How accurate are sporter weight barrels?

Creedmoor shooter

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I'm looking for a new rifle. I think I've decided on a 7mm rem mag. I already have a 6.5 Creedmoor so I'm looking to get a larger round. My Creedmoor is too heavy to carry when i go on longer walks or we do a day of driving woods so I'm looking for a lighter carry rifle. I'm looking into a Browning x-bolt Eclipse hunter which has a 26in sporter weight barrel and weighs in under 8lbs. My question for you guys is how accurate are these lighter barrels? I know they will heat up quick, but are they as accurate as a heavier barrel? Just curious on what people were getting for groups with these light barrels. I regularly hunt powerlines so shots up to 600-700 yards are possible. Also would like to possibly plink out to 1000 yards but i will probably use my Creedmoor for that mostly. Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

CB11WYO

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I think the main factor that we try to eliminate by getting heavy contour barrels is barrel whip/harmonic inconsistency. The thinner/lighter the barrel the more subject it will be to whip and bad harmonics. That being said, there's always the exception to the rule in that it wouldn't be impossible to dial in a load for a light-barreled rifle that will still shoot tiny groups. :) But the odds are definitely in favor of the heavy barrels. As i've seen posted and quoted here before... "the only advantage a light barrel has is weight, all other advantages go to the heavy barrel."

It's the line you have to walk when you want a feather-weight rifle that can still shoot those longer distances.

In reference to your heat comment... definitely true, whereas a heavy barrel might fire a couple handfuls of shots accurately in succession, a light barrel will give fewer accurate shots before the heat begins to flip rounds... as a general rule at least.
 

stonehands1

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How much you want to spend? Browning mountain titanium in 300wsm would be my suggestion. I know of 2 of them around my area and with factory ammo were sub moa no problem. Another had a Browning Abolt in 270wsm and would shoot just over moa. Did a home bedding job for $40 and now it shoots .75moa.
Lightweight guns tend to have short barrels and the short action cartridges seem to work better with short barrels than full size cartridges.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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I think the main factor that we try to eliminate by getting heavy contour barrels is barrel whip/harmonic inconsistency. The thinner/lighter the barrel the more subject it will be to whip and bad harmonics. That being said, there's always the exception to the rule in that it wouldn't be impossible to dial in a load for a light-barreled rifle that will still shoot tiny groups. :) But the odds are definitely in favor of the heavy barrels. As i've seen posted and quoted here before... "the only advantage a light barrel has is weight, all other advantages go to the heavy barrel."

It's the line you have to walk when you want a feather-weight rifle that can still shoot those longer distances.

In reference to your heat comment... definitely true, whereas a heavy barrel might fire a couple handfuls of shots accurately in succession, a light barrel will give fewer accurate shots before the heat begins to flip rounds... as a general rule at least.
I see what your saying, I love heavy barrel rifles im just trying to find a rifle that doesnt weigh alot.

Im also considering a Savage lrh in the same caliber. That 300 wsm is very tempting though, very intrigued by that round. Trying to keep it right around $1000.
 

Mikecr

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If this is for HUNTING you need to be thinking about ACCURACY instead of PRECISION.

This being a LRH forum, it's seems amazing how few here understand anything about accuracy.
 

stonehands1

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If this is for HUNTING you need to be thinking about ACCURACY instead of PRECISION.

This being a LRH forum, it's seems amazing how few here understand anything about accuracy.
Please enlighten us oh wisest of all shooters.
 

wbm

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Im trying to find a blend of both.
Good idea.

Last year I built a 7mm Magnum on an older Savage 110 action. Came to the same point as you are now and realized I did not want a "sporter" contour or a "heavy barrel." Finally called Jim Briggs at Northland and he had a 26" Criterion barrel in "light varmint". I got it and began load development. It is extremely accurate and not too heavy to carry all day. It was the blend I was looking for.

The Savage LRH is about 8.5lbs and comes with a brake. They are not cheap, about $900, but my son has one in 300WSM and it is a very accurate rifle. The 7mm magnum if my favorite caliber but If I were going to buy the Savage LRH I would go with the 300WSM. Lot's to like about that caliber.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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Good idea.

Last year I built a 7mm Magnum on an older Savage 110 action. Came to the same point as you are now and realized I did not want a "sporter" contour or a "heavy barrel." Finally called Jim Briggs at Northland and he had a 26" Criterion barrel in "light varmint". I got it and began load development. It is extremely accurate and not too heavy to carry all day. It was the blend I was looking for.

The Savage LRH is about 8.5lbs and comes with a brake. They are not cheap, about $900, but my son has one in 300WSM and it is a very accurate rifle. The 7mm magnum if my favorite caliber but If I were going to buy the Savage LRH I would go with the 300WSM. Lot's to like about that caliber.
The savage lrh is about the weight im looking for. What kind of groups are you getting with it? The 300 wsm has got me taking a second look. Ive never cared for 30 caliber rounds but i like the looks of that one.
 

wbm

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The Savage 300WSM is my son's. I reloaded it for him for a while and it was a solid 1MOA or better for almost all loads I tried. He doesn't shoot much except before hunting season so I suggested some factory stuff. We got a box of Federal 165gr Fusion bullets and went to the range. First five shots were a bit less than an inch so we kept shooting....bottom line was after 11 shots we were still within 1 inch. I quit reloading for him! He has used that ammunition for the past 3 seasons in Montana. It is very easy on the shoulder with the brake.

The Criterion barreled Savage I have is very accurate in everything I have tried in it. I mostly prefer 140gr bullets in the 7mm. On a good day it is .50MOA on average. Some groups have gone into less than .35.
 

CB11WYO

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...This being a LRH forum, it's seems amazing how few here understand anything about accuracy.
Please enlighten us oh wisest of all shooters.
Stone, you made me chuckle. Seems now and then we run into these guys who really do know their stuff but just aren't very good at teaching, explaining, clarifying or being constructive with their criticism. :)

I actually wouldn't have minded to know what he was driving at, though I gots an idea... oh well. :rolleyes:
 

Mikecr

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Well I won't put a lot of effort into it,, but here goes;
I've watched and participated in many shooting related forums for 25yrs now. In that time, there have been relatively few discussions of actual accuracy. So few, that it's practical to see it as unproductive.
I'm sure the reason for this amounts to the same reason most shooters put more efforts into precision instead of accuracy. That being ignorance of the difference.

But without getting into it I'll suggest(again) that a LR HUNTER needs accuracy -over precision.
A good LRH, the guy who's done his work and knows his true capabilities, doesn't give a **** about hot grouping from his system. What he's learned all about is his cold bore accuracy.

I don't mean to offend the great group shooters among us. Just trying to help out a LRH with a different perspective.
 

Rick Richard

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For the question concerning Savage LRH 300 WSM, here was my experience.

7/16 inch groups at 300 yards on a good day and 1 1/16 inch groups at 300 yards on the worst day. These groups were fired with Berger 185 Hybrids and RL 17.

Now here is the stupid part. I sold it.
 

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