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I've been lurking here reading and learning for a while. A couple months ago I decided to start my first build. I have a Caspian frame and slide I just finished fitting up and I was planning to use the Kart easy fit barrel. I have the installation kit but while cruising Brownells inventory I noticed Nowlin has a "pre fitted" barrel that has excellent reviews. I know nothing is really drop in but a lost of the reviewers said it required very little fitting and some said it dropped in for them. My question is have any of you installed this barrel and would you recommend it over the Kart? the Nowlin is stainless and the Kart is carbon steel in the white. I will be having Robar finish it in NP3 so I don't know if the barrel material has any benefit either way. Any advice or opinions would be very much appreciated.
thanks
 

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I use Kart almost exclusively. If you have a desire to learn how to build a gun, start with the Kart. It will give you greater satisfaction and shoot very well. You can also have it finish the same as your other parts.
 

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I use Kart almost exclusively. If you have a desire to learn how to build a gun, start with the Kart. It will give you greater satisfaction and shoot very well. You can also have it finish the same as your other parts.
I have used them all Kart, Colt, Bar-stow, Ed Brown, Wilson at one time or another either in a new gun or just the barrel purchased separately, as far as my shooting skills are concerned I really can not tell the difference between the barrels. I am sure there are numerous differences in the build of the barrel but as far as rounds down range on a target I can not tell them apart. I am presently building a 9mm 1911 and I will be using a Swenson Match Barrel and Bushing and my 45 will be getting the same barrel very shortly. These Swenson Match barrels I got for $110.00 a piece which to me shows a really good value.

Good luck in your search I am sure as long as you choose one from a reputable builder it will serve you well.
 

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I recommend Kart pretty much exclusively. In your situation the Ed Brown drop in barrels deserve a look. All of the ones we have used required just a small amount of fitting. If you know where to remove material, they yield a very nice fit.
 

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I have used them all Kart, Colt, Bar-stow, Ed Brown, Wilson at one time or another either in a new gun or just the barrel purchased separately, as far as my shooting skills are concerned I really can not tell the difference between the barrels. I am sure there are numerous differences in the build of the barrel but as far as rounds down range on a target I can not tell them apart. I am presently building a 9mm 1911 and I will be using a Swenson Match Barrel and Bushing and my 45 will be getting the same barrel very shortly. These Swenson Match barrels I got for $110.00 a piece which to me shows a really good value.

Good luck in your search I am sure as long as you choose one from a reputable builder it will serve you well.
Not to piss in anyone's Wheaties but every single review I've read of anything Swenson brand has been BAD. While the name is old school apparently the company that currently owns the name is turning out total crap.
 

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Attention to detail with fitting is much more important than any difference between quality barrels, is what I keep hearing.
 

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Another one for Kart...photo of my Crawley Custom commander from 15 yards hand held with 200 gr. precision round nose flat tip molly on 5.2 gr. of N320 and Federal LP Mag primer. Have a 5 inch big brother to it that shoots just as well.
 

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Which barrel.....?

The top pistol barrel makers, not in any particular order are: Kart, Bar Sto, Nowlin, KKM Precision, and Schuemann. I like and use Kart Barrels, but have used all of the above for my gun projects..... I have never had a complaint with any of the above....
 

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Back about 2009 I bought a Nowlin barrel and fitted bushing in 9mm to put in a Colt XSE LW Commander in 38 Super I had bought from a friend. I bought it through Brownells and it did say drop in. (Let me stop and laugh a minute.) It took quite a bit of work to get it fit. Now I did want to shoot both calibers and did not want to touch the slide or frame of the Colt. If you do buy something like this and it drops in an works then I would run out and buy lottery tickets.
 

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For a non-gunsmith fit barrel, I couldn't imagine any choice except an EZ Fit...or an extremely good price. That is probably the closest you'll get to gunsmith fit without all the other fitting.
 

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Drop in barrels......

Getting a drop in barrel that fits correctly is "the luck of the draw." If it is slightly oversized and you can file it to fit, you may get a great fitting barrel......

However, if the hood is too short, and the lower lugs do not contact the slide stop pin, you may have a gun that shoots, but it may not have the optimal accuracy. After one lesson learned with a "match grade" drop-in barrel, I have always ordered "gunsmith fit barrels." :rolleyes:
 

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Another one for Kart...photo of my Crawley Custom commander from 15 yards hand held with 200 gr. precision round nose flat tip molly on 5.2 gr. of N320 and Federal LP Mag primer. Have a 5 inch big brother to it that shoots just as well.
Great group. Was your flier the first round?
 
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