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Old December 7, 2012, 12:21 AM   #1
Famas
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AR bull barrel question - why stainless?

Hi - At several gun shows of vendors selling AR upper assemblies with bull barrels, as well as the same things in several gun catalogs, I've noticed that most AR bull barrels are in stainless steel and not blued. Is there any particular reason for this?

Thanks.
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Old December 7, 2012, 01:49 AM   #2
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Other then the obvious im not sure . Stainless steel does not need to be treated to protect the metal so it's just an added expense . Most barrels and or gun parts are blued or otherwise treated to protect the metal from rust , corrosion and what not . There is no need for that and it looks cool too.
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Old December 7, 2012, 07:24 AM   #3
rebs
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SS barrels are extremely accurate
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Old December 7, 2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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I think maybe it might be an aesthetic feature, or perhaps a selling feature, where the manufacturer believes to coat the barrel would be to lose an attention getting aspect to a rifle which, for all practical purposes, is exactly like every other AR15.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:44 AM   #5
30Cal
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It's popular. They behave pretty much the same; at towards the end of life, CM supposedly dies a little more gracefully. At the end of the day, the only real diff is that SS is shiny and more idiotproof.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Stainless match grade barrels are less labor intensive to manufacturer. Stainless barrel material like 416R machines easy and leaves a very smooth finish compared to CVM steel.

Stainless is more resistant to corrosion and is easier to clean.

I have three stainless AR barrels, two are coated and one is raw. It seems to me the trend is for coated or painted stainless barrels for the AR the past year or two.

ArmaLite and Noveske use 416R stainless for their target barrels.

This is a 416R stainless mini sass barrel from DPMS, a heavy bull profile with a Teflon finish. They are less than $200 dealer price and are very accurate barrels. I don't think you can match the price and quality in CVM steel.

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Old December 7, 2012, 09:02 AM   #7
Fishbed77
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Quote:
SS barrels are extremely accurate
This (and what madcrate said above).

Generally, SS barrels in ARs are more accurate than chrome-lined barrels, and provide more corrosion resistance and are easier to clean than non-chrome-lined carbon steel barrels.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:44 AM   #8
Famas
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Ok, thanks to all for the replies.

I can understand that stainless would provide for better quality + accuracy. I suppose my main point of contention is I do not particularly like the high visibility and reflective aspects of such barrels compared with blued or parkerized barrels.

I've had an AR on my mind for a while, and I'm still trying to figure out which brand, but I do know I'd like to have a bull barrel. I just which I could have one in a darkened finish.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
I've had an AR on my mind for a while, and I'm still trying to figure out which brand, but I do know I'd like to have a bull barrel. I just which I could have one in a darkened finish.
If the rifle you want has a stainless finish barrel you could have it painted. Duracoat is bullet proof and affordable. Alumahyde is down right cheap, DIY, a little time consuming for the drying process.
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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There is no real difference in accuracy potential between stainless and chrome-moly barrels. The difference shows up at the end of the barrel's life. Chrome-moly tends to lose accuracy slowly while stainless drops off more suddenly. Sort of like alkaline batteries verses lithium. And when I say drops off I mean that the rifles' groups begin to open up at distances beyond 400 yards. The number of rounds downrange before this occurs varies but is surprisingly similar between the two metals. It is really only noticed by the competitive shooter who depends on consistent performance.
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