The Daystate Guide To Airgun Barrels – Part Three

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This is the final part of a series of three posts about airgun barrels by Daystate’s Tony Belas.

Here Tony discussed barrel care and the better barrel. Take it away, Tony…



Fair Wear And Tear​


Everything wears out, and the extreme dry-running environment of the barrel is no exception. Barrel life can vary from a few thousand rounds for a high caliber pistol to hundreds of thousands for an air rifle.

But once rust has got a hold on a barrel that’s it, and the only real option is to replace it.
All barrel life can be extended using a good cleaning regime (or shortened with a bad one) and the use of bullet/pellet lubes where appropriate.

Below, much of Tony’s information applies to firearms ammo as well as airgun pellets.

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A quick note for air gunners. While the liberal use of a fine oil as a pellet lube is a good idea on a PCP, on a spring gun the lubricant needs to be inert and waxed based. Due to the high pressures involved in piston airguns, oil may ignite. If it does, it can wreck the accuracy, and/or the mainspring.

Tradition has barrels being pulled through with a piece of “cleaning flannelette” and a wire brush. But with the vast array of super-efficient chemical solvents made these days, I feel it’s a good idea to avoid anything abrasive unless things have been left too long.

While we are on the subject, the size of patch used to pull through the barrel is quite important. It is a good idea to start with a patch too small and work your way up to a firm, but not tight, fit.

I say this but I might also add that I have never met anyone who has been around airguns or firearms for any length of time that hasn’t got something stuck up a barrel!


A Better Barrel​


Pushing a soft lead plug or pellet through the bore and examining the rifling marks can help identify any rough spots or damage to the rifling perhaps caused by careless cleaning.

It can also indicate any bulges or loose points. Surprisingly enough, this doesn’t always affect the accuracy, unless quite bad or uneven.

Polishing the inside of the rifle bore can, on occasions improve a barrel, but proceed with care. The aim is not to add wear, lands are better clean and sharp, and a wrong polishing regime can easily do more harm than good.

The traditional method used by gunsmiths in the know is ‘lapping”. Here, a two-Inch length is cut off the barrel blank to form a mould in which a piece of welding rod is inserted.

Molten lead is then poured in and when removed from the mould the lead has the exact profile of the rifling on it. The resulting “jag” is used with jeweler’s rouge to polish the inside of the barrel until the jag wears out. A new jag is then made, and the process continues.


Fire Lapping​


A less complicated method which can be used by owners of PCP air rifles is to coat a hundred or so pellets with a mixture of jeweler’s rouge and oil, and shoot the barrel smooth.

The mixture is expelled as a sticky mess, so first remove any silencer or muzzle break!


Barrel Twist Rates At Daystate​


At Daystate and BRK, we use multiple different twist rates and land profiles, even variations to the choke taper. All is decided-on based on what produces the best accuracy in each combination of energy/pellet/slug/caliber.

What’s more is that changes over time! For example, the barrel fitted today to a 2024 Delta Wolf has a different profile to one from 2020.

Below. Lothar Walther barrels ready for installation into air rifles at the Daystate factory.

Daystate Guide To Airgun Barrels


So here’s my standard answer to the question: “What’s the twist rate of a Daystate barrel?”

Firstly, it’s unlikely that any twist rate you can put in will affect the prediction on the program for fall of shot on an air rifle that only shoots out to 100 Yards.

With firearms shooting up to 1,000 Yards spindrift, even the “Coriolis effect” has to be factored-in.

As far as I know, all ballistics programs are written primarily for firearms and bullets rather than airguns firing pellets. So they usually insist on a twist rate value being entered.

The figure that we advise is 1:18 right hand twist. But with Strelock, if you try 1:18 and then change to 1:30 twist rate, you will notice no difference to the program’s prediction within normal airgun ranges: that is out to 100 Yards.

So – in my opinion – the twist rate for airgun barrels is much less significant an issue than many other aspects of the gun and – even more so – the ability of the shooter.

Daystate Guide To Airgun Barrels




Thanks, Tony, for a very interesting and thought-provoking series! You can find Part One here. Part Two is here.


The post The Daystate Guide To Airgun Barrels – Part Three appeared first on Hard Air Magazine.
 
Well thats all well and good if you’re only concerned with what strelok says but how about the connection between accuracy and twist rate at 100 yds. Oh and just so you know it does show a difference in strelok if you choose 1 in 18 then 1 in 30 there is a change in wind drift!
 
We both should specify especially with slugs and to a lesser degree with pellets. Slugs seem to be the wave of the future for longer distance and greater accuracy at distance. This in my opinion is where daystate is stuck. They are making pellet guns not slug guns and while i believe daystate is very near the top of the airgun world they do need to step it up a bit to stay there
Fair comment, but even in my barrel testing with pellets, speed and twist are related even up to 100m.
 
Yip alot of the above comments are in line with my thinking as well. But not just Daystate throw AA in that lot as well. Excellent top tier pellet guns but need some improvements in the slug sending department area. Technology is changing? Yes and no, it's more what people want from their air rifles is changing. I literally bought a Brk ghost in .22 as a long range airgun, knowing full well its flaws at long range shooting. Still waiting on slug barrels, I'm sure pricing will be $$$. People are having custom barrels made for slugs, Atlas Airguns had a video out of some guy saying the barrels he was making for the BRK ghost were super accurate shooting slugs @ 100Y. Now I know a 1:30 twist works well for heavy pellets (ie 25.39 mrds) @ decent long range but it's still a pellet!? A same weight slug will beat it out for ballistics every time and with less wind push. Cmon british manufacturers get after it!
 
Daystate/Brocock need to be more forthcoming on information regarding their testing of pellet/velocity/twist rate.

I sent a note to Brocock asking what the twist rate was on my .22 Ghost HP 23 inch barrel, and what their testing results showed for the best velocity, reg pressure, power wheel, etc. for accuracy on 18.13g and 25.4g pellets at 25, 50, and 100 yards. Crickets.

Daystate calls their new barrels "ART" barrels, but they won't tell you anything about them other than they're "ART!" All marketing, but no information beyond that.

"ART Barrels!"

So what, if you can't tell us anything about them.
 
Daystate/Brocock need to be more forthcoming on information regarding their testing of pellet/velocity/twist rate.

I sent a note to Brocock asking what the twist rate was on my .22 Ghost HP 23 inch barrel, and what their testing results showed for the best velocity, reg pressure, power wheel, etc. for accuracy on 18.13g and 25.4g pellets at 25, 50, and 100 yards. Crickets.

Daystate calls their new barrels "ART" barrels, but they won't tell you anything about them other than they're "ART!" All marketing, but no information beyond that.

"ART Barrels!"

So what, if you can't tell us anything about them.
Simple Google search shows 1:30 twist across all calibers for ART barrels excluding .177.

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Now for the velocity and reg pressure and all that is very much gun and barrel specific. I think that's a thing for end user to figure out not the manufacturer as some might like 920fps and others maybe 880fps. Up to you to test that out.
 
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Simple Google search shows 1:30 twist across all calibers for ART barrels excluding .177.

Now for the velocity and reg pressure and all that is very much gun and barrel specific. I think that's a thing for end user to figure out not the manufacturer as some might like 920fps and others maybe 880fps. Up to you to test that out.

Is "Arzrover" Daystate or Brocock? I can't find the 1:30 twist rate mentioned on either the Daystate or Brocock websites.

"Now for the velocity and reg pressure and all that is very much gun and barrel specific. I think that's a thing for end user to figure out not the manufacturer..."

Daystate and/or Brocock have not tested their ART barrels? If they have, what were their results?

My point was that Daystate/Brocock could do a better job of communicating information about their products.

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"Just surf the Internet, dude!" is not an acceptable answer to corporate communication with its customers.

By the way, "simple" used in the context of your post is condescending.
 
Is "Arzrover" Daystate or Brocock? I can't find the 1:30 twist rate mentioned on either the Daystate or Brocock websites.

"Now for the velocity and reg pressure and all that is very much gun and barrel specific. I think that's a thing for end user to figure out not the manufacturer..."

Daystate and/or Brocock have not tested their ART barrels? If they have, what were their results?

By the way, "simple" used in the context of your post is condescending.
Arzrover was one of the people that tested barrels for Daystate/BRK when they were designing the ART barrels. So he worked for them and knows a ton of info.

They did test everything obviously but there is no best setting for all guns and barrels that would be guaranteed. Most people tune pellets from 880fps to 920fps. Some go up to 1000fps even. All depends on what works best for you and what your looking for. But if you want the best for your specific gun, the testing needs to be done yourself unfortunately.

Wasn't meant as condescending just was saying it didn't take long to find the info.
 
Is "Arzrover" Daystate or Brocock? I can't find the 1:30 twist rate mentioned on either the Daystate or Brocock websites.

"Now for the velocity and reg pressure and all that is very much gun and barrel specific. I think that's a thing for end user to figure out not the manufacturer..."

Daystate and/or Brocock have not tested their ART barrels? If they have, what were their results?

My point was that Daystate/Brocock could do a better job of communicating information about their products.

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

"Just surf the Internet, dude!" is not an acceptable answer to corporate communication with its customers.

By the way, "simple" used in the context of your post is condescending.
I think Daystate Brk think that they would like to keep some of this info to themselves because of their development time. Not saying that’s necessarily right but i think thats the problem. If they give any edge to fx, fx will bring it to market first.
 
It seems to me to be pretty clear that airgun barrel twist rates are a very complex issue - particularly given the considerable variation in ammo types . Pellets and slugs, alloy and lead, etc. plus the range of muzzle velocities people want to shoot at.

So I'll guess that there is no "one size fits all" answer here. Much as Tony said in his overview.

I have no inside information about where Daystate and BRK are going with twist rates. However, given the fact that the experts agree that ballistics theory does not give perfect results for airgun use, my guess is that the company's known approach of extensive practical testing is likely to be a good one. But it would obviously take a lot of time - longer than either they or we would like.
 
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I think Daystate Brk think that they would like to keep some of this info to themselves because of their development time. Not saying that’s necessarily right but i think thats the problem. If they give any edge to fx, fx will bring it to market first.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. But that same reasoning would lead automobile manufacturers to no longer publish estimated city and highway gas mileage or horsepower for fear a competitor would make a car with better gas mileage or more horsepower.

I doubt that Daystate/BRK or FX sharing their test results with their different airguns would put them out of business even though they may think so.

"Why should I buy this air rifle? How does it perform?" We can't tell you...lol

I love my Ghost. I have it tuned so accurately that I decided to form a new National 50 Benchrest League club with a couple of other shooters in my area. But I would still like to compare my tuning specs to Brocock's official tuning specs and test results for a couple of different pellet weights. Could I squeeze a little bit more accuracy out of my Ghost with data from Brocock? I'll never know.
 
I think you've hit the nail on the head. But that same reasoning would lead automobile manufacturers to no longer publish estimated city and highway gas mileage or horsepower for fear a competitor would make a car with better gas mileage or more horsepower.

I doubt that Daystate/BRK or FX sharing their test results with their different airguns would put them out of business even though they may think so.

"Why should I buy this air rifle? How does it perform?" We can't tell you...lol
Daystate/BRK is far from the only company to not publish barrel twist rate data. Plus, this is only one of many factors influencing airgun performance.

Also twist rates are hardly a secret. There was a post in HAM earlier this month about how to measure it. All that's required is a cleaning rod...

Trust me, I am very interested in this issue but I want to see this as a general discussion, not as a reason to bash any specific manufacturer or manufacturers.

Thanks to everyone for keeping this thread on course.
 
However, given the fact that the experts agree that ballistics theory does not give perfect results for airgun use, my guess is that the company's known approach of extensive practical testing is likely to be a good one. But it would obviously take a lot of time - longer than either they or we would like.
While ballistic theory will not give exact results, (ballistic modelling can under certain specific conditions) practical testing can only give the correct results if the test results are interpreted correctly based on known ballistic characteristics. I have seen dozens of statements being made by manufacturers and testers after testing which showed a basic lack of preparation of the tests leading to incorrect conclusions. I also encountered many from industry and government staff, particularly in the small arms industry, when I was working. They did not like being told they were wrong either, but since I was representing their main customer, they had to listen (except one who still bought the inferior performing ammunition, and was convicted for corruption later on when the police visited his very expensive luxury house).

Practical testing is a very complex exercise to be carried out, and it requires the ballistic modelling (not theory) to be carried out first so that the testers know what parameters have to be controlled in order to find the correct results. Small arms (including airguns) are particularly susceptible to many external influences and require much planning and care in their execution if they are to have a scientific basis and test what is wanted. We would sometimes wait for many days before we had the required conditions.

Testing the effects of twist rates is a particularly tricky proposition, as there are many other factors which have a greater influence if not controlled correctly.
 
To the average guy( me included) i think its very hard to understand having such a large difference in slug accuracy between 22 lr and todays higher power air rifles it just doesn’t make sense or are the fx guys right that you have to push into subsonic velocities to get them to perform?
 
To the average guy( me included) i think its very hard to understand having such a large difference in slug accuracy between 22 lr and todays higher power air rifles it just doesn’t make sense or are the fx guys right that you have to push into subsonic velocities to get them to perform?
I watch my fair share of Air Tac hunting and one reason I keep coming back is they always talk about the guns performance...ie It's shooting 28gr slugs @ 940fps etc. You said they may have to be pushed subsonic Solo1 did you mean transonic or supersonic? Bc I shoot subsonic slugs out of my ghost and they suck! It has the power but not the twist rate. KodiacJac I think you are on the right track but off a bit? Auto manufacturers like to give HP ratings or fuel efficiency rating but they don't like to spread How they got to that point, ie. what technology they used, as often the Tech gets copied later down the road. RTI was using slow twist LW barrels back in 2020 (don't quote me but I believe 1:32 twist rate) and it was to send heavier pellets at faster speeds, much farther than the typical air gun without the dreaded spiral out of control as they slowed down. The fact that RTI came out and said what the twist rate was actually amazing to me.
 
I can only imagine the amount of real world testing before a manufacturer gives the green light to a new barrel must be insane!! Ok it performed well at 50Y how about 75? 100? 150? How about light slugs/pellets? Heavy ammo? How about H&N/JSB? High/low altitude? In a building, out in 20km/hr wind? Zero degrees vs 90degrees? I know Daystate/FX (and others im sure) give their barrels out to real word testers and that all takes time. And of course lastly: what does the airgun market want? Sometimes I will see a manufacturer recommend a certain ammo for a certain gun and say; hey we got this result with this ammo, we recommend you use it as well (again nod to Daystate/FX) Givien how long slug barrels have been 'out there' for testing the longer I wait the better my expectations are 😋. Ps. What do I want as an owner of a Brk Ghost? An easy to change slug barrel so I can dump small critters and targets @ up to 125 Yards without issue. Excellent write up Tony, sorry for being so long winded guys🤭👍
 
I watch my fair share of Air Tac hunting and one reason I keep coming back is they always talk about the guns performance...ie It's shooting 28gr slugs @ 940fps etc. You said they may have to be pushed subsonic Solo1 did you mean transonic or supersonic? Bc I shoot subsonic slugs out of my ghost and they suck! It has the power but not the twist rate. KodiacJac I think you are on the right track but off a bit? Auto manufacturers like to give HP ratings or fuel efficiency rating but they don't like to spread How they got to that point, ie. what technology they used, as often the Tech gets copied later down the road. RTI was using slow twist LW barrels back in 2020 (don't quote me but I believe 1:32 twist rate) and it was to send heavier pellets at faster speeds, much farther than the typical air gun without the dreaded spiral out of control as they slowed down. The fact that RTI came out and said what the twist rate was actually amazing to me.
What i was referring to was the panthera and the guys shooting steel to 300 yds. They all tend to shoot at around 1050 fps and use 34 -40 gr slugs. I do understand that air tac shoots lighter and slower but the guys shooting steel are shooting very close to 22 lr velocity and power. My m3 shoots 22 27.5 gr well at around 930 and the same for the 25 34 gr around the same velocity. This is why i don’t get why its so hard to get a barrel for my ghost that will do the same if i could id get rid of the m3
 
RTI was using slow twist LW barrels back in 2020 (don't quote me but I believe 1:32 twist rate) and it was to send heavier pellets at faster speeds, much farther than the typical air gun without the dreaded spiral out of control as they slowed down. The fact that RTI came out and said what the twist rate was actually amazing to me.
That is interesting since the ballistic modelling (which apparently according to experts does not work on pellets ;) ) suggests that for ranges of 100 yards the optimum twist rate is around 30-32 inches per turn, as opposed to something around 20 inches at 25-50 yards. If other longer ranges are wanted, it would be a lot quicker and cheaper for manufacturers to use modelling first to get in the right twist rate area. Other areas of small arms have learnt this and, because of the expense, large calibre weapons would not dream of not doing it all first.
 
What i was referring to was the panthera and the guys shooting steel to 300 yds. They all tend to shoot at around 1050 fps and use 34 -40 gr slugs. I do understand that air tac shoots lighter and slower but the guys shooting steel are shooting very close to 22 lr velocity and power. My m3 shoots 22 27.5 gr well at around 930 and the same for the 25 34 gr around the same velocity. This is why i don’t get why its so hard to get a barrel for my ghost that will do the same if i could id get rid of the m3
I truly believe at those distances (with air or firearm) it becomes more about the projectiles bc and less about the gun it came out of. (Of course all that matters as well!) Those pantheras have a massive plenum, super long barrel and are shooting .22 slugs quick. Mostly in a class all by themselves at the moment. That ammo has a huge ballistic advantage over other calibers. Admittedly I hope to shoot 23 to 30gr slugs out of my ghost to hit up to these 125Y ranges, heavier stuff as always is more costly and eats up the air! Going up againt a .22LR shooting 40gr with an air rifle shooting say 25gr (slugs) long range would be a bad idea for sure!
 
I truly believe at those distances (with air or firearm) it becomes more about the projectiles bc and less about the gun it came out of. (Of course all that matters as well!) Those pantheras have a massive plenum, super long barrel and are shooting .22 slugs quick. Mostly in a class all by themselves at the moment. That ammo has a huge ballistic advantage over other calibers. Admittedly I hope to shoot 23 to 30gr slugs out of my ghost to hit up to these 125Y ranges, heavier stuff as always is more costly and eats up the air! Going up againt a .22LR shooting 40gr with an air rifle shooting say 25gr (slugs) long range would be a bad idea for sure!
Not necessarily. Do you have strelok or chairgun ? If you do run some numbers. Slugs having a bc near to .1 have a big advantage over pellets to 100 and beyond and don’t really have to be that heavy. Try setting for 12.5 nsa 177 at 900-950 and see and it only has a bc of .07!
 

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