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  #1  
Old 01-29-2018, 12:56 PM
M14 M14 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: south mississippi
Posts: 770
Default Just so you know...

....That it is very difficult to get the critical information out there to everyone via the internet, so they can make informed decisions about fixing their rifles' issues, when mods everywhere keep deleting the threads.

Here's more proof of what I wrote and warned everyone about on my last disappeared thread here. Maybe people will believe Jon Wolfe. Obviously they don't believe me. Maybe it's in my delivery, I don't know? I only know how to say it one way. The truth.... As cold and hard as it may seem, this is about safety..... Yours.

http://m14forum.com/m14/385161-new-jra-m14s-16.html

I wonder if Wolfe will be banned there too now?



jywolfe's Avatar

Bula Barrels


I have been approached by several members regarding the Bula barrels. I have not provided an answer for over a year because I was waiting on more evidence to form a solid opinion. The most recent batch of barrels being used on the James River Armory builds settled that determination and I am going to provide a very straight forward, honest assessment as I have done since the early days of my involvement here in the forum.

I'm not going to speak in derogation of Bula's barrels and most importantly not of Bula or their managers (I think highly of Jeff), but it is important that factual information be discussed on this forum. What follows is my impression of some of their barrels sent to our shop for diagnoses or replacement, and it should be noted I have a financial relationship with Bula, and the better the quality of their parts, the more successful our product sales of those parts should be and vice a versa.

Therefore, it's contrary to my best interest to speak frankly regarding the quality of the Bula barrels I've inspected, but it is vitally important when my opinion on something is sought to be forthright and as candid as possible.

I hope the quality of the Bula barrels improve because we hope to use Bula barrels on our base model M14 builds in the coming months as there is a place for a base-line, economical build as has been proven by Springfield Armory for the past 40 years.

Following are some of my observations regarding the Bula barrels. Please note, Rock-Ola is now producing under the James River Armory name.

1. I have observed at least 10 Bula barrels with a roughly machined bore. I've not seen a Bula barrel that did not have a roughly machined bore when examined with a Bore Scope. A rough bore indicates a lack of finishing. In other words, the bore is button rifled and not honed or polished properly. The finishing process on a barrel is expensive and requires significant labor and machine hours. It should also be noted on buttoned barrels that lapping is required after the barrel is turned. If it is not done, bore dimensions have the propensity to be out of spec breach to muzzle.

2. I have observed rough chambers in older Bula barrels, so rough that many of them would not enable reliable extraction, but improvements have been made and I have seen fewer problem chambers recently.

3. I recently observed that the bore diameter on a recent Bula barrel sold through James River to be oversized. The barrel was made in late 2017. This caused key holing and stability issues. (See Picture 5) The bore diameter measured over .300" with the last 1.5" of the bore at the muzzle measuring .3013".

The barrel measured a 2 on the muzzle erosion gauge. New barrels should be zero or under, and bore diameter should be .299"-.3005" with a consistent diameter breach to muzzle with any tapering being smaller at the muzzle end. Remember the old SAK barrels being inspected with an air gauge to determine consistency? All those that held the tolerance were accepted as match grade.

I should mention that Jeff does not to my knowledge button rifle these blanks. These blanks are only turned, machined, threaded etc. As such, a better inspection process would eliminate 95% of these issues. However, turning down a button-rifled barrel blank to M14 diameters increases bore diameter and induces stress, which must be accounted for pre and post turning.

It is my understanding that Jeff is aware of these issues and knowing Jeff, I feel certain he is making the necessary adjustments, but it will take a significant investment in the proper implements and tooling to rectify these issues.

I could go into barrel specific manufacturing quality practices, but because of my relationship with two of the top M14 barrel makers and the corresponding confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, I am not free to discuss the proprietary techniques and procedures that yield consistent breach to muzzle diameter and other manufacturing practices that result in proper bore dimensions and finish. I can say that if the bore diameter is not consistent from breach to muzzle with the proper land and groove diameters, barrels will not perform.

I will also say that I have seen a handful of Bula barrels that performed flawlessly and even though they exhibited rough bores, they still performed relatively well at shorter ranges. In fact, based on the number and quantity produced, one could infer that the problem barrels are 10% or less of total production.

Bullet shear from rough bores usually preclude a projectile from flying true or at the optimum stability at longer range, but is not discernible at closer ranges. It also causes excessive fouling after short shot strings as well as making it very difficult to keep clean.

I've attached a handful of photos showing the bore condition of one Bula bore compared to the bore of one of our barrels. The first two pictures are Bula, the next two are ours. There are some Bula barrels that are better and some are worse than the pictures. This is one example.

The Bula barrel problems have brought more business to our shop, but at the same time, I would prefer that these issues did not exist because our market good-will and reputation are by association tied to the Bula brand as we sale and support their entire line of other products with barrels being the exception; which have been very good to excellent with an occasional outlier.

It is therefore my position that I want Bula to succeed and to produce high quality components, regardless of how much business we may loose once these problems are eliminated. I will also state the above are not indicative of every barrel produced by Bula and are limited to those I have personally observed and inspected.

Let me say in closing that we do not currently use Bula barrels in the assembly of complete rifles, although we have done a handful of barreled receivers which were all inspected for deficiencies prior to shipping.

I am very appreciative that Bula is making high quality parts for the M1 Garand and M14 rifle. They are an asset to the M14 community. Their barrels are not indicative of the other excellent quality parts such as receivers, bolts, gas cylinders, etc. they have been and continue to produce for the M14 rifle. With very few exceptions, their parts are well made and we continue to sale and support their line of M14 parts outside of their barrels.

As it relates to barrels, Jeff is currently working on a modified gas system to use on our newest M14 barrel that will be large enough in diameter to utilize the common 5/8x24 thread and will be available in lengths ranging from 18" to 26". This joint venture will break new ground with the M14 platform and we are very fortunate to have Jeff as a partner in this endeavor.


Attached Images
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File Type: jpg JRBB22KH.jpg (3.39 MB, 16 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2018, 01:08 PM
M14 M14 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: south mississippi
Posts: 770
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosgarage View Post
So why would you bring the drama here,and not just leave it on the m14 forums where it belongs?
Drama? Did you read my sentences? It's about safety.

I understand that most people could care less about their fellow man's safety, but this is what I do for a living. Call it drama if you must, it is only fact. I can't keep it there because they banned me .... to silence the facts.

Anyplace on the net is fine as far as I'm concerned. Unless the owners of the various gun forums don't care if someone gets hurt, and just keep deleting the threads of people trying to warn them about it. I sleep well at night.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2018, 01:14 PM
96deadeye 96deadeye is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 80
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Thank you for the information, I have been thinking of building one and wouldn't want to buy a defective barrel.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2018, 02:24 PM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,495
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I think Jon did and excellent job of addressing the situation.
Just another note. He has requested to be a dealer for Bula barrels so they must be pretty darn good.

Semper Fi
Art
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2018, 05:03 PM
aloreman aloreman is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Fl
Posts: 2,877
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Ya familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf?
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2018, 05:46 PM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
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Location: Connecticut
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Yep, and the one about the sky falling.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2018, 06:44 PM
Gewehr43 Gewehr43 is online now
 
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Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,057
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Ok......... so now all the manufacturers of M1A parts are bad and noone knows how to build them................that is if any of them can stay open.

Got it.................. Thanks!

Oh and the M14forum is horrible and full of censors, along with the CMP website.

Got it.......... Thanks!

Is that right?
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2018, 05:50 AM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gewehr43 View Post
Ok......... so now all the manufacturers of M1A parts are bad and noone knows how to build them................that is if any of them can stay open.

Got it.................. Thanks!

Oh and the M14forum is horrible and full of censors, along with the CMP website.

Got it.......... Thanks!

Is that right?

It would seem so only in the eyes of the OP.
Very sad.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2018, 06:30 PM
jerryrigged jerryrigged is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NE Ohio
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So, waiting for the lengthy lists of posts describing stuck cases, awful accuracy, severe copper fouling in Bula barrels from all those that are using them now......
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2018, 06:47 PM
TLB TLB is offline
 
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Location: MidWest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryrigged View Post
So, waiting for the lengthy lists of posts describing stuck cases, awful accuracy, severe copper fouling in Bula barrels from all those that are using them now......
I had the chamber issue with a 19.25 Bula barrel on my Bula DMR. Promptly repaired without question by Bula. It is my most accurate.308 (and yes I have more than one). I was disappointed that it wasn't GTG out of the box, but extremely satisfied with the followup and customer service.
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