Staunton River Outfitters Cont'd
Product Test: Bellm/VVCG 14" 223 Rem SS Contender Barrel

Varmint Species
The Woodchuck
The Common Crow
Product Test: Bellm 44mag Barrel
Product Test: Bellm/VVCG 14" 223 Rem SS Contender Barrel
Product Test: Mike Bellm Wyoming Stones

Mike Bellm chambered Virgin Valley Custom Guns Super 14" 223Rem Stainless Steel Contender barrel

The idea for this barrel all started over a year ago. I had a 14" factory 223 that shot very well with 40grn bullets, even grouping 1/8 with proper ammunition, but that would shoot abysmally with anything heavier in weight, and so several of us were chatting around the internet about how very badly most T/C 223 factory barrels shoot. This is a common consensus here, which states for the most part (with some exceptions) that T/C factory 223 barrels simply will not shoot well.


At the time I chalked it up to what I perceived to be too slow a twist rate for the stabilization of bullets heavier in weight than the 40grn projectiles that I was then using. This theory of mine is based upon the fact that I sell a good number of AR clones, and that Bushmaster, Armalite, and other AR manufacturers have gone to a standard 1-9 twist rate for the 223 in their barrels specifically sighting the bullet weight to twist rate ratio, thus demonstrating that (in theory) the twist rate in T/C barrels should also be at least 1-9" to 1-10".


After a while, and after having discussed the issue with gunsmith and barrel craftsman Mike Bellm, Mike offered his opinion that the standard T/C factory 1-12 twist rate should really work with bullets up to 55grn, and that he further thought (especially in this case) that the poor accuracy which was being widely experienced with this particular factory chambering could be blamed instead upon the poorly throated & chambered barrels that T/C puts out, and so Mike offered to make up a 14" 223 1-12" twist barrel by means of his specialized chambering techniques, and utilizing a Shilen stress relieved Virgin Valley Custom Guns blank, to prove or disprove his theory.


This was what got the idea going for a 14" 223 test barrel - to see if there was something inherently wrong with a 223 1-12" twist 14" barrel that would somehow make it ineffective for anything over 40grn projectiles, or whether it was rather something more peculiar to T/C's own practice of throat and chamber design (or lack thereof) that was rather the culprit which was bringing about the mediocre accuracy which can be seen in the majority of the T/C Factory 223 Contender barrels.

NOTE: Tests are progressing well, and from all accounts, this barrel is EXCEPTIONAL! More to come.....

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