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Posted: 12/1/2007 8:07:13 PM EDT
The proprietor of the gunshop I visited today said yes, and that barrel length has no effect on terminal velocity. I thought I heard differently here. Is there an actual answer to this question, or is it just another argument only supported by anecdotes?

Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:07:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 8:12:27 PM EDT by the870isking]
Prettty sure that guy is a

Longer barrel = more velocity to a point

Kind of a wierd question you got going there.

Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:08:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 8:10:57 PM EDT by Jrock82]
To a certain extent yes.

To break it down simply, the bullet travels along the same path for a longer distance, and is propelled by the gases for longer.

ETA: To add to that a longer barrel helps you with sighting (when using irons) because it puts you closer to the target.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:09:55 PM EDT
depends on the target distance
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:11:01 PM EDT
longer barrel = more velocity = less play from wind and such.
Shorter barrel = less flex which can = same or higher accuracy than a longer barrel. Larue and MSTN both have put high power scopes on their little barrels and got submoa accuracy.

I dont know all the technical talk and such but thats the jist of it from what I understand
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:11:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 8:14:37 PM EDT by Rosenrot]

Originally Posted By Jrock82:
To a certain extent yes.

To break it down simply, the bullet travels along the same path for a longer distance, and is propelled by the gases for longer.

ETA: To add to that a longer barrel helps you with sighting (when using irons) because it puts you closer to the target.


+1


Pretty much. The longer the barrel is the more the bullet will spin
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:13:02 PM EDT
I thought shorter barrels (within reason) were more accurate due to the "stiffer" nature of the barrel.

Take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm not a long-range shooter.
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:35:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2007 8:37:10 PM EDT by Telecasterman]
Barrel length has little effect on intrinsic accuracy..it DOES have an effect on speed coming out of the barrel..to a point...

The quality of the barrel has a great effect on accuracy...as do a number of other factors....the greatest insofar as field use, is the skill of the operator.

FIELD USE AIN'T the same as bench rest shooting...which is not really marksmanship, but more a factor of equipment accuracy and taking the human element out of the equation...so to speak..
Link Posted: 12/1/2007 8:41:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jrock82:

ETA: To add to that a longer barrel helps you with sighting (when using irons) because it puts you closer to the target.


I'm sure you ment to word that differently.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:24:24 AM EDT
In a pistol, a longer barrel, plus iron sights, means a longer sight radius, so it helps your eyes align the sights more precisely.

In a rifle, a barrel needs to be long enough to burn up all the powder, and stabilize the bullet so it keeps flying straight after it leaves the barrel -- no shorter, no longer. However, a rifle barrel flexes when the cartridge fires, and vibrates like a tuning fork. I took a sniper course a couple of years ago where the instructor had us stand behind each other and watch the rifle barrels. Try it next time you're at the range. A rifle barrel looks like a strand of spaghetti when it fires; you can really see it flex like a whip. So, if the barrel is longer than it needs to be, you could just be subjecting the bullet to extra vibrations. Sometimes, shortening the barrel can improve accuracy, for that reason.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:29:13 AM EDT
Not necessarily. If you're using iron sights though, a longer barrel gets you more sight radius, which helps you shoot more accurately. Barrel length certainly does have an effect on velocity.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 7:30:04 AM EDT
Speaking strictly for rifles, the length of the barrel depends on the speed of the powder pushing the projectile.

Faster burning modern powders have allowed the use of shorter barrels in many cases. Any barrel length past the point that the powder has completely burned is just wasted drag on the projectile.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:07:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:10:32 AM EDT
It depends on the caliber and barrel, etc. For instance an 18" barreled FAL will often be more accurate and generate the same (sometimes more) velocity as a 21" one. There are a lot of variables to take into account- too many to make broad generalizations about it.
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:16:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2007 10:18:09 AM EDT by Strych9]
Wow, lots of misinformation in here.


Originally Posted By Milquetoast:
In a pistol, a longer barrel, plus iron sights, means a longer sight radius, so it helps your eyes align the sights more precisely.

In a rifle, a barrel needs to be long enough to burn up all the powder, and stabilize the bullet so it keeps flying straight after it leaves the barrel -- no shorter, no longer. However, a rifle barrel flexes when the cartridge fires, and vibrates like a tuning fork. I took a sniper course a couple of years ago where the instructor had us stand behind each other and watch the rifle barrels. Try it next time you're at the range. A rifle barrel looks like a strand of spaghetti when it fires; you can really see it flex like a whip. So, if the barrel is longer than it needs to be, you could just be subjecting the bullet to extra vibrations. Sometimes, shortening the barrel can improve accuracy, for that reason.


That's an optical illusion, no one really thinks a barrel turns into a rubber hose every time you send a bullet down it. Ever held a pencil by the end and waved it back and forth to make it seem elastic? Same thing, except the rifle is being held fixed against your shoulder while the barrel vibrates and creates the illusion.

A bullet needs time for the gas behind it to stabilize and start pushing it at a steady rate, this is why rifles (generally!) have larger cartridges/barrels than handguns. Any excess barrel after the point the gas propelling the bullet stabilizes is useless, so firearms manufacturers study burn rates and other factors before deciding how long a barrel needs to be
Link Posted: 12/2/2007 10:21:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By black_irish:
The proprietor of the gunshop I visited today said yes, and that barrel length has no effect on terminal velocity. I thought I heard differently here. Is there an actual answer to this question, or is it just another argument only supported by anecdotes?



Terminal velocity is the maximum velocity a free falling body attains in the atmosphere where drag cancels out acceleration due to gravity. It has nothing to do with ballistics.

A longer barrel (up to a point) will result in greater muzzle velocity due to longer acceleration of the bullet. The bullet accelerates inside the barrel, once the bullet exits the muzzle deceleration begins. The longer it accelerates the faster it will go.
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