Product Review

Benchmark Barrels

Benchmark Barrels
a review by Lucas Beitner

 

Benchmark Barrels is a relatively new barrel maker, that has already made an impact in the shooting community. They have world records to their name (mostly in rim fire). Their barrels are as good as any, and better than most in my opinion. I highly recommend them to any. Barrel makers all seem to go through the same general process. There are button rifled (pushed and pulled) and cut rifled barrels (there are other, less popular ways to rifle), Benchmark does both. Makers of high quality match grade barrels will all have stress relieving and hand lapping to give the best results. Benchmark does all the things the other high end barrel makers do. So what makes Benchmark the ones to use? What do they do that the other guys don’t?

¬†Benchmark Barrels hand-laps a progressive tapper into their barrels. Many barrel makers will mark which ever end of the bore happens to be smaller “muzzle” as this enhances accuracy (you definitely don’t want it to go the other way). Benchmark Barrels has taken this a step further. It is a labor intensive process, but seems to yield barrels of extraordinary accuracy. In my personal experience Benchmark barrels, shoot better, get less copper fouling, have excellent muzzle velocity, and clean easier than other aftermarket barrels I’ve used. That’s not to say I haven’t had good results with other barrel makers. I’ve never had a aftermarket barrel from a big name maker that shot poorly, and have had some where the accuracy was excellent. The overall performance of the Benchmarks just seems to be better. I don’t plan to use anything other than Benchmark’s barrels from here on out. Finally a barrel maker who does something that’s actually different.

 

Benchmark Barrels

Arlington, WA

Phone: (360) 652-2594

e-mail: benchmarkbarrels@yahoo.com

Discussion

  • http://Water4octane.com Mike

    Very interesteing article Lucas, thanks for the good info. I will look into one for my new barrel I will be getting soon. I have always used Adams and Bennett in the past for my rebarrelling projects, though these look rather nice too. The last one that I did was a .338/06 and I put it to the full test! A round I was attempting to send down range to our 600yard target exploded and shot hot gasses, burning powder and brass shavings out the bolt slide area into my right eye and face. Much to my, and everyone elses’ amazement, the barrell and Mauser action held intact only allowing the material to slip past. I can personally attest, through experience, to the Toughness of Adams and Bennett barrels! Interestingly enough as well, there was a swollen area about 3/4 of the way down the barrell and it still held! I was able to salvage the new recoil pad and the new muzzle brake I had recently installed, LOL!

  • Lucas

    I read about that Mike, must have been quite a shock. I’ve never experienced anything like that myself (knock on wood). I’ve heard of guys having good results with Adams and Bennet including a gunsmith I’ve used in the past. Some have reported less favorable results but you never know if it was their load development or shooting skills. If you go with Benchmark I’m confident you will not be dissapointed. You will notice less copper fouling with a Benchmark. Some claim the barrels last longer, but I’ll wait and see. They are a great bunch of guys to deal with. Ron with Benchmark built himself a 375×408 Cheytac, I asked him if I could come along sometime when he tests/shoots it. He kindly agreed, so you can expect a report for that thing 1 mile (1760yds) and possibly beyond. Just curious….What cartridge is your next build going to be Mike?

  • http://http://www.passthebrass.com Heath C.

    Oh sweet! I been lookin to get a bull barrel for my 300WM but I haven’t really had a starting point to look. This helps. Thanks for the post!

  • http://Water4octane.com Mike

    Thanks Lucas. I know what I am about to say will spark a lot of replys and some flack, but I will tell you anyway. Actually, I just did something I have said for thirty some odd years that I would never do, I purchased a brand spankin’ new hunting rifle. I was so impressed with the ballistics of Sean’s Remington 700 in the .300 RUM, I bought one from the CD’A Sportsmans Warehouse!

    I have never owned a new hunting rifle, ever. For thirty years I have always shot old rifles and have been very good with them. They have only been meat getters to me, as money has always been too hard to come buy. My attitude has always been to put the money for other uses, like furthering ministries and your family. Nearly all of my camo is home sewn. I have welded/fabricated nearly all of my tree stands. I hunt out of a Ford Festiva!(ask Sean where we have taken that little thing) I seriously enjoy hunting and shooting very long distances in general. Now my children are getting old enough to enjoy it as well and I am really looking forward to hunting with each of them.

    I mean really, we all could spend thousands if we had it and there would always, always be something bigger, better and faster. My feelings have always been that the Elk, Deer and Bear have no idea and do not know the difference between a $100.00 rifle dead and $1000.00 rifle dead. Dead is Dead! So my advice has always been and will remain, get something that you can afford and like, that you are comfortable with, that will get the job done and go enjoy yourself.

    Very soon now, I will be taking my first brand new huntin’ rifle down to Mel Doyle’s Gun Shop in Plummer. I will get the trigger poundage set, have the muzzle brake installed and have new scope bases installed. I am excited to get it done, to find a new scope and Thumbhole Laminated Sporter Stock for it(just found a brand new one for $59.95 that is 96% finished) and then get out there and drop the hammer!

    To answer your question Lucas, My next build however, will be another old military 8mm(.323) Mauser. I like them, they are cheap to sporterize and make into 8mm/06’s. I have two of them and actually hunted with the last one I did this year with Sean. I take them down to Mel Doyle’s Gun Shop and have him cut the barrels down to 26″, install one of his custom Muzzle Brakes, install a Timney adjusable Trigger, have them drilled and tapped for scope bases, have the bolts bent, the chamber is opened to allow for an .06 casing(8mm/06), head spaced and then the entire works gets reblued. He does beautiful work and is such a Master Craftsman.

    Once he is done, then I will install a Boyd’s Custom Thumbhole, Laminated, Sporter Stock that is 96%-98% finished-because they are cheap-then finish it myself, a new Limb Saver recoil pad and then a nice new scope. I bore sight them myself with a little trick I learned, sight them in, clean them up amd gift them to a family member.

    I plan on making one and giving one to each of them as a special gift from me. My wife and eldest Son already have theirs and I have five more to go. Wow, this ended up being a lot longer than planned, heheh.

    Merry Christmas one and all,
    :{)

  • Lucas

    You’ll get no flack from me Mike, and I don’t expect you would from anyone else. I haven’t purchased a new rifle myself, but I may one day. I’m usually looking for the cheapest rifles for donor actions etc. I look forward to hearing how your new rifle shoots. There is no doubt about the ballistic performance of the 300 RUM.

    I love that you’re building rifles for your family! You don’t have to spend allot of money to have an accurate rifle. I did a budget build from a $75 Savage LA rifle and threw it together with parts I had laying arround. It shot 1/4 MOA out to 300yds. It will soon be turned into the cheapest 338 Lapua Mag ever built.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rugger-Cotton/1164387188 Rugger Cotton

    Hey Lucas, about to order my first Benchmark barrel. Just curious what your opinion is on fast 6mm twist rates. Having trouble deciding between a 1-7 and 1-8, 3 groove. Will be shooting 105 up to maybe the 115 VLD’s at around 3150fps. Want another 1k gun that is more pleasant and affordable then my 7 rem mag.

    The rifle is a rare and really tight FN commercial mauser single shot action chambered in .240 Page Super Pooper. I have really fell in love with the cartridge and will be sticking with it since I found PTG reamers for it. Actually my friend who gave it to me would disown me if I turned it into a 6mm Ack. or something.

    I will email the guys at Benchmark and get their opinion too, just wonder what your thoughts are on the matter. Going to go with the contour I saw on Haney’s Lapua, 6″ chamber area then straight taper to ~.8
    Thanks Lucas, Merry Christmas! -Rugger

  • http://http://http://http://http://shoot-farther.com Lucas

    For 115’s you’ll probably want to go with a 1:7 twist. I have a 1:8 on my 243 and it really likes the 108gr berger BT’s and the 107gr SMK’s as well as the 105gr Berger VLD’s. I’ve not tried the 115’s yet but I have buddies that love the 115gr DTAC (some manage to stabilize them in a 1:8 twist but it’s not consistantly the case).

  • Pete

    hello everyone, not much of a writer but been meaning to thank lucas for his literature on benchmark barrels they were so convincing that I called Ron and had him build me a sweat 6.5×284 based on 700 action, I have approx. 60rds threw it, and it will group.75inch groups at 200yrds. So far I have only shot it out to 600yrds and have been consistent on hits “softball size rocks” just wanted to say thanks to Lucas, oh and your right you cant find a better couple of guys than at benchmark.PS we ordered two more 6.5×284 builds..

  • http://http://http://http://http://http://shoot-farther.com Lucas

    No problem Pete. Sounds like you’re having great success, I’ve continued to be impressed with Benchmark. I tested a build they completed recently… 3 shot group was 1.644″ at 500yds (no load developemnt).