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Old April 24, 2019, 03:30 PM   #1
riffraff
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Who's chrome lined barrel to pick?

I have a future build planned where I want to put together a carry handle upper with a 16 inch barrel, in 5.56. There's just not much out there you find in the configuration (20 inch barrels yes but not the shorter ones)...

Id like this to be of some quality, not so much for tac driving rather for general robustness - like for tracers, getting it hot, lots of volume through it, longevity, etc.. etc..

Im fairly sure it will be a mid length with a non free float guard (probably a magpul with a forward grip), m4 ramps, of course a gas block sight, definitely a 1:7 twist, chrome lined, not a lightweight barrel (maybe a gvt though), and if Im going to piece things together I think I may as well spend a little extra and go for a higher end CHF barrel, ie DD maybe.. Looks like at the moment there are deals to be had so looking for opinions as I will probably grab one soon.

Thanks!
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Old April 24, 2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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Just gonna blast with it what does it matter?
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Old April 24, 2019, 04:20 PM   #3
sevt_chevelle
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BCM, FN
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Old April 24, 2019, 05:08 PM   #4
rickyrick
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My favorite barrels are not chrome lined.

But yeah, the intended use stated, just get the lowest cost barrel you can find.

If you shoot out a barrel, you are probably in the financial position to buy another barrel/rifle
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Old April 24, 2019, 05:17 PM   #5
riffraff
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
Just gonna blast with it what does it matter?
To me it matters partly because its gonna end up being a barrel I probably buy as a single part, so if I spend an extra $100 on this critical piece I figure its a better rifle. Then secondly I want something that can take abuse, I figure gonna have better luck if its built to high standards.
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Old April 24, 2019, 05:44 PM   #6
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“Chrome Lined” is so a lesser quality barrel will be as good as a better quality barrel... Unless you are saying that chrome playing has many different levels of quality based on cost, then the extra money you are paying is for the barrel that was made before the chrome was applied. So go cheap, shoot it out then buy another...
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Old April 24, 2019, 05:52 PM   #7
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I'm pretty happy with the DS Arms barrel I have. Is my first chrome lined barrel. I'm a big fan of nitrided barrels, but this DSA is better and more accurate than I expected.
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Old April 24, 2019, 06:14 PM   #8
riffraff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by precision_shooter View Post
“Chrome Lined” is so a lesser quality barrel will be as good as a better quality barrel... Unless you are saying that chrome playing has many different levels of quality based on cost, then the extra money you are paying is for the barrel that was made before the chrome was applied. So go cheap, shoot it out then buy another...
My understanding, correct if Im wrong. When you look at the manufacturers of quality military grade stuff they are often both CHF and chrome lined, with some not being CHF. As I understand it the chrome is what holds up to abuse (if applied right) and CHF is for both an accuracy and toughness improvement. So I figure if I want something that is really robust thats the barrel, no?
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Old April 24, 2019, 08:14 PM   #9
precision_shooter
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For your stated purpose, ANY quality chrome-lined barrel will suffice. So why spend $200 for brand X when you could spend $100 for brand Y.

The only reason to spend more is if you want higher quality than “military grade”. But, again, for your stated purpose, of just throwing lead down range and longevity ANY quality chrome-lined barrel will allow that.

Although, you seem to have a counter reason of why you don’t want what everyone is suggesting, therefore already know what you want to get. Why not ask for opinions good or bad for the specific barrel you have in mind?
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Old April 24, 2019, 09:40 PM   #10
riffraff
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I never said I didn't want what people were suggesting, FN and BCM are both hammer forged and chrome lined. Not familiar with DS but will look into them too..

The only thing I disagree with is the idea chrome barrels are just a cheap way to compensate for bad manufacturing, seems like more typically its the high end stuff thats chrome lined while the commercial stuff is nitride or stainless.

Thanks guys!

Last edited by riffraff; April 24, 2019 at 09:45 PM.
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Old April 24, 2019, 11:20 PM   #11
jmstr
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Do you want an A2 upper?

or are you looking for an A3/A4 Upper, with a detachable carry handle?


If you were unaware, Palmetto State Armory sells CHF Chrome-Lined barrels that are made from 'machine gun steel'- as these are allegedly from the same assembly line as the ones FN makes for their 249 and M4s.

I have both a 20" and a 16" A3/4 upper from them with the detachable carry handles, and these barrels have the CHF stamp, as well as being stamped 'FN' on them. Some day I'll sell the 16" upper, as I prefer the 20" for my purposes.

FN's factory is in the same town as Palmetto. Here is a link for what I am talking about, in the 16": PSA 16" Carbine CHF upper

There are other options, but I have always had good luck, and good support, from PSA.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old April 25, 2019, 11:40 AM   #12
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The chrome lining is there to improve durability which is what you say you want. Chrome plating is detrimental to accuracy.
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Old April 25, 2019, 12:52 PM   #13
riffraff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmstr View Post
Do you want an A2 upper?

or are you looking for an A3/A4 Upper, with a detachable carry handle?


If you were unaware, Palmetto State Armory sells CHF Chrome-Lined barrels that are made from 'machine gun steel'- as these are allegedly from the same assembly line as the ones FN makes for their 249 and M4s.

I have both a 20" and a 16" A3/4 upper from them with the detachable carry handles, and these barrels have the CHF stamp, as well as being stamped 'FN' on them. Some day I'll sell the 16" upper, as I prefer the 20" for my purposes.

FN's factory is in the same town as Palmetto. Here is a link for what I am talking about, in the 16": PSA 16" Carbine CHF upper

There are other options, but I have always had good luck, and good support, from PSA.

Just my 2 cents.
Specifically I want an A2, carry handle upper, not a flat top. Unfortunately these being out of favor and a 16 inch not being historically accurate, there's only one compny Ive even seen selling them and they are unknown to me so I think its gotta be a build.
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Old April 25, 2019, 02:45 PM   #14
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Those carry handle uppers are pretty spendy and sometimes hard to obtain, I had wanted to make an A1/A2 clone but lost interest before I could ever get my hands on one.

What era are you wanting to replicate? There are differences between the years besides just carry handle or flat top.

I own a 16” FN CHF barrel and it pretty good, not as accurate as my unlined barrels. The difference is minimal and not scientific; so it’s merely my perception and opinion and not stating as fact.
Also, military m16s didn’t have CHF barrels, but in theory CHF is good to go.

I would get one of the FN barrels from PSA if they have what you want. I like their products just fine.

I will probably end up building a flattop government fakery as I had given up on the carry handle upper
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Old April 25, 2019, 03:08 PM   #15
riffraff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
Those carry handle uppers are pretty spendy and sometimes hard to obtain, I had wanted to make an A1/A2 clone but lost interest before I could ever get my hands on one.

What era are you wanting to replicate? There are differences between the years besides just carry handle or flat top.

I own a 16” FN CHF barrel and it pretty good, not as accurate as my unlined barrels. The difference is minimal and not scientific; so it’s merely my perception and opinion and not stating as fact.
Also, military m16s didn’t have CHF barrels, but in theory CHF is good to go.

I would get one of the FN barrels from PSA if they have what you want. I like their products just fine.

I will probably end up building a flattop government fakery as I had given up on the carry handle upper
Ya fitted out they are about $200, but figure in that is also a good quality rear sight included in the package. I want an A2 because they offer elevation adjustment, but in reality its not needed just I figure may as well have it..

It is important to pay attention to the details, not all have shell deflectors or M4 ramps (I think those features are not historically accurate but I certainly want them).

For me its not about a replica - I just like the style, makes for a tough and reliable rifle. Nice to keep a couple around with iron sights.
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Old April 25, 2019, 03:33 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
The chrome lining is there to improve durability which is what you say you want. Chrome plating is detrimental to accuracy.
This is what I have heard also. You sacrifice accuracy for durability but for riffraffs application it might be a good choice. Nitriding is also controversial since from what I understand it requires a lot of heat and can affect the barrels hardness. That info was from a barrel maker (Krieger) that says they don't do either. My AK-47 is a chromed barrel and they last upwards of 20,000 rounds so for a battle rattle gun it would probably be my choice.
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Old April 25, 2019, 04:15 PM   #17
riffraff
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It is true that generally chrome is a detriment to accuracy but reviews of Daniel Defense accuracy prove its not a hard rule, reportedly they are extremely accurate, so what is best seems more about quality than lining choice.. seems like stainless uncoated would be ideal in a low volume bench rifle but might not last long when you are roasting it every time it leaves the safe.
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Old April 25, 2019, 08:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
The chrome lining is there to improve durability which is what you say you want. Chrome plating is detrimental to accuracy.
I agree. There are some companies like DS Arms that are very good at applying chrome, but I still nitrided barrels are more accurate.
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Old April 26, 2019, 07:46 AM   #19
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I found this useful when I was searching for barrels. It appears the technology is converging.

https://faxonfirearms.com/blog/frequ...-chrome-lined/

To be honest - unless you have access to a select fire lower, SBN is the best choice for the value these days. The time chrome lined barrels shine over nitride is at a temperature where your rifle is likely to cook off rounds left in the chamber... just saying.

Also, the accuracy thing between CL and SBN (for me) is a bit of a myth. My 20" CL PSA with handloads is reliably sub-MOA.
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Old May 13, 2019, 04:37 PM   #20
bfoosh006
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Remember when Mr. Gunsngear and Faxon did a Nitrate v. Chrome lined test ?

Well the results never came out, because the barrel got lost in the mail.

IMHO, if you are going to treat your barrel abusively... go with chrome.

If you want a cheap nitrated barrel, that you are going to be willing to replace.. then go with nitrated.

A properly produce CL'd barrel can be plenty accurate... all my PSA upper FN CHF CL barrels are also very accurate
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Old May 14, 2019, 09:47 AM   #21
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I have a lot of chrome line barrels and even more nitrate barrels. I have chrome barrels in .223/5/56, 6.8 and .308. All of my nitrate barrels in those calibers are more accurate than the chrome barrels. Nitrate is an improvement and use on new technology for barrel treatments and not just a cheaper way to protect the barrel. To each his own, but I won't buy another chrome barrel.
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Old May 15, 2019, 04:26 PM   #22
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I wonder which barrels folks would choose - chrome, nitrate, or other if they knew it was going to be on a dedicated M16 which will see a good amount of full-auto and/or 3-burst fire? I'm not aware of anything better than chrome, but I really haven't researched this in a long time either.
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Old May 15, 2019, 08:28 PM   #23
veprdude
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How much are you looking to spend on a build? Older Colt HBAR barrels used to go for about $200.

Funny how everyone was trying to get rid of their A2 setups 10 years ago. Now they're all the rage.
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Old May 15, 2019, 08:32 PM   #24
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Oops. Missed the part about wanting a 16" barrel. What about buying a "worthless" 20" chrome barrel with no threading and getting it cut and threaded?

For cost, find an A2 upper with chrome 20" barrel from the AWB days. I got one cut down and threaded to 10.5" a year ago for less than $100. There is probably almost zero demand for an unthreaded barrel at a gun show if you find one.
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Old May 15, 2019, 09:45 PM   #25
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I wonder which barrels folks would choose - chrome, nitrate, or other if they knew it was going to be on a dedicated M16 which will see a good amount of full-auto and/or 3-burst fire? I'm not aware of anything better than chrome, but I really haven't researched this in a long time either.

For most shooters, Nitride is probably best. But like you noted, chrome is more appropriate for military use and with full-auto firing and extreme duty cycles. Even if I was firing full auto, I'd still go with Nitrade for better accuracy and increased corrosion protection.
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