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Thread: Roto Barrels

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
    Location
    Terra
    Posts
    19,171

    Roto Barrels

    I don't know if they are sold by anyone else, but Sarco, Inc., uses the brand name "Roto" for the more or less house brand barrels they sell. I have used several of them and I've been more than satisfied, but none of mine have reached a high round count.

    Last night I was directed to a web site where some self-declared expert decreed that Roto barrels are made of "butter" steel. I thought this was interesting, since I had just read an article in a gunsmithing trade magazine that spoke highly of them, and recommended them.

    Has anyone else had experience using Roto barrels? If so, what are your opinions?
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th June 2006
    Location
    Carlisle PA, USA
    Posts
    12,044

    Steel

    Hi

    If the price is right, they fit good, and they shoot straight, what's not to like?

    People get very hung up on hardness as an indication of steel quality. There are many things that determine how a chunk of steel will perform, and hardness is only one of them.

    Hardness is a good indication of weather you should clean it with a stainless steel brush. That's not part of my normal routine though.

    Maybe they will only last for 20,000 rounds of FMJ instead of 25,000. Both numbers probably have a tolerance of +/- 8,000 rounds on them ...

    With lead bullets something other than the barrel will wear out first ....

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    3rd March 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    155
    I was always told that harder can mean more brittle. I am about to try a Roto in my current project, will let you know if LSW's wear it out, if I live that long
    "I don't carry a gun to be comfortable. I carry it to be comforted." Clint Smith

  4. #4
    I used one of Sarco's 1911 builder's kits for my current 1911 build. I think the barrel included is a Roto barrel, and I'm unimpressed. The bottom lug is 0.02" too far to the rear and the chamber won't accept a go gauge by the same amount. It looks like the entire chamber/lower lug area is off by 0.02".

    Aside from dimensional issues, the barrels are cosmetically unappealing. Mine had serious casting seams on the lower lugs and bottom and side of the chamber area. There's also some sort of reddish discoloration circling the barrel right in front of the first lug.

    I think the rifled part of the barrel is manufactured separately from the forged chamber area and then the two parts are welded together. That would explain what appear to be milling marks on the barrel proper and casting seams on the chamber area.

    I'm replacing this barrel with an Auto-Ordnance part. Auto-Ordnance barrels are milled one-piece units made on Kahr machinery, so I hope to receive a superior product.
    Last edited by Candiru; 23rd August 2006 at 23:32.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    25th June 2006
    Location
    Carlisle PA, USA
    Posts
    12,044

    Two Piece

    Hi

    Two piece barrel construction is pretty common on reasonably priced barrels. I would be surprised if the Roto barrels were *not* two piece.

    Bob

  6. #6

    Thumbs down

    Gee, welded pressure parts huh? Now you have to worry about weld preheat and post weld heat treatment cycles! I'd stay away from welded barrel joining if possible. I've already experienced heat treat problems on small parts such as rear sights, firing pin stops.

    (retired Welding Engineer)
    NRA Life Member

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