American Patriots Unsung Magazine Issue 6 - Page 32

32 When ordering a barrel from Columbia River Arms, you select exactly what you want, from a vast menu: AR, bolt-action, Ruger Precision Rifle, Savage, length, profile, finish, fluting, gas system length (for AR-pattern barrels), etc. There are a staggering number of combinations available. They’re produced on a made-to-order basis, so they can customize the product to suit the customer’s needs. I purchased two Black Hole Weaponry barrels a few years back, both of which were “A $69 barrel looks almost the same as a $300 barrel, but they’re not equal. There are reasons for the difference in price and most of them have to do with time and manpower. When it comes to barrels, when you go cheap, you pay for it.” used in .308 AR-10 builds (16-inch and 18-inch), both of which are light contour, and both of which shoot very satisfactorily. Rather than doing accuracy testing on those barrels, however, I chose two current-production Black Hole AR-15 barrels chambered in .223 Wylde for a couple of builds that I’d been wanting to put together for awhile. One is a 16-inch light traced all the way back to British canon rifling. The end result of their rifling process is a hardened bore that doesn’t need any lapping or honing…they’re that smooth. As I said in the beginning, it’s hardly controversial to say that the barrel of a firearm is its heart and soul. “Almost 100% of its accuracy,” Caudle told me. “A $69 barrel looks almost the same as a $300 barrel, but they’re not equal. There are reasons for the difference in price and most of them have to do with time and manpower. When it comes to barrels, when you go cheap, you pay for it.” Absolute perfection may not be achievable, but we strive for it every day.” That, according to Carl, is why they have the warranty they do…because they want their customers to be absolutely satisfied. “I can’t guarantee you that every barrel we make will shoot .25 MOA groups consistently, but I can say that, ultimately, our customers will be satisfied.” Occasionally, despite the best processes, carried out by first-rate craftsmen, using some of the finest machines available, a barrel just won’t shoot. Of course, that’s the case with any barrel maker, although some won’t admit it. “When that happens, we’ll make it right, but overall, our barrels exceed expectations on a regular basis.” I was surprised to learn that Black Hole doesn’t produce different “grades” of barrels; they’re all match grade or better. Another departure from conventional wisdom is that Carl believes a barrel will either shoot from the very beginning, or it won’t; and, if it isn’t shooting, no amount of “breaking in” will help it. 33 JAY DOBYNS The procession and precision of a barrel or muzzle brake being manufactured is something to behold.