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Old 10-20-2012, 11:42 AM
tk064 tk064 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 46
bull barrel vs bushing

planning my next build and was wondering if there is any advantage to a bull barrel/bushingless configuration versus the standard bushing set up. It is for a 10mm build on a stainless caspian frame.

Thanks for any advise
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:10 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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IMHO YES there are advantages to bushingless bull barrel with ramped and supported chambers. 1) Anytime you can reduce the number of part and NOT adversely affect functional reliability that's a plus for going bushingless, one less part to break. 2) The bull barrel adds weight to the muzzle thereby reducing muzzle flip, so some claim I do NOT subscribe to this train of thought. 3) The ramped barrel aids in feeding reliability. 4) The supported chamber adds additional metal to the chamber area thereby reducing the risk of blowing the chamber IF you ever happen to fire a round that the bullet has been set back, which can raise chamber pressures significantly.

There are a down side to bushingless supported and ramped barrels, only 1 but it can be a large one. That down side is that there are few gunsmiths that know how to properly fit a bull barrel with ramped and supported chambers.
I own 2 1911s both with ramped and supported chamber bull barrels. One is my S/A Champion SS Loaded worked great out of the box S/A knows how to fit them. My second 1911 is a Mitchell Gold Series '95 and Mitchell does NOT know how to properly fit them. My Mitchell was a PITA to get to function properly. Was a jam-o-matic out of the box, lucky for me there is a GS here in St. Louis that knows the proper way to hard fit the R&S bull barrel. I would not own a 1911 with a standard bushing set-up. Seen too many bushings break and go flying down range, but that is just my personnel opinion about bushing barrels.
Since you are building a 10mm I would go with the bushingless ramp and supported chamber barrel. You WILL be dealing with considerable more slide velocity and chamber pressures than a 45acp. This was one of the many downfalls of the infamous BREN TEN. You may also want to think about using a different style of lock up such as the Peter Stahl system which does NOT use a barrel link which could be another weak link(No pun intended) in the 10 mm system.
Be safe and shoot straight.
D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:38 PM
Rock185 Rock185 is online now
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Location: Central Highlands of the Great Southwest
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tk, I no longer have a 1911 in 10MM, but do have guns with both bull and bushing type barrels. The bull barrel adds just a little weight to the total recoiling mass of the slide/barrel assembly. In the 1911 chambered in 10MM, I think this is a good thing. Both the S&W and, especially, the Glock have a lot more slide mass than the 1911, instead of controlling the 10MM's slide velocity with heavy recoil springs, dual springs, buffers,etc. I'm a fan of both the 10MM and the 1911. just not in the same gun. I personally like both barrel systems, but couldn't really document that one is more accurate, reliable or durable than the other. I gotta admit that, years ago, when I first saw the bushingless bull barrel concept used on the DEVEL 1911s, I did think that was pretty neat idea. Though not my guns, I have seen one solid barrel bushing, and one Colt collet bushing break over a period of 40+ years. While I prefer ramped type barrels on 9MM,.38 Super,9X23 and 10MM 1911s, I still prefer the traditional Colt type, unramped, barrel in the .45 ACP, whether bull or bushing type.

A potential down side to the bull bbl. set up IMHO is the required reverse recoil spring plug. To use the collared type reverse plug, the rear of the slide dust cover must be machined pretty thin. I wonder about this thin section's resistance to cracking from repeated impacts with the head of the recoil spring guide. This, especially, with the 10MM 1911's "Warp-9" slide velocity when/if using the "real" 10MM ammo. Perhaps use of the flanged type reverse plug would obviate this potential for damage...ymmv
NRA Life, COTEP 640
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:03 PM
drail drail is offline
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Peters -Stahl system? Good luck finding one of those (or even parts) in the U.S - Springfield Armory gave up trying to deal with Joe Peters over 20 years ago. How do you figure the barrel link can be a "weak link? All a link does is pull the barrel down for unlocking. Bushings break? I have fit many match bushings and I never had one break. If the bushing breaks then it wasn't fit properly or was made out of pot metal. It's not a design problem, it's hack smith/ cheap parts problem. Personally I like bull barrels and run mine with a GI rod. No tools needed for teardown. Most bull barrels require very little fitting on the muzzle end. I only shoot .45 ACP in my 1911s but if I were building a 10mm from scratch I would choose a match grade ramped barrel and a frame cut for it by the factory. Especially if you are going to handload any warm stuff. As far as worrying about setback - you need to make certain your rounds will not setback. If they do it may not matter what kind of barrel you have. Setback doesn't just happen, it is the direct result of ammo loaded by someone who doesn't pay attention to dimensional tolerances. I have dummy rounds made for function testing guns that I made up in 1992. They've been slammed into customer's guns for years and none of them has ever set back. I loaded them at 1.275 and they still measure 1.275. The rash of setback we're seeing now is because the ammo factories have decided it's cheaper to retain lawyers than to fix their manufacturing quality control and inspection process, just like the auto industry.

Last edited by drail; 10-20-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:02 PM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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I have a bull barrel top end in 45 ACP. I used it mainly for pin and shooting major power factor in USPSA type matches. I find it most beneficial when shooting ball or heavier loads. It mainly diminshes the violence of the slide cycling allowing flatter shot to shot tracking. In the softer loadings it offers no advantages and is a little slower when transitioning to the next target.
water pistol, pea shooter, sling shot, rubber band shooter, flyswatter, rolled up newspaper, "rat tailed" towel

Last edited by Magnumite; 10-21-2012 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:06 PM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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drail I did NOT say to find or get a Peter Stahl system I said he should think about using a different style of lockup SUCH as Peter Stahl's system. Just because S/A stopped selling the system DOES NOT mean it was a bad system, they still honor their warranty on the Omega systems sold under their name. All I was trying to convey was that there are better stronger systems designed since JM Browning designed the swing link system and if memory serves his next pistol design eliminated the swing link system, the Browning High Power.

Having been using ramped and supported barrels since 1995 all I was doing was relaying the pluses and the minus that I have encountered over the years shooting 45acp, and although I have not owned a 10mm I have been studying that cartridge since it's development and use in the Bren Ten and Colt Delta's, which the biggest mistake D&D made with the Bren Ten was giving into Col. Jeff Coopers demand to make the Bren Ten in 10mm, would have had far less issues with the design if chambered in 45acp and most likely would still be around today if they had stuck with their design in 45acp.

As far as cartridge set back well stuff happens, reloading the same round after being ejected and rechambered a time of two, incorrect seating dies adjustments, to just name 2, the ramped and supported chamber is just cheap insurance. IMHO I will not argue about about poor ammo Q/C. My recommendation is for everyone to INSPECT their reloaded and factory loaded ammo at least twice. Once when you load or purchase the ammo and again as you load it in you magazines before firing it. The bottom line to this is this. THE SHOOTER IS THE FINAL QUALITY CONTROL FOR ANY AMMUNITION BEING DISCHARGED THOUGH A FIREARM. Be responsible for you safety and those around you, stay awake and pay attention to what you are loading into your magazines.
Be safe and shoot straight.
D&D Bren Ten M&P 45 acp, Mitchell Gold Series '95, S/A Champion SS Loaded, Sig P228, S&W 657 41 Magnum.
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