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Old December 14, 2004, 01:51 AM   #1
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Fluted Barrels

I am looking for a new rifle, and am considering a fluted stainless barrel. I am looking for any infomation regarding the pros and cons of fluting. In my mind, fluting reduces weight. It also increases surface area, which would aid in cooling, and possibly increase rigidity. Does it lend to weaker spots in the barrel? It seams as if many if not most offer fluted barrels. I believe that the military does not utilize them though, and I believe them to have good reason, but am clueless as to why. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Old December 14, 2004, 06:08 AM   #2
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Fluting does reduce weight while maintaining stiffness and some additional cooling is gained. Strength is not a problem.If the flutes are not cut carefully it will add stresses to the barrel effecting accuracy.Most think it's not worth the trouble.
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Old December 14, 2004, 11:43 AM   #3
bill k
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"American rifleman" points out the big advantage of the Remington Sendero with the fluted barrel is you get varmit rifle accuracy in a big bore rifle. I have one in 300 ultra mag and love it.
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Old December 14, 2004, 03:16 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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I don't recall the article, don't follow the magnums very closely, but just how did they say the flutes helped accuracy?

Fluting reduces weight: I saw a really radical set of flutes that took off 14 ounces. Most commercial flutes are maybe 4 ounces.
Fluting adds heat transfer: Theoretically yes, but if you are shooting a good quality rifle fast enough for it to matter like a Hotchkiss' or early Thompson's fins, you are shooting way to fast.
Fluting stiffens the barrel: No. A fluted barrel is stiffer than a straight barrel of the same weight, but is not as stiff as a straight barrel of the same diameter. You cannot increase stiffness by removing steel.

A mass produced barrel, especially if made by hammer forging, has internal stresses that I would be concerned about fluting releasing unevenly, IF deep enough to have real effect on weight or surface area. Most flutes I have seen were pretty small, mostly cosmetic.
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Old December 14, 2004, 04:25 PM   #5
James K
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There have been several reports of Sakos and Tikkas with fluted barrels blowing up with all indications of the barrel splitting at the flutes. AFAIK, there have been no injuries, but some shooters have been a bit astonished. One picture seems to show that the thickness of the barrel in the flute, about 10 inches ahead of the chamber, was less than 2mm, a very dangerous condition. This does not mean that fluted barrels are bad, or that they are all weak or dangerous, but I would be inclined to avoid fluted barrel rifles by those makers until the situation is resolved.

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Old December 14, 2004, 05:31 PM   #6
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after seeing the Sako/Tikka pictures

and reading some of the postings, about stainless metallurgy,I decided against ever having a stainless barrel, especially a fluted one. Scary stuff. and there have been some minor injuries (LUCKILY they were minor) from these guns. Pictures look like a grenade went off in the chamber.
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