Now for the barrel

Discussion in 'Sako Short Actions' started by Chris Anderson, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of building a custom rifle on an L461 action. I've got the action and the walnut blank but I could use some collective wisdom / opinions on what barrel to put on it.

    This rifle is going to be a accurate, light weight, fun, walking around varminter. I searched the forum and compiled a list of the barrel manufactures discussed on SCC:

    Bill Morrison
    Pac-Nor
    Greg Tannel
    Shilen
    Bartlein
    Kreiger
    Lilja
    Hart
    Gale McMillian ​

    Of those barrel manufactures it looks like Pac-Nor is talked about the most. How does Pac-Nor compare with the other barrel makers listed above. Could I get better accuracy/pricing from one of the other makers over Pac-Nor? Or will a Pac-Nor barrel shoot better than I can so further research is a waste of time?


    If you were building a accurate, light weight, fun, walking around varminter what contour would you use? Is there somewhat of a contour standard or does everyone sort of do their own thing?

    I want a specific distance from the bullet ogive to the lands. Can/will a barrel maker install my barrel to those specs or do I need to take it to a different gunsmith?

    Your willingness to share your wisdom is appreciated.

    Thanks
    ChrisA
     

  2. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    Hi Chris

    Well for starters if Bill Morrison was still alive I would go for one of his barrels before any other. Bill made his own and as for quality they were head and shoulders above anything else on the market.

    Now for realism. Pac Nor, Shilen, Hart or Greg Tannel all produce barrels of excellent quality and accuracy. The real question becomes, how long are you willing to wait for one?

    Best of luck with your project.

    rick
     
  3. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I'm not in a big rush but it would be nice to have the barrel in a month or two. If you are wanting a standard barrel you can find some in stock barrels for some of the makers. But for some I see 4 - 6 month lead times.

    I guess I'll have to contact these makers and see how far out they are.

    Thanks Rick
     
  4. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Keep an eye out on this and other sites,\; I bought a new barrel for less than half price on 24HC.

    Probably between any of those barrels, whatever you choose will be your favorite, there's probably not a difference any of us could tell.

    Ask your builder's recommendation.
     
  5. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I had Dennis Olson build rifles for me and used Lilja barrels. They are both in Plains, Montana and do exceptional work. If you check one of the Nosler loading manuals, you will see just how many of the test barrels that were used in compiling that data, were Lilja barrels. If you want confirmation of this check out this independent source...http://riflebarrels.com/the-details-of-accuracy/
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    Unclekax likes this.
  6. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Then I'll bet Dennis knows the Lilja guys and can source a barrel easier than I can. That would be a big plus.

    Thanks Kirk
     
  7. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    One or two more questions ;-)

    As I research barrel twist rates the posts are saying 1:12 and 1:14 are my best options. If I'm only shooting a Sierra 52 gr HPBT Match does it make any difference which of those twists I use? I'm sure I won't be using anything heaver than 55 gr but I've been thinking about something lighter, like maybe a 50 gr or 40 - 45 gr.

    What kind of barrel profile do I want for a walking around varmint gun? I'm planning a 24" to help balance the 15" LOP I'll need but how thick/heavy do I want the barrel? How much taper do the ultra light sako barrels have?

    Thanks
    ChrisA
     
  8. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Caliber? Chambering?
    I'm assuming 22 cal, You may want to step up (later) to a 60 gr partition or something a little heavier, thus I'd go with a slightly faster twist, maybe 8 to 10,
     
  9. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Oh, sorry. I guess that would be important information <sigh>.

    I'm building a little 221 Fireball walking around varmint gun on an L461. I've decided to work up a load for the Sierra 52 gr HPBT and just use that one load.`

    You probably know how it is ;). All of a sudden you want to go shooting with your buddy but when you go to grab your rifle you're not sure you remember which load it's sighted in for because you've been experimenting with different bullets/kinds of powder etc. So this will be a one load rifle that's always ready, because I've got 100 rounds of its favorite load on the shelf and it's for sure sighted in with that load.

    I've always had real good luck with the Sierra 52 gr but if that doesn't work out I plan on sticking to the 45 gr to 55 gr bullets because of the small case size.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  10. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've long since sworn off having multiple loads for one rifle. Working up just one good load and sticking to it simplifies life. This is particularly true if you own a number of different rifles ample to cover all of your hunting/shooting needs and don't have to depend on a rifle to serve multiple purposes.

    The Fireball is a real screamer with 40 grain bullets. In my two Fireballs I shoot exclusively a 40 grain polymer-tipped bullet (take your choice among brands as all are good). With either AA1680 or AA2200 you can push these between 3300 and 3400 fps, giving them a somewhat flatter trajectory than a heavier bullet. I can't think of anything I'd hunt with a Fireball which these bullets wouldn't be appropriate to (except for perhaps turkeys where you wouldn't want the explosive nature of the little pills.)
     
  11. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Simplified is what I'm shooting for. ;)


    That's real good for such a small case. I've never shot 40 gr in a .22 center fire but it sounds like I need to start.


    Of course you could just shoot the turkey in the head.

    Don't know if I'd be shooting coyotes with the .221 but I'd probably have to pick a less frangible bullet if I did.

    If my go-to bullet is going to be a 40 gr I'd probably want a 1:14 twist barrel then, right? Or would there not be a noticeable difference between a 1:2 twist and a 1:14 twist with a 40 gr bullet?

    Thanks stonecreek
     
  12. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    No noticeable difference unless you are a REALLY good shot and practice A LOT!
    If ordering new then get what you want (I'd go down to probably a 1:10 - just in case,) but it's your rifle, your project get what you want.
    If you find a second hand barrel, then the twist will be what's available (basically - if I'm understanding you - any twist from say 8 or 9 to 14 will suit you fine)

    Also, should you switch to a copper or "lead free" bullet - they are the same weight but longer, thus benefit from a slower twist (and more "jump" to the barrel).
    A "less frangible" projectile will probably be longer too, thus liking a slower twist.
     
  13. Spotshooter

    Spotshooter Member

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    I know a lot of 22-250 guys go with fast twist like 1:8 so they can shoot longer bullets and reach way out there.

    The really cool effect however is the bullets RPM’s are way higher which makes them explode a good deal more when they hit.
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    A 1-14" twist (long time the standard for .22 centerfires) will stabilize any conventional bullet up to 60 grains. You'll want much lighter bullets for your Fireball, so 1-14" is plenty of twist. By the way, early Sako .222 barrels were 1-16" (they just used the Hornet barrels at first) and the one I have shoots 55 grain Hornadys into dime-sized groups.

    As to using 40 grain bullets, just ask Kirkbridger, who probably shoots five times the number of prairie dogs each year than I do. He swears by them even in larger cases like the .222 Magnum.
     
  15. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Great news. I can't imagine when I'd ever need to shoot bullets larger than 55 gr.

    I'd be tickled with dime sized groups. :)

    Thanks stonecreek
     
  16. Spotshooter

    Spotshooter Member

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    Dime size groups just means getting a good gunsmith, good barrel... maybe a custom reamer...

    More important make sure you tell the guy the bullets and brass you use so he can chamber it for what you want.
     
  17. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I've got a good gunsmith and I'm planning on a Lilja barrel but I've never considered a custom reamer. So I'd have a reamer made specifically for the brand of brass, bullet ogive and loaded length? I am going to send him a bullet so he can measure for himself. How expensive are custom reamers?

    Dime sized groups are my goal so what ever it takes.

    Thanks
    ChrisA
     
  18. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    The only time I ever had a reamer made it cost somewhere above 100 bucks, but that was 20 years ago.

    And if anybody needs a finish reamer in 8x57R/360 (not 8x57 Mauser), only used once, send me a PM.
     
  19. ohiochuck

    ohiochuck Active Member

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    Lilja Barrels
    I have had several rimfire and center fire rifles built using Lilja barrels
    Greg Tannel built two .17 Remington -one was on a Sako 75 action; Butch Weyand at Cascade Arms two Cascade Extreme rifles (.17 Ackley & .22 Mink) and two Alpine rifles in .17 Squirrel; Gordy Gritters re-barreled a Model 70 and two Winchester model 52s.
    Excellent workman ship and excellent barrels.
    Any of the barrels you listed will work.
    Have fun!
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019 at 2:36 AM
  20. Spotshooter

    Spotshooter Member

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    I was lucky enough to learn the “Gritters method” of chambering a barrel from Gordy himself - but custom reamers today are not 100 bucks anymore.
     

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