The barrel contours in a rifle are designed to minimize friction and wear as the bullet travels down the bore. The rifling imparts a spin to the bullet, which stabilizes its flight.
Different contours are better suited for different purposes, so it’s important to choose the right one for the job at hand. Here is a quick rundown of two popular barrel contours and what they’re typically used for:
Pencil Barrel Contours:
Pencil barrel contours are often used for long-range shooting and varmint hunting. This contour in a rifle can improve accuracy. The term “pencil barrel” is a bit of a misnomer as the barrels on these rifles can be thick. It is the diameter of the bore (the inside of the barrel) that is relatively small in comparison to other types of barrels.
Pencil barrels have several advantages for accuracy. First, the bore diameter is smaller so there is less surface area for the bullet to contact. This means that there is less friction as the bullet travels down the barrel and less chance of the bullet “keyholing” or tumbling in flight.
Second, they are often made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel or match-grade chrome molybdenum. These materials are designed to withstand the high pressures generated by high-velocity ammunition and will not distort or “bulge” under pressure.
Third, they are often “fluted”. This means that they have shallow grooves cut into the barrel exterior. These grooves help to dissipate heat and also reduce the weight of the barrel without affecting rigidity or accuracy.
Finally, pencil barrels usually have a very smooth “bore” or interior surface. This smooth bore reduces friction and helps bullets to travel down the barrel easily.
Overall, pencil barrels offer many advantages for accuracy over other types of barrels. Check out this explanation as to why many shooters, like the one in the video, prefer thinner barrels like the pencil.
Heavy Barrel Contour:
A heavy barrel contour is a type of gun barrel that is thicker than a standard barrel. This makes the barrel heavier and more rigid. A heavy barrel contour in a rifle has several benefits that are worth considering.
The extra weight of these barrels results in greater stability and accuracy as it helps to absorb some of the recoil. This also makes it more comfortable to shoot for extended periods of time as well as making it easier to stay on target during rapid fire.
Additionally, the added mass also helps to keep the barrel cool, which is important for keeping alignment for accuracy. It also provides a steadier platform for shooting, which can lead to more consistent results.
For these reasons, heavy barrel contours are often the choice of competitive shooters and those looking to maximize their accuracy at long range, as precision is very important for them.
Heavier barrels tend to be more durable than lighter barrels, making them ideal for extended shooting sessions.
If you’re looking to build a precision rifle or simply want a more accurate gun for general shooting, a heavy barrel may be the right choice for you.
To wrap things up:
There are several factors to consider when choosing a barrel contour, but the most important thing is to choose one that is appropriate for the type of shooting you plan to do and what weight you are willing to carry.
If you are only going to be shooting at targets for fun, then any type of barrel contour will work fine. However, if you plan on competition shooting or hunting, you will want to choose a barrel that is designed for your particular activity.
Check out our barrel contour options on our Build Your Own Rifle page, or call us today at (360) 559-6210 for more information!