.308 barrle length question

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by emn83, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    I know this has probably been discussed ad nauseum, but my search skills seem to be weak today. I am planning on replacing the barrel on my Savage 11 .308, with a heavier barrel, like a heavy sporter, or a light varmint barrel. The rifle is multi-purpose, since I only have one, it's my target rifle, it will also serve as my whitetail gun and maybe for hunting other medium game, should I get the chance. My question is, what barrel length should I go with? It currently has a 22, which is fine, but I am considering a 24" or even 26" length for a new barrel.

    Thanks all
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    22" is a good length for a 308 hunting rifle.

    You might get another 100-200 fps from a 26" barrel. But, that won't necessarily improve your effectiveness.

    Be sure to get a twist that's fast enough to stabilize the heaviest/longest bullet you plan to shoot.

    I've had excellent results with Berger 175 OTM's in a 20" 1:10 twist barrel. Berger says those will work in a 1:13" twist.

    You may be able to go up to 195's, but you would likely need the extra barrel length to eek out a little extra velocity with the heavier projectiles plus they may not fit your magazine although you could use them for targets in single shot mode.

    -- richard
     

  3. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    The 308 is an efficient round that does very well with a 20"-22" tube. I like long barrels in rounds that need them like 264WM, 7mmSTW & others, but not in this case.

    Here is a good article that tested diff. barrel lengths:

    .308 Winchester Cartridge Guide
     
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I have had many 20-26" barrels in many 308s. I will rarely choose less than 26 and when I do it is never less than 24".

    Is 20-22 bad? No but you can do amazing things with a 26" 308. Raw barrel length = more velocity but what most shooters don't take into account is that with longer barrels you can use slower propelents and actually utilize them for an even greater velocity gain. It is nothing these days to have a 175-178 grain load in the 2750-2800+ FPS range with 26" barrels. You wont even get close to that with a 22" barrel. AT least not with safe pressures.

    The muzzle blast is also quite a bit less than a shorter barrel.

    26" gets my vote.

    M
     
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I'm on board with a 24" Varmint contour or a 26" heavy sporter.

    Tank
     
  6. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I also would go w/ a 24" barrel in a heavy sporter weight if it is going to be the "do all" rifle. will work for target, and work well for white tail. A heavy barrel is not a good thing to carry through drives all day long.
     
  7. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    Good point about the powders. I use that same principle when using rounds like the 264WM, but it's not exclusive to those cartridges.
    Have you tried CFE223 as yet?
     
  8. emn83

    emn83 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. definitely leaning toward a 24in or 26, it will be a do all, for sitting in a treestand, driving, or stalking deer, so I'm trying to balance weight with performance. since I'm thinking about driving 178gr A-Max through it, I like the thought of getting a little more speed out of those heavier bullets.