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Question by chuckles. Uploaded on April 30, 2011
For 308, 22 will do fine and preferably in a 1-10 twist
Not really. Unless you absolutely need to squeeze out every foot per second for competition (like Palma), 22" barrels are great on a .308.
22' will work, I feel a 24" barrel is a little better but that's just my opinion. You can go up to a 30" or 32" barrel like palma shooters like to do if you want 3000 fps with a 155 grain bullet. Also, a 1-12" will do fine for bullets up to a 180 grains, a 1-11", and 1-10" will also do fine. Palma shooters prefer 1-13"
I have a 22" barrel with the standard 1:10 twist rate on an older M-700 ADL. It shoots all but some of the 180 grain bullets very well. My pastor hunting buddy has a M-700 stainless with a 24" barrel and he likes it too. Either is fine. Generally, shorter barrels are stiffer and a smidge more accurate than longer barrels, unless you get bull barrels which are not handy in the woods.
My good friend has a Remington M600/308 with 18.5"bbl
its loud but shoots,Hornady 110gr Urban Tactical on up to Hornady 150SP-LM...with good Hunting Accuracy...
its great for Tree stans and woods walking.
22" is fine, Treestand is right about shorter bbls, too much muzzle blast, although velocity will not suffer appreciably with the short bbl in .308 Win.
Most people have 22" as the length, but on my rifles that I set up as easy stand rifles I have my gunsmith cut my barrels to 20". My shots are 175 yards or less so the 40FPS that I lose means nothing. My deer don't know if they are hit at 2900 FPS or 2860FPS. If you were going to shoot long range I would stick to a longer barrel. As I stated if you hunt out of a treestand or enclosed shoothouse you will appreciate the shorter barrel.
Many thanks guys! I am looking to build a rifle for thick brush here in MN. Almost all my other rifles are single shot so they are relatively short since they don't have actions. I would like a bolt action as this rifle may serve as a backup elk gun. I have not given up on the idea of moving back West someday.
I am also learning that ordering a rifle is an exercise in delayed gratification. 16 months is the timeline. I had to resist numerous temptations at Cabelas yesterday. Thanks again!
20" is the length of no returns. No real gain or loss in fps or accuracy in short to medium yardages( under 500 yards) there is a slight advantage in 30"to 32" barrels in long range accuracy ( over 600 yards) using 155 to 185 gr bullets with a slight increase in velocities of 150 to 200 fps, not a big deal unless trying to keep sub-sonic down range for accuracy. The 7.62 is another story. As the 7.62 seems to shoot better with the bullet weight range in the 175 to 185 gr range and a mid barrel between 20 to 24 " range. Most factory rifles use a 1-11 twist for use with bullets ranging from 150 grs to 210grs for hunting. The varmint rifles generally use a 1-13 twist for bullets under 150 grs. long range and Tac rifles use 1-10 rate for bullets 155 to 175 grs. You's be good with a 1-11 twist rate and a 20" to 22" barrel to cover most if not all you needs in a .308 rifle using bullet weights from 110grs to 210 grs. Pretty versatal cartridge when you really look at it.
Many years ago, experts at Shilen barrels and top benchrest shooters did extensive experiments and discovered that a 22" barrel is the absolute best length for accuracy. This is the best length for a .308 barrel as far as accuracy and in addition is is easier to carry through the woods because of its shorter length. You are not shooting extremely long range (like Palma competition) and you are not carrying a .308 for its blazing speed so 22" sounds perfect to me. If you find a rifle you really like, you will notice very little difference with a 24" barrel.
At one time in my hunting career, I was a carbine man. The shorter the barrel, the better. Over time, I grew to prefer more barrel length, both for increased velocity and steadiness in aiming under stress.
I have never found any great advantage in shorter barrels, even when climbing trees, because I avoid climbing with the rifle at hand or slung over my shoulder. I think 24" is about right for most calibers now. JMO.
I should add that in hunting from a treestand, I think it is much safer to hoist the rifle up after you on a cord or rope, and lower it the same way when you are ready to descend.
I did not know that about Shilen, that's a neat little piece of information there. Thanks for sharing.
Thick brush in Minnesota? You should chop it to 20".
My 18.5 inch barrel on my Remington 600 in .308 still sends bullets fast enough to kill deer. It's also a very accurate rifle.
I seem to remember that the Remington 40XB in .308 with a 20 inch barrel was a pretty darn accurate rifle that shot better than I could.
I believe that based on the input here I will start at 22" which is what the builder quoted me a price on. If it really isn't working I will have it cut back. Tough to stretch them so I would rather not start at 20". The deer certainly won't care.
You are an awesome bunch of sportsmen, thank you for all the advice. It is great to be able to tap such a vast body of knowledge and experience!
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