Barrel length on rifle build

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Briancrn113, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Briancrn113

    Briancrn113 Member

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    Hello all, I'm new here and I am hoping to learn as much as I can from all of you. I recently brought my old deer rifle in to be fitted with a new barrel and stock. It is a left hand Rem 788 (I know, I know...Dad bought it for me as my first deer rifle, sentimental value) in 6mm with a 20" tube. I am having a McMillan stock put on it and a Lilja barrel .264 1:8 3 groove #5 contour. It will be a .260 Rem (I had to go with one of the .308 family for magazines, and I am intrigued by the .260). I am agonizing a little about whether to put a 24" or 26" tube on it (gunsmith is saying put a 26" on it). I will be using it in South Dakota and Montana for deer and perhaps antelope and shots here can be long. I want to shoot 140's out of it and I am hoping I can achieve what the load data indicates with the same length barrel, around 2800 fps. I know its only 2" but I am looking for guidence for why I should or should not. Note I do want a 24" and no shorter, with a #5 contour I am not looking for a mountain rifle. Thanks for opinions, evidence, experiences in advance.
     
  2. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Go with the 26"! It will give you about 75-80 fps more velocity over a 24". All my carry rifles have at least 26's and are no problem......Rich
     

  3. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    26", especially if your smith recommends it. Sounds like a fun build, keep us posted!
     
  4. Briancrn113

    Briancrn113 Member

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    Thanks for the replies gentlemen, I will go with the 26. Never had a rifle with that long of a barrel, I also didn't think I'd see that much velocity gain in 2" but 70-80 fps is fairly significant. I'll post pics when it is done. My understanding is the barrels are about 12 weeks out...will give me time to buy dies, brass and bullets.
     
  5. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    At a #5 contour you will have no trouble with 26". Especially if you don't mind the weight. It's only the lightweight, pencil thin barrels that benefit from shorter lengths.
    I wouldn't get too hung up on the 140gr bullets though. If deer and antelope are the intended game, 130s will do just fine, and 120s also for that matter. The lower bullet weights will allow you to jack up the velocity to over 3kfps and flatten out their trajectory some over the 140s. The new Hornady A-Max 123gr w/.510BC or some of Berger or Lapua's offerings should be great when the critters are way out there.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  6. Briancrn113

    Briancrn113 Member

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    Thanks Jamie6.5, with the pencil thin barrels...is that because of barrel whip? I'm not necessarily set on 140's it just seems that the load data I'm seeing doesn't indicate a big difference between the 130's and 140's. Nosler #6 (which seems to not be conservative) says near or just over 2900 fps with a 24" tube. Plus I've always kind of like the heavier end of bullets for each respective caliber. Of course I'll have to let my rifle and results speak to me. If the lighter bullets shoot better that will be what I'll shoot. I am very curious to see what kind of accuracy I'll get with the Lilja barrel. With my skinny factory 20" 6mm tube I could shoot 7/8" groups (3-shot) all day long and I think that was about what the rifle could do, maybe 5/8" in the hands of a better rifleman. For many that is nothing great but for a factory sporter with no trigger work or any other accurizing work it seemed to be good to me.
     
  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    I had a 6mmRem in a 788 that would shoot a single hole pretty consistently at 100. I regret selling that rifle to this day. Great round the 6mm.
    Yes it's barrel whip I'd be concerned about at 26" in a "pencil" barrel.

    I am sure Lilja will confirm that more rigid is "mo-better."

    Good idea letting the rifle/barrel tell you what it likes. Too many people end up disappointed when they're dead set on a particular load/bullet combination beforehand.
     
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I've had a couple of Lilja three groovers and they seem to wear better than others because the lands are so wide comparatively. I currently have one in my 6.5 Sherman and it's performing well at 700+ rounds.....Rich
     
  9. Briancrn113

    Briancrn113 Member

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    Elkaholic, 6.5 Sherman tell me about it. When even google doesn't come up with any results you must have something unique. I am glad to hear about good experiences with 3 groove rifling...I'm pretty much letting my smith build the rifle the way he wants and it was something he recommended. The only thing I specified was the caliber and twist. I am absolutely intrigued by 6.5 mm. I have two boys that are two young to hunt now but I am planning 260's for them as well.