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Blackhole Weaponry barrel review.


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#1 OFFLINE   glock10mmman

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Posted Feb. 20 2010 - 11:02 PM

Hey guys,

I finally got a chance to get out and do some load development with my new build and my Black Hole Weaponry 18” barrel. Barrel is heavy stainless steel, 18” 1-8” twist and has polygonal 3 groove rifling. Barrel was properly broken in with the typical 50 round barrel break in procedure.

I wanted to use some different powders for the testing, but all I had on hand was H335 and H4895. I didn’t use the 4985 as the first load, which was minimum load was so compressed with LC brass, that it put a deep groove on shoulder of the bullet when seating. I heard way to much “crunching” when seating the bullets and it spooked me to much to go any further. I may do some testing with Benchmark, Varget and BLC2 later on, but I really want to stick with H335 as I load several calibers and loads with it. Dirty, but I have found better accuracy with it than any of the above listed calibers.

For bullets I am a Hornady junkie so I used the 68 grain BTHP and the 75 grain BTHP. All of which were coated by myself with moly in the tumbler. I really like the BTHP design for long range shooting. Bucks the wind much better than anything else I have used.

Range setting was a nice 68-70 degrees, 100 yard indoor rifle range. Bi-pod and sand bag only were used. Scope was a 6-18x40mm Nikon Buckmaster with Mildot reticle. I believe the mildot reticle is a must for varmint hunting.

Groups were all measured from outside diameter to outside diameter across from the furthest bullet.

First load was 23.5 grains of H335 and the 68 grain BTHP bullet. Average group but measured .969”
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Second load was 23.7 grains of H335 and the 68 grain BTHP. Group was really weird. 3 close shots were the last 3 fired. The 3 close shots grouped .471” and I wont even measure the other two
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Third load was 24.0 grains of H335 and the 68 grain BTHP. Third load wasn’t pretty either. 1.754” Barrel didn’t see to like 68/H335 combo very well.
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Now on to the 75 grain. Gun seem to really really love them.

First load was 22.0 grains of H335 and the 75 grain BTHP. First load had a cold bore flyer but the group measured .581” Very nice.
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Second load was 22.3 grains of H335 and the 75 grain BTHP. Second load had a cold bore flyer as well, but the group measured .519” I like this a lot. Best group of the day shooting and started thinking this barrel was scary accurate.
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Third load was 22.5 grains of H335 and the 75 grain BTHP. Third load and a flyer with a group of .944”
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Forth load was 22.7 grains of H335 and th3 75 grain BTHP. Forth load had a bad flyer that went low instead of high???? Not sure what was up with that, but the group measured .803”
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As you can see the groups started opening up with the higher charge. Seems 22.3 was about as high as you can go with this set up and still get a good group.

Fifth and final group was too spread out to really know what happened. Didn’t like 23.0 grains with the 75 grain BTHP. Group was 1.101”


This barrel is a keeper for sure. With barrel break in and test loads my round count is only 90 rounds total. At around 500 I should see better results, but how much better can you ask for really? I shot just a tad bit over ½” group at 100 yards. In an 18” gas gun, that is about what you can expect. I don’t know if many manufactures will guarantee anything better.

Here is the set up I’m running. Black Rain Ordnance upper and lower, 2 stage RRA trigger and LPK, Hogue Free float tube, 18” SPR Black Hole Weaponry barrel and Miculek break.
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Carl with Black Hole Weaponry, will build you just about any custom AR-15 barrel want. This barrel ran me $260 dollars and was worth every penny. I have got the same or worse results from more expensive Manufactures, never any better. I have a 20” custom 6.5mm barrel being made now and will be slowly replacing all my carbine barrels with BHW barrels. Price is what “normal” people on a “normal” budget can afford. Spending less that 400 dollars on a barrel usually means that accuracy wont be as great, but that’s not the case with Carl’s barrels. Trust me, Carl will treat you right and does what be can to make the customer happy.

Black hole Weaponry barrels can be purchased directly from there website at http://www.blackholeweaponry.com. I don’t know of any distributors off hand that stock, them, but Carl will be happy to provide you with them, if they exist.

I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did. I have finally found my Prairie Dog Killing Machine for next year. I will follow up with this review after I hit the 1K mark and see what accuracy is. I’m sure I wont see much if any decrease and 1k will come fast with 2 hunts already booked.

Thanks again
glock10mmman


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#2 OFFLINE   dodgefreak8

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Posted Mar. 07 2011 - 11:42 AM

I gotta say I was looking onto this as a possibility but I am really not impressed. I have a stock RRA 20" varmint and it will shoot a ragged hole at 100 yards and this is with pmc bronze ammo. I haven't tried reloads yet because I really have no need. I was really hoping for better accuracy out of this barrel. How was the ease of cleaning?

#3 OFFLINE   sneedb82

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Posted Mar. 07 2011 - 03:04 PM

I gotta say I was looking onto this as a possibility but I am really not impressed. I have a stock RRA 20" varmint and it will shoot a ragged hole at 100 yards and this is with pmc bronze ammo. I haven't tried reloads yet because I really have no need. I was really hoping for better accuracy out of this barrel. How was the ease of cleaning?


Interesting point of view, and on an old thread. Unfortunately, this post was not updated upon, and without many details, is not necessary at this point. Show me what you're talking about out of your 20" barrel. Is it the Wilson Blank 1/9 or 1/8 twist 20" barrel? If so, it is a bull barrel? What factory ammo are you shooting?

The purpose of handloading is not one load is perfect for a barrel, with the desired terminal ballistics. For .223, smaller grain ammo can be pushed fast, but honestly, faster with better bullets equals better performance?

The barrel, and the price is on mark with the RRA price of their 20" barrel, however, 3 polygonal rifling will give less friction between the grooves/lands and will decrease pressures. This will also potentially offer higher velocities out of similar rifles. So, if you want to buy factory, go right ahead, but some of us do not like factory... so we build. And these barrels offer good options when wanting to build, that meet or exceed that of "factory" elsewhere. YMMV....

#4 OFFLINE   crackerbacks

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Posted Mar. 08 2011 - 10:50 AM

I gotta say I was looking onto this as a possibility but I am really not impressed. I have a stock RRA 20" varmint and it will shoot a ragged hole at 100 yards and this is with pmc bronze ammo. I haven't tried reloads yet because I really have no need. I was really hoping for better accuracy out of this barrel. How was the ease of cleaning?



I posted some pics on the 5.56 BHW group buy thread. I was pleased for a 16" barrel with almost no break in. Take a look and you may be more interested in the BHW barrels.

#5 OFFLINE   dodgefreak8

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Posted Mar. 12 2011 - 09:59 AM

I will post up some pics of my groupings when I get out shooting next. I completely understand the build vs buy appeal and the lower friction sounds great but not if it is at a loss in accuracy. My barrel is the bull barrel version and you ca buy it seperate from RRA so technically you can still "build" with this barrel. I shoot pmc bronze ammo and I do reload for almost every caliber I own just not for my ar. Single stage press makes for a long day and I get satisfactory results from th pmc. Please understand that I am still interested in these barrels I just want to make sure that it is the best decision for my expectations.




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