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Thread: McGowan vs Shilen vs Xcaliber

  1. #1
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    McGowan vs Shilen vs Xcaliber


    In researching this I found the most recent discussion is about two years old. When building a PRS style rifle in 6BRX should I get a McGowan, Shilen, or Xcaliber barrel. Criterion doesn’t offer BRX. Ordering a Krieger or other non prefit gets too expensive with the gunsmith charges.

  2. #2
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    Any of them will do you well. I have all three brands on rifles, and they all shoot really good.

    Bugholes.com sales / makes pre-fit barrels from all the Premium Cut rifled barrel companies, but they will cost you a few $$$ more than the other's you're looking at.

  3. #3
    Basic Member jpx2rk's Avatar
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    I've got a xcaliber and Preferred Barrel set up, would buy either of those again based on accuracy I've gotten from both.

  4. #4
    Basic Member Fuj''s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Txhillbilly View Post
    Any of them will do you well. I have all three brands on rifles, and they all shoot really good.

    Bugholes.com sales / makes pre-fit barrels from all the Premium Cut rifled barrel companies, but they will cost you a few $$$ more than the other's you're looking at.
    Pretty much spot on. Maybe lean towards the Shilen Select.
    Keeping my bad Karma intact since 1952

  5. #5
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    All my X-Calibers have shot well and are really hard to beat for the price, especially when you get one during their many sales.

  6. #6
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    I want to get a barrel too and was thinking Shilen. What about the ratchet rifling compared to the regular? One other thing, the stainless is the same price as the traditional blued barrel. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

  7. #7
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    I like the concept of ratchet rifling and Frank Green of Bartlein barrel fame has said there is no accuracy difference, and it may indeed be more gentle on thin skinned bullets. Stainless is easier to pull a button through or machine grooves into and should produce a more consistent product. But if you must have the blued finish then go 4140.

  8. #8
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    I have 6 mcgowans and all are tack drivers. Can take up to 50 rounds for them to really come in but once they do they’re money. Great people to deal with on the phone as well

  9. #9
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    Is there any difference in barrel life between stainless and the blued? I wondered how they were the same price since if you buy a new Savage rifle the stainless is considerably more money.

  10. #10
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    I just finished a LH mdl 11 in 22-250 and went with a Shilen SS Select Match, 24” 1-12 twist for 55gr. bullets. It was in stock at Northland Shooters Supply. Haven’t had a chance to shoot it other than bore sighting it at 35 yards. Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend and I’ll get it broke in and ready to start load development.

  11. #11
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    I can vouch for X-caliber. I have one in 300 RUM, and it is a nice shooting rifle. They have an online configuration tool that is really slick. However, I urge anyone who uses it to call them after it's all done and have them walk through the config. There's nothing like having a human explain it all.
    I'm not a McGowen fan, and I'll leave it at that.

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