Hello, working on a 7-08 remington 700 project. I'm wondering about the optimal barrel length for the 7-08.
I'm somewhat new to customs, but from looking at other full length and beyond stuff (mag and custom long 30's) people favor the longer barrels.
But,,,,with the short case of a 7-08 or other 308's, there seems to me that there has to be a max length where there is no longer a velocity gain, powder is burned up, and at some point there should be a length that would actually decrease velocity because of barrel drag??
I'm looking for some 7-08 experience, I'm looking for that balance between max velocity and portability,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thoughts??? Would love to hear thoughts about powders and bullets if you have them as well
(for some background, I'm talking about targets and deer sized game out to 500-600 yards, not long range for most but I'm also looking to get this out of a 8-10lb total weight rig
I think it depends upon the bullet you are using in a particular caliber. I am not going to say you will not gain any velocty with a longer barrel, but for the cases you indicated, David Tubb determined that 25" was the most efficient barrel length to use.
I believe that you would likely see some velocity increase all the way up to 40" , but ergonomics would be poor.
If you hunt from box stands or some kind of enclosure, I would stay with 22-23" barrels at a max. If you are hunting from the ground shooting prone, I would go with a 25-26" barrel for the stability and a little more umph out the barrel and less umph coming back.
Personally, I use 22" barrels on my tree-climber rifle, box stand rifle and walkabout rifle; however, one of my stands is nothing more than a shooting table for LR work. There I am shooting a 26" barrel. That is only because that is all I have right now. The plans are to fix that this spring if the money holds out with a 6.5 of some kind over a 708. That may change, but . . . .
Max velocity and portability don't really belong together as a concept.
Personally I don't see any reason to use a barrel longer than 22" for the 7mm-08 or .308 for general hunting use. Even a 20" would be fine. If you are looking to shoot longer range with heavy, high BC bullets than a longer tube would be a better choice.
Depending on the bullet and powder combination you will almost always see an increase in velocity as barrel length increases, at least within reasonable limitations. Is the increased barrel length worth the minimal increase in velocity - well I guess that would be an arguable point and a matter of preference.
I'd stick with a 22" bbl max, and use 140gr class bullets. Plenty of regular and premium bullets are available. The 7mm-08 works well with a wide variety of powders. I like a max load of H4350 for a good balance of accuracy and velocity in my 7mm-08. Varget, 4064, H414 & 4895 come to mind as some of the other powders that work well.
Last edited by Varmint Hunter; 11-21-2007 at 01:31 PM.
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
If it were me, I would go with a 26" barrel. I know you dont get that much more velocity than a 24" barrel at least as physics go, but with the shorter barrels muzzle blast is a bit different which smacks the bullet around a bit and decreases accuracy at max loads. With a little longer barrel the blast is a bit different. You can use a max charge with max accuracy potential. You can solve this problem and use a shorter barrel with a muzzle brake, but if you dont like brakes like I dont like them, then a couple extra inches doesnt hurt anything as long as you dint mind carrying the extra inches. Dont get me wrong, shorter barrels are typically a wee bit more accurate, just more accurate at a couple hundred FPS less than a slightly longer one. Then again, accuracy is a subjective term and a small margin of accuracy loss for max velocity in a shorter barrel may suit some just fine. If you want max accuacy potential and dont care about the velocity, go with a shorter barrel. If you want very good accuracy and better velocity, go with a longer barrel. Optomum should be between 24-26" (This is my humble opinion)
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.