Pre fit barrels vs gunshop barrel fitting

Cascade Hemi

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A prefit is an inexpensive blank and a cheap chamber job? You can't make this shit up!! A prefit is a barrel.that is done by a Smith without an action in hand. Whether it be a nut barrel or shouldered prefit. It doesnt have dick to do with the blank or "chamber job." What's a cheap chamber job? Greg @ Bugholes, John @ Keystone, Josh @ PVA, War Rifle, SAC, etc are doing "cheap.chamber jobs" with inexpensive blanks? Your statements are so inaccurate its laughable.

And you asked about world records being set with prefits?? Take a look at my shouldered vs prefit review above with work done by various top name smiths and cut rifled blanks donated from Bartlein, Kreiger, Mullerworks and.button blanks donated by Shilen and Criterion.

You will see in my.thread Bighorn posted and linked to a BR world record set with their action and a nut barrel prefit...


Not everyone can afford to spend the money on a full custom rifle with every little detail carefully looked after. I have rifles and work done by almost every big name smith on here including LRI. LRI has amazing customer service and does top notch work. They have been innovative in the gunsmith industry and perfected many processes in rifle making, action truing, stock inletting, etc. They take pride in their work and do a great job.

Not everyone can afford to have them or other top name smiths build them a rifle from the ground up. This and the advancements in custom actions being so consistent off the CNC from action to action really caused the prefit market to boom. Not that long ago you bought Remage or Savage small shank nut barrels from a few places and that was it. If you wanted a custom rifle you selected a action, at that time mostly rem700's and the smith made you a rifle. Today the Rem700 custom rifle market isnt what it used to be. Guys can buy a Origin for cheaper than they can have their Rem700 done over and screw a prefit on.

Guys that cant afford the full on custom can grab a Rem700, origin, TL3, etc. and screw a shouldered or nut prefit on it at home and be every bit competitive. I dont care what anyone says, a nut or shouldered prefit made with a quality blank and a quality chamber job is equally as accurate as a shouldered barrel with the same specs. I've tested and proved this time and time again here.

Prefits have their place, and the market demands them. When someone wants a full on custom with every detail cared for they know who to call...
I have two Bughole barrels and they shoot exceptionally. One a Mullerworks and one a Bartlein. Greg and Russ are a pleasure to do business with and really seem to care. On the other hand, my last gunsmith fit Proof CF barrel was a dumpster fire of an experience. My use of prefit style barrels has more to do with the terrible communication and long waits commonly experienced with gunsmiths. In the last 20 years I've had about a 50/50 good versus bad experience rate with gunsmiths. I can bed a stock pretty well and headspacing a Savage style barrel is easy; why would I gamble on a negative experience given how good prefits have gotten?
 
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6brshooter

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Pre-fits are what they are. Usually a less expensive blank and inexpensive chamber job. They are way better than a factory barrel IMO. But you get what you pay for. They are not at the level of a $350 blank and chamber job of a good br smith nor should they be expected to be. You may get a barrel capable of .1s with a pre-fit but your chances will be much better with a top of the line blank/smith IMO.
Lol, pretty bold blanket statement. So you're saying that a stutteville or area419 bartlien impact/deviance prefit is shit quality, interesting.

OP, it comes to the shop doing the work. I've saw hack gunsmiths fuck up a bartlien blank and I've saw great Smith's use a McGowan or green mountain and make a hammer. Preferably you want a great smith and great blank, but difference in performance between a bartlien/hawkhill/kreiger and a criterion/shilen is a lot less than you imagine.
 
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Dippy

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And top finishers with a BR gun in a PRS match.

I could really care less how my pre fit barrels would do in the lead sled Olympics.
BR and PRS two different animals. Same as a prefit barrel and barrel chambered by chambered by some of the top tier rifles smiths in America.
 

padom

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BR and PRS two different animals. Same as a prefit barrel and barrel chambered by chambered by some of the top tier rifles smiths in America.
Repeating the same nonsense doesnt make your statements any more true. You keep saying PRS, nobody said PRS. Read some of the info being posted instead of only believing yourself. I have custom chambered, shouldered barrel rifles I have shot and reviewed side by side with the same powders, bullets, brass, primers, etc. against prefit shouldered and prefit nut barrels. Guess what, they shot the same. Just a quick google search here's a article from Criterion using one of their barrels from NSS on a Bighorn where this guy set 800, 900 and 1000yd national records.




Shit here is a Mullerworks Cut Rifled savage small shank prefit on a Bighorn TL3 using a NSS barrel nut that shoots LIGHTS OUT. In the 0.0's and 0.1's. Can you believe that? Even different powders it still shoots just as accurate with both powders. A nut barrel that shoots that good done by Greg @ Southern PrecisionRifles/Bugholes?? Not possible right? Must be a fluke...... Cause you say it aint so. Oh and that was shot from the bench with a bipod and rear bag. No bolted down led sled.



 

Steel head

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BR and PRS two different animals. Same as a prefit barrel and barrel chambered by chambered by some of the top tier rifles smiths in America.
Exactly
Why do I want a barrel optimized for BR in my rifle I shoot out in often ugly conditions?
Don’t compare barrels for super specialized competition for barrels that are functional in a variety of applications.
This whole BR thing your sprouting is advanced dumbassery at a world record level.
 

redneckbmxer24

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Competitive in PRS, yes.

In BR... I suppose I could grab an action and install a prefit then go shoot BR but I will be at a serious disadvantage to chambers done by some of the top rifle smiths in currently America.
I had 4 full blown BR rigs built by Clay Spencer back in the day. They were all very, very accurate rifles. None were the most accurate guns/barrels I've ever owned though. The two most accurate I've had were AI rifles with AI factory barrels that are mass produced (prefits). One was a factory AINA Bartlein and the second was a AIUK Lothar (or maybe border but most likely Lothar). The third most accurate barrel I've had was on an older late 90's early 2000's 700P, the fourth was a APA build back when it was just Jared and was Patriot Arms and it was a custom 700 with a Rock Creek. The fifth most accurate was the 6PPC built by Clay.

So of the top 5 most accurate bolt guns I've ever owned, only one and number 5 was a BR build, and only two were custom builds, and the top 3 were all factory prefits. Go figure.
 

padom

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I had 4 full blown BR rigs built by Clay Spencer back in the day. They were all very, very accurate rifles. None were the most accurate guns/barrels I've ever owned though. The two most accurate I've had were AI rifles with AI factory barrels that are mass produced (prefits). One was a factory AINA Bartlein and the second was a AIUK Lothar (or maybe border but most likely Lothar). The third most accurate barrel I've had was on an older late 90's early 2000's 700P, the fourth was a APA build back when it was just Jared and was Patriot Arms and it was a custom 700 with a Rock Creek. The fifth most accurate was the 6PPC built by Clay.

So of the top 5 most accurate bolt guns I've ever owned, only one and number 5 was a BR build, and only two were custom builds, and the top 3 were all factory prefits. Go figure.
That cant be possible??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣
 

NewsShooter

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Where is the world record holder link shooting a prefit in BR?
So Im not going to dive into the factory savage barrel and factory’s ammo...

But what I will say is you need to talk to LRI and get that lead time cut way back.
Why not, it's not a high dollar barrel chambered by a "top" gunsmith. Seems appropriate to me, I screwed the barrel on and changed the bolt head from a magnum to a .223 on my kitchen counter. The target is from the first time I took it to the range to zero the scope. Zero'd it in a few rounds, shot a few dots then shot a five shot group. It was one hole so I figured I'd shoot the other five in the mag too. No idea on the size of the group, didn't see the need to measure it, it's good enough for me. Bipod and rear bag prone by a mid pack club shooter. :)



223_Target.jpg
 
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Dippy

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Repeating the same nonsense doesnt make your statements any more true. You keep saying PRS, nobody said PRS. Read some of the info being posted instead of only believing yourself. I have custom chambered, shouldered barrel rifles I have shot and reviewed side by side with the same powders, bullets, brass, primers, etc. against prefit shouldered and prefit nut barrels. Guess what, they shot the same. Just a quick google search here's a article from Criterion using one of their barrels from NSS on a Bighorn where this guy set 800, 900 and 1000yd national records.




Shit here is a Mullerworks Cut Rifled savage small shank prefit on a Bighorn TL3 using a NSS barrel nut that shoots LIGHTS OUT. In the 0.0's and 0.1's. Can you believe that? Even different powders it still shoots just as accurate with both powders. A nut barrel that shoots that good done by Greg @ Southern PrecisionRifles/Bugholes?? Not possible right? Must be a fluke...... Cause you say it aint so. Oh and that was shot from the bench with a bipod and rear bag. No bolted down led sled.



That’s F class. You can win F class with 1/2 moa rifle accuracy.

Where is the BR world record link using prefits?
 
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E. Bryant

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With regards to POI shifts on barrels...

Torquing a standard barrel (shoulder or "Rem-age" nut) with a nominal tenon diameter of 1.0625" to 100 ft-lb results in a load of about 6600 lbs to the receiver face. (100 ft-lbs is pretty light; anything coming from the Remington or Savage factories nowadays is way tighter.) If you assume a coefficient of friction of 0.20, then it's gonna take somewhere north of 1200 lbs to move the receiver relative to the barrel, and that's ignoring the self-centering effects of the threads (which is not insubstantial).

To put it bluntly, the barrel ain't moving with a few love taps applied between it and a fence rail. What happens to the optic and its mount is another story.
 

gnochi

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With regard to bore curvature timing, I have noticed one possible benefit: easier ammo swapping. (That said, I have a sample group of 1.5 which is nowhere near statistically significant.)

I recently moved a 6.5CM Proof Savage prefit barrel from a Savage to a Nucleus. The relative barrel clocking is almost exactly 90 degrees. On the Savage, my 100yd zeros for Hornady Superformance GMX120 and Hornady American Gunner HPBT140 were one windage click apart. On the Nucleus, they’re one elevation click apart. As such, I can set up GMX120 in my ballistics calculator as zeroed at a different distance without needing to touch my scope.
 

XLR308

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Yes I would. I don’t think you are going to our shoot a barrel spun up by a BR Smith with a prefit Bartlein or a Proof. Will they shoot good, yes. But will you achieve BR accuracy out of a prefit, well let’s see if anyone can post a world record group photo from a prefit. But that’s not the accuracy requirement we are expecting when we order a prefit. If it’ll hold half moa over a 10 shot group. Hell I’d be happy from that with a prefit.
Not trying to start a pissing match here but I think there is a considerable bit of misconception in regards to pre fits.
Sure there are some lower cost options available that don't have the aesthetics that some strive for but there are some that most certainly do have every bit of the custom feel that you describe would come from a BR gunsmith.
Case in point have you ever heard of the Kelblys or the Panda action or the Atlas action ?
How many records would you guess have been set and broken by BR shooters using such actions with barrels that all they do is call and get one spun up and sent to them.

The one they chambered for me in 65CM for an Atlas action on a Bartlien 5R barrel technically is a prefit but I doubt any gunsmith could hold tighter tolerances without running the risk of it not being able to actually thread into the action.
 
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Timetoshoot

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I dont Typically shoot under .3 MOA groups I’ve had a handful near/under .25 from this barrel/load combo.

....... And an above average (for me) number of first round hits on 1moa target to 798 yards.
 

Hondo64d

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I almost hate to mention this because I used to herald praises upon savage prefits from the tallest mountain.

Some time back before a match, I noticed my zero shifting down vertically over time. Great groups but a definite drop in POI. Put a Nightforce SHV F1 on it, zeroed, and went to a match a few days later. While checking zero before the match, I noticed my zero had dropped by about .3 mils. Hmmm... Rezeroed and shot the match. My results got progressively worse throughout the match. Upon checking zero after the match, my zero had dropped a whopping .9 mils! Damn! Highly unlikely two scopes of good repute did the same thing. Tried all three of my different prefits in different chamberings. Same dropping POI over time but it was more pronounced in one of the chamberings than the others. It was bizarre. The rifle would shoot incredibly small groups with all three of the barrels but would also show a progressively lower POI over time. Changed rings. Same result. Went from a MPA chassis to a McMillan stock bedded by one of the best smiths in the business. Same result. So, by this point, the only thing the dropping POI has in common is either the action or the Savage prefit barrels. So, in desperation, I had Jon Beanland, the same smith that fitted the McMillan for me, chamber up an M24 5R Bartlein for me. Same or even better fantastic groups and POI has not changed since. Not even 1 click. Had Jon build me a hunting rig with another Bartlein 5R. Took it to Alaska and back hunting and it has not shifted POI.

My guess is that a combination of slightly oversized threads on the action and slightly undersized threads on the savage prefit barrels were the cause. I know with how threads self center and that should not be the case, but I can only report what I saw. After trying virtually every component on the rifle, having a barrel custom fit to my action solved the problem.

John
 

LongRifles Inc.

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I've got a savage factory takeoff F class 223 barrel that I paid $100 for that shoots one hole at 100 yards with black hills 77 SMK ammo. :) . I'll be plenty happy with a barrel that shoots 1/2 moa from 100-1000 all day long, even better if I can swap barrels without taking the action to a smith to have a barrel put on it. Last quote I got from my local smith was a minimum of 4 months to get a barrel chambered and I'd bet it would be more like 6-8.

I have a barreling service that typically gets the job done in 96 hours or less. The exceptions are when we are running a production run of parts on the same machine. Pillars, screws, whatever.

Fluting, cerakote, etc adds to that timeline. Our finishing dept can get backed up at times as we do a GREAT deal of contract work as well. 2-3 weeks is not unheard of.

Most jobs in this place don't last north of 30 days from the time they hit the floor. Full builds and the one off wierd stuff I like to do does take longer.

If your waiting the times your quoting, you have the wrong shop. There's no reason for that on the eve of 2020.
 

RRW

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That’s F class. You can win F class with 1/2 moa rifle accuracy.

Where is the BR world record link using prefits?
No matter who chambers the rifle ,and whether it being prefit or not, how many of those world records you spout about would be made without pedestal rests, bunny ear type bags, flat bottom fore ends wind flags all over the place, trigger weights in the oz's etc. Not my cup of tea but to each his own.
 
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Steel head

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No matter who chambers the rifle ,and whether it being prefit or not, how many of those world records you spout about would be made without pedestal rests, bunny ear type bags, flat bottom fore ends wind flags all over the place, trigger weights in the oz's etc. Not my cup of tea but to each his own.
58A59563-871E-46B0-9BF1-98CE4BA343BA.gif
 
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NewsShooter

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I have a barreling service that typically gets the job done in 96 hours or less. The exceptions are when we are running a production run of parts on the same machine. Pillars, screws, whatever.

Fluting, cerakote, etc adds to that timeline. Our finishing dept can get backed up at times as we do a GREAT deal of contract work as well. 2-3 weeks is not unheard of.

Most jobs in this place don't last north of 30 days from the time they hit the floor. Full builds and the one off wierd stuff I like to do does take longer.

If your waiting the times your quoting, you have the wrong shop. There's no reason for that on the eve of 2020.
Nope, stopped using him to chamber anything anymore even though he's less than five minutes from home. Nice guy, does decent work, but there are too many better and often cheaper options these days.
 
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jsimonh

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I've had a couple of full customs, several savage nut style prefits and a few shouldered prefits over the last 10 years. Currently prefer shouldered prefits from reputable smiths for my TL3 for no real reason other than I like the contours a little better. I still have a Savage LA that's was decked out by Sharp Shooters Supply that I put a CBI 284 win barrel on that absolutely hammers. My customs and shouldered prefits also shoot well under .5 moa but what I consider my best group ever was shot was with a 6 Dasher Shilen savage prefit on my TL3.20160908_132750.jpg
 

LawnMM

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Dude arguing about the benchrest bullshit is on the wrong website.

That's like saying, who has the fastest drag racing rig "Joe Jones does" and the response is "How many Nascar wins does Joe Jones have?"

Ones got fuckall to do with the other whether there's a difference or not.
 

bohem

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@LawnMM I completely agree. Just because it's a "prefit" has nothing to do with the work quality or the ability of the rifle to shoot extremely well. Especially shops that are using CNC equipment to do all the work. In fact, I find that argument asinine to stand on for a few particular reasons.

  • Actions commonly being used for pre-fits are very tightly toleranced if the barrel shop is making a shouldered install. I talked about this 4 years ago with Bighorn making actions where over 250 receivers went through my shop in 2015-2016 and the ES on headspace length was 0.0004"
  • Barrel nut barrels can be set to whatever headspace the user wants, why could anyone say they can't set a 0 condition headspace.
  • Speaking of headspace condition being grounds for group size how about the guys fireforming Dasher and 6BR-Ackley and getting 1 hole groups? My Dashers shoot sub 1/4 MOA while fireforming, that's effectively a 0.1" headspace error but yet the bullet doesn't lie.
  • Tenon threads on aftermarket receivers getting prefits are being plugged and gauged. There are some exceptions where there is a lot of taper or variance. Not surprisingly those actions are on the list of "hey can you make me a...." nope, I need the action to do it.
  • Even then the tenon thread size is nowhere near as important to be cunt hair tolerances than the OG gun shop would have you believe. There are a lot of anecdotal stories talking about how "this gun shot great, then we took it off and the barrel wiggled awful." Duh... the threads are a ramp wrapped around a cylinder. It's going to self center. Torque it in place at a given value and the joint is fine.


On a BR match note, this trophy pic was sent from a customer this summer.

It's a club level match for midrange (600yd). His 40 shot aggregate went 2.45" at 600yd from a prefit that we cut with our standard "house" blank. The customer dropped the barreled action into a BRAVO and went to town.

Sub 1/2MOA at distance for 40 consecutive shots...


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: [redacted for privacy]
Date: Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 10:52 AM
Subject: Thanks
To:

Guys, this isn’t going to seem like much to you, because I know your guns are winning bigger prizes than this. But I’ve been shooting in this league for three seasons now (summers) trying to be competitive against the custom made bench rifles.
This year I had my new PVA/Origin in a KRG Bravo chassis. First match I was up to second place. Second match, I got this:


THANKS!!!
David
Sent from my iPad



PS- We have 25+ barrels in 6 Creed, 6.5 Creed, 6.5x47, and 6.5 PRC in various tenons of Savage, Remage, Tikka, Shouldered Tikka, Curtis Axiom, Curtis Custom, Bighorn Origin, Bighorn TL3 on the shelf right now. They ship same day if we get the order before noon, next business day otherwise.





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JMcBurn

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Not all gunsmiths do that. It is also debatable if there's any benefit to timing the curvature. The only thing that most people will agree on that topic is that it might save you some windage on your scope
I know it is anecdotal evidence, but I know my smith does that and comparing to my friends prefits, they don't seem to be a easy to tune a load for when I was helping him do load dev. I am talking about in terms of more vertical deviation when running a ladder of powder charges. Also it helps when I go from one barrel to the next it is only off about 0.1mil in windage typically.

I have two Bughole barrels and they shoot exceptionally. One a Mullerworks and one a Bartlein. Greg and Russ are a pleasure to do business with and really seem to care. On the other hand, my last gunsmith fit Proof CF barrel was a dumpster fire of an experience. My use of prefit style barrels has more to do with the terrible communication and long waits commonly experienced with gunsmiths. In the last 20 years I've had about a 50/50 good versus bad experience rate with gunsmiths. I can bed a stock pretty well and headspacing a Savage style barrel is easy; why would I gamble on a negative experience given how good prefits have gotten?
Sounds like you need to find a better local smith jk. My last Barrel I had done I dropped the action/barrel off to him at a match and 2 weeks later he brought it to another match for me to shoot for the day. If I didn't have these kinds of people available I would probably be running prefits (might be a good idea to have a set of pin gauges available to check the diameter of the breech before you screw the barrel on)
 

bohem

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I know it is anecdotal evidence, but I know my smith does that and comparing to my friends prefits, they don't seem to be a easy to tune a load for when I was helping him do load dev. I am talking about in terms of more vertical deviation when running a ladder of powder charges. Also it helps when I go from one barrel to the next it is only off about 0.1mil in windage typically.
Once the curvature is zero'd out there is no difference. It's based on a simple geometry truism called "Similar Triangles" and it works the same way as dialing up 1 mil at 100yd and having the elevation change by a scaled factor of the same amount at 500yd. Once you dial it out it's gone.

Even then, some actions like the @BigHorn / ZAI Team offerings all start their thread in the same spot and the headspace is the same so if a gunsmith was to make a timing artifact off one of their actions (like a threaded ring) then that gunsmith could time the curvature on shouldered prefits for Bighorns too.

But after a lot of testing on more than a couple of barrels, I've never been able to prove it does anything except change where the windage sits in the optical center. Ten or more years ago this may have mattered but with the modern tactical scopes having windage stops in them these days even that argument is antiquated/obsolete.