Benefits of a Nitrided Barrel for Your AR-15

Did you know that more than 24.6 million AR-15 or AK rifles are in circulation in the US? This is no surprise because the AR-15 is easy to use and beloved by many. When it comes to barrels, nitrided barrels have become popular, and you can find them on semi-automatics as well as bolt-action rifles. In this blog we’ll take a look at what a nitride barrel is, and then go into an explanation of the benefits of using a nitride barrel for your AR-15.

What Is Nitriding?

With nitriding, the barrel is immersed in a sodium-nitrogen solution and then heated it to an extremely high temperature between 750-1050°F. The intense heat causes a chemical reaction where the nitrogen then diffuses into the surface of the barrel on the exterior as well as the interior. In this process, the surface layer becomes a very hard coating that is corrosion-resistant. 

Corrosion Resistance

On that note, corrosion resistance is definitely the biggest benefit of the nitriding process. We all want to protect our firearms from the elements, especially in unexpected or unknown conditions. Exposure to different weather conditions can lead to corrosion, which compromises the barrel’s integrity. Nitrided barrels, with their corrosion-resistant properties, act as a shield against rust and degradation. So if you’re battling a humid summer day, or if you’re up against a super dry winter day, a nitrided barrel is going to be effective, and it’s also going to be typically more resilient than chrome.

Easier Maintenance

The corrosion-resistant layer reduces the need for extensive cleaning and maintenance compared to traditional barrels. Given the surface layer from the nitriding process has a lower coefficient of friction than bare metal or chrome, it can mean easier maintenance, that is, less of a need for lubrication. This is because the nitride finish increases the lubricity of all the parts that have been coated. Some might argue that friction and wear on the barrel’s interior results in less fouling and improved accuracy, but that really hasn’t been proven. 

Extended Barrel Life

A longer-lasting barrel translates to cost savings and reduced maintenance for firearm owners. With the increased durability and resistance to wear, nitrided barrels extend the overall lifespan of your AR-15. This means fewer replacements, and of course that means more time spent enjoying your shooting experience without worrying about the wear and tear that can be common with traditional barrel finishes. 

When it comes to firearm upgrades, there are some pretty nice benefits of a nitrided barrel for your AR-15. From corrosion resistance, reduced maintenance, to extended barrel life, nitrided barrels offer top-tier performance. Typically, nitriding is easier and cheaper than a chrome lining, which makes a nitrided barrel even more attractive for purchase. You may have heard that the more expensive the AR rifle, the better it will perform. That’s not always true, so do your research. To learn more about what we do at Aegis Cerakote, please check out our services page.