April 11th, 2019

Velocity Test with Four Different Barrels — Surprising Results

barrel speed testing

Put the same load in a variety of barrels (with the same length and chamberings) and you’ll see a wide variance in muzzle velocity. In fact, it’s not unusual to see up to 100 fps difference from one barrel to the next. We demonstrated this with a comparison test of Lapua factory ammo.

Chron Testing Lapua Factory Ammo
At our Southern California test range some years ago, we chronographed Lapua 105gr 6mmBR factory ammo in three different 8-twist barrels of similar length. The results were fascinating. Lapua specs this ammo at 2790 fps, based on Lapua’s testing with its own 26″ test barrel. We observed a speed variance of 67 fps based on tests with three aftermarket barrels.

Barrel Velocity Variance
Brand ‘S’ and Brand ‘PN’ were pre-fit barrels shot on Savage actions. Brand ‘K’ was fitted to a custom action. All test barrels were throated for the 100-108 grain bullets, though there may have been some slight variances in barrel freebore. With a COAL of 2.330″, the rounds were “jumping” to the rifling in all barrels.

Among the four barrels, Brand ‘PN’ was the fastest at 2824 fps average — 67 fps faster than the slowest barrel. Roughly 10 fps can be attributed to the slightly longer length (27″ vs. 26″), but otherwise this particular barrel was simply faster than the rest. (Click Here for results of 6mmBR Barrel Length Velocity Test).

IMPORTANT: Results Are Barrel-Specific, Not Brand-Specific

These tests demonstrate that the exact same load can perform very differently in different barrels. We aren’t publishing the barrel-makers’ names, because it would be wrong to assume that ‘Brand X’ is always going to be faster than ‘Brand Y’ based on test results from a single barrel. In fact, velocities can vary up to 100 fps with two identical-spec barrels from the SAME manufacturer. That’s right, you can have two 8-twist, 26″ barrels, with the same land-groove configuration and contour, from the same manufacturer, and one can be much faster than another.

Don’t Demand More Than Your Barrel Can Deliver
We often hear guys lament, “I don’t get it… how can you guys get 2900 fps with your 6BRs and I can only get 2840?” The answer may simply be that the barrel is slower than average. If you have a slow barrel, you can try using more powder, but there is a good chance it may never run as fast as an inherently fast barrel. You shouldn’t knock yourself out (and over-stress your brass) trying to duplicate the velocities someone else may be getting. You need to work within the limits of your barrel.

Factory Ammo Provides a Benchmark
If you have a .223 Rem, 6mmBR, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×55, .308 Win, 30-06, or .338 LM Rifle, we recommend you buy a box of Lapua factory-loaded ammo. This stuff will shoot great (typically around half-MOA), and it can give you a baseline to determine how your barrel stacks up speedwise. [Editor’s NOTE: The original test was conducted in 2008. The velocity of current-production Lapua factory ammo might be higher or lower, so your results may vary.]

When you complete a new 6mmBR rifle, it’s definitely smart to get a box of the factory ammo and chronograph it. That will immediately give you a good idea whether you have a slow, average, or fast barrel. Then you can set your velocity goals accordingly. For example, if the factory 6BR ammo runs about 2780-2790 fps in your gun, it has an average barrel. If it runs 2820+ in a 26″ barrel (or 2835 fps in a 28″), you’ve got a fast tube.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
April 2nd, 2018

Shilen Swap Meet at New Facility — April 14, 2018

Shilen Barrels Swap Meet Ennis Texas TX

The much-loved Shilen SWAP MEET will take place in Ennis, Texas on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 8:00 am through 2:00 pm. This will be the first year at Shilen’s new location which boasts a much bigger production building. If you are looking for some great bargains on gun gear, and are near the Dallas-Fort Worth area, definitely mark this date on your calendar. The Shilen Swap Meet is one of the best events of its kind, and Team Shilen will even be providing a delicious lunch to attendees.

VISIT SHILEN’S NEW LOCATION!

Team Shilen says: “After a busy year and lots of changes Shilen is excited to host this year’s Swap Meet in our new location and show off the new building. We hope that you will come and see the new building and bring lots of stuff to sell or trade with others.” ANYONE can come and ANYONE can be a vendor. There are NO entry or vendor fees and we will persevere rain or shine. There will be gun stuff everywhere –buy and sell as much as you like. There will be complementary lunch, as always.

SWAP MEET Scheduled HIGHLIGHTS

Watch Barrel-Making. A Shilen crew will run barrel-making machines from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. Watch precision barrels being made. The techs will answer all your questions about the process.

Sign up for Door Prizes — Shilen Merchandise. There will be multiple drawings for free or discounted Shilen apparel or merchandise. Go to the sign-up table to be entered in the drawings, which will be held at 9 am, 10 am, 10:30 am, 11 am, and 1 pm.

Get Shilen Barrels at Huge Discounts. “Swap Meet Barrels” will be put out at 8:00 am! These barrels were originally ordered by Shilen customers throughout the year, but orders were canceled or customers changed their mind on contour, chamber, etc. These barrels were placed back in stock for resale. When Swap Meet Time arrives any such barrels still remaining in stock are sold at huge discounts to Swap Meet Customers Only. NOTE: These barrels are in NO WAY factory “seconds” or any lower quality. The warranty on these barrels is the same as any other Shilen barrels.

Sell Your Own Gear. At the Shilen Swap Meet, you can Bring Your Own Table (BYOT). Register to sell anything gun-related: presses, reloading gear, stocks, triggers, scope rings — you name it. Vendor Space is available on a first come-first served basis, starting Saturday morning at 7:00 am. Email or call Shilen for more information. NOTE: Sellers will be entered in a separate Vendor Drawing at 1:00 pm Email: comments@shilen.com. Call: 972-875-5318

TIPS for Visitors: The SWAP MEET wraps up at 2:00 pm. The best stuff sells fast, so if you are looking for something particular get here early! Keep an eye on the Shilen’s Swap Meet page for a preview of Vendors and the products they’ll be selling.

Shilen Swap Meet 2018 Ennis Texas TX

Permalink Hot Deals, News 1 Comment »
September 25th, 2016

Shilen Actions, Barreled Actions, and Complete Rifles

Shilen Actions Complete rifles barrel nut Savage Remage

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches. For more info, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 2 Comments »
December 6th, 2015

Shilen Offers Barreled Actions and Complete Rifles

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? Starting in 2010, after a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Shilen returned to the rifle manufacturing market. After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up). Call (972) 875-5318 or email comments [@] shilen.com for more information. NOTE: An 11% Federal Excise Tax is due on complete rifles.

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions are offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches.

Permalink Gear Review, Gunsmithing No Comments »
August 14th, 2015

Lou Murdica Wins Sniper King Benchrest Match in Tacoma

Berger Bullets Tacoma Rifle Benchrest Lou Murdica Shilen Barrels

As far as we can tell, the first-ever formal benchrest shooting match took place in 1944 at the Tacoma Rifle & Revolver Club in Tacoma, Washington. Known today as the “Sniper King Competition”, this is still a popular event, drawing top shooters from around the country.

Our friend Lou Murdica bested the competition this year to win the Sniper King competition and Benchrest shooting’s oldest trophy. Take a look at that target. That’s a TEN-Shot group at TWO hundred yards. That works out to 0.1299 MOA for ten shots. That’s might impressive…

Berger Bullets Tacoma Rifle Benchrest Lou Murdica Shilen Barrels

We have to give Lou credit for his shooting skills and loading spectacularly accurate ammo. Lou was running a Kelbly action, Shilen Barrel, and March scope. He loaded 6mm Berger 65gr BT bullets driven by Accurate LT 30 powder.

Have you ever shot a smaller TEN-shot group, even at 100 yards? If so, tell us about that, by posting a comment below.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 3 Comments »
November 14th, 2012

Shilen Custom Rem 700 Clone Actions and Complete Rifles with Savage-Style Barrel Nut System

Did you know that Shilen Rifles Inc. offers barreled actions and complete rifles? And that Shilen offers a Savage-style, barrel-nut system for its Rem-clone actions? Starting in 2010, after a hiatus of nearly twenty years, Shilen returned to the rifle manufacturing market. After several years of development, Shilen now offers custom actions ($950.00), barreled custom actions with triggers ($1500.00), and complete rifles ($3200.00 and up).

The new Shilen custom actions are CNC-milled from high-grade stainless steel. Two types are offered — the multi-shot DGR (Repeater) or the single-shot DGV (Varminter) action. Both actions will be offered in most common bolt faces and both right-hand and left-hand actions are immediately available. The DGR and DGV actions have a 1.350″ diameter with 8-40 scope base mounting screw holes, and an 0.300″ pinned recoil lug. The spiral-fluted bolts feature a floating bolt head with an interchangeable bolt handle knob. These actions feature a footprint similar to the Remington Model 700. Both DGR and DGV actions will accept many aftermarket components crafted for Rem-700 style actions, including triggers and bottom metal.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Barreled Actions with Barrel-Nut System for Easy Barrel Exchanges
Along with the stand-alone DGR and DGV actions, Shilen is offering barreled action assemblies, chambered and ready to drop into Rem 700-inletted stocks. The actions are fitted with Shilen match-grade barrels and Shilen triggers. The barrels feature a 1-1/16″x20 barrel thread and are attached to the action by a barrel nut. This Savage-style barrel nut system simplifies headspacing, allowing easy swapping from one barrel to another. With the simple barrel-exchange procedure, you can shoot multiple chamberings with a single action/rifle. For example, shooters can change from a .223 Remington to a .204 Ruger or a .22-250 to a 6mm BR in a matter of minutes.

Complete Rifles with McMillan Stocks
With Shilen’s complete rifles, buyers can choose their chambering, and select barrel and stock configuration. Shooters can choose between a sporter weight wood stock or a variety of McMillan fiberglass stocks. With all complete rifles, the entire package is delivered in a quality gun case and Shilen even includes table mat, cleaning rod, bore guide, jag, bore brush, and cleaning patches.

There has been a strong demand for Shilen’s barreled actions and complete rifles. Accordingly, the waiting period is two to four months for complete rifles, a bit less for barreled actions. But some chamberings can be had much more quickly (if Shilen has a pre-chambered barrel in current inventory). If you’re interested, call (972) 875-5318 or email comments@shilen.com for more info.

Shilen Actions Complete rifles

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 13 Comments »
March 15th, 2012

Shilen’s 7th Annual Swap Meet Set for April 7th, 2012

Get ready for the 7th Annual Shilen Swap Meet. Rain or shine, the Swap Meet will be held from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, April 7th, in the Shilen parking lot (Ennis, TX). The event is open to “all comers” — both buyers and sellers. There are NO fees or costs. Anyone can set up a table or just back their truck up and drop their tailgate. There will be gun stuff everywhere — buy and sell as much as you like. And there will be FREE FOOD — complementary chili, frito pie, water, tea, or coffee.

Shilen Swap Meet

Shilen does request advanced notice from Swap meet attendees, especially folks selling shooting gear: “Please call (972) 875-5318 if you plan on attending so we can have a rough head count. If you want to put up a table please call, fax or email us and let us know. We will add you to the list of vendors.”

Big Discounts on Barrels
Shilen’s ‘Swap Meet Barrels’ will be BACK. These are first-quality barrels built for customers who requested a specific contour, twist rate, or caliber, but later changed their minds. Shilen let these customers modify their orders, but some of these custom-ordered barrels remain in inventory. These pre-ordered “orphan” barrels will be sold at deeply discounted prices at the Swap Meet. NOTE: All warranties still apply; these are NOT lower quality or factory seconds.

Factory tours will be given. During the morning tours, the drill, ream and rifle machine will be operating. Schedule so far is that factory tours (with RUNNING machines) will be offered at 8:00 am, 8:30 am, 9:00 am, 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am and 11:30 am. Tours will continue in the afternoon, but no machines will run then.

Permalink News No Comments »
January 16th, 2010

1885 High Wall Dressed Up for Varminting

22 WMR Magnum rimfireForum member David K. (aka “mongochicago”) displayed a handsome 1919-vintage 1885 Winchester High Wall in our Forum Rimfire Gallery. The 91-year-old rimfire has been transformed from stem to stern with a new barrel, engraving on the receiver, and stunning exhibition-grade walnut fore-arm and buttstock.

The beautiful wood comes from Ballard Rifle & Cartridge Co. of Cody, Wyoming. Shilen Rifles provided the new blued octagon barrel (chambered in 22 Magnum). David tells us: “This is an 1885 Winchester made in 1919 that I customized for prairie dog shooting. The gunsmith was Mark Stratton, and the engraving was done by Darrel B. Nelson.”

Winchester 1995 High Wall

Winchester 1995 High Wall

Permalink Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »