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Hello all. A couple of questions. What are your feelings about the quality of ssk, bullberry, etc barrels compared to TC custom shop barrels. The other barrels will run $100.00 or more than the cost of a TC custom shop barrel. Are they worth it? What are you getting for the extra money?

I want a stainless 7tcu carbine bull barrel. What is the best bullet for deer size game. Will the 130gr sierra SS pistol bullet open up to guick? Would the 140gr be better? What kind of performance can I expect with this caliber in a 22" barrel? Thanks for your replies. Byron
 

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I have several Bullberry, a few VVCG and some factory barrels. So this is my take on that....the pros of the custom barrels:
finished very nicely
chambered true to the rifling
rifling is mirror smooth (Shilen barrels) and easy to clean
typically have an accuracy guarantee....all of mine are very very accurate
can be made to your exacting specs in length and chamber dimensions
many available chamberings and wildcats

the cons:
expensive........a carbine length barrel will eat up $400 no problem
usually require a lengthy lead time....it can be months
did I mention they are expensive

TC factory barrels that I have had ....some have been excellent some have been something less than that.
I currently have a .204 Ruger barrel from TC that would match the custom house barrels I have in accuracy.
 

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I do not have any custom barrels, but I know a few people who do. And they look nice and shoot nice.
But I would put your money towards something a bit more important than looks. That would be your glass. A good scope will get you further than a custom barrel. I have a 204 in a factory barrel and it's as good a shooter as I could have ever dreamed.
Unless your a competitive shooter, I wouldn't waste the money. Even then you could compete without one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anybody know if TC makes their own barrels, or do they buy blanks like the custom shops? The TC custom shop barrels I've seen were finished very nice. Its hard for me to visualize a better finish. As far as the chambering, is this really a problem with TC barrels.

The other caliber that really interests me is the 6.5 JDJ. Any comments on this caliber for deer hunting. Thanks for your comments. Byron
 

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Excellent choice in chambering but you won't get it from Fox Ridge (TC). It proprietary from SSK...thus the JDJ moniker. It is a handload only proposition and you will want to check the availability of .225 Winchester brass.
If you ever shoot a full up custom barrel you will understand why there is a considerable leadtime in getting one. Guys don't buy 'em cause they look pretty...............
 

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With custom barrels, you have a greater likelihood that you will be buying a barrel that has a greater potential for accurcay..i say "potential" because i have had some factory barrels that shoot as well as my customs; unfortunately i have had some factory barrels that were pretty lousy...

I have about a dozen customs barrels at the moment, and have had twice that many over the years. I have yet to get a custom barrel that i could find any fault in, but it does happen...I will say that my barrels from Bullberry, SSK, and Virgin Valley are more consistently accurate with a wider range of loads; in other words they seem to shoot not just one load well, but are more tolerant with a wide range of loads / powder combinations. Another plus, if you shoot a lot, is that barrels by SSK & Bullberry are less prone to powder & copper fouling.

Are they worth spending a hundred bucks more? Well, sorta depends i guess, i personally would probably not spend a $100 more to get a barrel that i am going to casually plink with, but if you were going to do some serious long range varminting &/or competitive shooting, then a hundred bucks seems well spent to me.

I have a 21" 7TCU in a factory carbine, an early production barrel i got from another Graybeard member..it shoots very well for what i plan to do with it, which is to shoot small deer under a hundred yards. It holds about 1.5" inches pretty consistently. I cant personally tell much difference between a deer gun that shoots a 1.5" group or one that shoots a half-inch group when i am hunting, so it wouldnt have been worth it to me to spend another hundred on a custom barrel that might shoot a 1/2" group..either way, the deer is coming home with me! :wink:

the 120 grain Sierra's or the 120 Hornady SSSP will be fine.
 
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