Many people ask the question, what is a bull barrel? Most firearms are made up of several parts, and these components can usually be tailored to the specifications of the owner. Among these many parts, the barrel is perhaps among the most crucial components of a firearm. This part helps to determine the precision of a gun.
The barrel is thus usually the subject of many customizing processes. A regular barrel that has not been customized or modified, unfortunately, has some innate qualities that limit the performance. To sidestep these limitations, the bull barrel is often the answer.
Gun Barrel Basics
A firearm barrel is a tubular-shaped piece of metal that is where a bullet passes and exits when a gun is discharged. Typically, a barrel is subject to rather severe punishment. As guns are fired, a barrel must withstand very high temperatures and stresses from passing rounds.
A barrel will thus have a tendency to enlarge. Quality rifle barrels that have balance are manageable and controllable, with minimal vibration and recoil that affect accuracy. Other than a barrel’s excellence, other issues that could influence the movement of a barrel when fired are expansion due to heat, the handgrip, support stand, and so on.
Owing to a barrel that is unable to take vibrations, a shooter’s accuracy becomes unreliable. The use of a bull barrel is one way to remedy this and accuracy results in leaps and bounds.
The Bull Barrel – What Is It?
A bull barrel primarily serves to better and advance accuracy. The main distinction between a stock barrel and a bull barrel is the thickness of the metal. Due to this added thickness, a bull barrel weighs more.
In fact, for the most part, bull barrels and weighty barrels are one and the same, and these terms can be used interchangeably. Bull barrels also have no regular size or specification but are simply heftier than their stock counterparts.
Why Use a Bull Barrel
Better Temperature Control
Owing to the thickness of the chamber, a bull barrel can endure heat more than a stock model. As regular barrels overheat just after firing a few rounds, a bull barrel will in contrast take more rounds and not overheat that easily. Excessively hot barrels result in inaccuracy.
Heat causes metal expansion and this adversely affects the bullet trajectory as it exits the barrel. A gun muzzle will become wider, and this impacts the exiting slugs with lessened accuracy with each shot. A bull barrel on the other hand will not heat up so quickly, thus negating the effect of heat on a shooter’s precision.
Control Gun Vibration and Recoil
Controlling vibration is one more advantage of a bull barrel owing to its weight. A heavy bull barrel will cause a firearm to minimally vibrate and also lessen gun recoil. The added metal results in a more rigid barrel that can take the vibrations.
A firearm that suppresses vibration keeps the weapon stationary and prevents rounds from changing in size, creating accurate and consistent shots. Being rigid and heavy, it is more difficult for a bull barrel to sustain damage. Due to this, maintenance of a bull barrel is also easier than a regular barrel.
A firearm’s accuracy is dependent on how a bullet exits the barrel. Each round that comes out with consistency results in superior accuracy. This can happen if the barrel is not prone to expansion from heat and if the vibration is under control.
As bull barrels negate both expansion and vibration, shooters experience consistent accuracy. A good bull barrel customization often brings great results.
Supports Offhand Shooting
The bull barrel is great for those that prefer shooting using the offhand stance. Owing to its weight, the bull barrel can maintain the balance of the rifle toward the muzzle. Since you are not exerting much effort, one could expect that a bull barrel might keep you off-balance.
Quite the contrary, due to the heavier weight, it is easier to balance the direction of the shots. Barrels that are more rigid have less whip, causing less straying of a bullet. A barrel whip is very subtle but can drastically affect accuracy.
Minimize Firearm Recoil
A further advantage of a heavy barrel is that it dampens recoil. The sheer weight allows the gun to keep itself still. Added weight reduces recoil, and allows easier continuous firing. Bull barrels also encourage, because of this, more rapid shots.
Bull Barrel Types
Bull barrels are commonly seen in Airguns. The benefit to them is similar to that of regular firearms. Air guns, however, do not need to deal with excessive heat when in continuous use.
Bull Bucket Using Flutes
There exist bull bucket designs that utilize pipes to control weight, and yet maintain rigidity. A flute is a canal that goes into the barrel and eliminates some steel. The barrel however remains heftier and has more strength than a stock barrel.
Most barrels do not require flutes. There are also bull barrels created from plastic, primarily for its exterior performance. As expected, plastic is much lighter than metal, but a great bull bucket is ideally made of metal.
There are gun brands that encase thin steel drums using thick plastic and call them bull barrels. Unfortunately, these guns suffer from the benefits of a true bull barrel. While their accuracy may be superior to a thin steel chamber owing to the plastic that dampens vibration, these are not bonafide bull buckets.
The Bull Barrel – Is It For You?
To summarize, a bull barrel is nothing but a barrel that is made to thicker and heavier specifications and tolerances when comparing it to a stock one. Any gun can benefit from modification for a bull barrel. Should you desire a gun with reliable accuracy, dampened vibration, and less recoil, a bull barrel could be the answer.
Many shooters resort to a bull barrel for better performance in shooting in the field or firing range. However, if the added weight is an issue, then a stock barrel is your go-to design and no problem to use.