team. I started on some Mossberg 22s we used for our second teams, before I tried it on our pricy ANSCH√úTZ.

First, we must understand that any barrel, regardless, acts like a water hose when its fired. It flops around. Regardless of whether you see it or not, it flops around (reasoning for free floating).

All barrels, regardless of material has hard and soft spots. When you flute a barrel you run the risk of hitting soft or hard spots, which may or may not
disturb the so called flopping around I discribed above. The finished product may or may not shoot when you get trough. There is no way to tell a head of time.

On the guns that shot, the flutting worked. It lightened up the rifle. Some shot good, some didnt. I lucked out and didnt ruin any of our Anschutz, but was prepaired to replace the barrels before I started.

The barrel will be stiffer, same as angle iron is stiffer the rolled steel, triangles are stronger then circles, Whether it mades a differance in shooting is strickly up to the individual gun (and peoples opinion). No two guns will react the same way to the same changes.

I was responsible for the guns mentioned above and was willing to take the flack for screwing up the states guns. However if (and I doubt I get into the business) I was to take on the job of fluting anothers gun, you can bet you're gonna sign a waiver relieving me of the liability of replacing the barrel if the gun no longer shoots. Its an iffy project with no guarenttees, Its a gamble. I never saw a gun that shot better, lighter allowing less work for the if you have to carry it several miles on skis, and if you're less wore out you are gonna shoot better. But I doubt it actually makes the gun shoot better. I have seen them shoot worse.

But hey, you want to gamble, go for it, I've done a heck of a lot worse things to guns in my experimentation. But then I'm nuts, I like to play around.
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
The barrel will be stiffer, same as angle iron is stiffer the rolled steel, triangles are stronger then circles,
Kraig, this is just not true unless you have a larger OD barrel to begin with. Jim mentioned that in barrels of the same weight the fluted one will be more rigid, and that's true. Take a barrel with a slightly heavier contour and flute that and you can achieve a barrel that is both lighter and more rigid (there's a win/win in there; but is it worth the effort and coin? dunno fer you, it isn't fer me).

http://www.snipercountry.com/Article...relFluting.asp
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Old December 18, 2008, 11:33 AM   #23
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I want to add this:

I'm the last guy to discourage one from doing any expermetation.

I fluted barrels on a milling machine using a ball mill. Its not really that hard of a project. I was running the state marksmanship unit. In target shooting your team is gonna wear out a lot of barrels over the years. These barrels arnt much good for anything but they are perfect for pratacing your gun smithing. Whether it be fluting, chambering, barrel threading or what ever. If you screw up you are out nothing.

The same with fluting. Get a bunch of barrels and practice. Cant hurt nothing. I also make my own case gages out of shot out barrels.

Even if you're saving the barrels to sell as scap, you still have the scraps and shavings. The by scape iron by the pound not shape. I've made some wierd stuff out of shot out barrels.
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Old December 18, 2008, 12:30 PM   #24
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I think the best you can say for fluting a barrel is that it might not hurt, and probably won't. If the purpose is to lighten the barrel then it would have merit. As far as increasing the cooling speed or making it more ridgid, I'd think the flutes would have to be seriously deep to make any difference. Cutting flutes that deep in the steel might create or release vibration nodes that would not be manifest otherwise.
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Old December 18, 2008, 12:34 PM   #25
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A fluted barrel offers more surface area that is supposed to cool faster
It cools faster because there is less metal. It also heats up faster. I am sure the increased surface area increases the cooling, but you have to wonder how much more surface area you are really adding. I believe it is minimal. I flute 2 or 3 barrels a week.
Quote:
A fluted barrel has more rigidity than a standard barrel,
Barrel rigidity is a function of cross-section diameter. A fluted barrel is more rigid than a non-fluted barrel of equal weight, because it has a greater diameter.

The primary reason for fluting a barrel used to be weight reduction, but it seems as if it is now used as a decoration (examples are diamond fluting, helical fluting, interrupted fluting, etc, found on a variety of firearms).
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