I had long been playing with the idea of trying the
Though not the cheapest barrel price out there they were definitely on the lower end pricing in the market. Now normally I think that the cheap price means a cheap product and I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for. So, I started doing some research on the brand.
Located in Florida
As far as online reviews for the specific barrel I was looking at there was not much. Most of the reviews I saw were for the 5.56 range of barrels. Most if not all were happy with the barrel and its performance.
The Barrel: 20”
6.5 Creedmoor Fluted Premium series SKU BABL65CR02PL
I ordered the Ballistic Advantage 20” Premium fluted barrel, using the rifle length gas system and a heavy profile. I opted for the fluted series for the weight savings being about 6.5 ounces lighter than the solid profile. Full disclosure, I paid full price for the barrel and did not receive any incentives from
When I received the barrel my first impressions were “wow” this looks great. Both ends of the barrel were sealed with caps to protect from anything getting into the barrel. The barrel finish has a nice uniform bead blast across the entire surface with exception of the barrel nut area. The barrel specifications are laser etched into the barrel and are clear and easy to read.
Installing the new
Ballistic Advantage barrel
Installing the barrel was an easy operation. After the normal break down and removal of the old.308 Winchester barrel. Then followed by some routine clean up the upper receiver, the new barrel slid nicely into the receiver. The fit was nice and snug but required no effort to install. The barrel nut slid nicely over the barrel and everything torqued down nicely
Checking the Head Space on the
Ballistic Advantage Barrel
The first real test of the barrel was checking the headspace of my existing KAK bolt with the new barrel. I slid in the first go gauge and the bolt locked in nicely, no issues at all. Next, the no-go gauge and the bolt would not lock, Perfect. Sliding the bolt down into the barrel the locking lugs felt nice and smooth and I could easily seat the bolt using light pressure from my thumb.
Gas block and muzzle area
First Trip to the Range
With the rifle all back together it was off to the range to do the barrel break-in procedure and along with adjusting sights and gas block. Looking on the
- 10 single shots cleaning after each shot
- 3 strings of 5 shots cleaning after each string.
Before removing the .308 I ran had run it through one last range test. I did this for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to establish a baseline of the .308 Winchester performance to compare it to the
I fired the rifle at 100 M, set zero, and then ran it through its paces all the way out to 760 meters. I then did one last verify at 100 meters just to make sure that everything was good before the changeover.
First shots through the new
Ballistic Advantage barrel
The first shot the barrel went off without a hitch. The shot landed 1.5 Mil’s high and about 1 Mil left of center. Adjusted the scope down and right and fired the next shot. Other than going a little too far right the shot was right on the waterline. Moved the scope .2 Mil’s left and continued to proceed with the break-in procedure of cleaning after each shot.
Though trying to practice good fundamentals of shooting I was not particularly trying to concentrate on my sight picture for the first 15 rounds on the break-in procedure. However, it was hard to not notice that all my shots were easily landing inside the confines of my target sticker.
On my last 10 shots of the barrel, break-in procedure I moved to a new target and concentrated on what I was doing. Other than throwing one shot left, (all my fault), the 9 shot group was as advertised and sub-MOA.
First impressions of the new barrel
My first impression of the barrel was very good. I had no issues with feeding or ejection of spent cases. I could see the difference in the cleaning patches as the shots progressed through the break period. The first 6 rounds through the barrel the bore swap came out really dirty with a lot of copper. However, as more rounds went through the tube it seemed to settle down pretty quickly. I would put this down as a normal break-in of freshly machined parts.
splatter targets are a great way to improve your shooting day. They offer immediate feedback and you can easily see your hits all the way out to 300 yards.
Accuracy and repeatability were great. I had no problems making nice, neat holes right on top of each other at 100 Meters out. This was a big difference from the original .308 Stoner barrel I had just replaced. The recoil on the rifle is very different from the original .308 caliber. How much of that can be attributed to the barrel versus the
The next day I headed out to where we can get some distance. It was a nice cool morning being about 56° and at a density altitude of roughly 7700 ft. I fired one round to confirm zero at a 100-meter target with no problems, and a center hit.
350 Meters with the
Ballistic Advantage Creedmoor barrel
The first target on the range is at 350 Meters, (383 yards). Took the best guess for an elevation and fired 3 rounds at the target. Had a first-round hit and proceeded to place the next two rounds right beside the first round. The 3 round group measured 1 ¼” from center to center of impact. This is approximately .33 MOA.
550 Meter target
Next on the agenda was at 550 meters, (602 yards). It took two rounds to get on target, taking best guess for an elevation hold and the wind had started to pick up a little. Once on target, I was able to fire a decent three-shot group. The spread on these shots measured approximately 3″ from center to center or .5 MOA.
760 Meter target
My last target of the day was at 760 Meters, (831 yards). I had a few misses at this range at first. Having no data on elevation and wind holds for this cartridge meant taking the best guess then pushing a bullet down the barrel. At this range, the target location made it a little harder to get on target because the backdrop was a juniper tree stand. Because of the tree and vegetation on the ground, a missed shot was hard to tell where it landed due to little or no bullet splash.once I was able to get on target, I was able to put five good hits. The group of three rounds at the top left have a spread of 4″, .5 MOA, and were consecutive shots. The other two rounds that spread out a little I would put on me finding a wind hold and elevation hold.
Final evaluation and opinion of the
Ballistic Advantage 20” 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel
All in all, I have been very happy so far. The barrel certainly lived up to as advertised being sub-MOA, (at least when I did not screw it up). For the break-in and the accuracy-test, I used Hornady “American Gunner” factory ammunition. This is an all-round cartridge from Hornady designed for target and hunting applications. This is not their match grade ammunition, all though it worked just fine for me.
AR 10 barrels in the 6.5 Creedmoor caliber. Choose from 9 different lengths and barrel contours
The targets I was shooting at are 12″ x 18″ steel targets, and all my long-range shooting happens at above 7000 ft. looking at the data that Hornady provides for the ammunition the barrel was able to match their recommend elevation and wind holds. (probably should have looked at those first before heading out…😊)
For now, I would have to say that I am very happy with the barrel’s performance. Its price range is very affordable coming in at $355.00 for the barrel. The fit and finish are good, and I would highly recommend it for someone looking to pick up a quality barrel for a reasonable price.
Stay safe and shoot often