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Madbull "Steel Bull" 6.03 Tightbore Barrel Review/Test.

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Hi there all. 


Been tinkering and testing out Madbulls latest offering this morning. Long story Short , its nicely made, fixes some problems people had with the Black Pythons and boosts accuracy. But i know how arnies loves the detail , so lets proceed.


The Packaging.


One of the largest complaints that i heard about the V2 Black Python barrels was that it came in a weak/flexible plastic tube that didnt adequetley protect the barrel. Seeing as it was made out of very soft aluminium , the barrel could be bent in the post etc fairly easily because of its poor vessel. No longer !





LWA sent the item without bubblewrap  , and because of the really solid foam packing and tight fit within the plastic , the item was in still perfect condition after being given the standard abuse by ParcelFarce. Given the steel nature of the barrel , i honestly thikn they should package the aluminium barrels in this foam , and the steel ones in the wee plastic covers. but is nice to have the quality!


Once again , Madbull makes some big claims on the rear of the packet ( "Performance Enhance Guarantee" is written on the front). It also smelt of delicous bubblegum when i removed it from the plastic sheath. Thats nice.




Construction and Comparison to Stock KA Barrel.


From this distance, you cant tell to much.




The Hop window seems to be slightly narrower but alot better made and finished - the surface of the barrel is far far smoother than the brass.






The Barrel is also very nicely crowned with a nice deep and very smooth cut. The Stock King Arms barrel had no crowning.




The Barrel is nice and weighty , and cold to the touch - i feel like i would have a very hard time trying  to bend or flex it - people complained at how soft and fragile the Version 2 aluminum Black Pythons were.


The largest criticism however of the Black Pythons was the coating however - although this got better after the updated process , it still let the barrel down and wasn't great - especially when companies like Lonex could get it right for a lower price. On the Steel Bull , the polish on the inside is very nice indeed , and when i tryed to clean it no dirt would appear - it was polished to a high standard and it came very clean out of the box. Impressive stuff.




Before i go on , ill let you know which parts i was fitting this barrel into so you can draw comparisons with your own setups. 


I had a Prowin CNC M4 Hop unit , an H nub and a Deepfire 3 Pronged Hop Rubber.




In case you dont recognise the Bucking , heres a picture.




 A problem with the Black Pythons was that their outer diameter was quite small , and so unless you used a madbull blue , you often needed some PFTE tape or some floss to make it work correctly. Once again , not so with the Steel Bull. It fitted my Bucking and the Prowin Chamber very snugly ( perhaps the bucking a little too snugly - see pic where the bucking is stretched tight over the window) and gave a good air seal. 






Firstly, using an Xortech X3200 Chronograph and Blaster .20's gave the gun a before and after chrono.


Stock Barrel.


1: 308.7

2: 312.1

3: 302.2

4: 302.6

5: 303.8


AVG : 305.8 FPS


Steel Bull,


1: 322.1

2: 316.7

3: 319.9

4: 319.6

5: 325.1


AVG : 320.68 FPS


So about a 15 FPS increase then , which was pleasing.


Target Shooting.


From a distance of 30 meters , i shot 2 volleys ( separated by 15 seconds ) in semi auto at an A4 sized target from the shoulder - i wanted to keep it vaguely skirmish realistic.


Stock Barrel - there didnt really appear to be any clear groupings after the two volleys , apart from one really long line that could have been random. A few fliers just missed the top of the paper as well.




Steel Bull - There were two quite clear groups after that were quite small considering i was firing without a rest. A few fliers hit the paper itself , only 1 0r 2 shots missed the target after i had sighted myself in.






All in all , i am impressed with the barrel. The construction is clearly leaps and bounds ahead of a brass barrel , and improves upon Madbulls Aluminium barrels greatly. Considering it was £41 here in the UK and the Black Pythons are £35 , i see no reason to buy one of those anymore. Looking at detailed shots and reports of the Prommy EG steel barrel , it is clear that this will not be on a par. However , i would guess that this is not far behind , and in terms of performance , will you notice the difference?





Solid Construction

Nice Fit with my aftermarket upgrades.

Improved Accuracy.

Packaging the best around for tightbores..




Price is only about £15 cheaper than the Prommy Barrel. Depending on a comparison, this could be a con.


Ummm its not Cold Hammer Forged :P ?


Thanks for reading, and i hope this ramble was of some use.



Edited by northernairsofter
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Nice review , will be inteterested in a followup and a check for any corrosion 6 months and a few wet games down the line.


Ive got a skirmish tomorrow and one a week today, so ill update the thread ! of course , long term is really where the steel should shine.. (pun?) !

Edited by northernairsofter
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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you had a chance to skirmish this buddy? Hows it going now, hows the accuracy?



Skirmished it twice now ! First outing I was impressed , as in the woods my groupings were certainly tighter. Sadly it's a fairly open site and it was blowy as hell , so can't tell you too-definitely. Then, I changed the rubber for a promy purple, and even though that had barely bedded in, the accuracy was certainly better than with the deep fire rubber , and leaps ahead of the deep fire rubber and stock barrel. It was sadly still fairly windy at the second skirmish, but I managed to hit someone who was lain down aiming at me from 45m away. I most easily noticed the change at home, where I could hit a 5 inch wide birch tree every time that didnt happen before.


Sorry for the long winded and petty answer, but until the northern gales diedown I can't have too definite results.

Edited by northernairsofter
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Thats good with me buddy! Which hop bucking are you using? I've got a prommy purple rubber, might end up running the same set up as you as you're having such good results!


So my setup now is -


Prometheus soft bucking (purple)

H nub

Prowin cnc m4 unit

Mad bull steel bull barrel


It's definitely worked great in my King Arms M4A1

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  • 3 months later...

This still holding up well for you? Looking for a tightbore for my Mk18. Will need to cut one down though haha.


Yep , performing excellantly ! as soon as i read your comment i went out to the garden and fire 30 shots at an a4 piece of paper from just under 30 metres away. Considering the breeze, the fact i was shooting from the shoulder , that i didnt clean the barrel before and that its been sat in its box for 6 weeks , the accuracy and consistency is certainly still very high as every shot hit the paper. I dont know how that compares to a more scientific test , but it certainly makes your aeg more skirmishable :P


For the 40 odd quid , its certainly worth it !

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I would really hope someone would make a direct comparison between all the Madbull barrels. Especially the Ultimate 6.01 vs the Steel Bull 6.03, which are very similar in price. Both shoot apparently better than the Pythons...


Well i would imagine that the 6.01 was more accurate at close range , but that the 6.03 would outrange it considerably due to a larger cushion of air for the bb to ride on. But that is mere speculation :P id like to see a comparison too!

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