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I was at the range today with a couple of frames and a few barrels sighting in for deer season. Things weren't going particularly well but it was over 95 degrees and I figured if the bullets were going north when the grips were pointed south I would settle for that. Then after a barrel was switched to a different frame the new combo started putting the bullets much closer together. I realize it was probably the component pulling the trigger that changed but it got me to thinking. The impression I get from the board is that accuracy is primarily due to the barrel. To what extent does the group agree with that? How important is the frame? Or the grips and forend? Do certain combinations of frame and barrel work better together than they do separately?
More prosaically if I wanted to upgrade my contenders collection accuracy (ignoring for arguments sake the shooter) where should I put my money? Frames or barrels?
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

I see where your going with this. I'm a Try-and-get-more-accuracy kinda guy too. If I had to chose, I'd definitely say the barrel, since it's the part directing the projectile and more things can be different from barrel to barrel than from frame to frame. The contact points on one frame will be darn near identical to those of another frame saying that there will be little or no difference in accuracy. If I had to guess (which I'm doing by saying this) there could be a slight difference due to lock up and frame to barrel tolerances that could make a bit of difference. If not Ole' Mike Bhellum wouldn't have made such a big deal about those damn oversized hinge pins making such a "dramatic" improvement in accuracy.
I'd put my hard earned jing into a custom barrel before anything. As a matter of fact, I have. My barrel from Bullberry's should be here soon. I just send my frame to TC today to fix my problem with the lock up. 44 mag slams it open every time except using cheapass CCI loads. I got it back today from Fred @ Bullberry's saying that the locking shelf was worn and hammered up badly causing a negative angle. Even with the CCI's I couldn't get better than 4" @ 100 yards. That lock up problem could have contributed to some of that.
As for the grips and forend, where you hold it, how tight, what it rests on and how the recoil is handled all play a part in consistency as well. I don't think style of these has much to do with it.
My two Lincoln heads......
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

I think if frames are in good condition, and the lock up is complete then the major component for accuracy is the barrel. I am not to the point where I feel hardware is the limiting factor for me. Since it is far easier for me to shoot well with a rifle than a pistol my assumption is that I am what is keeping my pistols from being as consistent as I like.
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

I own and shoot a number of contender frames and barrels and I have never switched frames to check accuracy from one frame to another.

I do know that switching frames can make a huge change in point of impact, so I guess there could be some difference in accuracy potential as well. I usually decide which frame a barrel will go on then work up the loads from there so that they are tuned as a team.

Unless someone tested different frames that were set up exactly the same, grips, trigger pull and sear engagement, I don't see how someone could really tell. It might be that in your case the trigger is better on the second frame you tried or the grip fits your hand better or you just shot better on that group. A larger sample size with identical frames would be more revealing.

But, an excellent question.
Have fun, love your contender.
Joe
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

My own personal take on it..........what is ahead of the bullet is far and away more important to accuracy that what is behind it.
I have couple of frames dedicated to varmint hunting that I constantly switch or move barrels on and off of. I can honestly say I do not see any change in impact that cannot be attributed to trigger differences or stock fit.
My guess would be that somebody at Bullberry or ...back in the day VVCG figured out that regardless of your frame they could guarantee accuracy based solely on the quality of their barrels.
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

Thats a tricky question. I would say they are almost equal. If there is a flaw in the barrel, accuracy suffers. Excess play in the frame, Same thing. I have one frame with a 26" 22/250 barrel that would only shoot 1-1/4 new. Found some excess side play in the frame, carefully squeezed the frame opening in a vise to close it up. Took all the "shake" out of the rifle and now its a real tack driver. Thats the only TC frame I've ever had to do that with but it sure made a huge difference. KN
 

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Barrel or frame,which is more resposible for accuracy.

I was testing my 357 magnum in a Ransom Rest at 25 yards. While the frame was locked down I changed barrels to a 357 max. The new group moved 4 inches to the right.I was shooting a 200 grain bullet with 8.0 grains Blue dot. The group size remained the same. Was this the barrel or the way the barrel fit to the frame? can anyone shed some light on this.

Glenwood
 

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Barrel or frame which is more responsible f

Could be the throat, crown, load, base of the bullet ect. I've had a change of primer and or bullets move a group left and right. One load with Noslers shoots poa while just switching to Sierras moves it to the right a couple of inches.
 

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martyball said:
Then after a barrel was switched to a different frame the new combo started putting the bullets much closer together.
My $.02 when you changed frames you had to remove the forearm and when you retightened the screws they where in better harmonics with the barrel
 
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