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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you think about Schuemann's new AET (Accuracy Enhancing Technology) barrels? I'd like to know if they really are better than the Kart and Bar-Sto barrels that bullseye shooters have been using for many years now.
 

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On 2001-05-14 16:54, Matt VDW wrote:
What do you think about Schuemann's new AET (Accuracy Enhancing Technology) barrels? I'd like to know if they really are better than the Kart and Bar-Sto barrels that bullseye shooters have been using for many years now.
AET barrel utilizes the concept of spinning up the bullet to maxium twist before it leaves the barrel to reduce internal stress. There are some other features of the AET barrels that is novel and new. Actually, Robert Rinkers book "Understanding Ballistics" discusses the concept of bullet spin up and variable twist rates in his book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the AET barrels do have some novel features that should make them extremely accurate. I wonder, though, about the results that pistolsmiths are actually getting with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, I'll answer my own question :grin: :

A gunsmith on the Bullseye-L e-mail list just posted a report of his experience with an AET barrel. According to him, the barrel was accurate but it leaded up very quickly when fired with a low velocity lead bullet load.
 

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As the owner of the AET barrel mentioned on the bullseye list, I think it's appropriate to tell the rest of the story. I've exchanged emails and had several phone conversations with Wil Schuemann. In all my dealings with him, he's always been courteous and concerned about my satisfaction as a customer (as well as concerned about any possible problems with his barrels). Wil talked to my gunsmith about the problem, and they came up with this plan: Schuemann is sending me a new barrel and returning the old one. I'll send both barrels to the gunsmith (Ed Masaki). Ed had some ideas he wanted to try, but was reluctant to experiment on my barrel. When he gets both barrels, he can experiment with my old barrel. If he comes up with anything beneficial, he will apply the mods to the new barrel. The only snag is that Ed's getting ready to go to Camp Perry, and he has a pretty good backlog of other work, so it'll be a while before the final chapter of this saga gets written.

For what it's worth: Wil seemed genuinely surprised to hear about the problem with leading. I got the impression that this was the first time anybody had reported any problems with the AET barrels. I can't speak about other people's experiences with the AET barrels, but I can say that Schuemann has done everything to make sure I am a satisfied customer.

- Steve Hull
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Steve, thanks for the info. I like the way the AET barrels look on paper but I've been waiting to get some first hand reports before dropping the big bucks on one.

Has your AET barrel been tested with jacketed bullets? That should make the leading issue moot.
 

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You're right about leading not being a problem with jacketed bullets. Both Ed and Wil told me they thought running a couple hundred jacketed bullets through the barrel would help. I guess there's always a little microscopic "roughness" to a new barrel, and shooting soft lead at low velocities isn't the best way to break a new barrel in. Ed and Wil also felt that hand lapping or fire lapping would probably cure the leading problem. I never got a chance to test this out- I sent the barrel back to Schuemann as soon as it came back to me. Wil wanted to see the barrel in the same condition it was in when Ed did his testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
An update: I just learned, via the bullseye-l e-mail list, that this year's individual champion in the .45 match at Camp Perry, Keith Sanderson, used an SVI pistol with an AET barrel.
 

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Matt,

I am in Worthington. I am shooting a match in Circleville on Saturday and a match in Toledo on Sunday. I have been trying to shoot a match just about every weekend.

You should come and check it out. It's a good time.

Send me an email and I'll give you all the info on local matches. ([email protected])
 

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Here is an interim report on my adventures with the AET barrel:

First, a brief introduction for the new readers: I ordered one of the Schuemann AET barrels for my Kimber Super Match last November. It arrived in early January, and I sent it (and my gun) to Ed Masaki to be installed. In late May, Ed called to say he'd installed the barrel, and that it had a severe problem with leading. Ed said he had several ideas that worked on conventional barrels, but the instructions that came with the AET barrel specifically advised gunsmiths not to monkey with the barrel's internals (i.e., no polishing/reaming the chamber, etc.) I called Schuemann, and they asked to examine the barrel. Wil Schuemann and Ed Masaki exchanged emails and phone calls, and a plan was developed. Schuemann would send a new barrel and return the old one to Ed. Ed would experiment on the old barrel to see if his modifications worked or if they had any negative side effects. In a private email I have not made public, Wil Schuemann admitted that they applied a titanium nitride coating to the barrels that were going to SVI, and that they sometimes had problems applying the coatings. Rather than throw away the barrels with problems, they would grind the coatings off and put them back in inventory. He thought I might have received one of those barrels. Naturally, I wasn't too pleased to find this out, but I thought the combination of getting a new barrel and being able to tweak the old one would result in everybody coming out ahead.

More than a month elapsed between the time I returned the problem AET barrel to Schuemann and when I received the replacement. I was surprised that they didn't return the original barrel, and emailed Schuemann. After a couple of days went by without hearing from him, I emailed him again. Waited a few more days and emailed him again. I emailed Ed Masaki and told him what was going on, and he got upset. He basically said since Schuemann sold me a defective barrel, that they should not only replace the barrel, but pay his fees to fit the new barrel. I forwarded this email on to Schuemann, and this time I got a reply. Suddenly, Schuemann had decided not to return the original barrel, unless I returned the replacement. Not only that, but they weren't about to pay to have a barrel fitted. When I relayed this to Ed, he told me he would install the new Schuemann if I was going to be stuck with it, but his preference was to go with another barrel. After thinking about it, I told him to go ahead and install a Kart and to test the gun with a Kart barrel. I still have the test targets he shot with the original Schuemann barrel. If the Kart outshoots the original Schuemann, then I keep the Kart. (Actually, I keep the Kart anyway - there are no refunds on barrels once they're fitted.) But if the Kart doesn't do as well as the old Schuemann, then he's to go ahead and install the new Schuemann. Hopefully the new AET barrel won't be one that went through the coating & grinding process, and hopefully it won't lead up.

FWIW, Keith Sanderson shot a 6" SVI gun that was put together for him at Camp Perry. He was still sighting it in during his first strings. This gun has a Schuemann AET barrel in it, but as noted, these barrels have the titanium nitride coatings that give them a gold color. Schuemann can change his mind, but at the moment, the only way you can get a titanium nitride coated AET barrel is if you buy an SVI gun.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but it's kind of a long, convoluted saga and I didn't want to leave out any of the facts.

- Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve,

Thanks for the update.

Although the TiN coating sounds like a good idea (being hard and slick), I could certainly live without it. But if getting an uncoated barrel means that I might get one with a rough bore from having the TiN ground off, I think I'll pass on the AET barrels for now.

That's too bad. I'm planning to have a hardball gun built and I was hoping that the AET barrels might break the 2" or so barrier that seems to be the limit for hardball accuracy.
 

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Scheumann barrels, although beautifully machined have notoriously rough bores.

It is almost as if the barrels were designed to be fire-lapped by a hot small bore IPSC load(.38 super), rather than a slow, large bore cartridge like .45.

We all know how well the Karts shoot(GREAT)..But I am very curious about the AETS..but at this point it seems the jury is still out...
 
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