Stainless steel barrels too bright? - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Stainless steel barrels too bright?

Was hunting with my new Tikka T3 Lite Stainless this year and couldn't help but notice how bright the barrel seemed to be especially under certain lighting. I was busted by a doe close to 100 yards away and I'm pretty sure the only time she saw me was when I swung my rifle over to scope her. I can't help but wonder, do stainless barrels give us away, more than traditional blued barrels, or was my observation just a coincidence?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 11:48 PM
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i used a 242 ruger for a few years in stainless.. i never noticed a difference..
i had a buddy that had a t3 stainless... he tock a green scotch bright pad to it..
it did dull it a lot but had micro scratches... can all ways buff out to new look again if you dident like its look
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 12:14 AM
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I have a Ruger Target rifle in original stainless . Before they put the grey coatings on from the factory . Since the stock is a grey/green lamination , I found a grey/green/ white camo gun tape and carefully covered the barrel . Looks good and no more glare .
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 07:07 AM
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I made a sleeve out of camouflage materal that I can slip over my barrel...I figured why take a chance of being busted with a shiny barrel.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 08:17 AM
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I hunt with a Browning A Bolt Stainless Stalker and the barrel is similar to a parkerized finish, it is not perfectly smooth. I have never been busted because of the barrel that I have noticed. I bought the gun new in 1993 and it's seen some action. I think the movement will get you noticed more than anything, no way a stainless barrel is more noticeable than an orange hat on a hunters head.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 08:37 AM
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I stayed away from stainless for a long time off this reason. Now I only buy stainless and have shot game fine. The highly polished stainless barrels will definitely reflect more light. The less polished barrels will dull even more as they pick up bark, etc. when walking through brush. It can easily be cleaned off but I leave it until the season is over.

I have a Tikka and the barrel is pretty smooth and shiny. I also have a stainless Remington 700 and it is a rougher and duller finish. I have seen people on message boards complain about the dull finish on the Remington but I prefer it for a hunting rifle.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 09:37 AM
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Having never seen your barrel I cannot comment on how it would reflect light. But I would suspect you were spotted more because of your movement than reflection off the barrel.

A few days ago I was watching a field. I caught movement past the far edge. The edge is a measured 110 yards. Using binoculars I saw it was a turkey's head in the brush 10 or 15 yards past the edge. I could not see the body just the head but the movement was the giveaway.

Considering deer are prey they are constantly on the lookout for predators and any movement will alert them.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Flint Lock View Post
I'm pretty sure the only time she saw me was when I swung my rifle over to scope her.
A scope objective will reflect like a mirror with the right sun angle. One of the reasons scout snipers use sun shades.

But never had an issue and that's all I've been hunting with for about 20 yrs, and I'm talking about a lot of different environments. Sold almost all the blued stuff. A glossy blue reflects light much more than stainless.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 11:20 AM
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The situation described was almost surely movement that got busted, not a shiny barrel.

Did the brighter barrel make the movement easier for the deer to detect? That might be possible.

I shot a doe last night with my Model 70 with a stainless barrel. I had to stand, turn, and bring the rifle around to bear (she was way around to my left). No issues. She was at 120 yards, and when she was looking toward me, I was still. When she looked away, I moved. She had no idea anything was wrong until a 180gr Partition turned out the lights.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 01:11 PM
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I've taken several deer with a stainless Ruger Super Redhawk handgun and never felt it spooked the deer. Now, a handgun is a lot shorter than a rifle barrel, but I think the movement is what will catch their eye.

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