Barrel length

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Clndesl, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Clndesl

    Clndesl Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I am having a 338 edge built right now and I have a bartlien 31" finished blank for the build. I was originally thinking 28" was going to be my barrel length but was wondering if I should if I should go longer. The gun will be used for long range elk at 1000+- yards. Let me know what you guys think and if you think the extra 2" is worth the extra weight ect.
     
  2. ultraedge

    ultraedge Well-Known Member

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    I like 30 to 30.5" . You can always have it cut shorter.You didn't mention the shank length, but if you have a 5" shank then the barrel can be set back at a later date for extra life and still have 28". Gary
     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The weight isn't an issue as we're talking mere ounces per inch.

    The biggest issue with the longer barrels is trying to maneuver through the woods with them.

    If you are pushing through much cover where you hunt that extra barrel length adds up to problems.

    If not, it's just a matter of practicality for things like finding a gun case to carry and transport it in which is long enough..

    Adding weight and length adds to stability and accuracy all else being equal butt do keep in mind they are negatives when hunting, especially back paking in tough terrain.

    At most you gain about 50-75fps for ever inch of barrel over 26".

    I don't own any hunting rigs with longer than a 27" finished barrel but when you add a muzzle break you're already at or very near 30".
     
  4. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    You could always split the difference and go with 29".:D I like my 30" barrels in Sendero contour. Is the extra velocity worth the 1" length? I think so for those 800+ yard shots. The only downside so far has been having to purchase a longer than normal gun case.
     
  5. Triple BB

    Triple BB Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you talk to the manufacturer and see what they suggest, I was looking at the same scenario as you with a Hart barrel last year. I talked at length with their techs and they talked me out of it. The guy said after 27" it was basically a case of diminishing marginal returns...
     
  6. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    That is true with some calibers but not with the big magnums. We have very large to huge case capacities and shoot slower burning powders than most folks so the extra inches of barrel really do have a real benefit for us where they don't for most folks.

    The longer length gives you more time to burn up that large volume of slow burning powder reducing recoil, muzzle blast, and increasing velocity.

    Yes, even with the big magnums there is a point of diminishing returns but I really don't think you reach that point until you hit about 30".
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    +1. Thas where I'm at. The longer the barrel, the more cumbersome it is to get around. If you pack in on horseback, the long barrel is a PITA. Back pack, the barrel is like an antenna, sticking up and snagging everything. The difference between 27 and shorter and 27 and longer is astonishing as far ar mobility.
     
  8. Triple BB

    Triple BB Well-Known Member

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  9. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    if your a flatlander, then go for the 30" + brake. If your not, then go with a 28" finished (including the brake). My .338 RUM is 28" finished and I would not go a fraction longer.

    When I rebarrel, it will be to a more efficient case; the .338 NORMA. just so that I can get the barrel lenght down to 26" finished (25" with a 1" mini brake). I backpack alot though and am fine losing 100 fps for 2" of barrel.
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    With me, it's not how a barrel performs but rather (as I stated before), how I perform with a given length of rifle whether on my shoulder or in the Ebrelestock back scabbard.

    At least in my opinion, there is nothing more tedious or physically exhausting as having to bend over constantly (with a loaded pack) to clear low hanging branches like we have here in Michigan, especially heavy pine branches, loaded with snow... no fun at alll and the ever present possibility of slipping and falling, whereas carrying a rifle whose end (either) is at your head height or lower makes lif much more bearable.

    Case in point, my 338 catches every branch whereas my 308, being a couple inches shorter, catches nothing. I forget about the 308 but the 338 constantly reminds me of it's height...constantly.

    Finally and hopefully this don't occur too often, but the shorter rifle makes a better brake when jammed into a slide. Sidehilling and sliding, you might need your rifle to be used as a brake to keep from going ass over teakettle. My one 308 has been used to save my butt on a sliding sidehill and the shorter rifle is easier to handle in that situation. Does nothing for the finish on the rifle or stock but does a lot to save your bacon.... and epidermis.

    With me, the lighter the rifle, the better and lighter usually means shorter. I can carry a 7-9 pound rifle all day but a big cahoona, no way unless I had a lackey, which I cannot afford. It's all about the adventure for me and not about torture.