Questions About Rifle Accuracy.


New Member
Feb 23, 2003
Hello, I am new to this forum. I have been a hunter for about 20 years but have just recently became interested in long range hunting. I intend to get a long range hunting rifle, probably a heavy barreled 25-06, but I have a couple of questions about things that may or may not affect the accuracy of a rifle.

I know that a longer barrel allows higer velocities to be achieved, but is it true that shorter barrels are more accurate? In other words, should I go with a 24" barrel for better accuracy instead of a 26" barrel that provides greater velocity, or does it really matter?

Secondly, is it true that blued barrels are more accurate than stainless barrels? A buddy told me that stainless barrels are more rigid than blued barrels, thus, making stainless rifles less accurate. I have doubts about his "expertise", so I decided to do a bit of research on the matter. Thank you in advance to anyone who can clarify these issues.

If your getting into LR hunting, your barrel will probably be at least 30" long and it will be more accurate then the 24" at longer ranges because it will give a faster velocity. Faster starting velocity will allow the bullet to perform better at extended range. 6" of more barrel length will give you 150 to 210 FPS more velocity.
Just 100 FPS can make a differance of 10" to 20" of drop at 1000 yards depending on what caliber you are using.

As per the blued barrel vs the Stainless----The Stainless steel will disapate heat better then Chrome Moly (blued) barrels. Some say that Chrome moly is harder and will last longer, but I have not noticed that at all.
My suggestion would be to have at least a 30" stainless steel barrel installed when you are ready to get into LR shooting or hunting. You can't go wrong with that.

One of the challenges of getting into a sport like this one is that you need to develop a good ******** filter so that you are working with real info. You will hear a lot of stuff in the gunshops and rifle ranges from guys that haven't shot long, but know all about it somehow.

The guys on this forum will give you good info. Suggest that you start by reading the section called Basics. Go back into it and you will find a lot of material that will answer many initial questions. Len and Dave King set that section up specifically for guys like yourself.

As for chrome-moly barrels being more accurate than stainless ones, if there is any difference you will probably never have to worry about it in this lifetime. Might be splitting hairs that don't need splitting. Seems like stailess wins a lot of matches and is the choice of most guys at this place.

As for short barrels outshooting long barrels the guys on this forum who shoot the 30 inch barrels would probably argue that one. Barrel length has lots to do with velocity gains, if the barrel is a good one it will shoot at whatever length it is cut and crowned at.

Your first decision is how far you want to get the equipment, skills and confidence to shoot out to. For some guys here, 450 yards is long, for others it is 700, others regularly hunt out to 1000 and the extreme range specialists shoot out to 1500 and well beyond.

Most guys work their way out to distances that challenge their skills and equipment, all the while considering their ability to put bullets into lethal sized groups at whatever range. These guys do a lot of shooting, practice is what makes LR hunting doable.
CSA, Welcome to the forum.

I agree with both guys here and would only add a couple things, most everyone in competition is using SS barrels these days, for the extra barrel life in the throat area. The stiffness of a barrel is related to the diameter as well as the length, and most guys are using much heavier contour barrels when going to 30" and beyond to retain rigidity. A custom barrel will serve you well in any contour, but you are likely going to want the heavier weight barrel to keep heat build up down and offer better stability as well.

What do you hunt with the 25-06?
How far do you practice at normally, and what is your favorite bullet to use in that one?

Dan Lilja has a lot of information on his site along with some very interesting articles you might find helpfull.
I can vouch for the longer barrels being incredibly accurate, I got to shoot CAM's new 30 378 with a 30 inch barrel and you could shoot dime sized groups with that baby all day long at 100 yards. Very nice piece of work you got their CAM.
Just out of couriosity, what MFG is the barrel and is it a heavy or fairly light weight one.

A friend of mine has a new 28" SS finished and chambered 30/378 Pacnor three groove in a light weight contour he wants 150 bucks for. That is all his dad used for his light weight custom mountain rifles, even the 30/378.
Thanks SR90 for bringing the Crony

Brent the barrel is a Krieger 32" with a tapper. Howard Wolfe supplied the barrel, brake, and done the work on the gun. I supplied the nesika action, Elkridge Stock, and the NXS 5.5x22 scope. I'm starting to test loads and I'm so happy I can't quit smiling

I might have to change my handle to SMILEE!

Bobby inleted the stock and it looks GREAT


If short barrels were better everyone would be shooting pistols! Even the old timers used LOOOONG DARRYL BARRELS. They just never called them that! If you want a long range gun get a LONG RANGE SMITH. Then tell them the purpose you want the gun for ( hunting or Bench ) Mine is for tipping over Elk! So I have a tappered barrel. Also I wanted to stay under 16.5 lbs for some competition some day.


You are very welcome. I am going to load up some more rounds tonight. I'll see you thursday.
Thanks for the info guys. I'm leaning towards the 25-06 because it's a good all around caliber for my intended use, which is groundhogs, coyotes and whitetails at a max. of 600-700 yards. I'll probably load 100 grain ballistic tips and X bullets and go with the one that performs best. If anyone has any further suggestions, I welcome your input. Thanks again.
I've had no success at all with Barnes X bullets and would be interested to know how to go about it. They have great BCs and potential for serious expansion.

I couldn't get neither the 25-06 nor the 7 mm Rum to shoot Barnes XBTs.

Barnes says they need a big jump to the lands. Big jump/little jump, no luck for me.

Anyone been able to make them work?

I shoot the 400gr XLC in my 416wby and it shoots perfectly small groups, the 168gr XLC in the 300 Ultra shot great too. Most of Barnes BC figures are a bit overrated. My 400gr XLC was below a .400 BC and the 30 cal 180, 165, and 150 XLCBT were too.

The 150 XLCBT shot about 1 moa in my sons 308win at max load, but the others didn't do any better than 1.5-2.5 moa. All these bullets tested had a good jump to the lands, .050" - .100" or so.
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