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Storm Lake Barrels

This is a discussion on Storm Lake Barrels within the MP Pistol Tech Help forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; I haven't visited this forum for over a year. But today things happened that have caused me to seek the forum's knowledge. I have a ...


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Old May 24th, 2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Storm Lake Barrels

I haven't visited this forum for over a year. But today things happened that have caused me to seek the forum's knowledge. I have a FS 357Sig the I've shot quite a bit with no trouble at all. It has an Apex FSS trigger and RAM. No problems at all with the function of these parts after 2 years of use. I recently bought a couple of Storm Lake barrels for it. One is the 357Sig match barrel and the other is the 9mm conversion barrel.

First the match barrel: I installed it with no problems. It dropped right in. At the firing line I was seated with my hands being supported on a Caldwell sandbag. From 7 yards the first 50 shots were amazing. Using American Eagle 125gr FMJ, I was easily hitting everything I aimed at. Man, was I happy!

Now the conversion barrel: I installed it with no problems. It dropped right in. At the firing line I was seated with my hands being supported on a Caldwell sandbag. From 7 yards the first 50 shots were amazing. I was shooting WWB 115gr FMJ. Same as above, it ran flawlessly. And very accurate as well.

This is great, I was thinking. A whole new world of accuracy was opening to me.

Then weird stuff started happening....

I switched back to the 357 barrel to demonstrate how well it shot to my buddy. The time I was shooting Lawman 125gr. One shot, way off. Okay, next shot, way off. I went from half dollar groups to 6 inch groups. What the hell. Next magazine adds giant groups and malfunctions. Two squibs due to light strikes. Great.

I switch back to 9mm. Using PMC Bronze 115gr, I fire a shot, okay. Fire another, get a stovepipe. I drop the mag, rack it clear, re-insert mag, one shot goes okay, next stovepipes. Drop mag, rack it clear, re-insert, one shot goes okay, next stovepipes as it's feeding in. Bloody hell! I have previously had trouble with the PMC bronze in a full sized Ruger SR9. I won't be buying any more of it.

I have a few hundred rounds of the Lawman 357. I'll be looking for someone to trade with locally.

The 9mm mags were brand new. Had never been used before. The 357 mags were not but, they functioned perfectly while shooting the American Eagle. I was alternating them to evaluate function. No probs until the Lawman.

I was running the gun fairly dry. I've done it this way with no problems for quite some time. I must have had a brain cramp because it didn't even occur to me they might have been too dry until I was on my way home.

I don't know what to make of this. I know plenty of guns are finicky about their ammo but this seems to be a different beast.

It couldn't have been just the dryness, could it?
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Old May 24th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #2
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We ran one of our M&P40 pistols upwards of 6000 rounds between cleaning, hasn't missed a beat in over 100,000 rounds, but we lubed it every few sessions.

There's probably nothing wrong with the ammo.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 07:33 PM   #3
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Was this a stock pistol?
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Old May 26th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #4
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After 5,000 rounds I "Burwelled" the trigger. No aftermarket parts until about 50,000 rounds, when APEX started making their kits. It has had several iterations of APEX parts, and while it's never failed, it was pretty much retired from the carry rotation at about 90,000 rounds. Since then Apex has come out with the FSS Trigger Kit, which we've been putting in many of our newer M&P pistols.

We've owned and resold at least a couple dozen Storm Lake barrels (along with a couple other brands), all shot at least as accurate as the factory barrels, and none of them exhibited the problems you're talking about.
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Old May 28th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #5
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Without a repeat of X amount of rounds vs. cleaning, I can say this. I've used Storm Lake and Lone Wolf barrels in M&P's and Glocks. The M&P's use Apex FSS triggers and the Glocks, various trigger configurations. When I find a commercial load or handload that a barrel likes, in either the Storm Lake or the Lone Wolf, I can't find either of them to be more accurate than the other. The only benefit over stock with these barrels, that I have seen, is that I can shoot anything through the Glock barrel, including inexpensive lead. I've found that with either, the right load was the key to max accuracy, and having said that, it goes for both the stock and aftermarket barrels. Now I just shoot factory barrels in M&P's. I've never noticed any appreciable degredation of function, FTF's, etc...with either of the above aftermarket barrels. Having said all of that, I also don't shoot over 500 - 1000 rounds between cleanings and thats on a long weekend of shooting mag after mag of ammo through rifles and pistols.

FT
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Old May 29th, 2015, 12:22 PM   #6
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I have run a few hundred rounds of 9mm through my M&P with storm lake barrel, no problems.
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Old May 29th, 2015, 02:10 PM   #7
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Tomorrow I will be headed back to the range. Original barrel in the range bag, pistol cleaned and lubed. I will even be taking the crappy ammo back out with me. I'll be trying to duplicate the conditions as best I can. Wish me luck.
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Old May 29th, 2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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The storm lake barrels definitely have tighter tolerances and may not appreciate a dry dirty gun.
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Old May 30th, 2015, 10:30 PM   #9
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Well, it was too dry. I lubed it using FireClean and it ran like a champ using the same ammo. I guess there is a fine line between a bit dry and too dry. Still strange the way it happened. But I'm very relieved that was all it was. Thanks to all for their input.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 05:43 PM   #10
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I have an M&P9 Compact, made in 2008 (18.75 twist rate) and 25 yard groups have always been minute of pie plate (off a sandbag), no matter what 115 grain range ammo was used. I took a chance on a Storm Lake barrel, as I was told I could return it, if not happy. It has about a 1 in 16 twist rate, but it's in the other direction that S&W uses. Overall, groups are about the same. Also, Winchester white box is slightly longer than other brands and won't allow ejection of loaded rounds. Barrel going back.

Last edited by agksimon; July 3rd, 2015 at 04:10 PM.
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