Which Rifling Is Best?


Rifling button

Q
 I believe that factory rifles are equipped with barrels which have two different types of rifling – button rifling and cold hammer-forged. Which type of rifling do you think is best? Which type lasts longest?
– Garry Charlton

Hammer forge for barrel making

A
With button rifling a carbide die or button is either pulled or pushed through the blank to swage the lands and grooves in place. The cold hammer-forging method uses a mandrel with the reverse form of the desired rifling which is inserted into an oversized barrel blank and the rifling is molded in when the blank is hammered around the mandrel. Extremely accurate barrels can be made by both methods. I own rifles with both kinds of barrels, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the hammer-forged variety may have a longer life and that a good chrome-moly barrel will outlast a stainless barrel. But nothing is carved in stone, so don’t take that as gospel.

 

 

 


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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.

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