Originally Posted by dslauger
I decided to build a .223 starting with a Rem 700 sps tactical with a 20" barrel. When I went to pick up the gun they had sold the one I ordered but had another on on shelf. Only after I got home did I notice it had a 26" barrel instead of a 20".
I am debating on having the barrel cut down to 20" and re-crowned. This is my coyote gun that I hunt / hike with, so a lighter more agile gun would be nicer.
Any thoughts on the pros / cons.
welcome to my world! I shoot a Remington 700 in .223 with a 20" varmint barrel. Love the gun dearly (my favorite field
. My barrel is a 14 twist, and really wish it was a 10 twist barrel. It will shoot most all 55 grain bullets very well (like Hornaday V Max bullets). I started out with the 26" tuning fork, and it wouldn't groups at all (even slightly) To salvage the tomato stake, I ended up cutting 2.5" off the big end due to a seriously reamed bad chamber. I cut the muzzle end 3.5" to remove a bad spot just behind the muzzle. First groups I shot were with factory loaded Hornaday 55 grain bullets (Frontier). Shot 3/4" and slightly less five shot groups. Next time out I brought my Pact chronograph, and my range box. By the end of the day I was shooting .42" groups at 3270 fps. That was roughly 75 fps slower than the 26" barrel with very hot hand loads. I used a borrowed reamer from Ferris' stash that was a .223 N.M. reamer. I kinda think that a 22" barrel would have pretty much gave me the same velocity as the 26" barrel, but the OEM barrel was just junk from the factory. I would go with the 20" barrel without a second thought!
The 20" barrel in a scoped rifle (I'm talking 700 Remington) gives you that near perfect balance for shooting off hand. Not real muzzle heavy, and just swings well. I've killed at least 35 coyotes with it as I write this (probably closer to 50). The short varmint barrel computes to being almost three times stiffer than the same contour 26" long (a 21" barrel is 2.75 times stiffer than a 26" barrel). Just does everything right in my book!