Barrel decisions

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by handirifle, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. handirifle

    handirifle Active Member

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    I hope this is in the right section,

    I have gone back to a 30-06 as my all round, go to rifle, for anything considered "big game", ie pigs, deer, elk, or anything else I may be lucky enough to ever get to hunt.

    Right now it sports the factory 22" sporter weight barrel. The rifle is an older Savage 110, pre accutrigger, staggard feed, detachable magazine model. Currently has a wood stock that has seen it's better days. I would prefer to keep the det magazine but if forced to I can convert it easily to blind magazine.

    As mentioned, the barrel is a 22" sporter, and when/if I swap it out, I am wondering/considering the merits of longer, heavier weights. Never thought of fluting a barrel before, but I have to say after seeing the one that Steven Rinella uses on "The Meat Eater" show, they do look cool, plus I figured I could get slightly longer, heavier barrel, fluted for the same weight, right?

    Would fluting a barrel, say a 24" heavy mag contour or even a varmint weight, get the weight close to the sporter? I live and hunt mostly in CA, but may have the opportunity for elk in other states, like Utah. The country I hunt here, the range could go from 50yds to 300-400, which is my self imposed limit anyway.

    In an '06 would I see enough advantage of a longer barrel, to make it worth it? Are the 26" barrel REALLY cumbersome in the woods. How much slower does the 26" tube swing? Would a 24" magnum/heavy mag contour, fluted, be a better choice?

    My 22" tube is delivering groups of 3/4" to 1 1.25" with the Barnes 168gr TTSX, which will be my all round bullet. Opens at 1800fps (according to Barnes) and is accurate. Based on what I read, the 168 monolithic ought to give equal or better on game performance to a lead core 180, so it ought to be heavy enough for elk as well as open easily on deer..

    What are your thoughts on this barrel swap?
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    The boring answer is it sounds like you've got what you need! You aren't stretching the range so the extra FPS from a longer barrel is nice, but not necessary. Accuracy is good enough for what you are expecting to do. A tweak here or there in loads or bedding might give more consistently the 3/4" groups the rifle is giving you at times. You don't mention your scope, it might be a time to upgrade there. I don't know Savage's, but maybe a replacement stock could save some weight. My 06's wear 22" barrels for the reasons you mentioned.
     

  3. nateisw

    nateisw Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Harperc, it doesn't sound like you need a longer or heavier barrel if you won't be shooting past 400 yards. The money for a new barrel might be better spent on a new stock, a better trigger, or maybe upgrading your scope.
     
  4. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    I'm kinda with the last two posts on practicality for 400 & less, but ill buck that horse.

    IMO you'll gain quite a bit of speed, & have a bit less recoil, & be able to take advantage of slower burning powders with a longer pipe. This would enable you to shoot 180's about as fast or faster than your currently flinging the 165's. You'd have more down range energy, & higher BC bullet for bucking the wind if you choose to go that route.
    The way I understand it, Most barrel makers don't like to (but some will) flute anything smaller than a #4 taper.
    At 26" I wouldn't recomend anything smaller than a #3 taper, & a fluted #4 is so close in weight, id just go that route anyway.
    In fact, I DID go that route. I just had my smith order a 26" fluted Hart with a 10 twist for my 300WSM build, based off of a long action Winchester that started life as an -06, with a dog turd slow 22" pipe. There just wasn't enough barrel length to do any good. I wanted more energy, & less drop. Anything longer than a 26" pipe on an -06 is going to give you diminishing returns, because there isn't enough case capacity to make em shine, but anything less than 24", like a 22" for example, & your just hosin yourself out of almost a couple hundred feet per second (22" vs 26") depending on powder & bullet used. Why screw yourself?
    Look at Hart Barrels website. If your really into bad @$$ fluting they have some unbelievable fluting patterns! You do pay extra for the fancy stuff, but the standard 6 strait flutes is cheap.
     
  5. handirifle

    handirifle Active Member

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    OK, thanks. I wasn't trying to save weight, at least not over the current weight, that was why the fluting, other than the cool looking part. I mentioned cutting weight on a fluted barrel, cause I didn't want to end up with a 12lb rifle. In fact I had wondered about a laminated stock. I know that's a little heavier, but very durable.

    The scope is a Leupold VXII 2x7, and I had an issue with that at the range, so it may end up going back to the factory.

    The stock definitely needs something done, probably replaced.

    Thanks for the honest answers.
     
  6. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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  7. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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  8. handirifle

    handirifle Active Member

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    Winmag
    Thanks, I was wondering how much of a gain. IF I got 200 more fps, that would be right in the middle of 300WM factory speeds. Plus it does seem all the powder companies publish their speeds with 24" test barrels.

    I know for deer, the plain 22" '06 ought to take them well past 500yds, but it would really be a bummer to KNOW my 500yd POI but not feel like the rifle/caliber was up to it.

    I suppose the age old answer would be to get closer. If I went with a longer tube, I would want some fluting, unless it was what I call the magnum contour which is about .650 at the muzzle. Not sure what taper number that is.
     
  9. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    200 may be pushing it. I may have rounded up some. The old school rule of thumb was 50-60 feet per second, per inch, depending on case volume, etc.
    When compared to a 22" barrel, the 26" is gonna shine more, & more, the hotter you load it. I'd guess it'd gain quite a bit in velocity, especially being able to take full advantage of slower powders, but you may or may not get 200 full fps. 150 ya, 175 maybe/probably, but your nearing the end of the maximum return ratio of barrel length to case capacity.
    Like I said, you'd be knockin on the door of 300win velocities. Barnes bullets loaded hot would probably come closest for velocity.
    Granted, you can always load a 300 hotter. But you'd be somewhere in there compared to standard loads on a 300, which is pretty dang impressive for an ol -06 I think.
     
  10. handirifle

    handirifle Active Member

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    Yea, I read an article a few years back where a well known writer (can't recall the name right now) hunted in Africa with his 30-06, which had a 26" barrel as well, and he got special permission to hunt Cape Buff with it. Seems he'd had some neck injury he was healing from and couldn't handle the recoil of heavier rounds.

    Anyway, he was pushing a 220gr solid bullet somewhere around IIRC. Gosh that's driving me crazy not remembering all this. He's a Hispanic fellow been writing for 40-50 years too, both bun and archery hunting.

    Ha, I remembered his name, and found the article. Sam Fadala, and here is an excerpt from his article.

    "Sometimes penetration and bone damage are paramount. As some may recall from an earlier article (“Happy Birthday, .30-06″, May/June), I had official permission to go for a Cape buffalo with a .30-06. A come-apart bullet would be a disaster in this instance. I chose a 220-grain solid cranked up to 2,615 fps from the 26-inch barrel of my rifle. The bullet entered the right temple, stopping under the hide of the left shoulder after more than 40 inches of travel. "

    Here's the pic from the article.

    [​IMG]

    Anywaylooking at Hodgdons reloading data they list the 220 max at 2450 ish and that's from a 24" tube, so it sounds like ole Sam was running warm loads as well, but HE got 200 fps :D

    Here's the link to the article.
    http://www.rifleshootermag.com/2010/09/23/ammunition_ultimate_092006/
     
  11. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Just to keep the discussion alive-To say he gained 200FPS due to the 26" barrel is a bit simplistic, lots of factors involved-pressure as you mentioned. If you trimmed that 26" barrel to 22" my bet is it cracks 2500fps. I pulled up loaddata.com just to peruse a variety of rifles, and keep the source neutral, they list a load with N-205 that clocks 2571with a 220 grain bullet in 22". In a 24"barrel R-22 2602.
    The 30-06 does not benefit a great deal from longer barrels. It's been forever since I loaded the 220's so I don't recall the loads, but 2500 FPS with 220's wasn't that tough to do in a 22" tube. The 30-06 biggest deficiency is manuals that hold pressures low in consideration of older rifles, not barrel length.
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I'd follow up, loaddata list a load of 58 gr of IMR 4350 in an FN with 22" barrel at 2951 with a 165 grain bullet. I believe this will meet the original parameters given.
     
  13. handirifle

    handirifle Active Member

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    Wow thats gettin it up there. Might have to rethink the longer tube. I just found an accurate load for my 168gr TTSX's but didnmt run them thru the chrono yet. Will have to experiment a bit. Good thing the Barnes bullets like the upper end of the pressure scale:).