5R Rifling vs. Traditional Rifling: Which is Better?

Posted by refactortactical.com on Feb 21st 2023

5R Rifling vs. Traditional Rifling: Which is Better?

Originally posted here.

Rifling is the process of incorporating spiral grooves into the interior of a firearm’s barrel in order to increase accuracy by imparting spin to the bullet as it exits the barrel.

The traditional way of rifling has been to use lands and grooves; however, over the years, a new style of rifling known as 5R rifling has arisen.

5R rifling is a type of rifling that uses five lands and grooves instead of the standard six or more.

5R Rifling vs. Traditional Rifling: Which is Better?

Boots Obermeyer, a well-known rifle barrel builder, initially introduced it in the late 1980s. 5R rifling has quickly become popular in the shooting world because it increases accuracy, reduces fouling, and makes the barrel last longer.

In this blog post, we will examine 5R rifling in-depth, including how it works and its advantages over standard rifling methods.

Is 5R Rifling Worth It?

5R reduces projectile deformation as it passes through the bore during the firing sequence.

By placing the lands opposite of the grooves, the bullets are no longer squeezed on opposite sides ensuring the projectile stays uniform instead of squeezing material into the grooves. A more uniform projectile means better accuracy.

Second, sloping the part where the groove starts makes it much easier to clean the barrels. In a conventionally rifled platform, these corners become places where lead and superheated materials remain after shooting.

Cleaning supplies have a hard time reaching these corners as they are incredibly small. By sloping it, cleaning supplies are easily able to get to the deposits.

Does 5R Rifling Increase Velocity?

The short answer is yes, fewer lands and grooves resulted in faster velocity with less pressure due to reduced resistance; at least, that’s our interpretation.

The ability of 5R rifling to improve accuracy with time is its distinguishing attribute. In traditional rifling, the gases from the powder have to push the bullet past a sharp edge.

As the bullet moves down the barrel, that sharp edge wears away little by little until it is no longer sharp at all.

Because of its rounded form, 5R rifling prevents this from occurring, allowing rounds to travel down range without degrading or losing accuracy.

5R Rifling Twist Rate

Rifling consists of lands (the plateaus that interface with bullets) and grooves (the cuts into a bore) which are manufactured to help stabilize a bullet by imparting a gyroscopic twist onto it in the barrel of a firearm.

As a bullet passes through a barrel the lands of a barrel directly cut/squeeze into the projective forcing it to follow the path of the rifling. This is why bullets have unique grooving on them if they are recovered intact.

Conventional rifling uses either 6 or 4 symmetrical lands and grooves on the bullet. Each of the lands (the raised portion of the rifling) is directly opposite one another. Likewise, the grooves are opposite of one another.

The vast majority of barrels Faxon and other companies use are conventionally rifled. In fact, the military and most machine guns use conventional rifling.

Why? Conventional rifling is an excellent choice that has been perfected over the years.

5R is an improvement over conventional rifling by changing the shape and configuration of the lands and grooves. Conventional rifling, while effective, can be improved upon in two ways.

  1. Conventional rifling has sharp 90-degree corners from the top of the land to the bottom of the groove.
  2. Conventional rifling has lands and grooves opposing one another.

5R rifling improves upon this by using 5 lands and grooves over the even numbers which put lands opposite of grooves. Further, the transition from the top of the land to the groove is sloped.

Who Makes 5R Rifle Barrels?

For low-cost barrels, we recommend Faxon. And don’t confuse low-cost with cheap; they’re just reasonably priced in our opinion.

They have an excellent reputation and utilize their aerospace knowledge to manufacture all their barrels in-house (harder and harder to find nowadays).

Their Gunner profile, which combines the greatest features of the Government and Pencil characteristics, is their claim to fame.

The Gunner profile is a hybrid of two of the most effective profiles of all time: Gov’t and Pencil. Faxon’s Gunner profile combines the dependability of the Government profile with the weight savings and maneuverability of the Pencil profile.

The Gunner profile shifts the rifle’s balance back towards the shooter’s torso, reducing fatigue and enabling all-day shooting, training, or hunting.

Faxon barrels are the most valuable. Faxon barrels are thoroughly stress relieved, air-gauge tested, and 11-degree target capped in-house in Cincinnati, Ohio, to ensure outstanding accuracy. Quality is instilled in our barrels from the start of the manufacturing process.

They begin with the highest quality materials, either certified 4150 Mil-Spec steel or 416-R stainless steel.

Following that, each barrel is subjected to a battery of tests at each operation before being finished in Nitride and final examined. Precision PTG gauges are used to examine the headspace of each barrel independently.

Faxon Gunner Barrels
This Gunner barrel is getting a quality check in Faxon’s QC lab, ensuring that every part is up to their standards.


5R rifling is a breakthrough technology that is transforming the shooting world as we know it.

It offers various advantages over standard rifling due to its unique design, such as greater accuracy, less fouling, and increased velocity.

Whether you are a seasoned or novice shooter, implementing 5R rifling into your handgun can lead to a better shooting experience and more success on the range or in the field.

The benefits of 5R rifling have been shown time and again, from military snipers to long-range precision shooters. So why not give it a shot and see what you think?

Take advantage of this game-changing technology and take your shooting skills to the next level.