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The thing you have to consider in this is that a rifle does not shoot to a certain MOA all it’s life. Precision ebbs and flows slightly as the round count progresses. Things are always changing as a matter of course. Add to that a profile change and you’d have to have a second barrel that you leave alone at full truck axle configuration and shoot side by side throughout the tests.

It costs about $200 to change profile. So there’s that to consider.

There is a metric ton of misinformation about barrel harmonics out there, mostly posted by folks who shoot three shots and write a book about it.

What I have seen is a 25-06 I built here at MBT (one example. I have many to fall back on) which was bedded stem to stern with an extremely long forend (26″ sporter barrel protruded the end of the stock by about 3″). This rifle was test fired rapidly and slow with ten shot groups. The slow group was nice and round at about 3/4″. The fast group walked as the barrel heated, producing a group that was 3/4″ tall and 1.25 long. That was 12 shots banged out fast and hard after the initial warmup shots then the first ten shot group, two after a scope change then ten more fired fast.

The point is, much of the talk people put out there about barrels heating and walking is merely another way for them to explain away the shoddy precision their rifle is exhibiting. I think if they were to start shooting ten shot groups, and let it be what it is without the narrative, things would become much clearer.

The internet is awash in information put out there by folks trying to convince themselves and everybody else that a cheap factory rifle barrel is just as effective as a Krieger, and it just doesn’t wash. Fact is, it’s a lot easier to type than it is to rebarrel, so don’t be fooled.

I’ve got a Winchester Model 70 here I inherited from my uncle when he passed. It shoots nice, round, 2.5″ groups with known loads. A fellow was in the shop and saw that rifle and was impressed. He explained that he used to have one just like it, and he could shoot dime sized groups at 200 yards with Remington Cor-Loct ammo……… I just smiled and said “that’s real good shooting. This one shoots like garbage. LOL!”. Of course, then he proceeded to tell me I just have to find “the load” etc etc etc. Fact is, I already found “the load” it’s a good load across the board with good rifles, and the fact that my rifle will not shoot that load anywhere near 1MOA means my barrel is garbage. I’m fine with that. One day, I’ll screw in a Krieger. Any Krieger. Any profile. Any length. And when I do, it’s going to shoot 5/8″ groups and when I find “the load” it will shoot 1/2 MOA. Sometimes it will shoot 1/4MOA, and sometimes 5/8, but the average will be 1/2. That’s without changing ANYTHING. It ebbs and flows and I’m fine with that.

There’s no need to overthink this. Good barrels shoot tight patterns, bad barrels don’t, and good barrels don’t happen on accident.

With that knowledge firmly in hand, I would worry about a test like this being inconclusive. At the best, it might reinforce something I already knew, and at the worst, it might lead me to a conclusion based on insufficient data. In order for it to be conclusive, several barrel pairs from several manufacturers would need to be tested in tandem with multiple loads and all the data carefully recorded. Scientific method would have to be adhered to like glue, and the test would have to be conducted by someone who was willing to start over from scratch if need be, and if the test proved nothing after being conducted, this man would have to have the spiritual cajones to tell the truth about that and not lean on theories about what he thought he saw/proved.

I could almost get excited enough to make that happen, but that last part would be a pill too tough to swallow for me personally. I would HAVE to have something to show for all that work, and if there was nothing, I think I’d have to have a stiff drink.

Just some things to think about.

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