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Posted: 12/3/2007 12:16:47 PM EDT
What is the optimal barrel length for a .223 cartridge? I am looking to get a 1-8" twist barrel but I do not know the length to get?
Anyone out there have any knowledge that they would like to share on this subject?
Thank you, Phessor
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 4:29:03 PM EDT
If you are looking for the max velocity get a 24". If you want a practical rifle that you might carry get a 20". I have a 20" bull barrel and it does what I need out to 600 yards. If you need to shoot past 600 yard I would get a 24". The 1/8 is a nice twist. If you want to shoot strictly heavy bullets (69gr+) get a 1/7 twist.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 4:34:49 PM EDT
Thanks phessor for posting this question. I have been pondering the same. I am building a "sniping" rig - basically a competition/tactical 600 yard gun - and I want a 1/8" twist bull barrel. I didn't know if going with a 16" barrel would ruin the accuracy at that range. What do you all think? Should I stick with a 24" barrel as was stated above?

Thanks
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 5:07:22 PM EDT
My question was, is there a barrel length that is just right?
To short and you haven't burned all of your powder and there by taken full advantage of the potential energy.
To long and you have used all of the energy from your powder and now you have bullet drag.

Thank you, Phessor
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 5:17:35 PM EDT
A 16 inch barrel of the same profile will have the same or better accuracy than a 24" (in most cases).
Shorter barrels are more rigid, which lends itself well to accuracy.

A longer barrel gives more velocity though, which increases it's effective range, but not necessarily accuracy.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 5:17:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 5:18:52 PM EDT by SHTFMeister]
I think Stoner's original barrel length was 20" wasn't it. That said I've always been told that a 24" barrel is about as long as most 556 cartridges need.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 5:48:21 PM EDT
If anyone has ever looked into the Tac-Ops rifles...you will know that they advocate short barrels...(down to 18" for calibers as big as the .308) You would also know that they are known for having some of THE most accurate tactical bolt-guns in the world.

As said above, shorter barrels are more rigid, and really don't give you a whole lot whith extra length besides a slight increase in velocity.

If they can guarantee .25 MOA or less with 18" 308's, I think it's safe to say you don't need anything past 18" for the 5.56 caliber as far as accuracy is concerned.

If anyone has a greater interest in this area, I suggest checking out their website and looking at some of the articals written on their rifles. It is really pretty interesting stuff.

www.tacticaloperations.com
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 6:30:53 PM EDT
Hey wait a minute Phessor optimal length for what? velocity? What specifically do you plan to use it for? Long range? or something else.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 7:32:15 PM EDT
Long range, or at least as har out there as I can get with a 77gr or 80gr .223 bullet!
Phessor


Originally Posted By SHTFMeister:
Hey wait a minute Phessor optimal length for what? velocity? What specifically do you plan to use it for? Long range? or something else.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 7:50:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/3/2007 10:06:40 PM EDT by WorstCaseScenario]
To answer your question, the 20" barrel is really optimum for most commercial cartridges. They're designed around it. 24" & 26" barrels do give a slight edge in velocity, but not a huge edge. It can be argued that longer barrels stabilize bullets better, as well, due to the longer engagement between the bullet and the lands. Shorter barrels are more rigid, so they do have less barrel "whip", resulting in an accuracy advantage. The problem is that advantage is negated by the decreasing consistency in powder burn in shorter barrels.

This is going to get the flames going, but if accuracy is you utmost concern, go with a 20" barrel. If accuracy is a major concern but not the only one, don't go below 16". SPRs are often 18", a very nice compromise. Shorter barrels can be very accurate, Wes has some that shoot itty-bitty groups I here.

And I do know something about Tac-Ops. I have an Alpha 51. They recommend 24" unless you're an urban sniper.

Edited for spelling.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 8:04:39 PM EDT
26" wilson.... hard to find.
Link Posted: 12/3/2007 8:05:21 PM EDT
compromise, i am .

didn't want the extremely long 24" so i got a 22" instead. more velocity than 20 inch, but not as unwieldy as the 24"
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 11:52:55 AM EDT
WorstCase,

What caliber are you shooting in your Tac-Ops? Everything I have read from their site has them leaning towards 18-22" barrels for 308...and 22" and up for larger shells like 300 Win. Mag.

P.S. You're a lucky guy...they are amazing looking rifles. I hope to have one someday when I can afford the rifle and nice S&B glass.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 12:04:12 PM EDT
I like my 20" 1:8 Match HBAR. It seems to really like 68gr and 75gr loadings best so far. Only fired it out to 200yds so far though.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:05:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Xskier45:
WorstCase,

What caliber are you shooting in your Tac-Ops? Everything I have read from their site has them leaning towards 18-22" barrels for 308...and 22" and up for larger shells like 300 Win. Mag.

P.S. You're a lucky guy...they are amazing looking rifles. I hope to have one someday when I can afford the rifle and nice S&B glass.


.308. It was hard to swallow the price. I have a GA also that shoots just as well and cost $1200 less. Tac Ops' primary customers are SWAT snipers whose shots are seldom past 75 yards, hensce the recommendation. I'm not LE, so for classes and matches and such out to 600m, the 24" was recommended. For a civi or hunting rifle the .300 really suffers below 24" without double base powders. That's the same with the .223.

I reload for hunting. When I'm choosing a cartridge, I start with what I intend to shoot and what makes sense for that shot. Cartridge and barrel length go hand in hand. Putting a short barrel on a magnum rifle is like putting go cart wheels on a pick-up truck, looks great in Tijuana, but doesn't really make sense.

To me, a short barrel rifle has one use and that's manuverability in tight spaces. You get that manuverability at the expense of most all other performance related statistics. In a hunting rifle you have a myriad of caliber/cartridge choices to suit your needs. In a military style rifle, you had best pick the round it's designed to shoot.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:10:33 PM EDT
For personal defense at the normal ranges of under 50yds 95% of the time a carbine legnth barrel will do.If you need something for a built up environment with lots of hard cover go .308.For long range a 20" match barrel in .308 or .223 should do.It all depends on your requirements of the given weapon and its intended use.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:15:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 1:16:13 PM EDT by DemonLoneWolf]
10.5" LMT.

Eta

That is if it's gonna be used for SHTF/nuclear zombie apocalypse scenario. Light and handy and accurate.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:17:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 1:27:20 PM EDT by Hokie]
if shooting long ranges with heavy ammo, get a 20" match barrel.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:19:10 PM EDT
Fuck 20" get a 14.5" carbine length barrel or 16" mid length, that is plenty, you won't regret it. I don't know about you but I don't wanna be carrying around a musket.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:26:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 1:26:53 PM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By DemonLoneWolf:
Fuck 20" get a 14.5" carbine length barrel or 16" mid length, that is plenty, you won't regret it. I don't know about you but I don't wanna be carrying around a musket.


The OP said he wanted to maximize the capabilities of 77 grain ammo. The velocity advantage over a 14.5" bbl can't be ignored.

I still agree with you, a carbine length barrel is FAR more versatile. Something tells me that barrel length isn't his biggers worry. I'd vote for a 16" middy myself.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:26:58 PM EDT
Barrel legnth will be dictated by intended use.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:27:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ChromeLined:
Barrel legnth will be dictated by intended use.


ayuh
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:34:22 PM EDT
Well I mean for a precision rig then a 20" is cool, but I would rather just have a 16" middy stainless, like the Noveske Afghan.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:35:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DemonLoneWolf:
Well I mean for a precision rig then a 20" is cool, but I would rather just have a 16" middy stainless, like the Noveske Afghan.


no doubt, I have a 16" match bbl for that reason
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:46:24 PM EDT
imo, 20"

16" will do fine, but if you want to get that extra vel/length, 20" is it imo
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 1:48:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Phessor:
My question was, is there a barrel length that is just right?
To short and you haven't burned all of your powder and there by taken full advantage of the potential energy.
To long and you have used all of the energy from your powder and now you have bullet drag.

Thank you, Phessor

For full powder burn you'd need something like a 36" barrel IIRC.

Long before that you reach a point where the improvement is simply not worth the trouble.

For "practical" rifle applications in 5.56 16"-20" are all viable barrel lengths and give good performance. For target/precision rifles for longer range application, 20" up to say 24" give you just a little more muzzle velocity for longer range performance.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:08:58 PM EDT
I like
20 or 18 for a AR15 Rifle
10.5 to 14.5 Max for Carbine PERIOD
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 2:22:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Phessor:
Long range, or at least as har out there as I can get with a 77gr or 80gr .223 bullet!
Phessor



20" is always good, but the 24" may be more applicable for your purpose.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:00:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 3:13:46 PM EDT by Phessor]
Ok, I went with a 26" Shilen .223 Remington Varmint Contour 1 in 8" Twist Stainless Match Grade Barrel.

I am looking to get this rifle to shoot out to 1000 yards, maybe

Phessor
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 3:22:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Phessor:
Ok, I went with a 26" Shilen .223 Remington Varmint Contour 1 in 8" Twist Stainless Match Grade Barrel.

I am looking to get this rifle to shoot out to 1000 yards, maybe

Phessor


Nice Take! Let us get a range report after you let some fly
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