Barrel length?

Barrel length?

This is a discussion on Barrel length? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Barrel length? In looking at a new rifle, you need to be able to match the weapon to the type of shooting you will be ...

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Thread: Barrel length?

  1. #1
    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Barrel length?

    Barrel length?

    In looking at a new rifle, you need to be able to match the weapon to the type of shooting you will be doing and expected range at which you will be shooting it.

    Well, how do you determine what barrel length is best? I have been looking at .308 rifles and have see them with barrel lengths ranging from 16 1/2 to 24. unfortunately, when I look at the ballistic calculators that I find on-line I am unable to find any that take into account the effect of a shorter, or longer, barrel.

    Is there any place that I can look that will give me this information? How do I know whether I want a 16 1/2 or a 20 or even a 24 barrel?

    Thanks.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I don't know of that type of source, but I can tell you the 308 is a very efficient cartridge and not nearly effected as much by barrel length as others. The type of bullet used such as one with a high coeffiency goes a long way towards determining down range trajectory and retained energy. With the 308, I would be looking more at factors such as bullet weight, design (spitzer vs boattail) and powder. Some powders are more suited for short barrel burn. The 308, is not going to be effected by barrel length as these other factors.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Also, most ammo makers post there muzzle velocities using the longest test barrel for marketing purposes.

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    Are you looking for hunting rifle or one for HD? Bolt-action hunting? AR semi? For HD, the shorter barrel would permit quicker handling. My preference for hunting is a bolt action any day over an AR style.
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    Member Array Bulldog39's Avatar
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    I have two Remington 700VS rifles both chambered in .308 Winchester, one has a 24" barrel and the other has a 18" barrel. Both rifles are zeroed at 200 yards and until I get out to around 700 yards they shoot about the same, after about 700 yards the 18" barrel model seems to hit lower than the 24" barrel rifle.

    Hope that helps.
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  6. #6
    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick feedback!

    This will be for hunting 0 – 300 yards, and ONLY with factory loads. I just do not see myself shooting beyond 300.

    If the .308 is not going to be majorly impacted by barrel length until well after 500 yards then I have nothing to worry about and can just look to see what “feels” best to me.

    I have looked on-line at Ruger, Remington, Winchester, Tika, Savage and a couple of others. It looks like I can get what I am looking for for less than $1k, I just need to be able to figure out which one will be best for me.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    The .308 Winchester is good round IMO. One of my favorites since the ballistics were pretty much instilled in me by via the USMC.
    I hear factory loads do well in most around the 150gr range. Really doesn't matter length of barrel so long as the twist is right. You should be able to get good shots out to 300yds max out of any of the current offerings. Personally, I'd look into the Savage or Remington since both have a long history of proven results. The best you're ever going to do in any of the factory offerings for the rifle....is to reload your own IMO.

  8. #8
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    Go with the short barrel. Its easier to tote and will kill anything just as efficiently as a 24 incher.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Go with the short barrel. Its easier to tote and will kill anything just as efficiently as a 24 incher.
    I would go with the shorter barrel also. Here is a long-winded article with some brain cell-burning math that does have a chart at the end comparing the differences in barrel length verses velocity. http://www.loadammo.com/Topics/October05.htm
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    What HotGuns said. The average shooter will not know the difference in velocities or shooting characteristics at the ranges you will be shooting. Go with the shorter barrel it will do everything you want it to do.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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