Barrel Length? How long is too Long?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Jeebes, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Jeebes

    Jeebes Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2013
    Im relatively new to long range hunting and shooting. Life long hunter thought. Im building a 300 WSM on a stiller predator short action.

    Is a 30 inch barrel too long? What is the optimal barrel length?
  2. cwinner

    cwinner Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    I think that 30" may be a bit extreme with a WSM, remember you need to be able to carry it around to be able to use it! I would opt for a 24-26" max length for the capacity of the WSM case.
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004

    I have a general rule that works to get the best all round performance of most cartriges that
    goes like this.

    Case capacity = Up to 50 grains of powder =22'' to 24'' barrels.
    Up to 75 grains of powder =24'' to 26'' barrels.
    Up to 100 grains of powder = 26'' to 28'' barrels.
    And over 100 grains of powder 28'' +.

    Your 300 WSM will fall in the 24'' to 26'' bracket

    These barrel lengths will get most of the velocity that the case can produce.
    Add a few inches more you may get more velocity but the percentage will not be as good per inch.

    Where the largest bullets available are used, 2 more inches will help with huge ammounts of slow
    burning powder.

    Dan Lilja of Lilja barrels did a barrel length test and started with a 44" barrel and cut 2'' at a time,
    It is a good read.