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New barrel for Bushmaster Varminter

benstt

Professional
Founding Member
I bought a Varminter a year and a half ago. I had one years back was was amazingly precise. I wish I'd know about the steep drop in quality after Remington bought them bit it can't be helped. This one is just slightly better than my classic iron-sighted A2. Today it put together a nice 4moa group at 100 yards. Not 0.4, 4. So, I figure the barrel has to go as a first step toward precision. Are there any pitfalls to watch out for in doing a swap?
 
5.56? Are you just doing a barrel swap/change? No matter the caliber or cartridge making sure it's headspaced properly for sure! Know what the gas block journal size is so not having to buy another.
 

Susquash

Master Class
Founding Member
Might also want to go with an adjustable gas block. Depending on what caliber you go to it can take away a lot of problems.
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
Surely you've tested several different ammo's before condemning that bbl? I've seen/owned long guns that will literally shoot around corners with one particular box/brand/weight ammo, then drive tacks with another. In fact right now I have two .270Win rifles like that. My Thompson Center Encore will drive tacks with it's pet load, but my Rem 700 Classic will shoot that same ammo around those corners. Likewise the opposite ..... the ammo my Rem 700 likes is garbage in the Encore.

I've seen/had others over the years that were similar, but not quite as drastically different as these two. All that being said, ammo plays a very big role in how any firearm performs. Just somethin' to ponder !!! (y)(y)(y)
 

Susquash

Master Class
Founding Member
Surely you've tested several different ammo's before condemning that bbl? I've seen/owned long guns that will literally shoot around corners with one particular box/brand/weight ammo, then drive tacks with another. In fact right now I have two .270Win rifles like that. My Thompson Center Encore will drive tacks with it's pet load, but my Rem 700 Classic will shoot that same ammo around those corners. Likewise the opposite ..... the ammo my Rem 700 likes is garbage in the Encore.

I've seen/had others over the years that were similar, but not quite as drastically different as these two. All that being said, ammo plays a very big role in how any firearm performs. Just somethin' to ponder !!! (y)(y)(y)He
He may also want to take a good look at his bore and make sure it is not copper fouled. Buddy had similar problem with his F-class target rifle. Upon close inspection found he cleaned it well but did not clean out copper fouling.
 

jumpinjoe

Professional
Something else to note: I'm under impression there are three different twist rates in those AR bbls. ... 1/7, 1/8, 1/9. Since I'm not a big AR fan I can't verify this personally, but as I understand each of these different twist rates are better suited for different weights of bullets. I can't tell which is which, but I'd look into that a little as well.

I think benstt is a reasonably experienced gun man and is probably already aware of all this. But there may be others following along that are not so experienced.

Either way here's a link to pretty good bbl 'cheat sheet' to help one decide on the right bbl for them and their needs.

 
If your front sight is pinned you might leave it and barrel nut on the barrel so it saves the front sight from being removed. You might need a barrel nut that is compatible with a handguard of your choice? Need answers, so we know where your going.
 

benstt

Professional
Founding Member
I've tried many different bullets and weights. No joy. The Varminter has a 24" fluted heavy bull barrel with no front sight. I have no idea what it has for a gas block or a barrel nut. My preference would be to stay with a heavy, 24" 5.56 and go for maximum precision.
 

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I've tried many different bullets and weights. No joy. The Varminter has a 24" fluted heavy bull barrel with no front sight. I have no idea what it has for a gas block or a barrel nut. My preference would be to stay with a heavy, 24" 5.56 and go for maximum precision.
The gas block is probably pinned (2) and journal is .750 or .875 being hbar, not bull. Have you tried 223 match ammo? If you get a Wylde chamber would be a good choice. 1/7 I think is overrated and a 1/8 is more perfect. An adjustable gas block is fine, but not necessary for 5.56. If you go low mass buffer(JP rifle) and low mass BCG then an adjustable gas block is needed for best performance. I have 1 setup that way and recoils like a 22lr, if you want to say a 22lr has any recoil!
 

HansGruber

Hellcat
Barrels; I’ve had great luck with Ranier barrels; the 5R rifling that most have is a great benefit. Pricy, but worth it.

Noveske also makes good barrels.

I think Shilen makes AR barrels…you could go with any of the high-end barrel makers, really (Lilja, et al).

I’d get a new bolt to go with it.
 
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