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Choosing my barrel?

2953 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Bunky
I have decided to have a custom gun built for me by a local builder. Questions, I'm 99% sure of a 54. Caliber, my next dilemma is length, 38,42,44? Definitely a swamped barrel, but also which make? Getz, rice, colerain, buckeye? What type of rifling, radius, square etc.... I'm just looking for opinions, and people with different preferences.
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Rice! Getz has some serious delivery problems. Buckeye doesn't make barrels. Take a look at Rice's 38" C weight .54. If you go with a .50 you can drop to a B weight. usually has some in stock.
Radius groove. If only for the fact that they are much easier to clean.

As for weight and length, the best thing is to handle guns already made. Some makers build light graceful guns that are quite well balanced and a few make guns that are a little "beefier" and despite the great looks, they are not nearly so well balanced.
Just for what Z said above about weight and balance, if I was to bust out for a custom rifle,...
yeah right!

Anyway, I personally would go with a 42", 13/16 or 7/8 non-swamped barrel, and double the flats to 16. AND radial rifling, AND professionally browned vs. blued.

With a 54, the balance would be tricky, but a 45 would be nice!

But hey, thats just me!
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Hey Dan, i just got the call that my barrel was done. It's a 44 inch C weight 54 cal. When it gets here i will let you know and you can check it out. Give me a call and i will give you all the details.
I have a colerain bbl 42 in 54 cal swamped round radius rifling cleans well and shoots better than I can shoot it my gun was made my cabin creek
Ok so a rice and a colerain, are $75 difference for the same length caliber, pretty close on dimensions and weight. Both have round bottom radius, is there a major difference? Rice says match grade quality no lapping, is that true?
I've built using both... they are both awesome barrels. In the recent market, your best bet is probably to go with whichever is in stock, and ready to ship.
I own several of the Rice competition grade and they are simply AWESOME! 54 cal swamped 44" barrel is a tack driver. Colerain and Getz are as good if you know what you are buying. Don Getz is a personal friend and he is simply and awesome wealth of knowlede with barrels.
Ok now, is there much to "gain" using 38" vs. 42 or 44"? Afraid of a 44 due to hunting a lot in heavy laurel, but some say not to worry. Balancing it will be taken care of( I'm not building it, a good builder is).
Given the choice between Rice or Colrain i'll take the Rice. Not that the Colrains dont shoot well but the Rice barrel will require less draw fileing and will have a properly seated breech plug. Colrain.... not so much.
Length is a matter of choice---if you take it to the woods and you are in the thick stuff often the shorter is better. If you plan on shots at 75 yards or more go with the 42 or 44. I love my 44 but it is a long gun!
and fits my 1770s attire well. Here is a pic of a 44 inch RICE barrel and Chambers Delux Siler Lock- my gun is 60 inches son has the Lyman Great Plains --both in 54 cal. At 11 he shot well this year he will be 12 and hopefully will score a deer. My gun was built by Don Yerks in Williamsport area (Milerun Muzzleloaders)

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Id go with the 42 after thinking a little more ---the short barrel may not give the long distance shot placement unless you spend lots of time with her. The 42 is not much diff than the 44 and the longer barrel will allow for more powder burn....JMHO HEY ZIMM chime in here.
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