Remmington 700 20" or 26" barrel

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by dslauger, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. dslauger

    dslauger Member

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    Good Morning,

    I decided to build a .223 starting with a Rem 700 sps tactical with a 20" barrel. When I went to pick up the gun they had sold the one I ordered but had another on on shelf. Only after I got home did I notice it had a 26" barrel instead of a 20".

    I am debating on having the barrel cut down to 20" and re-crowned. This is my coyote gun that I hunt / hike with, so a lighter more agile gun would be nicer.

    Any thoughts on the pros / cons.
     
  2. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    If you want lighter and more agile you just answered your own question!
     

  3. Brianc74

    Brianc74 Well-Known Member

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    The sps tactical has a 1-9 twist. I think you got the varminter that is a 1-12 twist. I personally prefer the 1-9 twist due to this twist is more versatile. You can shoot 40-75 grainers. With the 1-12 twist most people top out at 55-60 grainers. An answer to your question. Yes you can cut the barrel down. Good luck with the rifle.
    Brian in Idaho
     
  4. dslauger

    dslauger Member

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    Right, I did get the Varmiter with the 1-12 twist. I'm shooting 53gr Vmax am I going to loose any accuracy? How about velocity loss?
     
  5. idefendem

    idefendem Member

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    yup, you got the varminter model, not the tactical model. generally, the longer barrel adds a little giddy-up in velocity but the slower twist (1:12) does not stabilize longer bullets as effectively as the 1:9. (N.B! increased velocity does compensate for the slower twist. i.e, the faster (read: higher velocity) a slower-twist bullet travels, the less rotational spin that is required to compensate and stabilize those longer-length bullets. the issue is whether you can increase velocity sufficiently for a particular bullet.) I am a velocity man and all things being equal want my light bullets going as fast as possible. then again my only .223 is an Colt HBAR AR15 with a 1:8 twist, short barrel. go figure.

    You mentioned this is going to be a build up for your walking around yote stick. so there are a few variables that may affect your decision. were you going to re-barrel anyway? if not then consider that faster, lighter bullets may cause more expansion and probably more pelt damage than longer (but not necessarily heavier) bullets. you may not care either way; and, how much does a yote care whether he is pounded by a 40 grainer at are 3100fps or a 65 grainer at 2750fps? this all seems a bit complicated and requires a lot of range time and thought.

    my advice...take the rifle back and get what you wanted in the first place.
     
  6. Brianc74

    Brianc74 Well-Known Member

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    Yes sir you will loose speed and you accuracy may get better or worse. You won't know till you cut the barrel. I prefer to use a barrel at a length that the projectile has 2 revolution at the least down the barrel before it exits the crown. So with a 1-12 twist a 26" or a 1-8 in a 18" or 1-9 with a 20" and so on.
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    welcome to my world! I shoot a Remington 700 in .223 with a 20" varmint barrel. Love the gun dearly (my favorite field gun). My barrel is a 14 twist, and really wish it was a 10 twist barrel. It will shoot most all 55 grain bullets very well (like Hornaday V Max bullets). I started out with the 26" tuning fork, and it wouldn't groups at all (even slightly) To salvage the tomato stake, I ended up cutting 2.5" off the big end due to a seriously reamed bad chamber. I cut the muzzle end 3.5" to remove a bad spot just behind the muzzle. First groups I shot were with factory loaded Hornaday 55 grain bullets (Frontier). Shot 3/4" and slightly less five shot groups. Next time out I brought my Pact chronograph, and my range box. By the end of the day I was shooting .42" groups at 3270 fps. That was roughly 75 fps slower than the 26" barrel with very hot hand loads. I used a borrowed reamer from Ferris' stash that was a .223 N.M. reamer. I kinda think that a 22" barrel would have pretty much gave me the same velocity as the 26" barrel, but the OEM barrel was just junk from the factory. I would go with the 20" barrel without a second thought!

    The 20" barrel in a scoped rifle (I'm talking 700 Remington) gives you that near perfect balance for shooting off hand. Not real muzzle heavy, and just swings well. I've killed at least 35 coyotes with it as I write this (probably closer to 50). The short varmint barrel computes to being almost three times stiffer than the same contour 26" long (a 21" barrel is 2.75 times stiffer than a 26" barrel). Just does everything right in my book!
    gary
     
  8. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    rifle 140.jpg this is from a 26" factory barrel. Started life as a sps, it now sits in HS Precision stock, jewel trigger, and a reworked factory bolt squared face and lugs w/ a sako extractor. Not bad for a garden stake.gun):D
     
  9. dslauger

    dslauger Member

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    I have already been shooting the gun so returning it is out of the question.

    I am shooting 53gr Hornady Vmax I talked to the factory tech guy at Hornady and he said shooting the 53 gr's you need the 1:12 twist. It is shooting quite well now. Am I asking for problems if I do cut it down?

    If I do decide to cut it down what would be the optimum length to cut it to?

    Thank you in advance
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I tried the 53 grain bullet last year in a couple 22-250's. Shot very well, but the 55 grain Sierra still grouped tighter. Still I don't think I gave the 53 grain bullet an honest effort, so it may have shot even better. They seemed to group about as well as the 60 grain Hornaday (FBHP with a .27B/C) shot about the same in a 12 twist barrel. But on the otherhand I shot two five shot groups with them in a ten twist AR15, and shot .60" groups with zero load development. I personally think a 12 twist is getting borderline with them and an eleven twist would be better yet. Just find that the .25 - .26 B/C seems about perfect in a 12 twist rate.

    Cutting the barrel back will mean nothing in stabilizing a bullet. It's the rate of twist per foot that matters. I personally would not cut the barrel back shorter than 22". I was stuck with a junk barrel, and you are not. One thing I would do before cutting the barrel back, is to gauge the barrel to see what it's really like.

    *** here's how I go about it, and it's really pretty easy. If the barrel has been removed your ahead of the game in my book! Put a strip of masking tape lengthwise on the barrel. Run as tight a patch as you can thru the barrel. Mark all the tight spots on the tape, and all the loose spots as well. I would do this several times to get a feel of what the barrel is like. If the barrel is looser on the muzzle end, it needs to be cut back to remove this part. But if it's tight there, then you should leave it alone. (we're talking about three to four inches in length). You can get by with loose spots back towards the chamber, but never the muzzle. The barrel on my Remington was so bad that it actually tore up patches, and even the last two and a half inches could still be tighter. The chamber should also be checked out at the sametime (mine was reamed .007" off axis, and at a rough seven degree angle). A good chamber cast will show you a lot here.

    I have tried a lot of different powders and bullets in the 20" barrel, and always seem to come right back to BLC2 and that 55 grain Vmax. I am doing some load development right now with a few 50 grain bullets. The 3270 fps load is not a max load, but saw little if any gains in velocity with the 26" or the 20" barrel and more powder. Twenty seven point two grains was about all the case would burn in either barrel.
    gary
     
  11. dslauger

    dslauger Member

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    Hey Hey thank you for your time and thoughts. Seems like this is getting way more complicated than I would have liked it to.

    Thinking I might just leave well enough alone. I will scope out how the barrel is the entire length though, hopefully not loose at the end

    Thanks again
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    actually with a 26" barrel and really wanting a 20" barrel you have the advantage of selecting the best part of the barrel to use. The downside to this is that it's still a compromise at best. In my own case it was pure frustration and extreme hard headedness. I was going to make that rifle shoot come hell or high water! It nearly won! Anyway, if I were in your shoes I would just wait to catch a good barrel blank on sale. There used to be a guy that often sold Rem. mod. 40 barrels in Gun List for pennies on the dollar ($50 to $75) that were new take offs. They're out there!
    gary