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Barrel Fluting and Harmonics.

This is a discussion on Barrel Fluting and Harmonics. within the Bolt Action forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I have seen several European Production rifles come through the pipes over the past several years, and a lot of them are coming out with ...


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Old November 22nd, 2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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Barrel Fluting and Harmonics.

I have seen several European Production rifles come through the pipes over the past several years, and a lot of them are coming out with fluted barrels.

Does fluting just lighten the barrel without affecting harmonics? The reason I ask .... there is a used Tikka T3 Stainless Fluted a buddy has for sale. He has only fired it a total of 8 times, and he still has the box of ammo, with empties he has fired, that he bought with the rifle.

I don't have a Tikka to compare it to, so thought I'd ask here.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:10 AM   #2
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Fluting also creates more surface area to dissipate heat. Don't know about harmonics.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by KYMountainMan View Post
I have seen several European Production rifles come through the pipes over the past several years, and a lot of them are coming out with fluted barrels.

Does fluting just lighten the barrel without affecting harmonics? The reason I ask .... there is a used Tikka T3 Stainless Fluted a buddy has for sale. He has only fired it a total of 8 times, and he still has the box of ammo, with empties he has fired, that he bought with the rifle.

I don't have a Tikka to compare it to, so thought I'd ask here.

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Since he is a buddy, what kind of accuracy did he get (less than 1 MOA?). Real experience should be better than our guess as no barrel is the same even from the same lot.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:23 AM   #4
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fluting,i believe adds stiffness(SIGH), and surface area to disspate heat, as harley says.it is also a weight saving procedure.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:25 AM   #5
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There are different opinions, I guess because the answer has not been determined scientifically. Some claim that fluting creates harmonics, some claim that the machining process sets up stresses in the metal and that the barrel can distort when it heats up and that the barrel needs to be stress relieved after the machining.. I've seen just about every conceivable fluting config, on the AR's including spiral. I've also seen golf ball type dimples milled into the barrels. I do know that some of the well respected barrel makers refuse to perform the service I think Krieger is one of them. In my experience (with several .308 AR's), the guns didn't seem to shoot any worse, although I was using them for run and gun, not bench rest type shooting. I also found that for me, the weight savings was not noticeable enough that I would pay any extra for it to be done on a barrel. Not sure if the added heat dissipation would lead to longer barrel life, as I've never shot out any of my fluted barrels.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:33 AM   #6
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This is from the noted barrel makers Lilja
http://riflebarrels.com/fluting/

and some frequently asked barrel questions
http://riflebarrels.com/support/faq/#stress

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:38 AM   #7
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There is a lot more to it. Just to speed things up:

A barrel designed with flutes tends be more accurate than it's non fluted counterparts. The R&D has already been done.

Taking a solid barrel off of a working rifle and cutting flutes into it will most certainly mess with the harmonics in a non-favorable way.

I have fired some Sako 85 rifles with factory fluted barrels and have been very impressed.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 05:49 AM   #8
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Less weight for one. Plus there are the added strength and the reduced harmonics which are both inherent in the basic engineering form of the arch. They're not flutes, they are multiple arches. IMO. Then there is the fact that , if the price is right, Tikkas are great, with fantastic triggers.


Last edited by Rich D; November 23rd, 2016 at 06:00 AM.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 06:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Springfield SportMaster View Post
This is from the noted barrel makers Lilja
http://riflebarrels.com/fluting/

and some frequently asked barrel questions
http://riflebarrels.com/support/faq/#stress
The second reference is inaccurate, I believe. Unless they have changed in the last 5 or so years CCI Velocitors can be used in target chambers, as the case is standard length. I contacted CCI, and measured cases when I had a target 10/22, which loved them BTW.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 06:43 AM   #10
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This is from the noted barrel makers Lilja
http://riflebarrels.com/fluting/
Fluting a barrel sheds roughly 1.5#??? I would never have guessed that.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wxl View Post
Since he is a buddy, what kind of accuracy did he get (less than 1 MOA?). Real experience should be better than our guess as no barrel is the same even from the same lot.


He didn't worry too much about fundamentals. He's strictly a deer and elk hunter, and shot at 'deer targets'.

Just to give you an idea ... he's a hunter that is happy if he can hit a 8" steel plate at 100 yds when he's sighting the rifle in.

I think I'm going to jump on it.

It's a Tikka T3x Hunter Stainless Steel Fluted with extra magazine and a Bushnell Elite 10x40 scope for $600! I know the rifle has only had 8 rounds through it, so it's basically new.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 10:58 AM   #12
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Fluting also creates more surface area to dissipate heat. Don't know about harmonics.
This and weight reduction. Harmonics is a broad term. I would say , if you havd a barrel fluted the original harmonics are changed. Not good or bad just different. I had someone tell me painting a barrel changed the harmonics. Maybe it did but, that rifle still shoots great.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 07:45 PM   #13
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I would jump on it.

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Old November 23rd, 2016, 08:44 PM   #14
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https://www.longriflesinc.com/collec...barrel-fluting

This is a link to a gunsmith shop whom I trust. Lots of different ways to flute a barrel. He also states that the main reason for fluting is weight reduction.

This is from his website:

We've performed this service to hundreds of barrels using both the single point and button rifling methods of manufacturing. It's been demonstrated over and over again that our process has zero effect on accuracy.

The link also has a weight savings calculator.


Last edited by JMGlasgow; November 23rd, 2016 at 09:19 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2016, 09:08 PM   #15
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This is an interesting topic, and often misunderstood, in my opinion.

Fluting does dot improve barrel stiffness, it reduces it. A fluted bull barrel is less of a bull barrel after fluting.

However, a larger OD barrel, with flutes, is stiffer (as in heavy BBL) than an unfluted barrel of the same weight.

The only practical and predictable benefits of fluting are:

- Lower weight and higher stiffness compared to an unfluted barrel of the same weight.
- Modestly better heat dissipation due to increased surface area.
- Esthetics or cool factor.

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