Storm Lake Barrels
Storm Lake Barrels - A Quality Manufacturer
Storm Lake Barrels is a premiere manufacturer that is known for making high-end and custom barrels for various semi-automatic pistol. Currently, Their product line includes barrels for the Glock pistols, as well the 1911, Springfield XD and Smith & Wesson M&P series of handguns. As a testament to the craftsmanship put in to Storm Lake barrels, there are also several well known manufacturers that have chosen to use StormLake as their OEM barrel manufacturer. Storm Lake has been manufacturing barrels since 1983. With their impeccable reputation and commitment to produce the best barrels on the market, StormLake Barrels will be around to produce barrels for many years to come.
416R Stainless Steel
All Storm Lake Barrels start out life as solid firearms grade 416 stainless steel bar stock. This steel was initially developed by Crucible Industries with the specific intention to be used in precision rifle barrels. The advantages of using this high grade steel include improved performance, such as strength, durability and accuracy. The reason why this steel can give improved performance is many fold. 416R steel has good machinability, meaning that it is a very easy material for Storm Lake to work with and produce and consistently excellent barrel. Another benefit of 416R stainless is that it has the ability to be machines and lapped to a high finish. This high finish is important for bore accuracy which will lead to consistent hits down range.
The unique chemistry of this steel alloy gives it some highly desirable features. For instance, due to the homogenous microstructure of the molecules, 416R stainless responds well to heat treatment so that your barrel will have a uniform hardness along the entire length of the barrel. This uniform hardness is an important factor when the rifling is cut in the barrel. It leads to greater consistency between the cuts along the barrel length. Storm Lake Barrels are hardened to 40-42 HRC.
From polygonal to button to broach, there are several variations of rifling seen in various barrels. Storm Lake choose to use cut broach rifling for their barrels for several reasons. The broach cutting process utilizes a specialized tool designed to cut the rifling in the barrel. The tool used for this process has several cutting elements that make several increasing depths of cut as the tool progresses through the barrel. By making these progressive cuts, the barrel is less stressed. This provides extremely accurate results that customers are happy with.
OEM Glock barrels are known for their polygonal rifling. While there may be some benefits to this type of rifling, one of the main drawbacks is that Glock advises against shooting cast lead bullets through their polygonal barrels. The reason being that polygonal barrels will foul with leading at a greater rate than cut rifling. Compounding this factor, Glock barrels also have a sharp transition between the end of the chamber and the beginning of the rifling. This can compound the leading issue and potentially lead to increased chamber pressures. With a Storm Lake Glock barrel, this is not an issue. You can shoot high quality cast lead bullets through your Storm Lake barrel safely so long as regular maintenance is carried out.
More recently, Storm Lake Barrels has begun to offer an additional finishing option in addition to their traditional raw stainless barrels. Storm Lake now offers a isonite QPQ finishing process. This process is a variation of salt bath nitrocarburizing. What this process does is introduce nitrogen and carbon into the surface of the barrel to improve the performance of the metal. This process gives the barrel a black appearance but also has several other benefits. The isonite QPQ finish will improve durability and has better corrosion resistance than chrome plating. Further, the process has very low material distortion and will also give your barrel greater resistance to abrasion and seize, as it will have improved lubricity characteristics. This surface alteration will also extend fatigue endurance and give your barrel improved heat resistance.
Storm Lake Barrels are made to a very precise specifications and are held to a very tight tolerance level. With this quality manufacturing most Glock, Springfield and Smith & Wesson barrels will only require a drop-in installation, requiring non fitting. However, in certain instances, fitting may be required for your specific case.
Storm Lake offers a variety of conversion barrels that allow you to shoot alternate caliber bullets from a pistol. For instance, Storm Lake makes Glock conversion barrels that allow you to shoot 9mm ammunition from your .40 Smith & Wesson Glock. These barrels have several benefits are quite popular. In addition to having the increased versatility of being able to shoot a greater variety of ammunition, you can also save some money by shooting more 9mm ammunition instead of the more expensive .40 S&W. Also for certain shooters, the decreased recoil of the 9mm ammo may be more desirable as well.
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