Originally Posted by HoytFlinger
I am getting ready to order my barrel. Should I go with 26" or would there be a benefit performance wise with a longer barrel?
338 Norma Mag, 300 grain Sierra Matchking, 92.7 grains VV N570, COAL 3.68"
Pmax = 56907 psi Approximately 90% max load, 100% case fill. This isn't to recommend a load, only to show the effect of barrel length.
bbl Muz V Muz P 10mph wind@1K
26" 2700 fps 12964 54.5"
28" 2750 fps 11877 52.9"
30" 2796 fps 10931 51.4"
32" 2837 fps 10108 50.2"
A longer barrel will give more range and less wind deflection. Long range performance can be limited by velocity dispersion (ammo), wind uncertainty (atmosphere & shooter) , or barrel movement (rifle & shooter). A longer barrel can help the first two but will typically hurt the third. They all combine to determine accuracy.
My 338NM MGSS "tactical" Rem 700 is equipped with a ACIS stock, 26" heavy Rock Creek barrel, Horus Falcon scope, and an AICS PH bipod. It shoots very well with a supersonic range over 1500 yards. It's usually limited by my ability to dope downrange wind at 800 yards or more.
It's downside is it weighs 19 lbs. That's nice for low recoil but it's too heavy to be practical to carry in the mountain terrain where I live. A longer barrel would improve it's range and energy and maybe it's accuracy but what good is a rifle if you can't bring it to the game? I consider it a fun and accurate plinker. I don't consider it a hunting rifle at all.