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Using a barrel scope, and recording the video results, one of our South African national shottists, followed each of the individual rifling in the barrels of brand new rifles.

Unfortunately he only did 3 rifles. This sample is obviously not representative. Of the 3 Tikka was the best, followed by Howa. Their rifling cut was crisp, edges sharp and polished.

The third rifle, a well-known brand, was dreadful. For up to 3 inches, in the middle of the barrel, the rifling vanished! The rifling edges were poorly cut, of differing height, and still with burrs on.

This exercise was done in part to settle an argument around Howa, a Japanese brand, that has taken the South African market by storm, using what appears to be a copy of the Sako 579 action. Being the cheapest rifle on our market, the argument went around "cheap can't be good"!

The point I want to make here, is that a buyer should have the barrel examined with a bore scope before purchasing.

I found the videos fascinating. He even showed what a carboned up barrel looks like - the bore becomes smooth! Carbon is apparently harder than steel, and one should pay far more attention to it, than copper fouling!

I was wondering if anyone out there could undertake a proper statistical sample of the quality of rifling cut in brand new rifles, of the different manufacturers. Barrels could be given a score out of 10. Possibly these videos could be posted as supporting evidence. One day, manufacturers could add a memory stick video of the barrel rifling with each rifle sold!

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There is no way to visually determine what barrel will shoot the best. Harry Pope figured that out a very long time ago.
The difference between factory barrels is astounding when seen through a bore scope, but you can't predict anything by looking. They have to be shot.
In my experience, Howa is one of the roughest finished barrels in the world but nobody can argue how they shoot.

First, only very few barrels are rifled by 'cutting'. Most are 'button rifled' and the condition of the edges is without doubt consistently good. Hammer forged barrels are near foolproof and work well.
"Roughness" is almost always in the bore finish before rifling takes places and those defects are easily seen as radial scratches, but don't seem to make much difference in 'hunting rifle' accuracy. You pay more for a well-finished barrel because it takes longer to make it.

I have a bore scope and can show a bunch of different bores if you like.
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