This is a discussion on Stainless barrel or carbon steel within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Hi - which is better for lack of better discription, the carbon steel or stainless steel barrels. I am in the market for the either ...
Hi - which is better for lack of better discription, the carbon steel or stainless steel barrels. I am in the market for the either the NA9102 (carbon) or NA9802 stainless steel. There is a minor price differance for the Stainless about $50 or so. The rifle will be used for some highpower matches but more just getting out there and having some fun. Please give me your opinions..thanks Manny
The only 'real' advantage of Stainless is its first shot capability. The non stainless needs a 'fouler' shot, the stainless will put the first one in the group. Everything else, rust resistance, ease of cleaning, etc is just gravy.
What I've read is that stainless also has more resistance to throat erosion because of it's better abrasive resistance. So the barrel will last a bit longer than a chromemoly barrel. I have no personal experience with this as I've always used chrome moly barrels. Many say that the cost difference isn't worth any difference in wear or accuracy.
What do you want to do with it. For competition I'd go with a Stainless barrel. They last longer and when they go, they're done. Chromemoly tends to coast down hill before they're toasted, if you're a better shooter you notice it before a new shooter would. Would I use a chromemoly, yes, but I'd change it at a certain round count to avoid the potential of it going bad at an inopportune moment.
I am not a Fan of SS Barrels, I'll tell You Guys that from the Outset, I have shot both and besides looking like Crap on an M14 in my Opinion there Is No Difference in accuracy, also there is no Difference in the SS cleaning up faster, my Krieger CM cleans up just as fast, if not faster than any SS I have shot including the one that is on my AR Match Rifle now, the only Difference that I have found is that a SS Barrel will give You very little Warning when it goes, it just goes, where the CM will give one subtle Hints with the occasional Fl yer when it's about to give up, as far as Rust or Weather Resistance, what good does it do when the rest of the Rifle is regular Steel?
CM is more accurate. I ditched the SS on that belief with no regrets.
What are you backing that up with? If that's the case the AMU and WTB would be running to CM barrels. Can they shoot as well, yes but if they were superior we'd all be using CM in Highpower competition for example.
I have shot High Power for a number of years. I used carbon barrels because they were cheaper and wore out gradually. I switched to stainless with another rifle in a lesser caliber because of strength, corrosion resistance, and a better barrel life as compared to either CM or plain carbon.
My last SAI came with a brand new carbon barrel. When SAI did some warranty work on it, they replaced the barrel with another brand new carbon barrel. I got about 5900 rounds from the barrel in competition. Would it be Ok to shoot for hunting or general defense still? Sure. I have a new Krieger on the SAI now in stainless. First shot is always on target and countable. Cleanup is easier but I use moly'd rounds.
My other SAI has a Krieger on it that is going on 9600 rounds and it shoots as well as the new one I have.
It is all in preferences. I don't mind the stainless look. If need be, I could always paint it a duller color. I do like the way it shoots. Now if I could bring my skillset up to the rifle's capabilities I would be a High Master.
I dont think (in my experience) SS barrels have any special properties that allow it to be "dead on" zero on the first shot "over" CM barrels when both barrels are cold and or recently cleaned. All my rifles, SS or CM, "settle in" at least a little over a course of fire.
I "was" a SS fanatic for a while, believing that they were easier to clean (as if the work involved is really that hard) or were somehow inherently better, but I don't believe this to be the case any longer, so much so, that I now prefer CM over SS.
SS barrels just kind of quit when their time is up. CM barrels give a little more indication when their accuracy is diminishing by "winding down". I prefer that...
I still shoot both types, but tend to favor CM over SS now...
I'm of the opinion that there is an accuracy advantage in using
a quality SS barrel but that it is for the most part lost in the fog of
the relative inaccuracies of a .308 gas gun and the way it is reloaded
with an emphasis on safety and reliable feed.
So I'll keep the SS barrel but will probably never see an advantage,
better shooters may. A bolt gun, different caliber, different story.