Been lurking for a few weeks now and thought it was time to get on board.
I'm planning to build a 7WSM for long range hunting of feral goats in the mountains.
What barrel length would give optimal performance long range performance in this calibre - 26, 28, 30 inch?
Also, would a good muzzle brake help recoil and sight picture with the 7WSM?
Thanks in advance,
Matt, I personally would not go shorter than 26", but how much you want to carry and barrel contour will come into play as well. Weight should be a up front factor that will help decide what barrel choices will be best for you. I like a break on any of the larger cases, I just carry ear plugs that are attached to my ball cap when hunting and hope that it is not a rushed shot, normally not when hunting at long range. Good luck, Ron Tilley
I would go with a 28'' Lilja Hunter benchrest taper blank with 1 in 9 twist.
This barrel will finish @ 27.3" and has a fast taper that gives it good balance
On a short action it will be very manageable and it will scrach out another 50 to
75 ft/sec Plus it realy looks good.
I would not place a muzzel break on it because with less than 20 ft/lbs recoil
energy it's not nessary. and a break adds overall length to the rifle.
Mine has a 26" lilja and with the 160 accubonds i'm good for elk over 700yrds
with 1500 ft/lbs of energy.
I wished I had made my barrel 27.3 and used all of the blank, the ones I have
biult for friends have the 27.3 " barrels and they get the extra velocity and can't
tell any differance in packing it around.
I would choose a 26 or 28 unless you do not plan carrying it much. In a 30 inch barrel I would lean toward a heavier contour to keep some stiffness to help maintain accuracy.
At least as important as barrel length is the to have it throated for the longer bullets. Depending on your action and magazine dimensions performance gains can be had by seating the bullet further out of the case. This is especially true with the WSM cases. Often times you can base your oal on what your actual magazine/action allows and then have the throat cut to match the bullets you plan to use. This will in some cases makes as much difference as two inches of barrel.