Chromelined or Melonited Barrel

I keep seeing all these rifles in today's age getting Melonited Barrels including some pistol barrels.  From what I can see Chrome lining really helps with Full Auto but Melonited/QPQ barrels can be better in Accuracy and still be long life as long as the barrel is a good barrel before it is QPQ. 

For hard use I have been on a LWRCi kick for the past 5 years.  My goto rifle in 2009-2011 was a Henderson Defense HDM4 with LW19 Chrome lined barrel from 2011 until 2015 was a 14.7 LWRCi M6A1 with Melonited Barrel then I got my First SBR and its a 10.5 M6A2.  My go to 16 inch rifle right now is a Troy American gunfighter that has been flawless.  It has a midlength gas and it works well for what I use it for. 

They have all worked well and no issues except they have to be cleaned from time to time. 

I am just trying to figure out are LWRCi barrels different type of QPQ and barrel steel than say a Ballistic Advantage QPQ barrel?  If so is there a rating of types of QPQ barrels like there are for Chrome lined barrels and Cold Hammer Forged barrels?


Original Post

I don't think there are any standards or guidelines.

Generally speaking (for cannon and machineguns) chrome-lined works better than nitriding for longevity.  It's not about the treatment but the expansion and contraction of the barrel alloy itself -- the near-plasma temperature at a barrel's throat and contact layer -- and as soon as the first micro-fissures and cracks begin the deterioration is irreversible.

The military usually goes best-value so it buys chrome-lined for hard-use weapons.  Full-auto weapons may get a (very, very hard) stellite liner. 

Nitriding a good barrel is usually value-added in that the tube maintains its edge for much, much longer than an untreated tube.  Think X-ring or long-range capable for twice to three times the length of a standard (match) barrel for the additional cost of surface treatment.

All bets are off once you start abusing the barrel with high-volume or full-auto fire. 

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