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Thread: S&W Melonite coated barrel vs Noveske chrome lined barrel.

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    S&W Melonite coated barrel vs Noveske chrome lined barrel.

    Hello all,

    In reference to this post:
    http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=83136

    "The Smith sports a full-profile barrel of American 4140 Steel. The bolt carrier and gas key are chromed, and the barrel sports their Melonite coating. Smith claims that the bare bones approach has no effect on durability. They’ve fed two M&P15 Sport test rifles a combined ~170,000 rounds of various brands of ammunition without any [visible] damage to the Melonite finishing process"

    does anyone know or can give and educated guess on whether or not the S&W Melonite coated barrel will outlast a Noveske chrome lined barrel?

    I thought the article interesting in that the 1/8 gain twist and Melonite coated barrel did pretty well. 170K rounds through 2 prototypes seems like a pretty high round count as I doubt they were easy on them....

    Your thoughts on the potential of Melonite coated barrels?

    Regards.

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    I would like to know their definition of "damage" because wear isn't really damage. They make it seem like the barrels were basically brand new after the testing which I highly doubt. Also what kind of accuracy are they getting after the test? A worn out barrel would probably last that long without any real damage but it probably wouldn't shoot well.
    Last edited by C-grunt; 06-21-11 at 15:20. Reason: damn phone auto correct
    C co 1/30th Infantry Regiment
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    [QUOTE=Magic_Salad0892;1823265]THIS THREAD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT CHRISTMAS GIFTS, NOT MY CRABS!

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    You are comparing a cheap ass price point barrel to a high end professional grade barrel.

    The Noveske barrel by itself costs more than half the price of the entire SW sport rifle.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by scottryan; 06-21-11 at 15:56.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

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    Once wear reaches or exceeds allowable limits, it's damage.

    The way I see it, if you're going to be shooting 170,000 rounds, you won't be asking Mr. Owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
    Last edited by MistWolf; 06-21-11 at 16:00.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottryan View Post
    You are comparing a cheap ass price point barrel to a high end professional grade barrel.

    The Noveske barrel costs more than half the price of the entire SW sport rifle.

    What do you think?
    Not sure what to think as if S&W has perfected the Melonite process in the barrels, I wonder if it would be a 'game changer' in barrel mfr?

    Do you happen to know the service life of the CL Noveskes?

    I understand the Melonite coating process is similar to the Tennifer finish and we all know the Glock rep on barrel life....however, 9mm is a lot less pressure/heat than 5.56.

    Just curious of the production costs of chrome vs Melonite/Tennifer.

    Anything to drive the costs down but keep quality/performance would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistWolf View Post
    Once wear reaches or exceeds allowable limits, it's damage.

    The way I see it, if you're going to be shooting 170,000 rounds, you won't be asking Mr. Owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop
    Good point!

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    there are a lot of factors to compare here. whose barrel blank did they start, that makes the bigget difference for accuacy.

    now if we are just talking durability between chrome and Melonite. Melonite by a mile.

    *Melonite is harder then Chrome lining (Melonite is 70 rockwell). *Melonite is not a finish that is applied onto the surface of the barrel, it heats treats the barrel material itself.
    *Mil-Spec chrome lined barrels have chrome that is .0003" to .0005" thick. while the Melonite hardens the material .005" deep.
    *Melonite covers the inside and outside of the barrel.
    *Melonite will not start chipping away with extended use since it is not a surface covering like chrome.

    Melonite will not make a crappy barrel into a fantastic barrel. it is just more durable. a very big factor in my book is the quality of barrel used to begin with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottryan View Post
    You are comparing a cheap ass price point barrel to a high end professional grade barrel.

    The Noveske barrel by itself costs more than half the price of the entire SW sport rifle.

    What do you think?
    While I do agree with you that Noveske chrome barrels are professional grade... I'm curious to know why you think they are a particularly "high end" rack grade barrel.

    Please don't say it's because of that double thick chrome and m249 steel stuff...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDiver06 View Post
    While I do agree with you that Noveske chrome barrels are professional grade... I'm curious to know why you think they are a particularly "high end" rack grade barrel.

    Please don't say it's because of that double thick chrome and m249 steel stuff...
    I don't know what difference the double thick lining really does, but when it comes to steel, better is better. So, the barrel steel should play a part in quality here.

    I've owned both Noveske and S&W (upper only) and even without the SS barrel, the Noveske was noticeably more accurate, for me. Another thing I guess one could argue, though I wouldn't, is every Noveske barrel goes through the testing process where S&W batch tests.

    I don't know about all those things, but I do know my experience and mine was better than my S&W.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
    I don't know what difference the double thick lining really does, but when it comes to steel, better is better. So, the barrel steel should play a part in quality here.

    I've owned both Noveske and S&W (upper only) and even without the SS barrel, the Noveske was noticeably more accurate, for me. Another thing I guess one could argue, though I wouldn't, is every Noveske barrel goes through the testing process where S&W batch tests.

    I don't know about all those things, but I do know my experience and mine was better than my S&W.
    Sorry for the misunderstanding but I wasn't referring to S&W barrels compared to Noveske barrels in general. I was referring to Noveske chrome barrels and Colt, Sabre, BCM, DD and other such chrome rack grade barrels.

    I do agree with you that the m249 steel is better but I do not agree totally that it is better for the application of carbine and rifle barrels. M249 barrel steel is just designed to maintain integrity when more heat is involved is’nt it ?... and for an m249 that's totally viable. But for a carbine or rifle... when are you going to get that barrel hot enough to see that benefit? I would think those plastic rail covers or handguards would be melting first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDiver06 View Post
    Sorry for the misunderstanding but I wasn't referring to S&W barrels compared to Noveske barrels in general. I was referring to Noveske chrome barrels and Colt, Sabre, BCM, DD and other such chrome rack grade barrels.

    I do agree with you that the m249 steel is better but I do not agree totally that it is better for the application of carbine and rifle barrels. M249 barrel steel is just designed to maintain integrity when more heat is involved is’nt it ?... and for an m249 that's totally viable. But for a carbine or rifle... when are you going to get that barrel hot enough to see that benefit? I would think those plastic rail covers or handguards would be melting first.
    Sorry about that..

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDakota View Post
    Not sure what to think as if S&W has perfected the Melonite process in the barrels, I wonder if it would be a 'game changer' in barrel mfr?

    Do you happen to know the service life of the CL Noveskes?

    170,000 rounds costs $77,000

    I don't believe the SW test.

    I don't care about a bottom feeding AR-15 that sells for $700 that is made for losers, inbreds, and bubbas at sporting goods stores.

    A CL hammer forged barrel made from CMV steel will outlasted a cut or button rifled barrel made out of inferior 4140 steel, especially when the throat is burned away regardless of surface treatment.

    Melonite or any other treatment cannot stop throat erosion from burning high pressure gun powder.
    Last edited by scottryan; 06-21-11 at 18:56.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

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    Is this a real question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwelz View Post
    Is this a real question?
    No shit.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottryan View Post
    170,000 rounds costs $77,000

    I don't believe the SW test.

    I don't care about a bottom feeding AR-15 that sells for $700 that is made for losers, inbreds, and bubbas at sporting goods stores.

    A CL hammer forged barrel made from CMV steel will outlasted a cut or button rifled barrel made out of inferior 4140 steel, especially when the throat is burned away regardless of surface treatment.

    Melonite or any other treatment cannot stop throat erosion from burning high pressure gun powder.

    Is this opinion or fact based on >> Insert experience here<< ?

    Show us some numbers. Melonite (nitrocarburizing) vs. Chrome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyM4 View Post
    Is this opinion or fact based on >> Insert experience here<< ?

    Show us some numbers. Melonite (nitrocarburizing) vs. Chrome.

    Because a surface treatment that is microns thick cannot resist a jet flame into steel which is a conductor of heat.

    I don't need to explain anything further, its simple science.

    Do you realize how stupid your argument is? Its like saying you can't take a blow torch and cut through a Glock slide because it has a melonite/tenifer treatment.

    Barrel treatments are not put on to prevent throat erosion. They are put there to prevent the rifling from wearing out due to bullets traveling down the bore.

    What would you rather have?

    1. A barrel that is more resistant to throat erosion (which is something I can realistically measure with a throat erosion gauge) which will maintain is accuracy over a longer period of time and be more resilient to heavy amounts of rapid fire.

    2. A barrel that has a theoretical unproven life, with an amount of ammunition that costs 100 times more than what the gun costs in the first place.
    Last edited by scottryan; 06-21-11 at 20:54.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDiver06 View Post
    While I do agree with you that Noveske chrome barrels are professional grade... I'm curious to know why you think they are a particularly "high end" rack grade barrel.
    I do not know what "high end" rack grade means exactly.

    The things I think that make a Noveske barrel superior to many others are:
    - Attention to detail
    - Better materials
    - Using his own spec chamber <--

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthDakota View Post
    ...
    ....does anyone know or can give an educated guess on whether or not the S&W Melonite coated barrel will outlast a Noveske chrome lined barrel?
    .....
    .....
    ====================================

    Educated guess...
    Generally, a S&W Melonite coated barrel will outlast a Noveske chrome lined barrel.

    ....because someone that is buying a cheap S&W rifle is not going to spend the money to buy large quantities of ammo to shoot and train with it...so that gun will be shot less meaning it will last longer.

    But maybe it's just me...

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by EzGoingKev View Post
    I do not know what "high end" rack grade means exactly.

    The things I think that make a Noveske barrel superior to many others are:
    - Attention to detail
    - Better materials
    - Using his own spec chamber <--
    + proprietary barrel profile.

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    For those who haven't seen it before, there's an actual US Army study of barrel wear with different finishes. Download it here:

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    In short, they concluded that nitrocarburizing significantly increased barrel life vs. plain steel, but chrome plating increased barrel life to an even greater extent.

    Another study on machinegun barrels can be found at:

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    That study didn't look at ordinary chrome plating. It determined that Stellite liners were by far the best, with nitrocarburizing far ahead of plain steel.

    It is just possible that the study results have a connection to the US military's current use of chrome-lined bores in most small arms, where pure durability and full-auto use is emphasized in design considerations.

    I'm not in any way arguing that Melonite is a bad process - for many civilian uses it is probably better overall than chrome plating. But the studies above indicate that, as of 1969, it was not as good for pure durability.

    I am very curious what exactly S&W is claiming about barrel life. Only that there was some rifling still present at 85k? Or that the exterior looked OK? Maybe the number is a misquote and they're actually claiming the bores were in good condition at 8,500 rounds each, which is in the realm of plausible.

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