Reply To: New ART barrel from Daystate

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I got to look through the ART barrel at IWA and it looks very good. I have not had any experience with it, but I have with STX barrels because of all the work I’ve done in the FX factory. I’ve also studied the 12-groove and Polygonal LW barrels a lot (difficult to do, because every single one is different). To my eyes the ART looks exactly like an STX, with smaller groove diameter than the polygon, 5 lands instead of 6. Land width looks the same and choke looks the same.

The big question mark for me is quality control. I know for a fact that quality control is a big problem with LW because I have spoken to manufacturers and visited various factories. I know that LW struggles with their choking – I have 6 LW barrels and every single barrel has a different choke. The choke can vary by 0.05mm even if everything else remains the same. This is very surprising to me because FX barrels have a tolerance 5x tighter than this. Maybe this explains why head diameter is so important when picking pellets for LW barrels. I know that FX stopped buying barrels from LW because almost 50% of them had issues and had to be rejected. Smaller companies buy big batches of LW barrels, install the best barrels on their guns and sell the bad ones to other companies. That’s why there were so many good RAWs being made. Daystate probably keeps the good barrels and gives the no-so-good ones to Brocock. The good ones are GOOD, hence so many podium finishes. But we won’t even talk about the bad ones. There are big issues to sort out and LW is too proud to admit it because they have such a good reputation for all their other barrels (unchoked firearm barrels – Much easier to produce).

I’m reading a lot about twist rates but I’m not sure if I agree… In my experience, there is ZERO difference between performance of 1:17” and 1:16” when shooting with pellets. I have tested everything from 1:9” to 1:60”, and you won’t even see a difference by changing the twist rate by 5”. Pellets hardly require any twist to stabilize, even the Monsters. Even slugs are way less twist-rate fussy than you think. A 25gr slug will stabilize perfectly fine out a 1:20” barrel at subsonic speeds – Why then would a 25gr pellet need a faster twist than this? I can say this because I have tested about 200 different barrels in an underground range with a barreled action clamped in a vice. It is all about smoothness of the interior finish, land/groove diameter, leade, choke and crown. If the ART barrel shoots better, my guess is that it is 90% due to the land/groove diameter being better suited to the projectile, and 10% everything else combined. You can probably change the twist rate dramatically and see very little difference. Remember, it is the spin rate with respect to the oncoming airflow that matters, and that ratio is changing all the time as the pellet slows down. So you have to consider the spin rate at the muzzle AND the spin rate at the target. I am still not convinced that LW is able to consistently produce high quality barrels with the same land-groove dimension at the muzzle every single time, but I hope I’m wrong!

PS I am not trying to bash LW in any way. My most accurate 25m gun is still a Daystate with a LW barrel. I am just concerned that so many gun reviewers are having so many issues with LW barrels recently and the public aren’t hearing about it.