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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whats the very best & most accurate barrel on the market. Bar-Sto, Kart, Hienie. This will be installed by a very competent gunsmith.

Thanks for your valued help.
 

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Yes to all the above makers. A good barrel is a good start, and any of the names you mentioned are worthy. The other half of the equation is fitting the barrel. This is where a good 'smith will help. A good barrel is only as accurate as the gunsmith who fitted it.

If your gunsmith is good, you can't go wrong with any of the names mentioned.

P.S. Most factory barrels these days are pretty good as well. If you're not using your gun for precision bench-rest tack driving, most of the factory barrels will still shoot better than you can, if the gun is in good shape, and the barrel has been well maintained.
 

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StreetSurvival,
Shane's coments are on target. Here's what I can tell you about barrels and accuracy in 45 acp from Mike Curtis of Curtis Custom Shop (Mike currently took a job with the BATF and is now out of business) Mike is retired Marine Corp and built bullseye guns for the Marksmenship team. His guns dominated Camp Perry while he was at the marksmenship unit, his pistols dominated Camp Perry in the decade of the 90's in his retirement. I know of no one who has fired more ammo through machine barrel test fictures then Mike Curtis. Before Mike builds a gun he tests the barrel in barrel test ficture for accuracy then Ransom Rest pistol when complete. Mike will fit exactly 2 barrels in his bullseye guns, Kart or Bar-Sto. He will tell you that the Kart will shoot lead wad cutter better than the Bar-Sto, but the Bar-Sto will shoot the lead just as good after about 500 rounds of ball.He prefers the Bar-Sto barrel for ball ammo, Kart for lead. Both barrels are excellent I don't think you can go wrong with either barrel. Kart barrels are forged, Bar-Sto's I believe are machined from bar stock. There is nothing stronger than hammered forged steel that I know of. It is heated and pounded, the grain structure is denser and kind of swirled like a knot in a tree where the bar stock is rather straight. I think I would stick with a forged barrel. I think Heinie barrels are Storm Lake. I'm not sure if they are forged or bar stock. I have seen some very accurate Storm Lake barrels shot from test fictures but they didn't seem to shoot the ball well enough for Mike's standards. Awhile back ago in American Handgunner Charles Petty tested many barrels from old military, Colt, ECM, etc..... at the end of the testing he found the accuracy in all the barrels was statistically insignificant but the Kart was the most accurate and demensionally uniform, Bar-sto was also at the top of the list. I have examined Mike Curtis's barrel fit work first hand in the white and finished product, nobody fits a barrel better than Mike Curtis bar none. Someone may be able to equal the quality of his work in barrel fit but not surpass. Anybody that knows Mike Curtis knows that I know of what I speak. Hope this helps out, Metalsmith
 
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Metal Smith,
Your post is very interesting. Thanks for the info.

Your profile doesn't indicate where you are from. Specifically, where is Mike Curtis that you speak so highly of?

Thanks, Shane.
 

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From what I heard Mike has taken a job with BATF in N. Va., Im not sure if he has relocated yet or not. If not, he is still in Wallingford, Ky.

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Greetings,

Perhaps some may disagree with me, but all those barrel manufacturers listed(Schuemann and Nowlin too) make excellent barrels.

I think the "Best" depends upon the application. For instance Bullseye shooters that I'm familiar with tend to prefer Kart barrels. IPSC Limited class shooters seem to lean towards the bull barrel configuration in stainless such as made by Schuemann(my personal favorite) or Ed Brown. I'm guessing that there are as many opinions on this topic as there are barrel makers.

As time goes on, the more I am convinced that extreme accuracy in a pistol barrel isn't so much dependent on the type of rifling or the smoothness of the bore as it is in the fitting of that barrel to the rest of the system. I will say that what I look for in a match grade barrel is the amount of excess material left for me to fit and the consistency of the manufacturer from barrel to barrel.

Because tolerances can vary so widely from gun to gun(especially in the areas of slide to frame fit and the location of the slide stop pin hole relative to both), The greater amount of metal on the hood, upper and lower locking lugs gives me the flexibility to match the barrel precisely. Some manufacturers don't leave enough material for me on the bottom lugs for example. From Bar-Sto I only special order Match/Target barrels without the link, short chambered and additional metal left on the feet. It's been my experience that sometimes there is too much vertical play between the slide and frame to yield an acceptable fit with the standard gunsmith fit barrels. This is not to say Bar-Sto is inferior in any way. It is simply a matter of fact that there are some pistols out there which are at the edge or past the blueprint dimensional tolerances. Schuemann and Kart have always provided barrels with the additional amount of material in the right locations for me to fit- barrel after barrel. It is this type of consistency in manufacturing that fuels my preferences.

There are other considerations such as the type of materials used , heat treating , etc., but all those barrel makers mentioned (and many of those which have not) have very strict Q.C. so I didn't go into it.

Regards,

Randy

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Originally posted by Metal Smith:
I have seen some very accurate Storm Lake barrels shot from test fictures but they didn't seem to shoot the ball well enough for Mike's standards.

Howdy Metalsmith,
I agree with you on the Storm lake machine tubes. I have used three of the drop in barrels in guns. All of them showed major improvments. Two were genuine drop in with a good fit and one needed a little Dykem blue and file work to fit a Caspian slide. I don't mean to cut into anyone's market but we can't all afford to have everthing done all the time and sometimes pretty good to real good is a better option than the sometimes unaffordable "best"
I always enjoy your postings.
dotdot
 

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I know of a pretty big IPSC shooter that says the Jarvis barrels he uses now in his Para (good clue there) are the best barrels he has ever had.

Rich
 

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Any of the better match barrels...i.e. almost all the brand name barrels will out shoot the vast majority of humans, IF FITTED CORRECTLY

Irv Stone commented to me that he seldom has a gun with a "drop in" BarSto (which BTW seldom "drops" in) not shoot under 1.50" at 25 yards.
 

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Hi StreetSurvival, all the post above I think are good and are on target, I only commented on the 3 barrels you asked about, (I wish I could type as fast as I can talk) yes there are many good barrels on the market and the ones you picked are real winners, yes your barrel fit is very important, if you have a good pistolsmith choose the the barrel he likes to fit. Every one has there preferences. I've welded locking surfaces of barrels people claimed were junk, fitted-up and the accuracy will humble you. Yes Mike has taken a job with BATF, I know of his work cuz I've done precision machine work for him on his pistols. I pasted this info along because he is the best authority on the subject of Kart & Bar-sto I know and his findings mirror mine and some other very respectable pistolsmiths out there. Hope this helps you out. Hope I never muddied the waters to much. Metalsmith
 
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I'd like to share a couple of my own observations and comments regarding accuracy and barrels for 1911's.

First, every decent match barrel out there, Kart, Bar-Sto, Storm Lake, Schuemann, Nowlin, ect, is capable of outshooting 99.9% of the people who will ever fire them. I also believe that within 10 barrels from any one manufacturer you will find as much variation as you would from one barrel from 10 different manufacturers. I simply believe that if you're building a 1911 for carry or combat type competition there are more important considerations, or perhaps I should say other considerations that will have a more noticable impact on the guns performance, than how potentially accurate the barrel is. For instance, would you rather have a gun that shot .5" at 25 yards with a barrel that will last 25,000 rounds, or one that 'only' shoots .75" but will shoot that well for 75,000 rounds? For the competior who is trying to make a given power factor a barrel that runs faster than most is going to allow for full power loads with less powder, equalling less muzzle flip and recoil, for every shot. Is that not more important that a couple of hundreths of an inch at 25 yards?

Then there is the matter of bullets. It is a simple truth that when it comes to being designed for maximum accuracy pistol bullets suck. Any real argument as to the accuracy of 1911 barrels is moot given the quality of the avaliable bullets with wich to test them. There are no pistol bullets that are manufactured to the standards of your typical match rifle bullet. Most are designed for either terminal preformance or economy of manufacture.

It is certainly desirable to have an accurate pistol but one needs to keep in mind what the gun is for and what level of accuracy is really needed. I garentee all of my guns to shoot 1.5" at 25 yards or better but they will almost always do an inch or better. But if someone thinks they need a gun that shoots better than that they don't really have any idea of what a 1911 is for.



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Tim Bacus
Bacus Custom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To all, who took the time out to answer this post. THANK YOU.

You all have a tremendous wealth of knowledge in the field of the 1911. Metalsmith I loved your informative post. Keep up the good work.

*** Stay safe.

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Fraternally yours

Jimmy Ward
Combat Tech
 

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Is there another source for the IMI barrels mentioned above?
Why are the bushingless barrels (BULL) used in some pistols considered inferior to a bull barrel that uses a bushing?
What is the most important area or item to work with when using these bushingless barrels?

TIA



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As has been said in this post already, any of the mentioned match barrels will satisfy the most demanding of shooters if they are properly fit.

My personal favorites are:

Kart (especially for LSWC bullets)
Bar-Sto
SLM

Let's also not forget that with some welding and fitting, many factory barrels can be made to shoot quite well. A lot of record Bullseye scores have been shot with them.

Just my .02.......

Cheers, Tim
 

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OK, I waited for someone else to post, but since they did not....

I don't see how you can have an honest discussion of the "best and most accurate barrel" and NOT mention Schuemann barrels.

IMO Schuemann barrels are as good or better than any. They are oversized in the right areas to facillitate proper installation. Schuemann barrels are very accurate, and their durability is excellent as well.

I agree with Dane and others that proper fitting is the most important factor in accuracy.
 
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