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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Criterion Barrels...

    Was looking at some threads on another forum with a mention about Criterion Lee Enfield barrels. No real detail was given, but there was an implication that the barrels weren't very good in terms of accuracy. I found this interesting as I've always heard good things about Criterion, tho admittedly I've never shot a rifle that has one. Can someone break down what the criticism is and why their Lee Enfield barrels have poor accuracy? Or is this all internet bullshit?

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    Contributing Member Doco overboard's Avatar
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    I fit a few CBI rifle barrels for home spun projects. Some M1903's and M1917's and I have a garand barrel around here waiting in the wings. Im working on a Kragicon right now and enjoying the hell out it. Last one I did was a P14 and the only problem I ran into was that the FS spline was off TDC a touch. As far as accuracy goes for that one its great but Im just an average shot. From prone at 100yds if I'm shooting good and the light is right so I can see well I can put five shots into the diameter of a beer can.

    I think they're great products for average enthusiast like myself. On the P14 the extractor cut was wide enough to accommodate getting the front sight blade vertical so that wasn't an issue and the chamber was gracious enough that it didn't need reaming so I'm not complaining. One M17 with CBI barrel shoots just as well with 150 bt fmjs and I expect all of them to improve with more shooting. Each rifle is carefully fitted to the stock and they work good without a lot of fuss.
    Maybe the fellas that do not like them have something else going on like some twisted up wood or something. There's usually a lot to do to get the stuff I own into shape so I like them.
    Last LE I did was a number 4 and I was able to source a good barrel for it. I learned on here how to get the wood right and shrink groups and have to go through some HXP to get some brass.
    Before I blame a rifle or product I know there's a lot to do on my part is all I'm saying.

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    Contributing Member fjruple's Avatar
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    I cannot speak for their Lee Enfield barrels, but I have re-barreled 3 P-14 rifles and 3 M1917 with CBI rifle barrels. The M1917 barrels clocked right in with the indexing marks and shot accurately. The P14 barrels were a different story since I was dealing with 2 Winchester P14s and a Remington P14. None of the barrels clocked into the indexing marks right which is more indicative of the P14 rifle then the CBI barrels. I had to use a series of spirit levels on the action body and barrel front sight base to get them clocked in right and level. The indexing marks are useless. Once set in right, chamber and headspaced. All three P14 shot rather well.

    --fjruple

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    Member CriterionBarrels's Avatar
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    Every customer I've spoken with has been happy with the accuracy of our Lee Enfield No.4 barrels, this one included:

    Prototype Criterion Lee Enfield Barrel Shooter Victorious In New Zealand National Match

    If you hear of anyone who isn't happy with their Criterion barrel, feel free to have them give us a call. We offer a satisfaction guarantee and would be more than happy to help troubleshoot.

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    Iíve fitted p14 and m17 criterion barrels for customers and they have been very happy with the results.
    Especially in regard to no4 rifles, the barrels could be the best in world and fitted perfectly, but if the rifle isnít bedded properly, itís going to shoot like a dog. It is surprising, but many people just donít accept this fact.

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    Member LondonEnfield's Avatar
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    I had my gunsmith import a Criterion barrel from the US for my No.4. I can't comment about fitting it but my smith seemed more than happy mating it up to my tired old mid-war Maltby receiver. The rifle came back to me with the same bolt head, indicating little or no difference in headspace between an original (takeoff) barrel and the Criterion unit.

    The finish is Parkerisation and seems reasonably robust. Overall the barrel is beautifully presented and faithful to the original. It is almost (see below) a straight drop-in replacement requiring no fettling.

    I am part way through running in the barrel and it seems to be taking a little longer than my .308" Krieger barrel did. My cheap 'n' cheerful S&B cases fireform beautifully to a properly cut chamber (remember what sharp shoulders look like?!) but I am a little concerned about the case stretch. That's a gunsmith conversation, though.

    My sole criticism is the length of the foresight mounting lugs. On my rifle, my foreend sits proud about 1/16" beyond the top front handguard. This is enough to crush the foreend cap into the back of the lugs, which in turn makes the rifle shoot 18" high at a distance of 71' 7" (no prizes for guessing where I discovered this!) because that crush fit suspends the barrel, instead of letting it lie flat in the foreend. This was not a problem I had with the previous barrel which came off a No.4 Mk.2.

    I suspect I will have to rout out the foreend cap as I don't want to machine the lugs and then have a potential area of rust developing.
    Unknown year BSA commercial SMLE Mk.III, .303"
    1943 Maltby No.4 Mk.I, .303"
    1950 Shirley No.8 Mk.I, .22"

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Some pics of the problem LE so those of us contemplating a Critter barrel can see the issue and go from there.
    I made up the name as you say Criterion and everybody just sits there say Critter barrel and all the ears prick up at this unheard of barrel just me pulling the pi$$ from other types....

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    Contributing Member fjruple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    Some pics of the problem LE so those of us contemplating a Critter barrel can see the issue and go from there.
    I made up the name as you say Criterion and everybody just sits there say Critter barrel and all the ears prick up at this unheard of barrel just me pulling the pi$$ from other types....
    Cinders-- I just thought that the way you folks from down under speak.


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