Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics


Reply

.260-Long Barrel or Short?

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:41 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Chubbuck, Idaho
Posts: 403
.260-Long Barrel or Short?

I have a CZ 550 tactical in .308. I am planning on rebarreling it in a .260. I have heard that with the .308 and the .260 barrel length (from 20'' to 26'') doesn't make a difference because all the powder is burned before it reaches 20'' mark. My question is, Is this true? If I can get away with a 20'' barrel and save the weight from a 26'' I would love it, but I don't know if this would hold up. There are a lot of 20'' .308s out there, but do they lose velocity. I am more interested in what a .260 would do. If anyone has experience with this please let me know. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:08 AM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Patagonia Mountains, Arizona
Posts: 752
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

Quote:
Originally Posted by huckjare View Post
I have a CZ 550 tactical in .308. I am planning on rebarreling it in a .260. I have heard that with the .308 and the .260 barrel length (from 20'' to 26'') doesn't make a difference because all the powder is burned before it reaches 20'' mark. My question is, Is this true? If I can get away with a 20'' barrel and save the weight from a 26'' I would love it, but I don't know if this would hold up. There are a lot of 20'' .308s out there, but do they lose velocity. I am more interested in what a .260 would do. If anyone has experience with this please let me know. Thanks.
A bullet does not stop accelerating in the barrel the at the instant the propellant is 100% burned. It only stops accelerating when the force on the bullet from the hot propellant gas drops below the forces on the bullet from bore friction and air pressure in front of the bullet. The only place that happens is when shooting small capacity cartridges from long barrels,, usually subsonics. . Larger cases with smaller bores do need longer barrel lengths to efficiently reach their practical velocity capabilities, but sometimes it's desirable to give up some performance for a more compact firearm. That "wasted" energy can still be used with a muzzle brake to reduce felt recoil in a lightweight rifle.

Here's an comparison of 260 Rem barrel length using a Quickload simulation. Shooting the 123 Scenar (l low drag bullet) from a 26" or a 20" barrel using 42.8 grains of H4350 which is a 100% case fill and about a 90% SAAMI max load, a 26" barrel gives 2959 fps and a 20" barrel gives 2781 fps. Muzzle pressures are 8940 and 12072 psi respectively.

At sea level the range to where the 123 Scenar will reach 1300 fps with the 26" barrel is 1220 yards. Using a 20" barrel gives the same performance if shot from 100 yards less. (the 2959 fps bullet drops to 2781 fps in the first 100 yards.

I won't comment on the suitable hunting range of either barrel length. There are too many variables including the animal, the wind conditions, and the shooter's skill.

In the above example according to Quickload the powder is 97.44% burned in the 20" barrel, 98.99% burned in the 26" barrel.

Last edited by LouBoyd; 10-19-2011 at 10:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:12 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,157
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

My 260 has a 28" barrel. I shoot the 130grain JLK bullets at mag length with 45grains of H4350 (the go-to powder for the 260). I easily get to 3000fps without any pressure signs.

I have longrange hunted with this rifle and shot several tactical matches. The extra couple of inches of barrel has never been a hinderance.

My 260 by MCR
__________________
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:49 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Chubbuck, Idaho
Posts: 403
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

So at 1000 yards what would be the difference in where the 26'' barrel and and 20" barrel hit? For me, it would be more useful to know the drop at more like 500 yards. I might just end up with a barrel in the middle like a 24'' or 22'' barrel. I need to be able to pack it with me on short hikes but I want it to perform.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-19-2011, 07:14 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,157
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

Quote:
Originally Posted by huckjare View Post
So at 1000 yards what would be the difference in where the 26'' barrel and and 20" barrel hit? For me, it would be more useful to know the drop at more like 500 yards. I might just end up with a barrel in the middle like a 24'' or 22'' barrel. I need to be able to pack it with me on short hikes but I want it to perform.
Go to JBM Ballistics...

JBM - Calculations

Drop in your expected information. For instance, the G1 BC of the 130grain JLK is .593. Then drop in your expected velocity. For instance, with my 28" barrel I get 3005fps. In a 20" barrel I would expect 2845fps. Drop in that velocity and you can do a comparison of drop and wind drift.
__________________
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 07:46 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 3,171
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

IMO, an important factor w/regard to accuracy(with boat tails) is the muzzle pressure Lou mentioned.
This affects clean bullet release much like a poor crown, and greatly amplifies any crown issues.
If you look at very accurate load & barrel lengths with cartridges of various capacities, I'm confident you'll see muzzle pressures 6Kpsi & below.

But then shorter barrels(all else equal) are stiffer, so a rational balance is probably best.
If releasing flat base bullets from a pristine crown, you can benefit fully from 20" barrels.
Not so much with a 260 pushing VLDs as 12kpsi would bitch slap them bullets.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:18 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,514
Re: .260-Long Barrel or Short?

huckjare, I was facing a similar issue, like you. I plan to shoot my 260 suppressed for tactical matches and did not want a long barrel that would unbalance the rifle, at least for me. Instead of the 28 or 26 inch barrel I opted for the middle of the road, a 24". I feel it will give me the best of both worlds.

I just cut down my 308 barrel from 26" to 22" for my suppressor and lost about 60fps. The accuracy stayed the same and the rifle seems more balanced for me. I shoot this rifle out to 700 yards often. I am happy with the 22" on the 308, but want to keep the 24" barrel on the 260.

Just my 2 cents
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: .260-Long Barrel or Short?
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best short barrel long range calibre? Topshot Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 10 07-05-2011 09:04 PM
Hart Long Range Target Stocks Long & Short Actions In Stock Stocky Equipment Discussions 0 08-13-2010 01:08 PM
short barrel for long ranges leadchucker62 Long Range Hunting & Shooting 3 03-11-2010 11:28 AM
long or short barrel for new build pressman Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 6 03-31-2009 09:53 PM
Is a 24'' barrel too short for long range shooting? KQguy The Basics, Starting Out 19 02-07-2008 07:32 AM

Current Poll
Do You Shoot Rifle Competition?
YES - 33.66%
764 Votes
NO - 66.34%
1,506 Vote
Total Votes: 2,270
You may not vote on this poll.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC