It was confusing to maneuver my way through hundreds of reviews and negative comments about the gun community. It took me a while to understand the lingo that littered the blogs and videos, making it harder to choose where to purchase a decent barrel. It was a hard climb, but I finally found an inexpensive and quality barrel for my rifle.
Bear Creek Arsenal Barrel is a family-owned company from North Carolina, USA. They recently launched a short series for gun beginners like me on Youtube. That is how I came to know of them and eventually made my purchase. They are in the lower bracket when it comes to prices. That is also one of the factors that drove me to buy from them.
The Bear Creek Arsenal’s 16″ .223 Wylde 1:7 Twist Barrel is a thing of beauty. It’s the shortest of barrels that still come up to rifle standard and I was lucky enough to have purchased it before it got sold out.
The specification is stamped onto the barrel which adds a nice touch. However, these barrels can be a little confusing since they don’t follow the “righty-tighty” rhyme when it comes to assembly. Rather, it follows the opposite. Maybe a few more practices in assembly and I can remember the proper way of loosening and tightening the barrel.
I am happy with the smooth, black finish of the barrel. It gives a sleek and professional look to my rifle which is something that I also considered while looking at the different types of barrels Bear Creek Arsenal has to offer.
The material used for the barrel is made of 4150 Chrome Moly Steel. While researching for different barrels, I came across several gun blogs that taught me about the difference between Chrome Moly Steel and stainless steel. Long story short, stainless steel barrels are best for competitive shooters, while Chrome Moly Steel barrels are for gun range enthusiasts. As I fall into the second category (for now), this particular Bear Creek Arsenal barrel is just right for me.
The barrel has a parkerized finish, which is good to know. I have read a few articles on how to take care of rifles in general and plan on doing some tweaking to make it a little bit more resistant to wear and tear.
When I took my rifle to my local gun range, I found out that the accuracy diminishes at a certain distance. At 50 meters, my aim still hits the bullseye, but when I crank it up to 100 meters, my mark veers slightly to the left.
Not bad, considering that although I have a good aim, I still have to take into consideration all the other factors that revolve around shooting a rifle.
Pros and Cons
There are three pros to my purchase:
- It is one of, if not the most, inexpensive barrel you can buy.
- There are at least eight types of barrels that you can choose from.
- Engaging Youtube videos for any beginner.
However, there are also disadvantages, like:
- Bad customer service. I had a few queries and wasn’t able to ask them because no one would answer the phone.
- A lot of negative reviews about the company itself, though I understand that these were from the first few years that the company was in operation.
- There are also a lot of negative reviews concerning the rifles, stating that purchases from them are either hits or misses. I was fortunate to be one of those hits.
Jerry Gonzales of Adventure Footstep offers a good insight into more of the barrels as he was gifted with three of what he calls “budget” barrels. His post echoes mine in terms of accuracy. He also names the eight types of barrels.
He also recounts a similar experience with Bear Creek Arsenal’s customer service. One of his barrels started to rust, but he couldn’t get hold of any customer representative. He had more patience than I did, and he was rewarded after a few days. However, he still had to shoulder the shipping fee.
Several users on the Snipers Hide forum posted about their experience with Bear Creek Arsenal barrels, with one even praising how well the barrel fits into his upper “like a dream.”
However, another user reiterated the bad customer service he experienced. He also warned others that although shipping was fast, he was sent the wrong product. He insinuates that it might have been a stamping issue back during the manufacturing process.
If you are a professional shooter and can afford the more expensive ones, I suggest that you invest your money in such rather than clogging up the internet with how much Bear Creek Arsenal barrels disappointed you.
However, these barrels are perfect for beginners like me. They are good for practicing and leisure shooting. I am thinking of purchasing two different types of Bear Creek Arsenal’s other fluted barrels next, just to see how it fares against the one I own now.