Rifle Barrel Accuracy

A definitive work on the selection, installation, and evaluation of rifle barrels for supreme accuracy.

by Norman E. Johnson

As the gunsmith/rifleman takes on the role of machinist and ballistic technician in the extreme accuracy arena, his or her every skill will be tested. In this treatise I will delve into the selection, installation, and evaluation of two match grade rifle barrels, both chambered for the same cartridge. Each will be used as test barrels on near-identical, highly accurate Model 40X Remington switch-barrel rifles. Following the installation of these two match grade barrels, I will perform comparative tests on them, carefully analyzing performance of each one.

Cartridge Selection

In its own right, the cartridge becomes the nucleus with many other key points evolving around it. Obviously a cartridge must fit one’s needs as it relates directly to the chosen barrel and should involve careful consideration in its selection. While each cartridge is designed for a purpose, some have an inherent accuracy potential over others.

Typically the gunsmith builds a rifle and turns it back to a customer for testing and use. My objective here will be assembling, testing, and realizing the quality potential of the chosen cartridge and all the ancillary parts and equipment. For this plan I have selected the 6.5x47mm Lapua cartridge for the two test rifles, a cartridge which I will describe in some detail for its merits.

Read more in the February 2016 issue.

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