Choosing a Rifle Barrel
If you've decided to replace your rifle barrel, you're in the right place— OTM carries a large selection of precision rifle barrels. However, choosing one can be difficult if you don't know what you're looking for. You'll have to keep in mind that the traits of the barrel will affect how it performs and what kind of results you'll get shooting with it. Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a rifle barrel is what feels best to you, but here are some details to consider that will help you decide.
This is probably the most important consideration. Barrel length has a profound effect on the handling of the rifle, both how it feels to you and how it shoots. A longer barrel adds more weight, which has its benefits and drawbacks; a heavier rifle has less recoil but can be more fatiguing to carry. A longer barrel generally also means a quieter rifle that also produces less of a flash when fired, since the barrel length gives the gunpowder more time to combust before the bullet exits. A longer barrel can also make aiming more accurate and produces a higher velocity shot. However, a shorter barrel is lighter and a lot easier to maneuver, especially in heavy brush or tight quarters.
Contour determines more than just how the rifle looks, but also how it performs. Contour affects the weight of the rifle barrel just as length does, making it another factor in weight and reduction of recoil. A heavier contour heats up slowly and takes a while to cool off, while a lighter contour is quicker both to heat and cool. You can always just go with a happy medium between thick and thin.
You need to choose a barrel with a twist rate appropriate for the kind of ammunition you intend to use. Twist rate determines the speed of the bullet's rotation as it travels down and exits the barrel. This rotation stabilizes the bullet in the air, as long as the twist rate is correct for that particular kind of bullet— a twist rate that's too far off will cause accuracy to greatly suffer. Longer and heavier bullets generally benefit from faster twist rates.
The barrel's longevity and how easy it is to clean both depend greatly on the material from which it's constructed. Stainless steel is tough and corrosion-resistant, won't rust, and is simple to keep clean. However, steel alloy is harder and better resists the normal wear and tear caused by shooting. There's also the matter of lining the barrel; some rifle enthusiasts prefer a chrome lining because it makes cleaning easier, while others swear that it harms the rifle's accuracy.
These are the biggest factors in choosing a rifle barrel, but there are many more variables you should educate yourself about if you want to truly weigh all the facts. All barrel choices involve some sort of trade-off, so you should also handle different rifles and get a feel for what you prefer.
Feel free to contact On the Mark for some educated help in making your purchase.