Optimal barrel length for a 7-08

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by youngtrout, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. youngtrout

    youngtrout Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hello, working on a 7-08 remington 700 project. I'm wondering about the optimal barrel length for the 7-08.

    I'm somewhat new to customs, but from looking at other full length and beyond stuff (mag and custom long 30's) people favor the longer barrels.

    But,,,,with the short case of a 7-08 or other 308's, there seems to me that there has to be a max length where there is no longer a velocity gain, powder is burned up, and at some point there should be a length that would actually decrease velocity because of barrel drag??

    I'm looking for some 7-08 experience, I'm looking for that balance between max velocity and portability,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,thoughts??? Would love to hear thoughts about powders and bullets if you have them as well

    (for some background, I'm talking about targets and deer sized game out to 500-600 yards, not long range for most but I'm also looking to get this out of a 8-10lb total weight rig

    any thought are appreciated!

  2. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2007
    I think it depends upon the bullet you are using in a particular caliber. I am not going to say you will not gain any velocty with a longer barrel, but for the cases you indicated, David Tubb determined that 25" was the most efficient barrel length to use.

    I believe that you would likely see some velocity increase all the way up to 40" , but ergonomics would be poor.

  3. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2005
    If you hunt from box stands or some kind of enclosure, I would stay with 22-23" barrels at a max. If you are hunting from the ground shooting prone, I would go with a 25-26" barrel for the stability and a little more umph out the barrel and less umph coming back.

    Personally, I use 22" barrels on my tree-climber rifle, box stand rifle and walkabout rifle; however, one of my stands is nothing more than a shooting table for LR work. There I am shooting a 26" barrel. That is only because that is all I have right now. The plans are to fix that this spring if the money holds out with a 6.5 of some kind over a 708. That may change, but . . . .
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Max velocity and portability don't really belong together as a concept.

    Personally I don't see any reason to use a barrel longer than 22" for the 7mm-08 or .308 for general hunting use. Even a 20" would be fine. If you are looking to shoot longer range with heavy, high BC bullets than a longer tube would be a better choice.

    Depending on the bullet and powder combination you will almost always see an increase in velocity as barrel length increases, at least within reasonable limitations. Is the increased barrel length worth the minimal increase in velocity - well I guess that would be an arguable point and a matter of preference.

    I'd stick with a 22" bbl max, and use 140gr class bullets. Plenty of regular and premium bullets are available. The 7mm-08 works well with a wide variety of powders. I like a max load of H4350 for a good balance of accuracy and velocity in my 7mm-08. Varget, 4064, H414 & 4895 come to mind as some of the other powders that work well.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  5. redbone

    redbone Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2005

    I have 3 H B REM 700 7 MM 08

    Two or 26 Barrel One is 24 Barrel They shoot the same.

    I have one cdl rem 700 7 mm 08 22 Barrel .

    one rem 700 vssf 7 mm 08

    The H B Rifles shoot the best Groups

    I would go with 26 HB .

  6. youngtrout

    youngtrout Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    thanks guys

    I'm a western fella, so no box blinds, I'm working with a trued rem 700 action and have a shilen match barrel on it, basically had the smith crown it and chamber, so its coming in at about 25 inches.

    I think I'll start there, was just wanting to hear some other opinions, I want to get the whole rig blued the next couple weeks, so wanted to have it shortened before hand if need be.

    I'm going to play with some longer heavier bullets but the SA will get me in trouble so I'll have to do some trial and error, just more range time!! Love this stuff!
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    If it were me, I would go with a 26" barrel. I know you dont get that much more velocity than a 24" barrel at least as physics go, but with the shorter barrels muzzle blast is a bit different which smacks the bullet around a bit and decreases accuracy at max loads. With a little longer barrel the blast is a bit different. You can use a max charge with max accuracy potential. You can solve this problem and use a shorter barrel with a muzzle brake, but if you dont like brakes like I dont like them, then a couple extra inches doesnt hurt anything as long as you dint mind carrying the extra inches. Dont get me wrong, shorter barrels are typically a wee bit more accurate, just more accurate at a couple hundred FPS less than a slightly longer one. Then again, accuracy is a subjective term and a small margin of accuracy loss for max velocity in a shorter barrel may suit some just fine. If you want max accuacy potential and dont care about the velocity, go with a shorter barrel. If you want very good accuracy and better velocity, go with a longer barrel. Optomum should be between 24-26" (This is my humble opinion)