Good/bad custom barrels ?

dave 67

Well-Known Member
I own a Shultz and Larsen rifle and a second barrel, both these barrels are not fussy at all and both cut rifling n tin lapped.
Shultz and Larsen closed and then restarted with new investors and IIRC some of their barrel cutting machinery was sold when they first closed to border barrels.



Well-Known Member
Why does a barrel produce fliers you ask?

How do you know it’s not the other variable …. The ammo ? Must say I’ve seen borescope of near shot out .22-250 and when see the images you would think it couldn’t hit a barn door but did moa for another wee while before finally opening up in groups

The fliers question originated from Ronin suggesting that lesser barrels could produce the odd good group (potentially fliers on a regular basis).


Distinguished Member
Not sure I used the term fliers anywhere

Inconsistent accuracy can be caused by many factors both within the barrel and externally (shooter movement, trigger control, environmental elements etc)

Many quality barrel makers are simply unavailable in the UK unless you arrange importation yourself which can be costly

You don’t see many Hart, Schneider, Douglas over here for that reason

Barrel accuracy (specific to the barrel) is affected by bore diameter(along the length of the bore), groove, land inconsistencies, internal finish, steel quality, straightness of bore (not many are actually straight)

Fitting the barrel (who does the work in other words) also has a large impact

If the barrel bore isn’t concentric to the centre line (ie the bore isn’t running true at both ends) has a impact on accuracy, fit of the tenon threads to the action and also squareness off action face and barrel tenon also has an impact as does the bolt lug and abutment contact

Most, if not all rifle smiths worth their salt will check an action for squareness Before doing any work and carry out rectification work (if required)

Be that simple lapping of the lugs so they are in contact or setting the action in the lathe so the action face can be cut to be true to the boreline

Apply the same principles to fitting the barrel and the finished product will likely shoot consistent small groups

So going back to barrels , if there are inconsistencies between the internal dimensions you are unlikely to have a good shooting barrel - the bore may be slightly oversize or the lapping hasn’t been carried out quite enough, the rifling not created properly and you end up with something that looks just like any other barrel but only shoots the occasional decent group, the steel may be inferior quality and not machine well leaving a poor chamber finish for example

All things that are difficult to detect with anything other than specialist equipment and frustrating and costly for the end user who believes they are getting a decent product at an amazing price to discover it doesn’t shoot for shxxt

I can honestly say I’ve never fitted a barrel from any of the manufacturers already mentioned in my previous post and found them lacking

In fact I’ve feedback from many, many end users who send me images of groups shot which prove this - which is why I refuse to fit what I consider to be inferior quality items

Quality may cost, but it also lasts

It may be worthwhile for anyone interested to read articles written or books such as “accuracy the facts” (Vaughan)

Articles on line posted by Geoff Kolbe, Mick Bryant, Jim Borden, Thomas Gonzales, Frank Green etc etc

All with provenance of producing world class winning rifles / barrels


Well-Known Member
Thank you for your insight and extensive reply Ronin.
I apologies if my presumption of "odd good group" would lead to the suggestion that everything would be that the rest of the groups would have fliers in them to create the consistent bad group.

I tried to keep to the topic of barrels and not involve other outside influencing factors like actions, ammo, the human element...

I gathered at the start of this that is wouldn't/shouldn't be simple or light reading. I really don't mind this, as I am a glutton for information in this respect.
The more informed you are, the greater your confidence is with pulling the trigger. This is a stalking page after all, with meaning for ethical shooting.
Hopefully others reading this will be able to make more informed decisions on having their action rebarreled in future, which was the whole point of this thread to start with. - good barrel or anything else "isn't" and why.....
I did try to push to keep this thread on topic, as they have been known to wander...hence sometimes the directness (with no intent behind it all...).

With knowledge (in my opinion), sharing is caring!
The more information is shared, the less ability of mis-information of a product or service can be offered.
I am aware of Frank Green from Bartlein and their hands on approach and aftercare service offered in USA amongst others too.

I am certainly not all knowledgeable in this respect of barrels (hence the qustions), nor am I a qualified gunsmith, but I like to know what I pay my money for in shooting - volumes of barrels can disappear over the years when you combine sporting and competition shooting.

Knowledge of what and why we are buying, instead of blindly accepting the word of a gunsmith, we hope we have looked that we spent our money wisely and informed.

The more we can discuss experiences of good barrel brands, and all the rest, the more informed everyone will be.
We all hanker after a good custom barrel, and have our favourite or recommended gun smith fit and chamber the tube...
The barrels all come in at different price points.

We all know what brands are recommended, and other that are not, but what creates the thought that the cheaper end (lets just say for talking sake...) barrels are not "good barrels". In simple terms - if they are not "good barrels", it means they are "bad" barrels surely?

Can any one help me define a what makes a "bad barrel" - bad?
Also, what brands this would be suggested as "bad"?

I fully appreciate that every manufacturer of firearms, barrels, parts etc can be deemed producing the odd "sunday morning jobs", but leaving that aside, lets just discuss generalisation of the subject.....why not choose one brand over the next?
l will try my best to answer what is my opinion to what you are asking

1) "what makes a "bad barrel" - bad?"
in short, if the materials are of a quality standard it would be a lack of quality control, no checks of quality in the build so you end up with something that may be nice and shiny on the outside but the inside is a disaster, you may get this barrel to shoot good enough but never great, if you are buying custom get custom
2) "what brands this would be suggested as "bad"?"
any barrel that is not hand lapped and air gauged would have a greater likelihood of not being up to a standard that is better than good

some people kid themselves that its just a hunting gun so it does not have to be perfect but if its custom it should be better than good enough

l have had a few different brands fitted over the years but recently tried IBI barrels that are a match grade barrel that after looking at the bores with a borescope can confirm that they are, the smith who has fitted two for me said that the first was the straightest he has ever seen comparing all brands to it and after fitting the second said it was straighter than the first, almost perfect so it wasn't just luck, these barrels are not expensive at $400 Australian



Distinguished Member

Most of the answers to your questions are covered in Borbals excellent paper referred to in the link posted in post 5

He is probably the most qualified person on the forum in relation to barrel making having a comprehensive list of actual qualifications and having been the founder of Border Barrels and now Border Ballistic Technology

From a gunsmiths perspective (bear in mind there are no qualifications in the UK for such an occupation - so speaking from practical experience since 2007 and a working engineering background before that) - my understanding is that most if not all quality manufacturers will use air gauging equipment during manufacture / quality control before any barrel is shipped

Without such kit (which is prohibitively expensive) it’s almost impossible to measure barrels properly

Yes one can use pin gauges to measure the internal bore (I have several calibrated sets in 1/10000 (one tenthousanths) increments to allow me to measure the bore and record and also allow proper selection of pilot for range rod and reamer whilst conducting set up and machining

But simply that only allows you to measure the bore diameter

I guess with the right internal bore micrometer you could also do this if you had no access to pin guages but that would be so much harder to get accurate results because you would be measuring an interrupted (rifled bore) with a device that has expanding measuring tips) …

Most customers I have want the best achievable accuracy and longevity from their barrels (they want value for money in other words) as I’ve said before quality isn’t compromised with the products I use.


Well-Known Member
I’ve shot competitively with Bemchmark Bartlein and Sassen

I now only shoot Sassen barrels alongside other GB shooters and don’t shoot inside or outside what they are shooting. They all shoot with Sassen Kreiger Benchmark Bartlein etc

These all shoot exceptionally well but my preference is Sassen due to them being GB based and available and good guys to deal with