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Old August 31, 2022, 02:13 PM   #1
Bart B.
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Fluting a Barrel

Does fluting a barrel make it stiffer?
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Old August 31, 2022, 03:44 PM   #2
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Fluting a barrel makes it less stiff . Take a barrel, flute it,it will be less stiff.

For barrels of equal weight, a fluted barrel Can be more rigid.

I'm not a barrel maker. Reading the process high quality barrel makers use to end up with a stress relieved barrel, it may be a mistake to flute a finished barrel as an afterthought.
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Old August 31, 2022, 04:33 PM   #3
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According to Varmint Al, who is an aerospace engineer and has run computer simulation tests on all this stuff, fluting makes a barrel less stiff because it removes metal. A fluted barrel is less stiff than a non-fluted barrel of the same diameter, but more stiff than a non-fluted barrel of the same weight. After that original claim of stiffer was refuted, people said a fluted barrel was better because fluting increased surface area and improved cooling. So some smart folks calculated that fluting a barrel increases surface area relative to weight about 10%, which is not much, and tapering a barrel increses its surface area relative to mass by about the same amount. So, what a lot of people want to know is does fluting a barrel make it more accurate? No, start out with an accurate barrel and it will shoot well, start out with an inaccurate barrel and fluting won't save it. Comes down to this: fluting is an attractive way to reduce weight.
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Old August 31, 2022, 11:34 PM   #4
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Strongest fluting I have ever seen is on early Hollywood and Dutch AR10 barrels
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Old September 1, 2022, 03:00 AM   #5
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fluting is an attractive way to reduce weight.
Sums it up nicely.

I wouldn't pay to have an existing barrel fluted. But the ones that come from the factory fluted don't seem to cost any more and it is in my experience a better way to reduce weight than making the barrel thinner or shorter. The greater surface area should help keep a fluted barrel cool down faster too.

For example, a Winchester Featherweight has a thin profile barrel. The Winchester Extreme Weather uses a fluted standard contour barrel, but both weigh within an ounce or two of the same. They both removed steel from the barrel to reduce weight. But in my experience the fluted barrel on the EW is more accurate. Especially after 2-3 shots as the thinner Featherweight barrel heats up.
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