The official Mike Bellm's

Bellm TCs


TC Contender, G2, Encore/ProHunter, & CVA Apex Performance Center

 






The following is a controlled test performed by my long time friend and associate David White.

The bottom line is that the 28" "Pro Hunter" barrels are an example of not only bad science, but preying on the gullibility of the shooting public and a classic case of "lures to catch fishermen."


David's T/C Pro Hunter test:
What does a fluted barrel look like when cut and crowned? Here 'tis.
Distinctive & looks good.
Note that I do not leave a square sharp corner on the end of the barrel that tends to wear out the end of a gun case.


A couple weeks ago, I performed a single test of 5 different T/C Pro Hunter rifles that literally cut their group size in half. Before I tell you what I did, here is a list of the guns/calibers used in this seemingly simple test...

All guns had the 28" fluted Pro Hunter barrel...

All guns had Mike Bellms oversize hinge pin, heavy duty locking bolt spring and 51 lb. hammer spring...

All guns had trigger jobs with the triggers being set from 2 1/2 to 3 lbs...

All guns were shooting factory ammo...

All guns were checked before testing to make sure all mounts were tight...

Here is a list of each caliber used in the test, along with the ammo and group size before/after. I will also point out that there were 2 3-shot groups fired from the bench at 100 yards before the test and 2 3-shot groups fired after the test with the average group size listed for a ruler reading of group size measured center to center...

1) 22-250 / 55 gr. Federal Premium, before - 1 3/4" / AFTER - 3/4"...

2) 25/06 / 117 gr. Hornady Spire Point, before - 2" / AFTER - 1"...

3) 7mm Rem. Mag. / 140 gr. Nosler Partition, before - 2 1/2" / AFTER - 7/8"...

4) 308 / 150 gr. Remington Core-Lokt, before - 1 1/2" / AFTER - 3/4"...

5) 300 Win. Mag. / 180 gr. Ballistic Silver Tip, before - 2" / AFTER - 1"...


Okay, what was the ONLY thing done to these guns to cut their group size in half?

I cut 5" off the barrel and recrowned the muzzle!

Well, that may actually be two things but, it stands to reason that if you cut a barrel back, it automatically gets recrowned...

So why did these guns start shooting more like what they were supposed to with a 23" barrel instead of a 28" barrel?
Excessive "whip" and "vibration" as well as a total change in "harmonics"...

Here is a simple test that you can do and one that I have shown many customers. Remove your barrel from the frame and put the barrel lug in a vice and lock it down good and tight. Put a lead pencil in the muzzle end of the barrel. The wood is soft and will NOT damage the rifling or crown. Make sure the fit is good and tight. Now take a piece of paper and anchor it in front of the barrel and to where it comes in contact with the pencil. Now, with just your thumb and index finger, see just how much you can "flex" the barrel. You can very easily move the barrel 1/2" in all directions and depending on the pressure applied, it is easy to make a circle over 1" in diameter just from the barrel having so much give to it...

I have put these barrels in a lathe and run the lathe at 1,000 rpm and have shown customers how easy these barrels flex and bend with just finger tip pressure. What do you think these same overly long barrels do when a round is fired down the bore? They flex pretty much the same way but, too fast for the eye to see it. A shorter barrel though, will still flex but, to a lesser degree...

These Encore barrels also have what is referred to as a "step taper" and this too is a big cause of barrel flex. This is why that, when I build a barrel by barrel stubbing, I only use barrels that have a "straight taper" as this is what can be referred to as a self supporting structure. It does NOT whip around or flex like what the step tapered barrels do and with the vibrations lessened and harmonics dampened, accuracy potential of the barrel goes way up...

Will cutting 5" off of every barrel automatically make your barrel a better shooter? I cannot say 100% that it will but, I have yet to see one that it did not help at least to a certain degree and some more than others...

Let me also point out that something else that was noticed was "loose" spots in the bore. With all 5 of the rifles tested, when running a jag with a tight fitting patch down the bore, there was at least one if not two loose spots in the bore, with the first one usually at the 23 to 24" mark and then the secone one at around 27". I cannot say for sure but, I believe this is why these barrels shot much better because of the elemination of these loose spots. This is something that you cannot "fix" in these long barrels and the only way to deal with it is to live with it being like it is or cut it off, recrown and go from there...

Velocity loss from going from a 28" barrel down to 23"? I did get to shoot the 25-06 and 308 over the chronograph and total velocity loss for both was less than 60 fps.. I was expecting more but, and this is only my opinion, I feel the oversize bore closer to the muzzle end of the barrel was the culprit. If the bore was uniform from end to end or the muzzle end of the bore had a slight constriction to it, I would have expected a greater velocity loss. The 25-06 really suprised me as this cartridge performs admirably in a long barrel and shows it's true velocity potential. Not so in the last couple of Encore barrels I tested...

It's things like this that show the p-poor quality and design standards of T/C. It's no wonder Mike Bellm and I have so much gray hair....

DAVID WHITE

David White, D and T Custom Gunworks
Contact David for cut and crown work, other barrel work, trigger jobs, and fixed barrel work. David's forte is barrel stubbing, referred to in write up above, and gets outstanding results with his process. It is also an ideal way to obtain barrels chambered for many of the smaller special interest cartridges for the Encore where there are no options for rechambering an existing barrel.



 

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