Short thin barrels for long range?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 94Winchester, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. 94Winchester

    94Winchester Well-Known Member

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    I was reading a firearms magazine article which said that a short thin barrel is as accurate as a longer thicker barrel and does not give up much velocity. Can anyone confirm this?
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Can be . . . but there's some more information needed. In some situations I'd be inclined to say yes, but that's in a specific comparison to a BAD example, i.e. a long heavy barrel. Assuming barrels of equal internal quality, barrel stiffness and harmonics become major factors. A short, light barrel, may have better stiffness qualities than a much longer heavy barrel, but as I said, there's a lot more questions that need to be asked and answered before I'd accept this as a "true" statement.

    As far as the velocity question, that's a matter of expansion ratio, and barrel length is only one factor in determining this dimension. Fact is, a much shorter barrel may make very little velocity difference, or it may make a great deal of difference, depending on that expansion ratio. I'd call BS on that one, and ask for the resrt of the details.

    Gotta be careful with blanket statments like this. Or listening to gunwriters.
     

  3. 94Winchester

    94Winchester Well-Known Member

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  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Well said !!!

    J E CUSTOM
     
  5. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    Thin barrels are not as accurate for long range because of excessive barrel whip and vibrations. Also a lightweight rifle is very difficult to shoot at long range. As far as a short barrel and velocity that depends on the cartridge and how short vs how long. Some loose a little velocity per inch and some quite a bit. Some do well in short barrels utilizing faster powders and some don't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  6. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The referenced article makes some bold claims and I agree with earlier posts that these are unqualified and are for the most part inaccurate.

    However, statements by the author such as, "I'd have no hesitation taking a 300-yard shot with any of these little guns."

    And, "When a Blacktail buck suddenly appeared right in my face at only 20 yards in a rare small opening the gun was up and on my shoulder before I even had time to think about it, and he was on the ground in about five seconds total elapsed time."

    ...somewhat puts his frame of mind into perspective and a short barrelled rifle may be more than adequate, perhaps even ideal, for those tasks.

    About the only thing he substantiates per the chart on page 3 is that you can have a pretty accurate short barrelled rifle. The guy probably knows better than to show up with a scout rifle at an F-Class match.
     
  7. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    I think he is talking 300 yards as long range and a short, light barrel is fine for that. Serious long range though it is not good.
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    Either the guy was intentionally trying to be controversial with his blanket statments.

    Or, he was likely trying to make a point for the average guy that needs a handy little gun for 300yds or less. ...but, thinks he has to carry a cannon.

    Like Kevin said...
     
  9. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

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    I think a more accurate statement would be that a short thin barrel can be as accurate as a longer heavy barrel, but it is almost impossible to shoot the short thin barrel with the same precision as the long heavy barrel at long range.
     
  10. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Okay, having read the article, I can make a better assesment here, and what he's saying is for the most part true, but requires some reading between the lines. His assesment about stiffness between a short and long barrel is perfectly correct, but assumes barrels of the same O.D. dimensions. The comparison between a longer heavy barrel and a short lightweight tube is where it gets dicey. Lots of other stuff going on here, and I wouldn't buy this as a simple blanket statement. The way he words it here, he makes it sound like the 1000 yard shooters are missing a bet by using 30" barrels on our Palma rifles. I guess we'd be much better off with 16.5" lightweight barrels, but we're just too dumb to figure that part out.

    Same situation with the expansion ratio I mentioned earlier; it's ONE of the factors that goes into the velocity equation. Changing barrel length may make a considerable difference, or be completely unnoticeable in the field. It all depends. Again, blanket statements that are far too broad to be resolved with a simple "Yes" or "No" answer.

    I think he would have done his readers a better service by merely using the space to explain why he likes short, lightweight hunting rifles, rather than trying to make some specious ballistic arguments.
     
  11. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Every journalyst aspires to be controversial. It gets people to talking. I've learned a few points from this thread. So, no harm done. Anyone who took his paper as the gospel will probably be perfectly happy with what they get.