XPR Episode 2 - Inside the XPR: Fire in the Hole.

The heart of accuracy in any rifle is found in the barrel. The better the barrel, the better the gun will shoot. On the XPR from Winchester Repeating Arms, the barrel is a chromoly steel tube that that starts out life as a piece of solid bar stock.

It’s carefully deep-hole drilled and then precisely button-rifled to help produce outstanding accuracy with a wide variety of bullet weights and types. The button-rifling process also serves to burnish the interior surface of the barrel so each of the lands and grooves has a smoother finish. In turn, this burnishing serves to increase velocity while decreasing bullet jacket fouling, both of which are important factors in improving accuracy.

Fully free floating barrel on the Winchester XPR rifle
The fully free floating barrel on the Winchester XPR.

Every XPR barrel is also thermally stress relieved after to ensure straight and true accuracy, even during long strings of fire. (You should be aware that thermal stress relieving is a pretty exotic process usually reserved for custom-grade barrels, but it comes standard on the very affordable XPR.)

The XPR’s entire barrel is fully free-floating to help eliminate any accuracy robbing pressure points where it might come in contact with the stock. This is especially important when the rifle might be subjected to rapid swings or variations in temperature or humidity. By floating the barrel, the full length of the tube is allowed to freely vibrate at its own frequency during the passage of each bullet. 

Button rifled barrel on the Winchester XPR has a recessed target crown.
The button rifled barrel on the Winchester XPR has a recessed target crown.

Every XPR features a fully recessed target-style crown at the muzzle to protect the rifling from everyday nicks and dings. With a target crown, each bullet exits the barrel uniformly for the ultimate in downrange accuracy. (Again, this is a premium process that is often reserved only for high-end, custom-grade barrels.)

Winchester XPR Barrel
The barrel on the Winchester XPR is precisely attached and headspaced by way of a threaded barrel nut.

How the barrel is attached to the rifle’s receiver is also an important factor. The XPR uses a barrel nut that helps keep the entire barrel/receiver assembly precisely aligned. It also allows for far more accurate headspace control during the rifle’s manufacture. This means there is nothing that can shift out of position and degrade the XPR’s accuracy potential.

XPR Bolt action receiver close up
Every XPR features a durable Perma-Cote matte black finish applied to the barrel, plus on the receiver and bolt handle.

Protection from the everyday wear and the elements is also critical to help protect from accuracy robbing corrosion. Every XPR features a durable Perma-Cote matte black finish applied to the barrel, plus on the receiver and bolt handle. This rugged, no-nonsense coating helps protect your XPR from wear and corrosion and keeps it looking sharp for years to come.

As you can see, the XPR from Winchester Repeating Arms doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to barrels. That’s because Winchester Knows Bolts!

In our next installment, we’ll look into the XPR’s rugged steel receiver, bolt and handy operating controls, and discover how they combine to create the gun’s overall feel and help deliver its outstanding performance.

Read the entire 5-part series plus the introduction "Winchester Knows Bolt Actions."

XPR bolt-action rifle field hunting

Copyright Winchester Repeating Arms, 2017. Written by WRA staff writer Scott Engen. Photos copyright by Winchester Repeating Arms, or Olin company archives,  in the public domain or as indicated in the caption.