Why not shorten your rifle's barrel?

mgood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
190
Location
Snyder, Texas
It is great to get some feedback on this.I also will not carry a rifle that has a longer than 24" barrel, 22 is better yet.Sometimes, it doesn't affect velocity much.I shortened a .270 win of mine from 22 to 19 inches..It lost 100 fps.I shortened the stock as well and it now is 39"long.It now is no longer than my model 94, it is a browning blr.A very handy, quick to handle saddle rifle I use for sheep hunting.In this country alot of times we carry the rifle bandolier style so our hands are free so we can climb or get through brush.Different regions have different requirements though, I like to hear about it all.Cheers.
My AR has a 16" barrel and a collapsible stock. It's handy if maneuverability in tight spaces is the priority. If the priority is getting all the speed you can out of an overbore cartridge, then you need a barrel long enough to keep that bullet in the tube while the powder is burning/expanding rather than spitting flame and unburned powder out the muzzle. Most rifles are going to be a compromise. To get more of one thing you give up some of another thing. You want light weight, you're going to deal with more recoil for the same cartridge. You want a heavier, steadier hold and less recoil, then you're going to haul around more weight. Each individual has to figure out where his or her priorities are and select the firearm that best suits them. Even if you're fortunate enough to have a collection that covers every possibility, you're not going to carry them all around all the time. You'll have to pick which one (or two) best suits your needs for this hunt or this trip to the range or whatever.

I used to work in a gun store. I talked to people all the time who were trying to pick out a defensive pistol. Same thing. I'd tell them that generally, bigger and heavier is easier to shoot but lighter and more compact is easier to carry around all day. YOU have to choose what is right for you.
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,939
Firstly I am not a long range hunter/shooter.Just look at the advantages of a shortened tube.Improved harmonics, more maneuverable and lighter in the field, alot of times more accurate . We all wear hearing protection so muzzle blast is not an issue. Hunting mountain game like I do, portability is key on horseback or on the shanks mare.I cannot see a reason , other than a minimal increase in muzzle velocity( in many cases) to have a long barrel.What say you?

Haha!!
I bet I could out shoot any short barrel you could dream up.
Length has NOTHING to do with accuracy, it's thickness CAN, but even skinny long barrels can be very very accurate.
I don't wear hearing protection when hunting, I don't expect to fire more than a magazine full of ammunition (3), unless I'm spotlighting, in which case I'm shooting from a vehicle, so I use ear plugs LIGHTLY inserted in my ears.
Also, a longer barrel points far more stable than a light short barrel.
But, seeing as though you like them, then they MUST be better.
I like 24" barrels on 270's/30-06's, 26" barrels on ALL magnums as a minimum, and anywhere between 22"-26" on big bores. My target/long range barrels start at 28" and go up from theire, as does the THICKNESS.

:rolleyes:
 

Edd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
3,814
Location
Tulsa
Haha!!
I bet I could out shoot any short barrel you could dream up.
Length has NOTHING to do with accuracy, it's thickness CAN,

If you are going to agree that thickness can affect accuracy, you have to agree that length also has an affect. Making a barrel thicker or shorter will change the stiffness.
 

tony m

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
227
Location
elk valley BC
Haha!!
I bet I could out shoot any short barrel you could dream up.
Length has NOTHING to do with accuracy, it's thickness CAN, but even skinny long barrels can be very very accurate.
I don't wear hearing protection when hunting, I don't expect to fire more than a magazine full of ammunition (3), unless I'm spotlighting, in which case I'm shooting from a vehicle, so I use ear plugs LIGHTLY inserted in my ears.
Also, a longer barrel points far more stable than a light short barrel.
But, seeing as though you like them, then they MUST be better.
I like 24" barrels on 270's/30-06's, 26" barrels on ALL magnums as a minimum, and anywhere between 22"-26" on big bores. My target/long range barrels start at 28" and go up from theire, as does the THICKNESS.

:rolleyes:
I believe the longer the tube the more difficult it is to keep harmonics /vibration in order hence a longer barrel needs to be quite thick to be more efficient.This can create a portability/weight issue.Don't serious benchrest shooters have short/fats?Another question...If a long range shooter wants increased muzzle velocity why not use a larger chambering? EG: go from a .308 win to a .300? Same BC, higher velocity achieved with a shorter barrel.
 

FEENIX

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
17,574
Location
Great Falls, MT
If a long range shooter wants increased muzzle velocity why not use a larger chambering? EG: go from a .308 win to a .300? Same BC, higher velocity achieved with a shorter barrel.

"Most" do but I assure you "most" would keep the barrel to 26" minimum regardless if it's .308 Win or any of the .300 Magnums and it's variant. Again, it boils down to personal preference and intended purpose. I have a 6.5x55 Swede carbine with 18" barrel for close timber hunts.

On a different note there are LRH members that shoot/hunt with specialty handguns with serious range, i.e. Ernie Bishop varmints at 1500 yards IIRC, if you want portability that's hard to beat.

Cheers!
 

300whisper

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
4,353
Location
Macon, Georgia
I like 24" barrels on 270's/30-06's, 26" barrels on ALL magnums as a minimum, and anywhere between 22"-26" on big bores. My target/long range barrels start at 28" and go up from there.

:rolleyes:

I agree with this statement. BUT, it is a known fact that shorter, fatter barrels of the same quality are more accurate since it has more stable harmonics. It has to do with the harmonic waves that reverberate through the barrel as the round is fired. You are trying to get the waves to meet at the same point along the barrel and eventually intersect at the muzzle. This is me trying to remember physics from college so I am not explaining it very well. Watch this video....

 
Last edited by a moderator:

HARPERC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,851
Location
Spokane, WA
.....Again, it boils down to personal preference and intended purpose. I have a 6.5x55 Swede carbine with 18" barrel for close timber hunts.

On a different note there are LRH members that shoot/hunt with specialty handguns with serious range, i.e. Ernie Bishop varmints at 1500 yards IIRC, if you want portability that's hard to beat.

Cheers!

What he said!
 

308175

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Messages
49
Location
Arizona
This is a long range hunting forum. We don't care about short fat bench rest barrels or compact timber land rifles. At least not on this forum.

Why don't my long range rigs have short barrels? Velocity. Plain and simple.

We are milking everything we can for the best possible down range performance. Since I shoot a lot of 308s, I need all the help I can get. If it's only 100 fps, so be it. It extends my range that much further.

I've ran 308 barrels as long as 29". You can get some serious velocities out of 185-215 grain bullets using powders on the slower spectrum of 308 powders.

Why not use a bigger cartridge with a shorter barrel? Recoil, barrel life, cost of reloading, muzzle blast, etc...

It's all personal preference. My preference is 26"-28" barrels on anything from a 308 win to 300 win mag to 280AI to 260.
 

7magcreedmoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2012
Messages
726
Location
Lebanon County PA
Two barrels don't make for a statistical sample, but as an anecdotal example, I could not get more than 2870fps out of my 24 inch 7 rem mag (factory barrel) with the bullet I preferred. I had it rebarrelled with a 26 inch tube and was able to run 3050 using the same bullet and charge. I know there are more variables in play here than just length, but my 6.5/284 hits 3020 out of 26 inches, and my 280 AI runs 3015 out of 26 using the same bullet as my old 7rem mag, but using much less powder. If you want downrange energy, you have to have the velocity leaving the muzzle. Decide how far you need to deliver how much energy, and cut the barrel to whatever gets it done. This discussion reminds me of that joke about the young lady insisting that she wouldn't marry a man with less than a certain length "equipment", and after consulting his doctor he assured her it could be trimmed to whatever length she was comfortable with....

We could have the same discussion about girth....
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,939
I believe the longer the tube the more difficult it is to keep harmonics /vibration in order hence a longer barrel needs to be quite thick to be more efficient.This can create a portability/weight issue.Don't serious benchrest shooters have short/fats?Another question...If a long range shooter wants increased muzzle velocity why not use a larger chambering? EG: go from a .308 win to a .300? Same BC, higher velocity achieved with a shorter barrel.
What you 'believe' and the facts are totally different, a LONGER THICKER barrel is most likely just as stiff as a THINNER SHORTER barrel.
Harmonics only effects UNTUNED ammuntion, any barrel can be effected by harmonics, just as any rifle can be effected by it's bedding.
If a rifle has a short stiff barrel, but poor bedding, do you think that the barrel will compensate for the poor bedding?
What if a rifles short stiff barrel wasn't stress relieved correctly, is it's short stiff barrel going to help with POI wandering when the barrel heats?
What you are spouting is complete horse crap.
Broad statements , such as yours, have no place in precision shooting forums.

:rolleyes:
 

300whisper

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
4,353
Location
Macon, Georgia
Yeah but Dude it's 30 minute video- this is the internet ain't nobody got time for that!

Haha...plus I don't think the OP is looking for advice. I think he was just starting a conversation on barrel lengths. But this is a LRH forum so at least for the majority of the applications on here I would say a longer barrel is more suitable.
 
Top