Aftermarket M&P Barrels
With the ruling that aftermarket barrels will be allowed at the 2010 Bianchi Cup, Kenny Dickerson over at Speed Shooter Specialties hooked me up with both a KKM and a Storm Lake barrel as well as a machine rest for testing, and asked for the results. I haven’t had a chance to get out and bolt it down and start serious testing, and am not sure if I’ll have time to do so before heading out to Bianchi Cup, but here are my impressions of the barrels so far.
KKM. Nicely polished bearing surfaces with the hood of the barrel being bead blasted with clear, deep engraving. Dropped in to both an M&P9 Pro and 9L, fits tighter than the factory barrel, but not amazingly so. Shoots best with my 124 gr IPSC load, around 2.25″ at 35 yards when I braced on a barricade to shoot a group, also shot about a 2.5-3″ group at 50 yards from prone. Overall, a pretty nice barrel and will most likely be the one that I shoot at the match. One side note, the chamber is pretty tight and on the short side. My IPSC load is loaded to about 1.130″ OAL and it has a tendency to stick against the lands when I go to unload the gun. It also will require a chamber brush to be able to clean it on a regular basis, after about 500-750 rounds, there is build up along the front edge of the chamber and it’s not wanting to close 100% of the time.
Storm Lake. I have to confess that I haven’t shot this sample yet, but I shot one previously put in a Pro and ported it, so I’ll let you know which one I’m talking about. Both barrels were nice polished when they came out of the package, though the engraving on the barrel isn’t anywhere near as clear and deep as it is on the KKM barrel. The first barrel I got dropped in to my Pro and shot about 2.5″ at 25 yards, which isn’t too bad. The new barrel will require fitting, which I plan on finishing up today to do some final testing before settling in on which one to use for The Cup. I’m looking forward to doing some testing with the machine rest and several different kinds of ammo with every barrel I can get my hands on, and when I do, I’ll make sure to record all of the results and post them here.