1. Should I get a stainless or Chrome-Moly steel barrel?
Well both have their good points! Stainless obviously is more impervious to the weather so if you are shooting in wet weather or live in a damp area stainless might be a good choice for you. Stainless is NOT impervious to weather though. It will corrode if given enough time. Chrome-Moly steel needs to be protected from the elements more, but the good news is that it will take parkerizing and blueing very well. Which one lasts longer? Everyone has their own theories on which lasts longer. It depends a lot on the ammo you are using and how fast and hard you are driving it. Heat kills barrels, so if you are running a fast load OR you do a lot of rapid fire you will likely lose barrel life faster than someone who doesn't.
2. How should I store my rifle with a new barrel?
Keep your newly rebarreled rifle in a dry place. Some people like to put a light coat of oil on and in it before putting it away. Nothing wrong with that, BUT just remember to put a dry patch or two through it before you use it next other wise it may not shoot to the same point of aim.
3. How should I clean my new barrel?
Again everyone has their own theory on how to best clean. From our experience brushes aren't needed for the majority of cleanings. Use a good plastic or carbon coated rod and bore guide. Use brass jags to hold your patches. NEVER USE A BORESNAKE. Boresnakes can wear down your crown and lead to accuracy issues. We like to put a foaming bore cleaner like WipeOut in the bore and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before patching it out. It will take out carbon AND copper. Copper will come out as a blueish tint on your clean patches. Repeat as needed until you get no more copper. With that said, you may not want to strip out all the copper. Some barrels shoot better with a little copper fouling in the bore. You will have to figure out what works best for your particular barrel.
4. How often should I clean my barrel?
Let your barrel decide! In our experience if a barrel is shooting well, leave it alone. For example, if you are shooting a match that requires 200 rounds, it might not be a good idea to clean it in the middle of that match. Why? Because if you strip out too much of the fouling you may change your point of impact(POI). If that POI shifts enough you may have to re-zero, which isn't a smart thing to in the middle of a match. If you are a hunter and are going to zero at the range before your trip, clean the barrel before you zero but not after. If it's shooting well...let it shoot well.
5. Do I need to break in this new barrel?
All the test barrels we have shot have needed no break in period. All our barrels are hand lapped and within a couple of shots they were shooting nice groups. We cleaned them after the session and carried on.However part of shooting well is being confident of your equipment so if you feel the need to break in the barrel we suggest the following method. Shoot 3 shots then clean with a copper remover like WipeOut. Shoot 5 shots then clean. Shoot 10 shots then clean. After that carry on like normal. That's it! As much as we want to sell you more barrels...anything more is a waste of barrel life.
6. How many grooves should I want?
We concentrate on making our barrels with either 4 or 5 grooves. 4 and 5 groove barrels cover the vast majority of calibers and projectiles.Yes we can do any number of grooves that people request with enough lead time. Get a hold of us if you have a specific request and we will let you know what that lead time is. In most cases it's going to be a month or so. There also be added costs of tooling.
5. 5R rifling...what is it, why do I want it and do you offer it?
5R rifling is a type of rifling that has grooves with tapered edges instead of 90 degree edges.The 5 is the number of grooves and the R stands for Russian. The Russians were the first folks to pioneer it but "Boots" Obermeyer was the first guy in North America to use and perfect it. According to some 5R rifling gives you a couple of advantages. First off the odd number of grooves ensures that that the lands aren't lined up directly across from each other in the bore. The theory is that this provides less "squeeze" on the bullet as it enters the barrel. Some find that 5R barrels run a little faster(more velocity for the same powder charge) than 4 or 6 groove barrels. Secondly, some also find that 5R barrels clean up better. The angled groove edges, instead of the 90 degree edges may allow the patches and brushes to remove fouling easier. Yes we offer it! And we don't charge you more for it. If you order a 5 groove barrel from us it will be a 5R barrel unless otherwise stated.
6. Do you offer salt bath nitriding of barrels?
No at this point we are not set up to nitride barrels. Be careful that you get an experienced company to do this for you if you choose to have it done.Because salt bath nitriding heats the steel up to between 750-1000 degrees F it may destroy the stress relieving processes which have been done to the barrel during manufacturing. Barrels that have been fired and then nitrided may have a couple of issues. Firstly any throat erosion or cracking can be exacerbated by the nitriding process. The cracks will be hardened and may degrade accuracy. Secondly if there is still copper in the bore when the barrel is nitrided it may have a chemical reaction to the process and not give you everything you were expecting from the nitriding. If you choose to nitride one of our barrels you may void the warranty.
7. Do we flute barrels?
At this point in time we do not flute barrels. We may flute in the future depending on the interest, but at the moment we do not.
8. Do I need to lap/fire lap my barrel?
No you don't. IBI barrels are hand lapped twice during the manufacturing process! You will receive your barrel after great care has been taken to make it the best shooting barrel you've ever had. Any type of lapping or fire lapping not done during manufacturing will void the warranty on your barrel.