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Posted: 7/21/2008 9:17:30 AM EST
its a pretty commonly held idea that a longer barrel leads to more accuracy. but apprently most people on this site dont beleive that its true.

so can a 6" barrel really be as accurate at a 20" barrel. I find it hard to believe
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:19:56 AM EST
My 4" is about the same accuracy as it was when it was 16"





I believe the larger factor in accuracy comes from the distance between the front and rear sights.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:22:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
My 4" is about the same accuracy as it was when it was 16"



nullbits.foxxz.net/albums/album56/IMG_1227.sized.jpg

I believe the larger factor in accuracy comes from the distance between the front and rear sights.


what kind of groups are you getting with a 4" barrel
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:23:22 AM EST
Maybe, but you get better range and velocity too out of a longer barrel.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:23:33 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:24:30 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:24:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By polik6887:
its a pretty commonly held idea that a longer barrel leads to more accuracy. but apprently most people on this site dont beleive that its true.

so can a 6" barrel really be as accurate at a 20" barrel. I find it hard to believe


Yes, but only from a standpoint that a shorter barrel has less muzzle velocity, so the bullet will drop more at a longer distance.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:25:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Stlkid:
Maybe, but you get better range and velocity too out of a longer barrel.


+1
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:25:56 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 9:26:11 AM EST by polik6887]
what about a 2" snub nosed 38 spcl. barrel. are you really saying that with propper rifling and loading, it could shoot sub moa?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:26:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By polik6887:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
My 4" is about the same accuracy as it was when it was 16"



nullbits.foxxz.net/albums/album56/IMG_1227.sized.jpg

I believe the larger factor in accuracy comes from the distance between the front and rear sights.


what kind of groups are you getting with a 4" barrel


I don't know. Center of mass mostly. I built it to go blam blam blam and be fun. I almost never sit there and see how accurate it is. But when I actually do carefully aim and try to hit a small point, it makes a ragged hole. Same as it did before the barrel was cut.

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:27:01 AM EST
Strange....

I thought that to a certain point, SHORTER bbls were more accurate...

Less "whip" in the barrel as the projectile passes down it...take a 1' dowel and move it in your hand slightly, then a 4' dowel and do the same thing...the end moves a good bit more....however as pointed out above, a longer bbl does allow for longer sight radius with open sights...
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:27:27 AM EST
With everything else being equal, the short barrel is going to be stiffer, and have less movement than the longer barrel. From what I have seen a short barrel is as accurate as a longer one. It is not going to get the same velocity, and may have a shorter sight radius, but the accuracy should be as good.

I've got a group sitting on my desk here from a 11.5" AR w/ a red dot. It's between 1/2 & 3/4". That barrel (which I bought used) will shoot < 1" groups at 100 yards w/ decent ammo & optics.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:29:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By polik6887:
what about a 2" snub nosed 38 spcl. barrel. are you really saying that with propper rifling and loading, it could shoot sub moa?


I can hit an iron maiden at 100 yards with one... the sights certainly don't help, though.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:30:00 AM EST
Depends on a lot more than just the barrel like the type of powder, bullet weight, distance to target, type of rifling, etc, etc, etc...
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:31:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By polik6887:
what about a 2" snub nosed 38 spcl. barrel. are you really saying that with propper rifling and loading, it could shoot sub moa?


Yes, it could, provided the action of the gun was capable (I don't know how the inherent accuracy of a revolver compares to that of, say, a bolt-action rifle. Probably not favorably). It would need optics, which would be a true pain to mount, or a machine rest. The bullets would also have a rainbow trajectory, but they'd hit in the same place.

You could take an accurate .22LR bolt-action rifle, cut the barrel down to 2", and if you did a good job with the crowning and such it should remain just as accurate.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:32:49 AM EST
Benchrest rifles are the most accurate rifles, they like 21.75" barrel length. These rifles are used for 100 and 200 yard shooting. For longer ranges it would be good to look at rifles built for long range shooting and emulate them.

Longer barrels are relatively less stiff for a given outer diameter which causes them to have more harmonic 'whipping' before the bullet leaves the barrel. And, since the bullet remains in the barrel longer, for say a 26" barrel, the whole rifle moves more in recoil before the bullet leaves the barrel.

On the other hand, if the longer barrel gives the bullet a higher velocity it will travel through the turbulent air for less time and be more difficult for the wind to change it's flight path. Less time for the wind to act on it and more difficult to force a deviation from it's path.

20 to 22" for the win at least for shorter ranges like out to 300 yards. My benchrest rifle and benchrest style varmint rifle do great at 500 yards too.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:34:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By cowboy7242001:

Originally Posted By polik6887:
its a pretty commonly held idea MYTH that a longer barrel leads to more accuracy.


Fixed.


All other things being equal, a 6" bbl will be just as accurate as a 20" bbl....


But with the difference in lengths...........how can all else be equal??

While benchresters (Who have weight limits)have reletively short barrels compared to F-Class , I believe that if they could get the same accuracy with a 10" barrel....by God they would use that weight they save elsewhere .


I think folks mistake decent accuracy of modern barrel makers .....that get away with 16 and 20 inchers......to that of old styles that used to be acceptable at 24 inches.

And none of what Ive stated has even begun to take into considerations of waisted gasses being expelled from a short barrel....before they are thru pushing the bullet.

Pistol caliber bullets , for the most part , are done being pushed much sooner....so the remaining length of barrel is just friction.


Show me serious varminters, benchresters ,F-Classers, etc.....that are competing with a stubby barrel
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:34:31 AM EST
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:35:57 AM EST
Mechanical accuracy is not linked to barrel length. Practical accuracy is. (More velocity = flatter trajectory and less time to bullet impact, longer sight radius, etc...)
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:36:26 AM EST
At 300 yards with an EOTech I hit 24/30 rounds on a human silouette target with a 10.5" barrel.

YMMV
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:36:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By polik6887:
what about a 2" snub nosed 38 spcl. barrel. are you really saying that with propper rifling and loading, it could shoot sub moa?


Does a 6" 38 Special shoot sub-moa ?


I think alot of the misconception is what definition of "accuracy" are we talking about.

A longer barrel (to a point) will give more velocity then a shorter one. The higher velocity means that outside forces have less time to act upon the projectile in flight. So you may be more accurate with a longer barrel at very long range. However given the absence of outside forces the gun is not more accurate then one with a shorter barrel.

Within most normal ranges for a particular firearm the barrel length has no affect in accuracy. I have seen test done with a 44 magnum revolver that went from 12" barrel down to 2 or 4" with no effect at 50 yards. And have seen 308 rifles go from 24" to 16" with no effect at 300 yards. (the zero may change but not the MOA) .


Why do you assume a longer barrel will mean more accuracy ?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:38:36 AM EST
It helps on the mini-14 rifle.

It help ever more to attach another rifle too it.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:43:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 9:53:19 AM EST by ultramagbrion]

Originally Posted By ANGST:

Originally Posted By polik6887:
what about a 2" snub nosed 38 spcl. barrel. are you really saying that with propper rifling and loading, it could shoot sub moa?


Does a 6" 38 Special shoot sub-moa ?


I think alot of the misconception is what definition of "accuracy" are we talking about.

A longer barrel (to a point) will give more velocity then a shorter one. The higher velocity means that outside forces have less time to act upon the projectile in flight. So you may be more accurate with a longer barrel at very long range. However given the absence of outside forces the gun is not more accurate then one with a shorter barrel. .

Within most normal ranges for a particular firearm the barrel length has no affect in accuracy. I have seen test done with a 44 magnum revolver that went from 12" barrel down to 2 or 4" with no effect at 50 yards. And have seen 308 rifles go from 24" to 16" with no effect at 300 yards. (the zero may change but not the MOA) .


Why do you assume a longer barrel will mean more accuracy ?



You just stated it in your post ( until we are competing,waging war,or defending ourselves in a vaccum)

Now if a weapon will perform its intended task with a shorter, and thus,lighter/more manuverable barrel..............by all means ...use it.

And really.....what's the realistic difference between a .300 inch group compared to a .400 group in an urban enviroment anyways?


But all the arguments are moot (to me) until the benchresters and long range classes (that have weight restrictions)move to a much shorter barrel. They are ,for the most part , our ultimate source of accuracy info and technology AFAIC.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:44:17 AM EST
When the bullet starts to move, the firearm reacts. With shorter barrels, there is less mass to resist movement and the reaction is greater.

Sure, the longer barrel has longer reaction time. But this is why a 2" snub nose .38 won't be as accurate as a 6"
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:46:17 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:47:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


This.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:51:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By swede1986:

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


This.


Run optics & the sight radius problem is a non issue. You're then trading a lower velocity for a stiffer bbl & less dwell time in the bbl.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:54:27 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:56:06 AM EST
Barrel "whip" (resonance of the barrel during firing) will least affect the bullet as it leaves the barrel at a specific barrel lengh. So depending on the particular gun and load, accuracy would decrease with an increase or decrease in barrel length from optimal... right?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:00:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
Assuming you put a scope on a 10" and a 20" AR,
assuming you know the bullet weight, BC and muzzle velocity,
would both be able shoot the same group at 100, 200 or 300 yds?


You haven't seen the new BMG's they are 10in barrels now..............
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:00:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 10:08:56 AM EST by ultramagbrion]

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
Assuming you put a scope on a 10" and a 20" AR,
assuming you know the bullet weight, BC and muzzle velocity,
would both be able shoot the same group at 100, 200 or 300 yds?




My money is on the 20" .

.223 , 6.8 , .308...............heavy barrel in both lengths , both made by the same quality maker (Lilja, Krieger, Hart, etc)to optimize the given length.....the 20" will prevail over a 10" every time under identical conditions.


Ill put up a years ARF membership too



Any takers???
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:02:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By jhereg:

Originally Posted By swede1986:

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


This.


Run optics & the sight radius problem is a non issue. You're then trading a lower velocity for a stiffer bbl & less dwell time in the bbl.


And adding muzzle blast, and therefore flinching.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:06:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By Q3131A:

Originally Posted By polik6887:
its a pretty commonly held idea that a longer barrel leads to more accuracy. but apprently most people on this site dont beleive that its true.

so can a 6" barrel really be as accurate at a 20" barrel. I find it hard to believe


Yes, but only from a standpoint that a shorter barrel has less muzzle velocity, so the bullet will drop more at a longer distance.

this
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:08:18 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:08:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By swede1986:

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


This.


Agreed.

...But since even this thread is full of hard-heads I guess I'll step up.

I have a 16" M4-gery that I plan on cutting to 10.3 in then next few weeks. I'll try to do a before and after.

Judging by the way my 5" AR shoots, I'd have to say it won't matter one bit.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:12:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By CKxx:

Originally Posted By swede1986:

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Consistency = Accuracy

Shorter barrels means lower velocity, more bullet drop, but can be just as consistent as a long barrel.

Shorter barrels usually means shorter site radius, which makes it harder to aim consistently.


Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


This.


Agreed.

...But since even this thread is full of hard-heads I guess I'll step up.

I have a 16" M4-gery that I plan on cutting to 10.3 in then next few weeks. I'll try to do a before and after.

Judging by the way my 5" AR shoots, I'd have to say it won't matter one bit.




This hard head would love a before and after report.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:12:33 AM EST
That's Sometimes true.


A couple of years ago I wrote of a time when I took my 11½ Upper shooting at targets 200 yards away. The accuracy was almost as good as my Standard 20 inch barrel was.

On the other hand I would never shoot the 11½ at a target 400 or more yards away.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:14:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:14:18 AM EST
Technically, a shorter barrel leads to GREATER accuracy, all other things being equal.

Why?

The biggest key to tight groups is barrel harmonics. When you shoot, the barrel vibrates, just like a tuning key. Hand loaders "tune" their loads by using different powder and bullet combinations to where the bullet leaves the barrel on a node rather than a swing. A shorter barrel leads to less "whip" or vibration of the barrel, and thus usually results in greater accuracy.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:17:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:

This hard head would love a before and after report.




Seriously, I will take the gun out this weekend and shoot some groups.

I'll send it to ADCO sometime in the next ~2-3 weeks. Just give me some time.

I don't have any handloaded ammo, so the green-tipped stuff is going to have to do.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:18:37 AM EST
I bet if I had a long barrel I could get groups to touch no problem. If your request is 100 yards, I'd just use a 100 yard barrel
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:20:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
Technically, a shorter barrel leads to GREATER accuracy, all other things being equal.

Why?

The biggest key to tight groups is barrel harmonics. When you shoot, the barrel vibrates, just like a tuning key. Hand loaders "tune" their loads by using different powder and bullet combinations to where the bullet leaves the barrel on a node rather than a swing. A shorter barrel leads to less "whip" or vibration of the barrel, and thus usually results in greater accuracy.



So again........why are the benchresters shooting a 20 inch or so barrel?

They would love to move that weight down and back into the stock......if they could they would.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:22:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By CKxx:

Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:

This hard head would love a before and after report.




Seriously, I will take the gun out this weekend and shoot some groups.

I'll send it to ADCO sometime in the next ~2-3 weeks. Just give me some time.

I don't have any handloaded ammo, so the green-tipped stuff is going to have to do.



The ammo is too inconsistent.......try some Hornady TAP or some Black Hills if you want decent results.

Regardless............Id be interested in the results. Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:25:48 AM EST
Oh and folks...........dont take me wrong. Id love someone to de-bunk my beliefs.

Id much rather run a shorter barrel on my weapons!!!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:26:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots:
Shorter barrel means the front sight is much closer to your eye, which makes it much bigger compared to the target.


You can somewhat compensate for that by using a small width (like .052) national match front sight post.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:28:55 AM EST
Aren't 16" barrels quite common with benchresters? The folks shooting 6mm PPC at 100 yards that is.

As far as F Class, isn't that a much greater range? And from unsupported positions? A barrel too short would lead to balance issues, and the lower velocities would make for more air time on the bullet as well as greater compensation for hold over.

If I had a Ruger Charger, I would take a stock 10/22 barrel on it, mount it in a vise, and progressively cut the barrel down in 2" increments. Recrown and shoot 10 shot groups at 50 yards all the way down to 4" or so.

I only have 10/22 rifles however and I'm not paying a $200 tax to sort this mess out.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:46:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 10:55:01 AM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:53:46 AM EST
Within a certain range, shorter barrels CAN be more accurate than longer barrels. But let us be sure, here, we are not talking about comparing the accuracy of a 20" barel to the accuracy of a 3" barrel. 20"-16" and maybe a little shorter.

A) as the length of a barrel gets shorter the barrel gets stiffer (to the 4th power if anyonoe is interested: x**4)
But this is counteracted by
B) as the barrel gets shorter the barrel vibrations run up and down the barrel more times by the time the bullet leaves, thus making it harder for the bullet to leave when the vibrations are "away from" the muzzle. See Optimal Barrel Time and Optimal Charge Weight, ANd Audette Ladder while you are at it.
Thus
C) as a barrel gets shorter it may be more accurate, but it may ALSO be harder to find that one load that shoots to the barrels potential.
In addition:
D) as the barrel gets shorter the muzzle report get louder, doubling in sound pressure for each 3"-ish of barrel shortening.

At least in 223/5.56 much of the terminal damage potential resides in the velocity of the bullet at impact. Short barrels don't emit the bullets as fast and thus there comes a barrel length that is so short the ammo does not perform "in target" as it was intended.

So, if one is comparing a 24" bolt rifle to a 20" bolt rifle, it is very conceivable that the 20"-er would shoot better on average. And Google up "Houston Warehouse" for the complete story on how accurate can guns be made, tested, an tuned.

In rubuttal to the short barrel theories: notice that the PALMA guns are very long barreled, and shoot pretty darned accurately by anyones measure. Thye need the 28"-32" lengths for sight radius amd muzzle velocity to ensure the 155 gr SMK projectile stays solidly supersonic at 1000 yards; often getting well over 3000 fps at the muzzle.

Also note that magnum calibers generally need a longer barrel so that the MV potential of the weapon can be delivered in practice.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:59:45 AM EST

Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
Technically, a shorter barrel leads to GREATER accuracy, all other things being equal.

Why?

The biggest key to tight groups is barrel harmonics. When you shoot, the barrel vibrates, just like a tuning key. Hand loaders "tune" their loads by using different powder and bullet combinations to where the bullet leaves the barrel on a node rather than a swing. A shorter barrel leads to less "whip" or vibration of the barrel, and thus usually results in greater accuracy.



So again........why are the benchresters shooting a 20 inch or so barrel?

They would love to move that weight down and back into the stock......if they could they would.


my guess is this: if they ran short barrels they would have to SBR, which could cause issues/pain in the ass if they wanted to travel to shoots. this does not address why they just don't run 16 inchers.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:08:20 AM EST
YES! On paper. But killing range is lessened greatly(I know off topic).
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:12:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
Assuming you put a scope on a 10" and a 20" AR,
assuming you know the bullet weight, BC and muzzle velocity,
would both be able shoot the same group at 100, 200 or 300 yds?




My money is on the 20" .

.223 , 6.8 , .308...............heavy barrel in both lengths , both made by the same quality maker (Lilja, Krieger, Hart, etc)to optimize the given length.....the 20" will prevail over a 10" every time under identical conditions.


Ill put up a years ARF membership too



Any takers???


Yeah I won't be throwing a 10 inch barrel on my precision 300wm anytime soon.

Distance to whatever meters might be the same but you throw a little wind into the mix especially with an inefficient round like a 9mm or a 38 special that thing will be blown all over place like a Marine on Liberty call in thailand.

Like it was said what do you mean by accurate? What distance? Precision rifle accurate or hitting a man sized target on opposites sides with 2 shots accurate.

A short barreled rifle is not going to be as accurate as a long barreled rifle past say 100 meters maybe 200 depending. Can the SBR hit the target maybe? Can it hit it as accurately as a Lilja or Hart? nahhh but they are also precision barrels for various reasons like quality control, design, thickness which makes it heat up slower and more uniformly.
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