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Location: Ouachita Mountains Arkansas
Joined: 03/02/2004
Posts: 36
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

What are the pros and cons of stainless steel barrels and carbon steel barrels on high powered rifles? Think

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Location: upstate New York
Joined: 06/21/2006
Posts: 140
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

One con is that you have to look at the stainless steel barrel. Big smile

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Location: Ouachita Mountains Arkansas
Joined: 03/02/2004
Posts: 36
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

I don't like the looks of them. I was wondering about shootability and durability. And why are so many manufactures' building them?

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

You'll find them more rust resistent,,,,,,,,,,,and ugly. Years ago it was felt that they didn't wear as fast either. Not so sure that's true. In the 70's a friend had a 700 Rem in 264 Win mag w/ blackened stainless barrel. He shot it out in about 1000rds. My biggest gripe with them is ugly!

Stop and think about it. The bright blued moly barrels are said to spook game when the sun flashes off them. So what do we do, the whole thing now stainless and in the white!

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Location: Ouachita Mountains Arkansas
Joined: 03/02/2004
Posts: 36
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

I was thinking stainless is quite a bit softer than carbon. I know a stainless blade don't hold an edge like carbon. So its just another scam by greedy corprate pigs to force us to buy new rifles more often. eye roll

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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 07/24/2006
Posts: 36
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

I guess it just depends on your preference. I specifically looked for a wood stock/stainless barrel combination and settled on the Browing A-Bolt. Looks like this, only with the BOSS.

Put a silver Leupold Vari-X III on it and it's a sharp looking rig.

In the pacific northwest, stainless barrels are becoming more popular. Standard carbon barrels pit if you don't keep them oiled. It's damp when hunting, and lots of people store their rifles in less than optimal conditions (e.g., the garage). Stainless is more forgiving in this respect.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

On that rifle, I'd say stainless is purely cosmetic. While it may not rust as fast, a wood stock knows how to drink!!!!!!!! I like the stock.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

Besides being a bit more rust resistant, they are supposed to last longer because of distributing heat more efficiently but who knows. Cosmetically I don't mind the look of them but I have camoed every stainless rifle I own because I have a hard time swallowing that the game doesn't see them easier. Take one on a hunt before sunrise and tell what the first thing you see is... your barrel! Think

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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 07/24/2006
Posts: 36
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

Yeah, I should have mentioned that. I wanted wood stock/ss barrel purely for cosmetics. I love the look.

The people who are looking for the weather resistant aspects would be more interested in the synthetic stocks. In fact, because the advantages of ss are somewhat deminished by the wood stock, I found very few manufacturers offering that combo. In fact, when I was looking for my rifle, only Browning and Savage offered it (no Rem, Win, or Rug models with the wood/ss combo). Otherwise the options are pretty much wood/blue and synthetic/ss.

I may be a terrible hunter, but I look good doing it! lol

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
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Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

Remington offers a laminate wood stock with the stainless and it is nice to look at as well as a little more weather proof than plain wood.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Stainless Barrel vs Carbon Barrel

SS Pros:

1.) More accurate (everything else being equal)
Softer steel is easier to mill correctly without leaving burrs. That isn't to say that chrome-moly can't be made as accurate, just that it is more time intense to do so.

2.) Rust resistant

SS Cons:

1.) Less durable than chrome moly barrels.
The steel is softer and therefore wears out quicker, although for a typical big game rifle that may only see a few hundred rounds, this is a moot point.

2.) Shiny, which is not always the best thing to have when stalking came. Bead blasting can dull the sheen.

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