Frequently Asked Questions

Although we have the equipment and ability to flute bolts or barrels, we will not do so for several reasons.

Our philosophy is that accuracy and safety are paramount, the look cool factor is a distant secondary concern.

Fluting of a barrel is highly controversial and opinions will differ. However there are certain facts that basic physics proves to be true.

Anytime metal is machined, stress is imparted into the material. Fluting a barrel imparts a significant amount of stress into the single most important part of a precision rifle and like most shops that do not make barrels, we are not equipped to stress relieve a barrel. Even some of the barrel manufacturers are not equipped to stress relieve their barrels.

So then why not simply order the barrel fluted from the manufacturer?

This can be done but again we highly recommend not doing so. One of the reasons being that fluted barrels do not heat evenly, hence they deflect from heat unevenly.  The thinner area of the barrel where the material is removed to create the flute heats and cools at a different rate than the larger diameter areas of the barrel will. This cannot enhance accuracy in any manner. The whole idea is to have the rifle do EXACTLY the same thing each and every time the rifle is fired. ALL barrels will deflect a certain amount from heat after X number of shots are fired.

Something we are starting to see more commonly now as more rifles with fluted barrels come in to be rebarrelled is that the firecracking of the bore, which is a normal occurrance, is much worse where the material is thinned out to create the flutes in the barrel. This would lead us to believe that a fluted barrel may not have as long an accurate life as a non-fluted one.

Another argument we hear is that a fluted barrel cools faster due to the additional surface area. This is a true statement, however physics dictates that for every action there is an equal and opposing reaction, therefore the fluted barrel will heat up faster as well and again, unevenly.

There are shops that will flute a factory bolt or replace the extractor (usually on a Remington 700) with a Sako style extractor. We get asked to perform this service as well which we always decline.  The factory bolts were never designed or engineered to have material removed from them, nor were they designed or engineered to be milled lengthwise to accept a Sako style extractor.

To put our client in harms way is the absolute last thing we want to do, despite being able to make potentially a lot of money doing these modifications.

A note to those who opt to have this sort of work done by any shop. Make sure you see and get a copy of their liability insurance coverage!! In even a minor over pressure the part that keeps the blast going down range is the bolt.  To compromise the structure of the bolt is trolling for disaster. The internet has many graphic photos of what is left of a person's face or head when a rifle fails catastrophically. It ain't pretty!

 

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