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Criterion Barrel

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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 21 2019 at 10:20am
I'm interested to hear if anyone has fitted a new Criterion barrel to their No.4.  I'm contemplating getting one, but they are rather pricy.  I've had good results from new Criterion M1 and 03 barrels, they make a decent barrel for the cost (of the .30-06 barrels anyway). 
 
Its a 1:10 LH twist, 5 groove.  I'll need to finish ream the chamber as well.  Comes with a set of washers to get correct indexing when breeching up. 
 
I'm going to send an email off to Criterion to ask them what the bore and groove dimensions are.  It would be nice to have a brand new quality made barrel to keep up on the shelf.  I'm planning on swapping out the 7.62 barrel on one of my Mk 2 conversions this winter and restore the rifle to .303.
 
The are original military contour so legal for the US CMP matches :-)
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Long branch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2019 at 4:08pm
Criterion says their barrels have .303 bores and .314 grooves.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 20 2019 at 7:52pm
I do find the groove diameter interesting Simon and L-B.
 
This interest arises because of another rifle in a similar calibre to the L-E, and the sizes of available bullets.
We normally would think that a bore of say .312" would be best suited to projectiles of .311 -.312", yet we hear Criterion barrels shoot very well.   This induces me to try a somewhat undersize bullet in my Finn rifles, as initial trials  seem rather promising.
It would be V interesting to know Criterions reasoning re. the choice of this groove depth.
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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2019 at 7:04am
That's a good question Richard.  I've been meaning to call Criterion and find out.  I've yet to find anyone who has installed one of their barrels and report on how well it shoots. 
The groove diameter on my BSA barreled LB slugged at .314 and it shoots .311 projectiles very good, the bore is .3035  Lots of information indicating that these barrels have a wide variation in bore and groove diameter.  Trials done years ago (I'll need to look this up in my E.G.B Reynolds book) on I think the No. 1 Mk III showed .312 bullets shot better. 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2019 at 7:23am
How well is "very well", and would it do even better with a properly sized bore?

Apparently, someone won the NZ national match with one of the prototype barrels using Hornady 174gr FMJBT bullets, which are listed as .3105" dia. on the Hornady site. I have not seen any information as to the scores.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2019 at 7:49am
L-B,
 
There May be some question re. which Hornady bullets were used, as they, (Hornady) make a .312" dia. 174 gr FMJBT as well.
Not called a "Match" bullet, but could Possibly be the bullet used..
 
Simon,
 
Your L-Branch -BSA bore specs are very encouraging re. my "other"  (Finn M24) trials!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2019 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by Pukka Bundook Pukka Bundook wrote:

L-B,
 
There May be some question re. which Hornady bullets were used, as they, (Hornady) make a .312" dia. 174 gr FMJBT as well.
Not called a "Match" bullet, but could Possibly be the bullet used..
 
Simon,
 
Your L-Branch -BSA bore specs are very encouraging re. my "other"  (Finn M24) trials!

I don't see a .312 FMJ listed on their site. They make a .312 HPBT for Graf's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 21 2019 at 3:06pm
Originally posted by Long branch Long branch wrote:

How well is "very well", and would it do even better with a properly sized bore?

Apparently, someone won the NZ national match with one of the prototype barrels using Hornady 174gr FMJBT bullets, which are listed as .3105" dia. on the Hornady site. I have not seen any information as to the scores.
 
Prone slow (in sling, not supported) 10 shot groups under 2 MOA (typically at 200 yards).  My guess is that the best I could do with a laser beam rifle in prone slow would be 1 MOA, so the rifle and load is doing about 1 MOA. 
 
I've also tried the Hornady .312 174 gr BTHP match bullet and I don't detect any improvement over the .311 Sierra MK.  Perhaps if I shot a lot of groups and took the average, there might be a perceptible difference, but I did not see one in the 10 or more 10 shot groups that I have shot with this rifle using the .312 bullet. 
 
Might be that with a .3035 bore, the .311 bullet will upset sufficiently to fill the groves, but with an oversized bore (say .305 or more) it might not and cause the bullet to spiral down the barrel.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303 Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2020 at 4:27pm
The reasons that Criterion went with a .314 groove diameter are probability that A). According to a couple of my books is that the original drawings for the .303 british show a groove depth of .005 or .0055 which makes a .313 or .314 groove diameter or B). That SAAMI drawing for the .303 lists a .314 groove diameter. And if I read the drawing right then SAAMI also list a .3125 bullet diameter which could explain why bullet manufactures make .311 or .312 bullets for the .303 british.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303 Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 30 2020 at 4:48pm
I got a Criterion barrel for my lee enfield and should be getting it back from the gunsmith by the end of the month, if some people would like I could post the preformanceof it when I get it back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2020 at 5:31am
I've ordered one as well. I should be getting it installed in the next few weeks. Afterwards, I'll be sending the old barrel to McGowen to have a .311 barrel cut. I plan to compare the two and see if there's any difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2020 at 8:28am
I would love to see performance results from both of you, if you guys would be so inclined. I haven't seen anyone post that kind of info. I have a couple projects I have thought about getting Criterion barrels for but I have held off as yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2020 at 2:15pm
Yes, I’m very interested in a range report.  I’m contemplating installing it myself using the version with breaching up washers.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2020 at 8:48am
Originally posted by Long branch Long branch wrote:

I've ordered one as well. I should be getting it installed in the next few weeks. Afterwards, I'll be sending the old barrel to McGowen to have a .311 barrel cut. I plan to compare the two and see if there's any difference.

Long Branch, are you installing the barrel yourself, or getting someone to do it?  I went online and did not find anyone selling No. 4 barrels so I’ve sent an email to Criterion to see if I can buy direct from them. 

For those who are more familiar with 4 groove Springfield rifling for the .30 cal used in the Craig, 03 Springfield and M1 Garand, this form of rifling has narrow lands as compared to Enfield rifling.  Nominal bore is .300 and .004 groove depth.  There is less deforming of the bullet as it passes down the barrel compared to Enfield rifling. 

The US Model 1917 adopted 5 groove Enfield type rifling (equal width of lands and grooves) with a .300 bore and .005 deep grooves (.310 groove diameter).  This rifle shoots very well with .308 diameter bullets that are 0.002 smaller than the groove diameter.  

The Criterion No. 4 Barrel with 5 groove Enfield rifling is very close to later Enfield specifications for nominal .303 bore and .005 deep grooves (.313 groove diameter).  Certainly well within barrel manufacturing tolerances (and Criterion tolerances on these dimensions will be much tighter than wartime military production).  My own No. 4 barrels slug at .314 groove diameter or larger, and they shoot very well with .311 bullets. 

 Incidentally, the first form of .303 Enfield rifling had .0065 deep grooves giving a .316 groove diameter., see below (from E.G.B. Reynolds,  The Lee Enfield Rifle).  .004 larger than .312 bullets.

So, I expect the accuracy concerns that the Criterion Barrel with a .314 groove diameter will prove unfounded and the barrel will shoot very good.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2020 at 12:58pm
It would be interesting to shoot a .303 into ballistic gel and recover the bullet to measure.
To me; it makes sense that the barrel grooves will be wider than the bullet in the recesses due to the lands being tighter than the bullet . 0.314", 0.303", .0311"
The rifling will deform the bullet so surely the material should be displaced into the grooves to make the seal.
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