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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm debating using stimulus dollars on my first M14 pattern rifle and was having trouble finding some info on Bula barrels. Accuracy is perhaps a tad more important than weight, but if the difference in accuracy between the two is only half MOA, I'd probably lean towards the GI. That wood upper handguard looks pretty slick.

Both NM and GI guns are listed as being 9lbs, but I understand the NM barrel is significantly heavier. Anyone know how much forward weight is being added?

How's the accuracy of each of these barrels after reasonable break in?

I saw some more or less heresy that Bula barrels were Criterion? Anyone lend any weight to this?
 

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Accuracy, depending on the rest of the rifle is very close between GI profile and NM med weight.

Bula barrels have never been Criterion, at least to this point. Never know what will happen in the future.
 

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Bula barrels in the past have been hit or miss, you are better off buying from a company with a good reputation such as Criterion, Krieger or Walther. These makers have a reputation for outstanding barrels.

When a rifle costing in the thousands of dollars, buying a cheap barrel seems a poor choice.

REN
 

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Bula barrels in the past have been hit or miss, you are better off buying from a company with a good reputation such as Criterion, Krieger or Walther. These makers have a reputation for outstanding barrels.

When a rifle costing in the thousands of dollars, buying a cheap barrel seems a poor choice.

REN
Somebody appears to be trolling again. Would that be why GWLA chose Bula barrels and bolts for their in house builds? Bula Defense System's reputation has been outstanding with customer support and excellent products.
I have a couple of the barrels left over from when GWLA went belly up for use in some upcoming builds using LRB receivers.
Give your negative trolling a rest. Please, it really does get old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I should've added that I'm not just buying a barrel, but a complete Bula rifle.

To NM or not to NM...
 

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I should've added that I'm not just buying a barrel, but a complete Bula rifle.

To NM or not to NM...
Well sir, best advice I can give you is to get the best barrel you can afford if you are looking for top notch accuracy. The National Match barrel would be my choice.

REN
 

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Anyone know how much forward weight is being added?

How's the accuracy of each of these barrels after reasonable break in?
A medium weight NM barrel usually weighs about 5-6 oz more than a standard USGI profile barrel.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Just my perspective and experience -> I have not had a "bad" BULA barrel and I have 6 complete builds currently and more that are "parts complete" and not yet built:

The Barrel Types Listed Below:
  • 1 - 22" Med Weight NM .308
  • 2 - 19.25" Med Weight NM .308
  • 2 - 22" Standard Weight GI Profile .308
  • 1 - 22" Med Weight NM 6.5 Creedmoor

ALL of the rifles listed above are excellent shooting rifles and for many I have posted results. I do not personally consider BULA cheap inferior barrels because all of mine shoot well. I think everyone here realizes that you have many variables when it comes to accuracy [a good barrel is important] but you have many other variables when considering any M14 build that can impact accuracy. I have always had my barrels screwed on and bolts headspaced by gunsmith experts here on our forum and then I have assembled the remainder of most of my builds with good parts, excellent stocks and I shoot excellent ammo. I think we all agree MANY variables go into accuracy, but I have not been disappointed with any of my BULA barrels and related accuracy.

M1Army
 

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Wes, while I respect you and your opinion, I don’t believe everyone in the past had the same experience.

I will stay with proven manufacturers.

REN
 

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Tim Shufflin’s words on Bula barrels just a few years ago.

“No comment on the receivers. I'm not happy with the barrels though. Repeated complaints by gun writers, folks at the M14 forum, and my own customers, tell me that the barrels are not ready to be on my shelves”

Tim’s words not mine. It’s been nearly a year or more since they were being produced, maybe now quality control will improve.

I just don’t want to be their guinea pig.

Ren
 

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Having used dozens of Bula Defense Systems barrels and multiples of each of the 10 varieties produced over the years I have found them to be as accurate and as of as high quality as any on the market today with the possible exception of the recently introduced Walther's which I have not had an opportunity to try.
Also used in many of my assemblies have been Kreiger ss Heavies 2, Criterion/ LRB Sako/Lowel repros 6, Criterion/LRB 18.5s 4, Criterion/LRB 6.5 Creedmoor 1, Criterion/ Wolfe mod stnd weight 2, Criterion/Wolfe 18.5 mod med weight fluted, Chinese Poly and Norinco 4, USGI std weight 22" 8 along with others.
As most of you are aware, I do shoot quite a bit, still in the range of 5 to 10K per year of .308 with the intent of developing the most accurate M14 type firearms I can. Between load development, rifle building and barrel choice, I have found undoubtedly after plenty of testing, the Bula Barrels outperform most others in 10 shot groups. This is first hand knowledge and not conjecture. With 55 years of experience in the M14, I completely stand behind the Bula product line. And no, I am not an employee of or sponsored by Bula Defense Systems. Simply a very happy customer and hobbiest that knows a good product when I use it. Very happy to share my experiences with all. The proof is in the pudding.


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice hoarding!

I bit the bullet, made bad decisions, got the wife to make bad decisions, looked sideways at the dog, and bought the damn M14 with the GI profile barrel. 7-10 days from Atlantic Firearms. I really liked the wood handguard on the GI profile barrel. It says "no sir this isn't some Canada casting".

2200$ for my first M14.... I have no decency.

As an aside, also bought a Sig 365XL today for my wife to use. I'm surprised to say I don't like it as much as my daily SR9c for the reasons of trigger pull and printing (the XL has a silly built in magwell that prints).

I guess now I have to get ammo and more dremel tool bits and weeb stickers for extra bubba effect (jk). I can't wait to report on how this thing turns out. I haven't been wowed by the Springfields I've handled in the past. With the market bringing Springfields to 1700 for standards and 2k for loaders, the extra 200 was a no brainier- maybe. Time will tell.
 

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I enjoy my toys, and they seem to know how to score even using those hit and miss Bula barrels. My experience shows that they are much more hits than misses. Just saying. Shot this 10 rnd group at 100 yds using a Bula barrel a couple of weeks ago. Maybe just me, but I haven't found any other barrel for the M14 capable if their accuracy and consistency. The flyer to the right was the trigger monkey's fault and not the barrel.

115 Berger 1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Art, that's a damn good group for 10 shots. I assume that was one of their NM profile barrels?
 

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Art, that's a damn good group for 10 shots. I assume that was one of their NM profile barrels?
That was done using one of their Ultras. Only a few were made and are no longer available. NM performs very close though.
 

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Wasn't it Tim Shufflin who wrote that LRB receivers were completely out of military spec?
 

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Wasn't it Tim Shufflin who wrote that LRB receivers were completely out of military spec?
Sounds about right. Credibility is very low on the totem pole these days.
 

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It's hard to argue with a large sample and uniform testing.

My only experience with Bula Barrels is looking at others'. I wanted a UHBAR, but at the time of the decision, Bula wasn't producing them (and so far as I know still isn't), so between TonyBen's recommended options, I leaned on the Krieger, and that's where that's going, and so be it!

As far as looking at other's experiences, those who witnessed bad samples, at least of those I've read, were in the very beginning, and had to do with cutting of the chamber. It also coincided with James River Armory building a lot of them, and for too cheap to probably be sustainable. The picture that paints for me, which can fit into your experience, is that the great majority of reported issues could have been related to not the manufacturing of the barrels themselves, but in hasty assembly, rushed finish reaming to set headspace, and a lack of QC, largely on the part of James River Armory, who was getting a complete M14 type rifle out the door, built with largely forged parts, for close to if not the cost of what Fulton Armory sells a partial USGI parts kit (not on sale) that doesn't even include the stock, barrel, or receiver. Clearly, a nice idea that was fundamentally impossible to execute well.

There very well could have been initial manufacturing issues regarding the barrel itself, which is somewhat to be expected in that there is a learning curve in all things, but I haven't heard anything related to that significantly after the beginning of production, and that you've bought a fair number of them, over a long period, and have wrung them out... I think that means a lot. Plus, I've not heard a single story of Bula refusing to fix something that had a verified performance problem, which speaks to something the buyer of any product should do, test drive the heck out of it. If you want to know how well it shoots, or more importantly, how well it shoots for you, go shoot it.

If you're buying it for what it's supposed to be able to do based on what other similar rifles have done for somebody else, or reputation, will shoot some groups until you get a good one, remember that group as 'how it shoots', and then throw it in a safe for eternity, that's fine too, and I honestly think there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it's also a different set of criteria.

If we actually want to know how anything performs, especially for us individually the only valid way of knowing is to bite on something, put the time in, and see how it goes, and understand that there is always the risk of making the wrong decision, or just getting a random variation of unknowns that for reasons of Lazerus 2000's 'M14 Voodoo' make one rifle work better than another. If you get the 'another less betta', you can futz around with it until it's doing what you want, send it to somebody else with perhaps more expertise to futz, or just punt, sell it or part it out, and buy another rifle, either the same combination, or a different one, and repeat until you get what you want.

Maybe that's not an attractive combination, in which case maybe paying more to somebody to build it who will give you an accuracy guarantee, and will put in the time to test and adjust it and do the futzing on the front end, becomes a lot more attractive.

Of course, part of the equation is the shooter, and in that case, you're stuck with what you've got, for better or worse. :p
 
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