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Barrel harmonics

anschutz harmonics

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#1 rem511

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 01:33 PM

I keep reading about shooters dealing with barrel harmonics. What is the thought behind it and what can be done to rectify it.

#2 Reed

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

My understanding of barrel harmonics is that a barrel will flex slightly when the rifle is fired (see YouTube video below).
You want to control this flexing so that it occurs consistently in the same manner to increase the accuracy of the rifle.
Ther are several methods that people use including barrel tuners, You can do a search for this on most forums and find more detailed information.

I am sure that other will add to this shortly.


Edited by Reed, 21 January 2012 - 02:44 PM.


#3 patriot

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:53 PM

Here is a short and incomplete view of the current theory, at least as I understand it:

When the rifle fires there are significant forces at work. As the stock recoils the barrel tries to remain at rest (physics law) but then it follows causing it to whip. The barrel in all likelihood is also not straight. It could be off center plus gravity is also trying to bend it down. As the bullet moves forward it resists any barrel bend; they are fighting each other (more physics). The purpose of indexing the barrel is to make certain it is naturally pointing down to force the group into a vertical string rather than horizontal or diagonal. With all the actions and reactions moving the barrel, fast and slow rounds will exit the muzzle at different angles (up and down). The trick is to launch the slow rounds at a higher angle than the fast rounds to compensate for the extra time gravity is pulling down the slow rounds on their way to the target. The purpose of tuning is to change the barrel movement to the optimal pattern and the reason for bedding the stock is to make the movement consistent. At 50 yards it is possible to make up for the extra gravitational pull on the slow round. From my testing at 100 yards it is not; but I have only tried two different tuners and not that many barrel configurations.

Mark


#4 cb1229

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:45 PM

Remington 40x use barrel tuner made into the stock one on each side of barrel as you tighten them down it pushes up on the barrel get it to shoot good at 50 yds then go to 100yd with same ammo then shoot groups and adjust in 1or 2 clicks at a time till get the tightest group then adjust the group to center of target with scope this varies with different ammo works very well my 40x shoots less than3/4 in at 100m 10 shots only draw back have to count turns on scrws before you pull action out of stock and reset when you go back together and sight in

#5 Carl

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:23 AM

The second sentence in Mark's post does not make sense to me, but maybe I'm missing something..... "As the stock recoils the barrel tries to remain at rest....". The reason that doesn't make sense to me is the force is being induced in the barrel and the barrel would be what is causing the stock to recoil, not the other way around as indicated there. If the barrel is floated, as most modern target rifles are, the stock should have nothing to do with "barrel harmonics" (the stock can affect accuracy in other ways, but not barrel harmonics, JMO). Centerfire shooters control harmonics by experimenting with reloads... type of powder, amount of powder, primers, case prep, etc, until they find the load that is consistant in their particular rifle. Rimfire shooters do not have that luxury, so we change brands, lot #s, ammo speeds, etc and for several years now have used tuners to compensate. Early attempts at tuners included the "bughole" tuners like those in the 40X, and some that pulled the barrel down in the stock, like those in a #4 Brno. There seem to be a lot of "theories" to barrel harmonics, but basically what the tuner does is match the vibrations (harmonics) to the speed of the ammunition being used, so the barrel is in the same position within those vibrations for every round. Of course the first thing you need in an ammunition here, is the speed must be consistant... this of course is where target ammo comes in, because what you are paying for in target ammo is quality control and a big part of that is consistant speed. This is the reason a tuner will not make bad ammo shoot good, but can make good ammo shoot better... you are just "fine tuning" that good ammo, kinda' like a centerfire shooter would change his powder load a tenth or two of a grain.
Now my coffee has gotten cold while posting, so even thought here is a lot more to this, I gotta' go get a fresh cup :blink:
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#6 The Canuck

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

Lots of explanations on what is exactly happening in regards to barrel whip and harmonics out there. Most of it is based on solid facts/physics in regards to vibration patterns in things we know about, and much of this can be applied to FEA (finite element analysis) or common sense thinking. One of the best places to have the full complexity explained using animated FEA is here...

http://www.varmintal.com/amode.htm

There have been some extremely heated debates between some well known folks on the net as to tne nodes' shape and location point(s) on the barrel. In one corner people beleive they are simply dampening the back and forth wipping motion at the end of the barrel by hanging and appropriate sized weight there extended to the appropriate distance. Some others feel that they are taking this one step beyond just dampening. The theory is that extremely fine adjustments can be made to actually compensate for small variations in velocity that is inherant with factory loaded ammunition. A slightly slower bullet that would hit a bit low might be tuned so the end of the barrel is cycling slightly upwards as the bullet escapes it...therefore compensating for its drop with elevated trajectory. A slightly faster bullet than average would be compensated for in the opposite direction.

It is amazing that competitors are starting to encroach on the 1/8" (vertical) variable shot dispersion found in most ammunition lots. If the ammunition factories can't get better than this, leave it to the shooters to find a way around it.

One thing for sure is that since the early 90's, scores in bench rest competitions have steadily rose with the introduction and use of various barrel tuners. There is definately something behind it.

#7 patriot

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:15 AM

The second sentence in Mark's post does not make sense to me, but maybe I'm missing something..... "As the stock recoils the barrel tries to remain at rest....". The reason that doesn't make sense to me is the force is being induced in the barrel and the barrel would be what is causing the stock to recoil, not the other way around as indicated there. If the barrel is floated, as most modern target rifles are, the stock should have nothing to do with "barrel harmonics" (the stock can affect accuracy in other ways, but not barrel harmonics, JMO).


The force of the bullet moving forward must have an equal and opposite force, which we call recoil (Newton's 3rd law). The barrel is above the center of mass of the rifle, so the rifle will rotate up. It is very obvious shooting high power (ouch).

The barrel has significant mass and will resist any change in motion (inertia - Newton's 1st law).

The stock is part of a system. Glass bedding a rifle changes the vibrations. Changing the receiver bolt tension changes the vibrations. Changing the bedding material in an aluminum stock changes the vibrations. Tuners change vibration. Shoulder and cheek pressure change vibrations. Some believe a wood stock does a better job of dampening bad vibrations than aluminum. I can't prove it but I'd bet they are correct. Grunig is supposedly using a special metal alloy to "reduce harmonic disturbances". I think I heard one of the European high tech stocks now has a vibration damping systems. Maybe someone knows for certain. One world class gunsmith / smallbore shooter tunes the rifle by reducing the barrel length until he finds the sweet spot.

Mark

#8 patriot

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:28 AM

In one corner people beleive they are simply dampening the back and forth wipping motion at the end of the barrel by hanging and appropriate sized weight there extended to the appropriate distance. Some others feel that they are taking this one step beyond just dampening. The theory is that extremely fine adjustments can be made to actually compensate for small variations in velocity that is inherant with factory loaded ammunition.


If the old node theory were correct, if I understand it, then the minimum bullet vertical spread could be calculated given the force of gravity and the time to target difference due to velocity spread (see my test results on Ross's the Smallbore Accuracy Forum). Since it is not difficult to tune groups that are smaller than this minimum, there must be compensation occuring. If that isn't common sense, I wish someone would explain otherwise.

Mark

#9 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:44 PM

Gravity, barrel droop, dwell time(the time a round is in the barrel affected by powder charge, and projo weight) all have an effect on round placement. With the 175MM howitzer it is a misnomer as the 175MM has a barrel that is 60 calibers..this makes it a rifle..Bore diameter(caliber) X (number of calibers) length determines that it is a rifle and not a cannon..The firing tables for the 175MM were completely different from ANY other artillery piece..The tables took into affect the temperature(barrel droop amount), the dwell time dependant on the powder charge(velocity) all to counter the droop of the rifle barrel and the resultant whip lash when it was fired. I can see that trying to dampen these forces in a regular rifle does indeed affect accuracy since we don't have the same formulated charts to use for each round we fire. Seen in slow motion you can actually see the barrel begin to whip, like a blanket being straigtened out. That being said, danger close was nearly 200 meters as opposed to only 100 meters with the 155MM, all due to the acuracy degradation of the barrel droop, whip, and dwell time. an example is the 8 inch howitzer,,THE most accurate artillery piece ever fielded by the US Army.. it had a short, thick barrel,,,can we translate into Target Bull Barrel? It could put 7 out of 8 rounds THROUGH the hoop of a 55gal. drum at 13,000 meters. Now that's hole in a hole for you..So, all this being said, harmonics are very important. That why we, pillar, glass bed, and torque the screws. All in the name of taming the harmonics beast. Let the quest continue, we all have the same end goal and learn from each other. Both mistakes..and victories help our sometimes steep learning curve. Lock and load, let the games begin.

Edited by dbp1stltartillery, 22 January 2012 - 02:00 PM.

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#10 Carl

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:29 PM

The force of the bullet moving forward must have an equal and opposite force, which we call recoil (Newton's 3rd law). The barrel is above the center of mass of the rifle, so the rifle will rotate up. It is very obvious shooting high power (ouch).

The barrel has significant mass and will resist any change in motion (intertia - Newton's 1st law).

The stock is part of a system. Glass bedding a rifle changes the vibrations. Changing the receiver bolt tension changes the vibrations. Changing the bedding material in an aluminum stock changes the vibrations. Tuners change vibration. Shoulder and cheek pressure change vibrations. Some believe a wood stock does a better job of dampening bad vibrations than aluminum. I can't prove it but I'd bet they are correct. Grunig is supposedly using a special metal allow to "reduce harmonic disturbances". I think I heard one of the European high tech stocks now has a vibration damping systems. Maybe someone knows for certain. One world class gunsmith / smallbore shooter tunes the rifle by reducing the barrel length until he finds the sweet spot.

Mark


Para 1... I agree (except maybe the "ouch" of recoil... I have shot several rifle sizes including .50BMG and I can only recall 2 that bothered me.. a lightweight .458 Win. Mag. and a bolt action Mossberg 20 ga., and I blame both on poor stock design.)

Para 2... Agreed

Para 3... I think there are two types of vibrations here... one is the "strictly barrel harmonics", and another is overall "system" vibration" or the barrel/receiver/stock as a whole. If we are dealing with "barrel harmonics", once a barrel is screwed/pinned/glued to the reciever, JMO, but the things that change barrel harmonics (as opposed to overall system) are ammunition speed and to a certain extent maybe even powder burn rate (although the rimfire powder burn rates probably vary very little), and things that are directly attached to or touching the barrel. If the barrel is free floated and there is not an attaching screw as in a Brno or some CZ bolt action rimfires (American and possibly others excluded). I believe there are "vibration dampeners" on some Anschutz models, but it's my belief they dampen overall system vibrations. I do agree that wood dampens vibrations, but again I believe it's "overall" vibration and has little to no affect on "barrel harmonics'... if it's not touching the barrel, I don't think so.

IMO, the two topics that are most difficult for shooters to agree on are gun cleaning and barrel harmonics... both make for interesting discussions and I'm not really certain there is only one "right" answer, although harmonics is physics and there should be one answer.
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#11 patriot

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 07:38 PM

Para 3... I think there are two types of vibrations here... one is the "strictly barrel harmonics", and another is overall "system" vibration" or the barrel/receiver/stock as a whole.


Agreeded, at least two. Some folks even talk about the firing pin sending a shock wave down the barrel. It must, the Noptel uses it to detect firing.

Recoil in prone doesn't usually bother me even with some arthritis in my shoulder, but shooting my son's 8mm Mauser off the bench with that metal buttplate gives me more than I want. But he doesn't seem to mind. Youth, it is so wasted on the young. :-)

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#12 Pdwight

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:48 PM

Echo that Mark

This is a fascinating thread.

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#13 Carl

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 11:22 PM

Recoil in prone doesn't usually bother me even with some arthritis in my shoulder, but shooting my son's 8mm Mauser off the bench with that metal buttplate gives me more than I want. But he doesn't seem to mind. Youth, it is so wasted on the young. :-)

Mark


I mentioned the .50BMG, but really that rifle is so heavy and with the muzzle brake, it is more like a .243 except for the concussion... you feel that on your whole body. I often wonder what the concussion ls like behind an M-2, or maybe the brake makes that worse. I haven't shot any very heavy recoiling centerfires for the last few years, probably since I had my by-pass 3 years ago, so maybe I'd feel it more now. I don't even recall that I've shot my .300H&H since then. Shooting a 12 ga. on the trap range feels a lot easier than the .300 off a bench.
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#14 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:59 AM

Carl, you are right, harmonics is physics and there is just one answer....However, take the sum of 10..it can be 6+4=10, 5+5=10, or 2+8=10..The end result is the same but the method to arrive at the answer is varied..Is changing to a free floated barrel is it worth a 6 or a 2 in the equation, this can be said of all the other things we do to attain the accuracy we like and feel acceptable. Thusly, it all boils down to is your particular rifle and how each of the improvements and modifications are valued in the total equation. It is us the explorer to determine the true value of each portion of the problem and that is what makes it fun. After all, don't we want to shoot for the 10. These observations come from having studied internal ballistics, external ballistics and terminal ballistics with many, many variables that had to be contended with. Some of the variables were very, very important, like elevation, deflection and powder charge. Others like temperature, humidity, wind velocity, time of flight, and the amount the earth rotated during the time of flight were taken into account, but ONLY in certain circumstances. Like ambushing troops that reached a certain PRE SIGHTED in landmark and having one chance to hit that mark 24, 48 or more hours later. In summation, all things are important and have an effect, some more than others. It is us that place the value and importance of each variable and eliminate those that are least important for the task at hand..Example. Cold barrel 1st shot fliers..No problem for benchrest as sighting in(warm up) shots are allowed...For a squirrel hunter that cold shot flier is a total miss.
The national budget must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work ,instead of living on public assistance.

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#15 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:50 PM

I wonder if the barrel harmonics vs total system harmonics could be separated by using a free recoiling weapon..Like is used to measure the velocity rearward with the mass accounted for to calculate free recoil force? If both the stock and the barrel were allowed to move together would it not eliminate stock induced harmonics or maybe even eliminate barrel harmonics since there is nothing resisting the free movement as our shoulder does?
The national budget must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work ,instead of living on public assistance.

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CICERO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~55 BC!!


ONCE THE PUBLIC REALIZES THEY CAN VOTE THEMSELVES MONEY FROM THE PUBLIC TREASURY THE REPUBLIC IS LOST..Ben Franklin and others.

#16 Carl

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

Lots, even most, serious BR shooters do "free recoil" their rifles, but that is to remove the possibility of inconsistant hold. It's my belief that there are still vibrations (shock) induced into the receiver, then to the stock when the rifle fires and as long as the barrel is floated from the stock, that will have minimal affect on the harmonics of the barrel itself. They will no doubt affect the overall vibrations or movement of the barrel, but this is a vibration or shock that a tuner will help very little if any. Maybe just a little due to the mass of the tuner, but the tuner is used to null out the barrel harmonics, not vibrations from the overall rifle system... again, just my thinking.
Part of this vibration thinking comes from my working in a hydraulics experimental lab for 25 years where we did a lot of noise and vibration testing... even had an on purpose "sound room" for that testing. I know that vibrations can be "bounced back and forth" from one component to another, and if it can happen in a hydraulic system, why not in that barrel/receiver/stock "rifle system"? The lab I worked in encouraged questioning why and how things were happening, so I have developed an "inquiring mindset"... just don't use it that much any more. Been away from the lab about 21 years and retired for over 9.... lot of brain cells have died since then :wacko: , but every once in a while I try to start thinking again.
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#17 Walt

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:52 PM

This is a very interesting read. Thanks Guys.
Walt Miller

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#18 dbp1stltartillery

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:00 AM

Carl, the way you approach this is exactly why we learn..We ask why and then we ask why not. Between the former and the latter could lie the answer. It never ceases to amaze me when participating in these posts the vast array of knowledge and range of experience that our members have experienced. Do we seek the perfect score just for the sake of the number on the competition results board or do we seek the perfect score because it is the challenges we must overcome to just get there? Do we seek the gold nugget for its value or do we seek the gold nugget because of the hunt for it? I think both. Dave
The national budget must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work ,instead of living on public assistance.

Things never change.
And Rome Fell

CICERO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~55 BC!!


ONCE THE PUBLIC REALIZES THEY CAN VOTE THEMSELVES MONEY FROM THE PUBLIC TREASURY THE REPUBLIC IS LOST..Ben Franklin and others.

#19 rem511

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:34 AM

Very interesting information and opinions.

#20 Smsbrucemorris

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:33 PM

Wow, my first time on this site, no one got nasty during a disagreement or exchange of ideas.
Cool!


#21 patriot

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:09 PM

Welcome Bruce.

This forum promotes an open exchange of ideas to further the sport for everyone's benefit. No one speaking down at folks. No Socratic questioning. Just respect among friends, even when we disagree. It is also somewhere to hang out when we aren't on the range; a little "hanger flying" for smallbore enthusiasts.

No one fully understands the internal and external ballistics of the .22, but the unselfish sharing of theories and test data has resulted in significant progress the past few years. Each of us stands on the shoulders of those that went before and hopefully we can give a boost to the next in line. Unfortunately anyone that can't let go of the past is limiting their ability to contribute. The significant time and money spent by a few like Landy and Geoff to sort out the theories is most commendable. If you enjoy the technology side and want more I'd recommend the Smallbore Accuracy Forum or the Articles at Border Barrels.

Mark

http://forums.delphi...smallbore/start
http://www.border-ba...mfire_tests.htm

#22 Walt

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:23 PM

Welcome to the forum Bruce. Like Mark said "respect among friends". lots of good folks and good information here. Pull up a chair and make yourself some new friends.

Walt
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#23 Pdwight

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:04 PM

We try hard to keep our house in order and not act like a bunch of 7th grade children.

Welcome to RFS

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for Zach, Everett, and Lilly

#24 dbp1stltartillery

dbp1stltartillery

    Legendary Shooter

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  • Location:Deep South Georgia
  • Interests:Rimfire silhouette, rifle and pistol. 1 state champonship (GA) smallbore hunter pistol. 2nd place AA small bore hunter pistol Nationals in Texas. If it goes BANG, I love it. Former Artillery Officer. Dealership Sales Manager, and Master Jeweler.

Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:48 AM

Wow, my first time on this site, no one got nasty during a disagreement or exchange of ideas.
Cool!

SMS. I'm guessing Senior Master Sergeant? You will NEVER read on this forum a tit for tat exchange of ideas . Everyone here has the goal of getting together, being friends (in the olden days you could call us pen pals) and sharing our combined knowledge and being respectful..Like you, I have seen on two other shooting blogs it sounded like the exchanges were coming to a "High Noon" shootout and as a result I mainly read the posts and only personally post occaisonally.when I think it can be mutually beneficial and not start some darn war. Hmm, reckon our politicians could learn from us? Dave Deo Vindice

PS: A big welcome to our forum, hope you enjoy..We are looking forward to learning from you so share your ideas freely... :tumbs:
The national budget must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work ,instead of living on public assistance.

Things never change.
And Rome Fell

CICERO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~55 BC!!


ONCE THE PUBLIC REALIZES THEY CAN VOTE THEMSELVES MONEY FROM THE PUBLIC TREASURY THE REPUBLIC IS LOST..Ben Franklin and others.





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