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Standard vs. National Match

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I'm planning to purchase a 20" BHW barrel.

 

I'm trying to decide between the standard and national match barrel.

 

What is the difference between these? Weight? Accuracy? Wear?

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Accuracy..same. Wear...same. Weight I will have to check my notes.

 

Greg

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The national match profile is a full bull under the hand guard. The standard profile is a reduced diameter under the hand guard. Both use the same profile from the gas port to the muzzle

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The national match profile is a full bull under the hand guard. The standard profile is a reduced diameter under the hand guard. Both use the same profile from the gas port to the muzzle

So NM will be heavier. What is the weight of each?

 

Same materiel otherwise? Both chrome lined barrels?

 

Is there a barrel that is just straight 0.75 from muzzle to barrel extender?

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So NM will be heavier. What is the weight of each?

 

Same materiel otherwise? Both chrome lined barrels?

 

Is there a barrel that is just straight 0.75 from muzzle to barrel extender?

 

I pulled two pictures from the BHW web site for barrel profiles and gas block diameter.

 

5e4bbb155d04b16d57f463decd5b0c4f_zpstjww

Contours.

 

5581d68c8076bed88a6f8431f0f79705_zpsflzt

Gas block diameters.

 

Barrels are made of R416 Stainless steel.

Greg will have to get back to you on weight.

I have three BHW barrels. Two 6X45mm and one American 30. All are Standard profiles.

Glenn

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I pulled two pictures from the BHW web site for barrel profiles and gas block diameter.

 

I had looked at those pics on the BHW website but NM was not there. If I understand the previous post, NM is like bull under the handguard but 0.75 forward of that. I was a little confused when he described standard as reduced. The Delton light barrel I have on my current AR is less than 0.75 under the handguard but maybe he just meant less than the NM.

I have three BHW barrels. Two 6X45mm and one American 30. All are Standard profiles.

Glenn

I'm trying to decide if the accuracy of NM is worth the added weight. And I want to be sure I'm not giving up durability. Some match barrels trade durability for accuracy. What led you to choose standard and are you happy with the accuracy? Edited by ipser

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I had looked at those pics on the BHW website but NM was not there. If I understand the previous post, NM is like bull under the handguard but 0.75 forward of that. I was a little confused when he described standard as reduced. The Delton light barrel I have on my current AR is less than 0.75 under the handguard but maybe he just meant less than the NM.

As Mr. Johnson mentioned. The BHW profile for a National Match barrel would be the same as Bull to the gas block cut. And then reduced to .750" diameter forward of that.

Looking at Delton's site. It looks like your Delton light barrel would correlate with BHW Slim barrel.

BHW 20" Standard barrel looks to match up with Delton's 20" Pre-ban barrel. Of course each barrel makers barrel may have differences in profiles.

 

 

I'm trying to decide if the accuracy of NM is worth the added weight. And I want to be sure I'm not giving up durability. Some match barrels trade durability for accuracy. What led you to choose standard and are you happy with the accuracy?

I guess your decision depends if this barrel is for the bench or the field.

With the Claudle polygonal rifling, Durability should be good no matter which profile you choose.

I purchased the Standard profile at first because they where recommended.

With the way I configure my rifles, the Standard barrels balance the rifles to my liking.

As to accuracy....

 

IMG_2938_zpsftye3c5j.jpg

 

That's my American 30 at 100 yards, five round group.

My 6x45MM will shoot the same. Operator needs work at times though. :)

Glenn

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I guess your decision depends if this barrel is for the bench or the field.

With the Claudle polygonal rifling, Durability should be good no matter which profile you choose.

I purchased the Standard profile at first because they where recommended.

With the way I configure my rifles, the Standard barrels balance the rifles to my liking.

As to accuracy....

 

That's my American 30 at 100 yards, five round group.

My 6x45MM will shoot the same. Operator needs work at times though. :)

Glenn

I like that group!

 

I absolutely do not want to build a rifle that's only good for bench shooting. My old barrel was an HBAR; I found it listed at 3.2656 lbs. I was quite comfortable carrying and shooting it off the bench, really anything except prolonged offhand. So I'm probably going to use that experience as a guide. If the NM is significantly heavier than the HBAR I'll go with standard.

 

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I have a NM profile 5.56 BHW barrel(18"). It balances on the blade of my hand with the meat of my finger *just* brushing the take down pin "bulge". That's with an ALG free float hand guard, a Surefire 6P mounted at the end of the 12" tube. On top is an EoTech(512 A65) in the middle of the flattop pic rail, butt-stock is a BCM Gunfighter Mod 0 and a full 10 round mag. I tried balancing it with the stock extended and collapsed and it changed the balance point maybe 1/8th of an inch. Syrac adjustable gas block, Spikes H2-T2 buffer weight. Can't think of any other items with significant weight to effect the balance.

 

Glenn's A-30 group is something the BHW barrels seem to be capable of as a rule, not the exception. If I feed mine the right ammo(77 grain SMKs) mine will chew 1/3MOA groups if I'm on my game. Surplus ammo, like Independence or American Eagle tends to scatter some, in the 1-2 MOA range but are consistently within that area. My handloads tighten that up a lot, and when I find an accuracy node the groups become essentially one big hole.

 

Care and maintenance are pretty easy, the poly rifling does not seem to load up with copper too bad. I have yet to run a bronze brush through mine and it's still printing great with 2-3k rounds through it. CLP and Rem 40-X are all I have used so far. The barrel seems to like a single or double fouling shot(s) before settling into it's groove. I proofed mine with a 36x target scope, worked up two loads (77 grain and 55 grain) and switched my optic to an EoTech. The POI shifts a smidge between the two at 100 yards, but less than I can resolve with the EoTech.

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I have a NM profile 5.56 BHW barrel(18"). It balances on the blade of my hand with the meat of my finger *just* brushing the take down pin "bulge". That's with an ALG free float hand guard, a Surefire 6P mounted at the end of the 12" tube. On top is an EoTech(512 A65) in the middle of the flattop pic rail, butt-stock is a BCM Gunfighter Mod 0 and a full 10 round mag. I tried balancing it with the stock extended and collapsed and it changed the balance point maybe 1/8th of an inch. Syrac adjustable gas block, Spikes H2-T2 buffer weight. Can't think of any other items with significant weight to effect the balance.

 

Glenn's A-30 group is something the BHW barrels seem to be capable of as a rule, not the exception. If I feed mine the right ammo(77 grain SMKs) mine will chew 1/3MOA groups if I'm on my game. Surplus ammo, like Independence or American Eagle tends to scatter some, in the 1-2 MOA range but are consistently within that area. My handloads tighten that up a lot, and when I find an accuracy node the groups become essentially one big hole.

 

Care and maintenance are pretty easy, the poly rifling does not seem to load up with copper too bad. I have yet to run a bronze brush through mine and it's still printing great with 2-3k rounds through it. CLP and Rem 40-X are all I have used so far. The barrel seems to like a single or double fouling shot(s) before settling into it's groove. I proofed mine with a 36x target scope, worked up two loads (77 grain and 55 grain) and switched my optic to an EoTech. The POI shifts a smidge between the two at 100 yards, but less than I can resolve with the EoTech.

 

Thanks for that description. Although your rifle is 2" less than I plan, would you describe it as a bench-only rifle or would you be comfortable carrying and shooting it in the field?

 

(Out of curiosity, why an EOTech on such a fine barrel? What's the philosophy of the rifle?)

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Thanks for that description. Although your rifle is 2" less than I plan, would you describe it as a bench-only rifle or would you be comfortable carrying and shooting it in the field?

 

(Out of curiosity, why an EOTech on such a fine barrel? What's the philosophy of the rifle?)

I tried to hit the main metrics of the rifle in the middle, it's mid length gas, mid length barrel(16-20 being the norm), using a mid weight pull Geissele trigger...etc. I wanted a rifle that'll do a lot of things very well if I do my part and not be overly specialized. A test bed as it were to see how I'd wanna go with my next build(very likely a suppressed SBR for home defense). It taught me chasing the accuracy dragon with a semi-auto is fun but foolish, bolt gun is the correct(financially) path there. I selected the 18" as I didn't want a break/comp on the end to screw with timing or add a variable to tuning my handloads. A break/comp adds 1.5 inches or so, I knew I'd have to get a 16" minimum non-threaded barrel, so why not the 18" target crown.

 

It shoots great, moves easily and is capable of outshooting my skills, I am the limiting factor off the bench unless I am having a fantastic day. I might fiddle with a comp/break/hider at some point in the future. I know target crowns better(simple. no impact on POI, they are a non-issue) so that's part of my thought process. I often end up shooting several different rifles at the range, people insist I try their stuff out all the time. I've shot some cool stuff up there, but I always get a warm-fuzzy when back behind my AR. It's consistent and soft-shooting(gas block, Tubbs flat-wire buffer spring and that Geissele trigger).

 

As to the EoTech, I have my scope(s) on QD LaRue mounts that will keep the POI within a MOA or so if I switch em out. So if I wanna play the hole punching game at the range it's a simple switch and 3-4 shots to be back at dead-nuts. The end game with this build is a defense rifle with a nod towards some range. I bulk ballistic tip Noslers running a bit hot for maximum carnage. The Noslers see max expansion at 3000fps with little to no frag, I'm sending them out at around 3300-ish(if the load charts are right, I need a chrono), so I'm probably going to frag a bit on flesh with monster expansion about 4" into the target. You can see what my load is designed for, I hope I never have to use it.

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I think some clarification of things is in order here. Rabbits are being chased, flags are being waved and nothing is happening.

 

Barrel weights of a 20” 223 BLACK HOLE BARREL, and yes Virginia they vary from company to company there is no industry defined standard, as sent to me. These will vary slightly form batch to batch and my notes do not reflect threading etc. DON’T ASK ABOUT FLUTING WEIGHTS!! (VBG)

 

20” RIFLE LENGTH WITH GAS BLOCK SIZE and forward. Other gas systems will weigh LESS

STANDARD 2.95-- 750

N. MATCH 3.20 --750

SEMI-BULL 3.40 – 875

BULL 3.75 – 936

 

NM, SB and FB are all the same size under the HG’s at nominal 936. The difference is noted above at the GB forward. The standard is reduced under the guards as it is not a full bull. I just measured a standard and under the HG would be 0.896 nominal. The Semi-bull is an odd duck. The 875 GB is hard to find and it really offers nothing that I can see.

 

Accuracy on all these barrels is identical for the first few shots. Bull barrels don’t shoot better than light barrels for the first few shots. They pick up on accuracy thanks to the added mass of steel. All barrels are stressed no matter what you do to them. When you heat them up the stresses start showing.

 

You do mag dumps on a light barrel it will move. You do mag dumps on a bull barrel it will move. The question is how soon and how much. The big boys just take a few more shots, sometimes many, to start moving. You shoot ‘em they get hot.

 

Accuracy when hot……….HMMM . I shoot truck axles and standard weights and have one NM in the stable. I shoot them at 500 yards in matches. My string of fire, shot three times for a match is 22 shots in 20 minutes (two are sighters) I routinely shoot them in 14-15 minutes watching the wind and depending how much coffee I drink that morning. Ten ring is five inches, X ring is two and a half. My scores with any are pretty identical and this is shooting everything from 6X45.6X6.8 and 243 LBC. Average with my wind reading is right on 194-196/20. When I’m on it’ll be 198-12 X. When I’m off…a bit less. I don’t see any walking with the guns in that amount of time. I don’t think barrel weight/contour enters into it at my level.

 

IPSC/3Gun matches don’t come close to stressing a standard weight tube. I’ve shot 3Gun a few times across the US in various forms. Never done a mag dump yet. I’ve shot some hellaciously fast field courses pouring lead out the barrel but never more than about 30 rounds in 20 seconds or so. Hardly mag dump speed. By the rules, IIRC, you can’t shoot more than 12 shots from one position anyway. With the ammunition shortages the past few years round counts have also been truncated to some degree.

 

I like my truck axles because when I start on PD’s then I historically might shoot very fast. Also all my field stuff is shot off a bipod or a rest so it does add to the steadiness. My last outing with my light weight 17-223 was 46/50 and at the same time my 20 Practical full bull was 49/50. The 17 fights wind a bit more in my experience so I don’t push it past about 275 yet. (I went 50/50 with a 204 CZ bolt gun BTW out to 375 or so..LOL)

 

Durability on a barrel is based on how long the throat lasts in our world. When the throat erodes and starts looking like an alligators back the accuracy leaves. If you want accuracy across the board you leave the chrome lining out of the equation. You really can’t chrome line a stainless barrel and the same with melon ting. The M process works against the metallurgy due to the heat used in the process. Chrome is hard to plate evenly and it just doesn’t work with stainless anyway. Colt has some accurate chromed barrels but if you want a gnat but shooter chrome is not your friend. NO BLACK HOLE BARRELS ARE CHROMED NOR MELONITED!!!

 

Match barrels are generally are done in stainless as it machines well. Chrome moly is also used but machines a bit harder. Round count from failure, as in accuracy loss, is very close but the SS will degrade like a lemming falling off a cliff compared to the CM type. The CM will shoot along and slowly die. Not good if you want outing to outing consistency. Better to go over Niagara Falls and die fast rather than float around in the Caribbean and let the sharks nibble you to death. That way when it fails you know it’s time for a tube vs. the death of a thousand cuts.

 

How much weight you want to haul/swing is individually determined. I like a bit of heft but don’t feel underserved by a light weight. I have a new KTB 223 I am evaluating form last year that may be a my go to but the jury is still out. The integral brake is great but it is loud. Accuracy has not been wrung out but early trials tell me it will be up to 3Gun level.

 

Greg

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I tried to hit the main metrics of the rifle in the middle, it's mid length gas, mid length barrel(16-20 being the norm), using a mid weight pull Geissele trigger...etc. I wanted a rifle that'll do a lot of things very well if I do my part and not be overly specialized. A test bed as it were to see how I'd wanna go with my next build(very likely a suppressed SBR for home defense). It taught me chasing the accuracy dragon with a semi-auto is fun but foolish, bolt gun is the correct(financially) path there. I selected the 18" as I didn't want a break/comp on the end to screw with timing or add a variable to tuning my handloads. A break/comp adds 1.5 inches or so, I knew I'd have to get a 16" minimum non-threaded barrel, so why not the 18" target crown.

 

It shoots great, moves easily and is capable of outshooting my skills, I am the limiting factor off the bench unless I am having a fantastic day. I might fiddle with a comp/break/hider at some point in the future. I know target crowns better(simple. no impact on POI, they are a non-issue) so that's part of my thought process. I often end up shooting several different rifles at the range, people insist I try their stuff out all the time. I've shot some cool stuff up there, but I always get a warm-fuzzy when back behind my AR. It's consistent and soft-shooting(gas block, Tubbs flat-wire buffer spring and that Geissele trigger).

 

As to the EoTech, I have my scope(s) on QD LaRue mounts that will keep the POI within a MOA or so if I switch em out. So if I wanna play the hole punching game at the range it's a simple switch and 3-4 shots to be back at dead-nuts. The end game with this build is a defense rifle with a nod towards some range. I bulk ballistic tip Noslers running a bit hot for maximum carnage. The Noslers see max expansion at 3000fps with little to no frag, I'm sending them out at around 3300-ish(if the load charts are right, I need a chrono), so I'm probably going to frag a bit on flesh with monster expansion about 4" into the target. You can see what my load is designed for, I hope I never have to use it.

 

I would not have thought of the NM barrel as a middle choice, though. I'm thinking of it as an extreme (opposite to my light Delton barrel). I realize there are full bull barrels, though.

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I think some clarification of things is in order here. Rabbits are being chased, flags are being waved and nothing is happening.

 

Barrel weights of a 20” 223 BLACK HOLE BARREL, and yes Virginia they vary from company to company there is no industry defined standard, as sent to me. These will vary slightly form batch to batch and my notes do not reflect threading etc. DON’T ASK ABOUT FLUTING WEIGHTS!! (VBG)

 

20” RIFLE LENGTH WITH GAS BLOCK SIZE and forward. Other gas systems will weigh LESS

STANDARD 2.95-- 750

N. MATCH 3.20 --750

SEMI-BULL 3.40 – 875

BULL 3.75 – 936

Thanks, Greg. This information leads me to select the NM barrel as it is almost exactly the same weight at my old Colt HBAR barrel and I was happy enough with that. (Though some people I let shoot it did complain.)

 

NM, SB and FB are all the same size under the HG’s at nominal 936. The difference is noted above at the GB forward. The standard is reduced under the guards as it is not a full bull. I just measured a standard and under the HG would be 0.896 nominal. The Semi-bull is an odd duck. The 875 GB is hard to find and it really offers nothing that I can see.

 

Accuracy on all these barrels is identical for the first few shots. Bull barrels don’t shoot better than light barrels for the first few shots. They pick up on accuracy thanks to the added mass of steel. All barrels are stressed no matter what you do to them. When you heat them up the stresses start showing.

 

You do mag dumps on a light barrel it will move. You do mag dumps on a bull barrel it will move. The question is how soon and how much. The big boys just take a few more shots, sometimes many, to start moving. You shoot ‘em they get hot.

 

Accuracy when hot……….HMMM . I shoot truck axles and standard weights and have one NM in the stable. I shoot them at 500 yards in matches. My string of fire, shot three times for a match is 22 shots in 20 minutes (two are sighters) I routinely shoot them in 14-15 minutes watching the wind and depending how much coffee I drink that morning. Ten ring is five inches, X ring is two and a half. My scores with any are pretty identical and this is shooting everything from 6X45.6X6.8 and 243 LBC. Average with my wind reading is right on 194-196/20. When I’m on it’ll be 198-12 X. When I’m off…a bit less. I don’t see any walking with the guns in that amount of time. I don’t think barrel weight/contour enters into it at my level.

 

IPSC/3Gun matches don’t come close to stressing a standard weight tube. I’ve shot 3Gun a few times across the US in various forms. Never done a mag dump yet. I’ve shot some hellaciously fast field courses pouring lead out the barrel but never more than about 30 rounds in 20 seconds or so. Hardly mag dump speed. By the rules, IIRC, you can’t shoot more than 12 shots from one position anyway. With the ammunition shortages the past few years round counts have also been truncated to some degree.

 

I like my truck axles because when I start on PD’s then I historically might shoot very fast. Also all my field stuff is shot off a bipod or a rest so it does add to the steadiness. My last outing with my light weight 17-223 was 46/50 and at the same time my 20 Practical full bull was 49/50. The 17 fights wind a bit more in my experience so I don’t push it past about 275 yet. (I went 50/50 with a 204 CZ bolt gun BTW out to 375 or so..LOL)

 

Durability on a barrel is based on how long the throat lasts in our world. When the throat erodes and starts looking like an alligators back the accuracy leaves. If you want accuracy across the board you leave the chrome lining out of the equation. You really can’t chrome line a stainless barrel and the same with melon ting. The M process works against the metallurgy due to the heat used in the process. Chrome is hard to plate evenly and it just doesn’t work with stainless anyway. Colt has some accurate chromed barrels but if you want a gnat but shooter chrome is not your friend. NO BLACK HOLE BARRELS ARE CHROMED NOR MELONITED!!!

 

Match barrels are generally are done in stainless as it machines well. Chrome moly is also used but machines a bit harder. Round count from failure, as in accuracy loss, is very close but the SS will degrade like a lemming falling off a cliff compared to the CM type. The CM will shoot along and slowly die. Not good if you want outing to outing consistency. Better to go over Niagara Falls and die fast rather than float around in the Caribbean and let the sharks nibble you to death. That way when it fails you know it’s time for a tube vs. the death of a thousand cuts.

 

How much weight you want to haul/swing is individually determined. I like a bit of heft but don’t feel underserved by a light weight. I have a new KTB 223 I am evaluating form last year that may be a my go to but the jury is still out. The integral brake is great but it is loud. Accuracy has not been wrung out but early trials tell me it will be up to 3Gun level.

 

Greg

Thanks for sharing your thinking and experience.

 

I didn't realize that BHW were not chrome lined but that makes sense. Chroming (supposedly) extends barrel life at the expense of accuracy. I like the idea that the performance will drop off quickly instead of gradually. Now that I know how to change a barrel I'm no longer worried at the possibility of wearing it out. I waited too long to replace my HBAR barrel.

 

Since my technical questions have been answered and in the interest of avoiding duplicate threads, I'd like to move further discussion here:

 

20" BHW Barrel Profile

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