In order to find out which method of rifle barrel manufacturing was best, I interviewed Jochen Anschutz (president of Anschutz) and Woody Woodall (president of Lothar-Walther). I found it interesting that although Mr. Woodall stated that all three of the major methods – cut rifling, button rifling, and hammer forging – can produce equally accurate barrels, and although Mr. Anschutz is surrounded (in Europe) by manufacturers that produce hammer forged barrels, both companies choose button rifling for their precision rifle barrels.
I intended to interview (on video) at least one senior member of a company that uses hammer forged barrels for precision weapons, but was unable to squeeze such an interview in during IWA. It is possible that another such interview might take place in the future. I should note that in conversations with a senior Beretta engineer which took place off camera during the Beretta factory tour, the primary reason for the switch to hammer forging was the precise alignment of the chamber to the rifling. He also stated that overall cost was a factor.
Keep an eye out for future posts discussing how companies like Steyr and Sig hammer forge their barrels.