50 Cal barrel questions
I am looking at having a 50 cal made and I am trying to determine what type of barrel would be the best to use.
First of all what brand should I look at using, Lilja, Krieger, Norton, etc...?
Second, what is going to be the difference between stainless and chrome moly? I would like mine to be tactical appearance.
Third, I am looking at probably a Target Contour barrel at around 36 inches for shooting long distance. Is this the best length?
Last, What kind of brake would be optimal to use on a target contour of about 1.5 in barrel?
I would ask this question at the fifty caliber shooter's association, lot's of info there.
If you google results on the 50 cal matches, sometimes there are equipment lists of the competitors so you can get an idea of winning gear.
You may want to settle on a bullet first (A-Max, bore rider, surplus ball) before picking a barrel.
Looking to use AMAX match ammo.
Join the FCSA - it will save you more money than your membership will cost !!!
Lilja makes the best barrels in my opinion, but that's my opinion that is shared with many top shooters. (So why did I buy a Fedderson barrel- it was quickly available at a very reasonable price.)
If you are not using it for hunting purposes, try to stay with a chrome-moly barrel. It finishes smoother inside faster than a SS barrel, allowing for least coppoer fouling and best accuracy.
Try to stay above 34" barrel length, then add an ArmaLite AR-50 muzzle brake - it IS THE BEST available for cost and delivery.
If weight is a problem, have it fluted. Fluting will reduce weight, make barrel stronger, and increase surface area for better cooling.
Amax's work best at 2700 fps.
The standard loading has been H50BMG powder. 222
I am currently testing Reloder 50 powder, with both A-MAX and solid brass bore-riders.
And VV 20N29 is my favorite powder so far with 800+ grain brass bore-rider bullets from Lehigh Bullets.
I was with you 100% till you stated that fluting a barrel makes it stronger. Please explain that statement if you would. I would think that anytime you remove material, you would be weakening it. I can see the more exposed surface area to help cool the barrel.
Next you will need to "learn how to reload the 50BMG".
I don't care how long you've been reloading - the 50BMG is a different beast when loading for accuracy (less than 0.7MOA).
With a lot of re-learning and some good ole luck, I've been able to shoot a 5-shot group under 5" center-to-center at 1000 yards as recorded in a FCSA match in 2010.
The trick is being able to put 6 groupings together over 2 days to count for record score and group-size.
Smallest 5-shot group with a 50BMG in sanctioned competition is 1.995" C2C at 1000 yards!
NOT ME - not even close - this record solely belongs to Lee Rassmussen, a longtime FCSA member.
When you get ready to reload the 59, contact me or "subwofer2" for additional info.
As has been told to me by top barrel makers, the fluting acts like ribs on a barrel stopping the harmonics that can ocur while firing.
I don't totally understand it myself, but am thinking it thru, and think its true, I just don't know how to explain it.
For a given weight a fluted barrel will be stronger than a non fluted one, but same diameter barrel a fluted barrel will not be stronger.
I am also curious about the CM-SS comment. I have no data to say either way but virtually 100% of match barrels are SS so I have my doubts.
Until someone pipes up and informs me that I am wrong, based on what I have been told, what I have learned, and what I have read, this is how I call it:
Cut rifling - both materials are good - dependent on toolmaker grinding the cutter and the quality of the barrel blank.
Button rifling - this is how most barrels are manufactured now - invlves pulling an oversized carbide button thru a drilled, bored, honed barrel swaging rifling into barrel bore.
Microscopically the grains of the chrome-moly barrel will deform more easily and will retain the shape without "peeling" the surface of the ID.
Stainless steel has a tendency to "peel" during deformation. Initial shots will fill these pores with copper readily, thus the reason for an intensive break-in procedure in which the peelings are brushed loose and out of the barrel allowing copper to be removed from the pores or pits under the peeled flakes/ Once this operation has been completed, the SS barrel will have better corrosion resistance to powder errosion thus providing longer barrel life for the target shooter.
A hunter will very seldom fire as many shots, so the chromemoly barrels are a better fit to their needs.
Now somebody who really knows, please step up and explain it better than me. I tried!