30-06 barrel length

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by sean1, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    I am going to have a rifle built on my old Mauser action. I believe I am going to go with the 30-06. Rifle is primarily for hunting. My question is about the length of the barrel. I typically use 24" barrels but I am wondering how much velocity gain would be with a 26" barrel or if it is even worth it?
    Gun will be fitted with a laminate stock so I am thinking the weight of the stock would help with balance.
     
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I personally would go with a 24" barrel. A 26" will maybe give you around 50 fps more velocity but that long barrel just does not handle as well. If you are hunting out of a blind or shooting house the shorter barrel really shines when you have to move from one position to another. I have a 26" barrel on my 25-06 and a 27 3/4" on my 264 Win mag. When I have to move from one position to another in my shooting house it is like trying to carry a 12" ladder through a crowd of people. LOL my 21 1/2" barrel 308 handles much better.
     

  3. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    How far do you plan on shooting? I just recently built a 30-06 on a Winchester Model 70 and was torn on barrel length. After a lot of research I decided to go with only a 22" #5 flutted barrel. I just got it and haven't shot it yet, but the gunsmith was able to put a few rounds of the 168gr berger hybrids @ 1/2 MOA during barrel break in without any real load development. I have a heavy 7WSM for long shots so this was more of an all around do anything rifle that I don't mind lugging around all day and could hopefully go out west after deer and elk one day. The whole goal of the rifle was under 400 yards max. The rifle handles awesome and can't wait to get home and shoot it. Just throwing out my 2 cents for what it's worth (which admittedly isn't much :rolleyes:).
     
  4. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I will stay with a 24" barrel. Farthest I would probably shoot would be 500 yards but more often 200 yards and in.
    So far my build will include
    Shilen barrel
    New bolt handle
    Model 70 type safety
    Boyd's laminate stock
    Square up the action
    Bead blast finish

    Any other suggestions? This is my first rifle to have built. Pretty mild but I want to make sure I do it right.
     
  5. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Bump
     
  6. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm guessing I have just about covered my bases then. Thanks for the replies. Hopefully get this started soon.
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I am a firm believer that if you are going to sink money on a custom barrel and rifle, you should get the most out of it as far as barrel length and contour, unless you have a specific need for a shorter or lighter barrel, such as a pack-rifle or some odd circumstances like that.

    As for long-action calibers, short mags, and magnum calibers, I think 26" is a minimum...And 24" is the aboslute VERY minimum, for a pack rifle. That's just my opinion. And it needs to be atleast a #3 contour.

    As for short-actions, like tactical rifles in .308 Win, .260, etc... 20" bull barrel is the minimum, with 24-26" bull being optimum.

    These are not guidelines, and I am not a professional...This is just how I look at things, based on the reasonings and experiences I've had with alot of different guns in my short life.
     
  8. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you mudrunner. I seriously thought about a 26" barrel. I'm just afraid it will be a bit cumbersome. It will be used to hunt out of tree stands and carry around. I was thinking barrel contour either 3 or 4. I am not a fan of short rifles just like I'm not a fan of short bows. Just not a stable to hold for me.
     
  9. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Glad I could help, but don't just go off my opinions. This is your rifle and your hard-earned money, so in the end do what you want to do, that way you will be happy with it.
     
  10. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Not to worry. I'm still in the planning stage.

    Is there anything else I should be having done to this rifles that I'm missing?
     
  11. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind fire-forming brass, you could ream the chamber to .30-06 Ackley Improved. To fire-form all you have to do is shoot your regular .30-06 loads in it, and when it fires them the first time, it forms the brass to the chamber, and out pops fully formed .30-06 Ackley Improved brass. You will need to buy a set of .30-06 Ackley Improved dies for reloading, but for the performance and ballistic gains and increases you get, the small price to pay for a set of dies is minimal in the long run.
     
  12. sean1

    sean1 Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not that was another thought of mine as well. I have a thread in the general section asking about that. Just not sure the little extra velocity is worth it. Some say I'll get only 25-50fps. Some say 100. Some say depends on the rifle. Some shine and some don't. And I'm sure that's why there is such a variance in the velocity gains seen by those who have it.

    However, there is a little bit of a unique factor involved in it. My nosler book states a solid 100fps gain especially with the heavier bullets.
    Funny, even with a simple build like this there are still plenty of decisions
     
  13. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    fo 200 yards and less my 20" sako mannlicher 30-06 is plenty for deer here. you are building get what you want.
     
  14. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    If it were me I would go with at least the #4 Magnum Sporter Shilen barrel. I have one of this size that is 27 3/4" long on a Rem 700 in 264 Win mag. With this size it would not be too heavy to carry easy if 24" long but would add just enough weight to shoot good. I have a 26" #6 in 25-06 that really handles great for shooting but is a bit heavy to be carrying around all day with that big old 30mm 3-12X56 Zeiss and H-S Precision varmint stock.

    P.S. If you are going after the average white tail deer under 300 yards give the 125 gr Nosler ballistic tip a try in your 30-06. Just keep your impact velocity under 3000 fps. I have killed over 50 deer with this bullet and it hammers them DRT 99% of the time. Give 53.1 grs Varget a try.