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Old May 29, 2013, 08:03 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 1998
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 2,363
With all due respect, Dfarishwheel's post would have been true for most of the history of the AR-15, but not in the last 10 years or so.

Chrome lined barrels are probably the LEAST desirable currently. There are new rifling patterns (5R and polygonal) and new surface treatments (melonite and others) that provide long life and long wear resistance. Also, our powder and primers are much better and much less corrosive pretty much eliminating the original reason for the chrome lining. The only benefit of chrome lined barrels is that they are cheaper. The base metal is typically not as good and the chrome lining process is cheaper.

Thickness build coatings, such as chrome, accentuate the metal imperfections and in many cases, the chrome lining starts to wear/tear/flake off in as little as a few thousand rounds. Spend a little time cutting and comparing barrels under the SEM and you start to see the issues. Shooting a chrome lined barrel to 30K will and a stainless barrel to 30K, in most cases have about equivalent groups sizes and hogged out throats and gas ports.

The only time I will use a Chrome lined barrel is for a cheap closet gun that won't be shot much and likely not maintained. Stainless is better for so many reasons and hardening surface treatments are yet a step or two better yet.
Good Shooting, MarkCO
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