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Precision shooting barrel length question.... Login/Join 
Frequent Denizen
of the Twilight Zone
Picture of SIGWolf
posted
I've read that 20" is okay for .308win and not much is gained unless you are trying for significant distances. I assume it differs for different calibers.

How about 6.5 Creedmore. Is 22" sufficient, 24". I assume 26" would be a bit of overkill. I would be shooting only at about 100 yards initially, but I don't want to limit myself unnecessarily.

So, with a choice of 22" and 24" is there any real substantial difference with 6.5 Creedmore? Based on some reading it seems 22" is fine under 600 yards.

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Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of maladat
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It all depends on how you define "fine."

If you're trying to win a high-precision long range match, like F-Class, you want as long a barrel as you can get. A lot of F-Class rifles have 30" barrels. Every extra fps you can squeeze out of the gun is a tiny fraction of an inch less your shot will move at 1000 yards when the wind changes.

If you just want to shoot with reasonable accuracy, all you really care about is whether the bullet is still supersonic.

My 6.5 CM has a 20" barrel. Based on chrono data, the ammo I shoot should stay supersonic to 1300-1400 yards.

A longer barrel is not more accurate, it just makes the bullet a bit faster, which means less wind drift and less elevation error from range errors and a longer maximum supersonic range. Figure between 50 and 100 fps per inch of extra barrel, probably towards the low end of that range here.

Going from 24" to 22" or 20" is not going to suddenly make the gun useless past 600 yards.

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Posts: 4400 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If your shooting at 300' it will not matter a hoot. That said just work with your favorite calculator and make sure your velocity is OK at the max range you want to shoot and the cartridge you are using. There are always a number of people who cut them up to find the differences like this one.
https://rifleshooter.com/2016/...ting-up-a-creedmoor/
I've tested a bunch of .308 personally as that's my choice in semiauto and I wanted some comfort about the shorter SCAR barrels. The velocity differences are generally minor and uneventful if the ranges are modest.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 7228 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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I'm sure the precision experts will be along, but 'it depends' is going to be part of the answer.

How far are you planning on shooting, what round are you shooting, what conditions are you going to shoot in (ie windy areas, etc)...?
 
Posts: 40043 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I shoot out to 800 yards with a 20" 223 Wylde.


If 600 is your max, with a 6.5 Creedmoor 22" will be plenty.
 
Posts: 13208 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
I would be shooting only at about 300' initially, but I don't want to limit myself unnecessarily.

Do you mean 300 feet? As in 100 yards?
And you mention of 600 yards? Is that for certain? Will it be a consistent distance?

A 22" to 26" barrel isn't necessary for 600 yards with a 6.5 Creedmoor. The longer barrels will increase muzzle velocity, which makes the bullets fly flatter and with less wind drift. If you're familiar with ballistics calculators, and you have reasonable data inputs, you can find the differences yourself. Understand that any bullet's performance falls with its velocity. It's best to have velocity of at least Mach 1.25 at the target.

I don't know what rifle you're looking at, but having the ability to choose 20, 22, 24, or 26 inches from a given factory gun is highly unusual. Damn near impossibly, really. A 20" barrel will get you plenty of velocity for 600 yard targets. But I recommend a 22" or 24" for longer distance performance. 26" won't be necessary, unless you want to stretch to 1,000 yards or more.

For 100-600 yards, a 308 will work. Not that I recommend it for what I suspect is your first precision rifle. Consider options of 6 Creedmoor. Or 223 Remy. If you reload, a 6 Dasher or one of the similar 6mm chambers. These smaller bores have less recoil, and they will allow you to shoot with greater precision in a shorter time. FWIW at my elevation with my 26" 6.5 CM, factory 140 Hornady is still cruising at Mach 1.94 at 600 yards. My best 223 AR-15 is doing Mach 1.65 at 600 yards.
 
Posts: 5569 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The 308 shoots at distance effectively with shorter barrels because it's best with a medium burn rate powder. At the other and of the spectrum, not target guns, but long range hunting rifles, you have extremely over-bore cartridges such as Nosler's huge capacity small bore rangers, and other stupid shit like that, which don't burn all their powder with 26 or 28 inch barrels. The fellows in this thread talking about the newer 6 and 6.5s are spot on. If I were to get into this kind of shooting, I'd take their advice. But for a medium-long range general purpose rifle (home range, shtf etc), I'd get a 308 with a 20 inch barrel in an AR pattern, or a 22 inch bolt rifle. The internal ballistics of the 308 are so damn efficient, you don't give up much past 20 inches. Besides, unless you're a skilled long range shooter, you may not know if your long barrel did any good or not.




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Posts: 6377 | Location: Nowhere the constitution is not honored | Registered: February 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of maladat
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
It's best to have velocity of at least Mach 1.25 at the target.


My 6.5 CM with a 20" barrel shooting factory Hornady 140 AMAX match ammo hits Mach 1.25 at 980 yards on a cold day at sea level (according to JBM, using chrono data from an Oehler 35P - 2690 fps).
 
Posts: 4400 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm new to precision shooting. Don't want to break the bank and will not likely be building a rifle or highly modifying one.

The two rifles I am considering are a Tikka T3x CTR with 24" barrel and a Bergara HMR with 22" barrel both in 6.5 Creedmore. I'm leaning to the Bergara, hence the question. The other rifles I've been looking all, all commercial, are running 24" barrels. The HMR is meant to be a hunting and match rifle, but runs a 22" barrel.

That makes it more "handy", but I'm wondering if much is sacrificed with the shorter barrel.

My regular range only has a max distance of 300', 100 yards. I know, pretty pitiful, but that's it. That is where I will be learning as a newby. However, I don't want to condition a rifle decision on that range. Although I'm not likely to be shooting out at 1000 yards or even 600 yards.

The purpose is novice precision shooting, getting into it at this point.

Read this:

https://rifleshooter.com/2016/...ting-up-a-creedmoor/
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
fugitive from reality
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20" barrels are used regularly out to 600 yards, and some shooters push them to 1k yards. The 20" or 22" barrels you are looking at will serve you well with no real downside. If you decide to really throw yourself into competitive rifle shooting you can always rebarrel when the time comes.


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Posts: 5939 | Location: Newyorkistan | Registered: March 28, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
The purpose is novice precision shooting, getting into it at this point.

Read this:

Have read it a few times previously. Do you have questions about the barrel chopping results?
 
Posts: 5569 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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At 300-600yds no difference between a 22" and 24" barrel.

Guessing you're asking the barrel length question to help you decide between the two rifles?

I know it's just one Bergara sample, but... One of the regulars at my local range bought one, shot very poorly. He had the barrel bore-scoped, barrel had problems. Not sure how he resolved that?

Seen several various caliber Tikka's over years at the range, matches.... That's what I would buy between the two.

Do you hand load?
 
Posts: 2501 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:
The purpose is novice precision shooting, getting into it at this point.

Read this:

Have read it a few times previously. Do you have questions about the barrel chopping results?


No, just about length.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
At 300-600yds no difference between a 22" and 24" barrel.

Guessing you're asking the barrel length question to help you decide between the two rifles?

I know it's just one Bergara sample, but... One of the regulars at my local range bought one, shot very poorly. He had the barrel bore-scoped, barrel had problems. Not sure how he resolved that?

Seen several various caliber Tikka's over years at the range, matches.... That's what I would buy between the two.

Do you hand load?


I do not hand load at present.
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
At 300-600yds no difference between a 22" and 24" barrel.

Guessing you're asking the barrel length question to help you decide between the two rifles?

I know it's just one Bergara sample, but... One of the regulars at my local range bought one, shot very poorly. He had the barrel bore-scoped, barrel had problems. Not sure how he resolved that?

Seen several various caliber Tikka's over years at the range, matches.... That's what I would buy between the two.

Do you hand load?


Of course you never really want to have to send something back, but Bergara supposedly guarantees sub MOA at 100 yards.

Was he not even getting that?
 
Posts: 17085 | Location: Northern Vermont | Registered: September 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One thing that is missing in the Rifleshooter article that I believe is important is how the rifle shoots, recoil impulse.

I've been in the camp of longer better for two reasons. Free velocity and recoil impulse. Shooting bi-pod/rear bag, shorter barrels tend to hop, longer barrels less hop/straighter back recoil. Less hop, easier to spot my own impacts. I've had 22, 24, 26, 28" chambered in similar enough 6mm calibers to come to that conclusion.
 
Posts: 2501 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by SIGWolf:

Was he not even getting that?


No
 
Posts: 2501 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Are you wedded to the 6.5?
A good .223 would cost less and kick less with no loss in accuracy at short ranges.
 
Posts: 2705 | Location: Florence, Alabama, USA | Registered: July 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by SIGWolf:
The two rifles I am considering are a Tikka T3x CTR with 24" barrel and a Bergara HMR with 22" barrel both in 6.5 Creedmore. I'm leaning to the Bergara, hence the question. The other rifles I've been looking all, all commercial, are running 24" barrels. The HMR is meant to be a hunting and match rifle, but runs a 22" barrel.

That makes it more "handy", but I'm wondering if much is sacrificed with the shorter barrel.

I've fondled one Bergara in a shop. Seemed like a nice rifle, and I would have liked to shoot it. But I have no idea how it shoots.

I've fondled a couple of Tikka in shops, and shot one briefly at 2 or 3 targets at a local match. The 6.5 Creed Tikka shot well -- almost up to the accuracy of my GA Precision rifle. There are a number of people on this site and on other sites who have stated Tikkas shoot well.

I chuckle at the so-called "handiness" of a 2 inch difference in barrel length. In match competition I use a 26" barrel that wears a 9" suppressor. Sure, when I carry it muzzle down, the suppressor will drag on brush or tall rocks. But we can travel a few miles over rough terrain in a day's match. Then there's the whole "handiness" of getting in and out of tight spaces. I move my rifle in and out of PRS barriers, fire from shoot houses, fire from the inside of culverts, through tree branches, and move into more firing positions in a weekend match than most hunters will do in a decade or three of hunting. Maybe my progressive-lens glasses allow me to do things with a 35" long tube that others can't do with a 24" barrel.....

As offgrid states, longer barrels are more enjoyable to shoot. As in the actual process of shooting. The gun recoils better and you get better bullet performance.

If you are seriously hunting, then consider a light-weight profile, shorter barrel. IMO this means you're hunting sheep or goats in lung-busting altitudes, humping pack and rifle up and down mountains over many days. If you're only dragging the rifle from the back of an SUV to the firing line, lean towards a longer barrel.
 
Posts: 5569 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of maladat
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Wow, this is much less velocity variation than I was expecting. I guess I was remembering the 50-100 fps per inch number from shorter barrels on ARs.
 
Posts: 4400 | Location: TX | Registered: January 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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