Recently I had the pleasure of shooting out yet another black rifle barrel in the course of practicing. Over the years I have shot out three individual barrels, the first one was a Delton 16” 1/9 chrome lined that came with the rifle when I originally received it. The second was a Daniel Defense 16” 1/9 barrel and the most recent barrel was another Delton barrel simply because the longevity, cost and effectiveness did not make enough of a difference to continue paying the much larger costs.
This time around I decided to take a different approach in the hopes of maybe improving the longevity and accuracy some. The barrel I chose was a Radical Firearms 16″ Carbine Barrel-1:9 Twist-M4 Contour-QPQ Melonite. The QPQ Melonite treatment was done by one of the top two treatment places currently in business and after putting it on, changing the tubes, replacing seals and all the fun stuff I took it to the range for the break in and testing phase.
I brought 500 rounds of mixed ammunition to test, 200 Tula 55 grn, 100 Wolf 55 grn and 300 rounds of Fiocchi canned heat 62 grain NATO spec. After running the Tula and Wolf through it as a break in and to sight it in as well I began shooting the Fiocchi. I had 120 rounds left when I decided to work on some 30 round groups. The idea being that with more ammunition downrange the more mathematically sound my groups would be. The included picture was the FIRST 30 round group I shot at 100 yards after having sighted it in. I used a riflemans cadence and had all 30 rounds downrange in approximately 20-25 seconds. The temperature was 73 degrees, full sun light, light breeze of around 5mph blowing across the range and I was using the seated riflemans hold with a sling wrapped.
The entire group minus two flyers which I called at the time, (was shooting with two other individuals) was a little under 2 inches. This was using a Bushnell TRS25 red dot with no magnification. I shot the rest of the ammunition using a mixture of standing, prone, sitting and irons as well as red dot. Based on testing to date it is my opinion that this barrel has so far proven to be more accurate than any of the other barrels I used, and I have never had an issue hitting a 4” square with them but rarely got much below that unless I was using special loads or match grade. Only time will tell if this barrel has a better lifespan or even the same lifespan. However, at this time given the increased accuracy alone as well as low cost of the barrel I will be purchasing at least one other barrel from this company to match this one. As well as a 1/8 16” for a new build. I can say with solid assurance that this barrel is well worth the $120-150 you will pay for it.
I did also test a few other rifles the same day and found that my Norinco SKS with an SGWorks bullpup stock was capable of very tight groups using Golden Bear 125 grn sp. The attached picture is a 20 round group. Each square on these targets is representative of one square inch.
If you have any questions or if I left out any information you may desire ask in the comments below.
*When I have burned my barrels out they tend to quickly lose accuracy, groups widen and in the case of this last barrel start throwing keyholed rounds at 5 yards. I averaged between 20 and 30 thousand rounds through each barrel before seeing them wear out. I used the following targets, Hoppes 100 Yard sighting targets. When shooting by myself I use the following target stands as they are extremely easy to carry, set up and work very well, MTM Jammer Target stands. Both of these can be found inexpensively by following the links.
Free the mind and the body will follow