Any advantages to increase barrel length on WSM cartidges?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by pburton, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Hello everyone!
    I just purchased a new Tikka T3 Lite in .300 wsm to be my light weight mountain rifle for elk hunting. At the time of purchase I did not realize the this rifle has a 1:11 twist. I have been a big fan of the Nosler Accubond bullet over the last few years. I am concerned that this rifle with the current twist isn't going to stabilize the heavy bullet that I would like to run for elk hunting. So I spoke to my gun smith about rebarreling it to a 1:10 twist barrel. During our conversation I asked him about the benifits to a longer barrel with this caliber. It was his opinion that there really isn't a significant benifit to going much longer than the 24" barrel. I have a hard time buying this. My question is for you that are shooting the .300 wsm or any wsm caliber. Are you seeing significant benifit in a longer barrel for mid to long range hunting? Or will I be adding extra weight for nothing?
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,310
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Re: Any advantages to increase barrel length on WSM cartridges?

    When building a WSM, my starting barrel length is 24" (The minimum) with 26" being the recommended optimum length.

    If you want to squeeze every ounce of speed from the heavy bullets 28" would be the most
    barrel I would recommend.

    With Lighter bullets (Less than 180 grain) there would not be much advantage in anything over 24"

    Just My opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    The biggest factor in what efficiency you get out of your barrel is the type and speed of the powder you use which will have a lot to do with the bullet(s) you choose. RL17 is a fairly efficient powder for shorter barrels (like 24") and is a great powder in the 300 WSM for a fairly large range of bullet weights on the heavier end of the scale like 165 and up. You will surely see more efficiency and velocity with longer than a 24" barrel. How much, I'm not sure. But if I were to build another 300 WSM, I would go for at least a 26" barrel.

    Now, if your priority is a good shooting short barrel (24") cartridge, the 300 WSM is a very good choice, especially with RL17.

    In my factory 24 3/8ths barreled 300 WSM, I got 3200 fps with 180 E-Tips and 2930 fps with 210 LVD's using RL17. Very good velocities IMO. With another couple of inches, I could probably have got another 50 fps or so.
     
  4. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    PB you only need a given volume space wise to burn a given amount of powder. Once you get near 100% burn additional barrel length is going to be of no benefit whatsoever.

    As for the 1:11 twist rate 1:10 is generally preferred in .30 cal but at these velocities it might do.

    The advantage to greater bbl length is that you can use slower powders to get additional velocity without pushing up chamber pressure.

    Check the recommended twist rates for the bullets you are considering using. The Manufacturers generally list them on their websites and if not you can call them.
     
  5. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    From the responses so far it sounds like there is some benifit. My plan was to go to a 26" barrel. I am planning to shoot 180gr minimum. More likely 200gr accubonds. That is if the barrel likes the accubonds. I have never loaded for a wsm. So I guess playing around with different powders will be a must. I would like to load and try some Burger type bullets but with the magazine length on Tikkas this might be a problem with the heavier bullets and seating depths. Thanks for the responses so far.
     
  6. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    WildRose- Thanks for the response. Makes sense. With the Accubonds, Nosler recomends 1:10 for 180gr + . Based on this I figured most bullet manufacturers would recomend the same. This is the main reason for me to consider rebarreling this rifle.
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    The heavier the bullet and slower the powder, the more benefit you will get from a longer barrel.

    If you try to seat longer, heavier bullets to fit the mag, you're going to loose some case space and you'll be getting a big jump to the lands. That may or may not affect your accuracy.
     
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Not sure why Nosler is recommending a 10" twist for their 180 and 200 gr AB's. I shot their 180 E-Tips in my 11" twist SAKO and they stabilized just fine. To the best of my knowledge, Nosler doesn't make any 30 cal bullets that require faster than an 11" twist, including their 210 ABLR's. I also shot stable 210 VLD's out of that WSM, Berger recommends 11" twist for them and they would require more twist than the AB's
     
  9. HuntFarther

    HuntFarther Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    611
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    So what is wrong with just reloading a few rounds and see if you have any results you can live with?
     
  10. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    I have full intentions on trying this barrel out before it is changed. I am just trying to think ahead. Mainly because of everything I have read and heard about this twist rate. And what is needed for what I want to shoot. Hope it will stabilize the 200's so I don't have to spend the extra money.
     
  11. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,417
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    That statement right there should offset any "benefit" you'd see. You bought the rifle intentionally for it's weight. Adding 2" of tube and/or going heavier on contour defeats your purpose. I'd stick with 24" and stay focused on the benefit of its weight and not a few more fps. Trust me, slow moving lead still kills great.

    When I saw some of those rifles in CO they had a 23" barrel. I strongly advise that if you are decided on a new tube with a 10T, then duplicate the factory bbl contour, make sure it's about 24" and be done with it.
     
  12. HuntFarther

    HuntFarther Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    611
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    I would really just mess around and see what you can do with it. Also how far are you planning on taking game with it? The yardage kinda depends on what bullet you use.
     
  13. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    I really hope that the factory barrel will work out for me. At least for now. And realistically I will probably be keeping the range around 500 yards. Although in all my years of elk hunting I have never killed one over 350 yards. Nor have I ever shot at one over that distance. A majority of them have come in ranges where I could have killed them with a .223. I did have one last year in Idaho that was at around 650 that I passed because I did not feel comfortable with the shot. And was concerned that my 7mm rem mag with 160gr accubonds was not quite enough at that range. This is the main reason for me buying the .300wsm. Hoping for a little more energy down range. Although as we speak my 7mm rem mag is at the gunsmith turning into a STW. So hopefully the next time that 6x6 330+ class bull walks out at 650 I will not hesitation about squeezing the trigger.

    Thank you to everyone for all the input. It has helped me decide a direction.
     
  14. gunaddict

    gunaddict Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    500
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    I am in the process of having 2 short mags built. The first one is a 300 WSM. 25 inch # 3 fluted Benchmark barrel, HS sporter stock. Plan on shooting 165gr TTSX. The second one is a 7 RSAUM, 24 inch #3 fluted Benchmark barrel, Bell& Carlson Ti stock. Plan on shooting 140gr TTSX. This gun is for my girlfriend. Both will have 4.5x14x40AO with target turrents. On these guns I thought about longer barrels, but built them mainly for packing. I fiqure these 2 will be good at least to 500yds.