Author Topic: Optimum barrel length of 243?  (Read 9317 times)

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Offline Dave223

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Optimum barrel length of 243?
« on: September 15, 2010, 07:57:10 pm »
Heya fellas,
   Im not sure if this is the right forum for this, please move if it isnt. Im considering making a short brush/truck gun with a H&R 243, Im just curious of the optimum barrel length or at what point does the powder burn complete and bullet drag begins? Thanks, Dave
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Optimum barrel length of 243?
« on: September 15, 2010, 07:57:10 pm »
 

Offline nomosendero

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 08:17:54 pm »
Bullet drag, or at what length does the vel. actually drop off does not occur at the length of the H&R factory barrel, it's not long enough in the 243 barrels, so no need to have that in the thought process.

Optimal length for performance depends on the cartridge. 26" is great for a 25-06 & 24" works well. 22-23" is ok for the 243, where a 20" does pretty good for a 308, this is basic stuff. Most of the H&R 243's have a 22"& a single shot with a 22" barrel is as short as an 18" bolt gun. How short does it need to be? An inch or 2 won't hurt much, but you will lose some vel & the noise & muzzle blast difference will be real with a fairly large powder cap to bore ratio round like the 243.  I would say going through the brush with an allready short gun should not be a big deal unless you are very small in stature nor as a truck gun unless it is some kind of midget truck. Surely you would not go under 20", which would not be too bad, but good luck.



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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 05:53:56 am »
anything from 20-24 will work well.
sixgun addict

Offline Qaz

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 11:51:48 am »
The optimum barrel length would be 26", but I don't think that is an option for the H&R. P.O. Ackley considered the 243 Winchester a magnum round as do I. The 243 will us every bit of a 26" barrel to make more speed.

Offline IOWA DON

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 01:25:25 pm »
When I was 14 years old, just before starting high school in 1963, I bought a Savage 99E chambered for .243 Winchester. I spent all summer lifting hay bales to earn the $$$. Over the previous year I had read a lot of gun magazines and was especially impressed by some articles by a guy with a name something like Byron Dalrymple. In one of his article he showed how the .243 was about as good as the .270. However, he was comparing the best .243 load to the worste .270 load, which at that time used an underloaded 150-grain round nose bullet. In another article he talked about how he preferred short barrels. Anyway, I decided I wanted a .243 for coyotes and possibly deer. My dads who did not hunt or shoot took me to a sporting goods store and there were two .243 rifles there, one the Savage 99 with a 20-inch barrel and the other a Sako with I think a 24-inch barrel. The salesman told me the Savage 99 would shoot much better than I could although the Sako might be a little more accurate. After his remarks and reading the article about the benifits of short barrels I bought the Savage 99. A older friend had a .30-06 and I told him although his '06 had more power my .243 shot a lot flatter. We sighted both in for 200 yards and then shot at about 400 yards. It turned out that my short barreled .243 had a lot more drop at 400 yards than did his 30-06. Also, my short barreled .243 had a lot more muzzle blast and we did not have ear protection back then. I dodn't know if the poor trajectory was from velocity loss because of the short barrel or if the ammo was just not loaded up to advertised velocity, but I was very dissappointed. The next summer I traded the .243 off for a 7MM Weatherby with a 26-inch barrel. The first thing I did was check the trajectory at 400 yards and it shot just as flat as advertised, and although much more powerful it did not seem to produce as much muzzle blast. Of course, after a year of shooting the short barreled .243, maybe I just could not hear as well.  Also, longer barrels with their weight farther out are easier to hold steady shooting offhand. Anyway, I recommend a 26-inch or at least a 24-inch barrel for a .243.







Offline nomosendero

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 06:04:26 pm »
Wayne Van Zwoll fired alot (1000's) of rounds to determine optimal barrel length for many cartridges. It checks out pretty close to me for the rounds I have used.

Mr. Van Zwoll did well with this one. Out of the cartridges that I have used except one, this was spot on. I would disagree a little on the 25-06, my experience is the 26" is better with the heavier bullets & a couple of the newer powders, noticeably so. Anyway, good stuff.



"Well respected shooter Wayne Van Zwoll reported his recomendations for barrel length as follows (seems to be directly determined by case capacity/velocity potential etc.) This is directly from the book "Hunter's Guide to Long Range Shooting"


20" barrels: 30-30, 32 Spl., .35 Rem.

22" barrels: .222, .223, .250 sav., .300 sav., 308 win., .450 Marlin

23" barrels: .243, .257 Roberts, 7x57, .260 rem., 7mm-08, .35 Whelen

24" barrels: .22-250, .220 Swift, 6mm rem., .270 win., .280 rem., .30-06, 338-06, .358 Norma

25" barrels: 25-06 rem., 7mm rem., 7mm weatherby, .300 win., .300 H&H, .308 Norma, .338 win.

26" barrels:257 weatherby, .264 win, 7mm RUM, .300weatherby, .300 RUM.

He then goes on to state that he'd list new Short Mags, with the belted magnums whoes performance they match. He also states the The mightiest of high-velocity cartridges would take the longest barrel you can conveniently carry. (his book gives numerous velocity charts for several different calibers with barrels that get cut down inch by inch)

These numbers come from years of testing and experience. Obviously different applications would require different barrel lenghts but interesting information regardless. If your shooting very light bullets for a specific caliber you'd be using more powder and could therefore use a longer barrel to increase velocity by a great deal."

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Offline Dave223

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 10:27:25 am »
Thanks again for the replies fellas... Other than wanting a short barreled "truck gun" there are the other reasons i wanted a short barreled rifle. I hunt in South La., most of my hunting is swampy, muddy, briar laden woods that make for rather fun walking. I hunted one year with a Rem PSS in 25-06 and heavy barrel with a Wenig stock. This gun was around 9 pounds with a 26"? barrel. It didnt make for a good time walking several hundred yards. I hunt the areas that are shown in the show "Swamp People". 
  I think I will probably stay with the barrel that comes with the Handi, 22". Thanks again for the info! Dave
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Offline 2ndtimer

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2010, 03:16:25 pm »
[yt=425,350][/yt]
Quote
"Well respected shooter Wayne Van Zwoll reported his recomendations for barrel length as follows
Quote
22" barrels: .222, .223, .250 sav., .300 sav., 308 win., .450 Marlin

I don't know how long ago he did his research, but with today's powders, I am sure he would not declare a 22" barrel as optimum for a .223.  My 26" barrel Remington SPS gets between 100 and 200 fps more velocity out of identical loads than my 22" barrel Weatherby Special Varmint.  Not sure that the .243, .257 R, .260 and 7-08 wouldn't also benefit from a full 24" barrel as well.

Offline nomosendero

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 08:19:21 pm »
[yt=425,350][/yt]
Quote
"Well respected shooter Wayne Van Zwoll reported his recomendations for barrel length as follows
Quote
22" barrels: .222, .223, .250 sav., .300 sav., 308 win., .450 Marlin

I don't know how long ago he did his research, but with today's powders, I am sure he would not declare a 22" barrel as optimum for a .223.  My 26" barrel Remington SPS gets between 100 and 200 fps more velocity out of identical loads than my 22" barrel Weatherby Special Varmint.  Not sure that the .243, .257 R, .260 and 7-08 wouldn't also benefit from a full 24" barrel as well.

Looks like you have a fast barrel there. I have a 24" RRA & it is a little faster than 2 RRA Nat Match 20" rifles that I also shoot. I have never seen a 26" 223 that was 200fps faster than a 22", just not much powder there. Consider yourself lucky & prize that barrel. I saw one 25-06 Sendero that shot 80fps faster than another Sendero with the same barrel, one fast barrel. Van Zwoll was not talking about 2 guns, rather averages of many & cutting some 1" at a time, with the same gun that's a great test. It's a rule of thumb & no guideline will work for all rifles.
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Offline Catfish

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 06:05:52 pm »
There is no optum barrel lenth for a caliber. It would change with every different powder you use do to the difference in the burn rate. One thing that is always true is that you get alot more muzzle blast from short barrels. The rule of thumb is that you lose abt 100 fps. per inch of barrel you chope off. Of course that doesn`t really hold true eather because of the burn rate of the powder and at what lenth you start cutting. Bottom line is you will probly lose alittle vel., but if your not shooting to max. range of the gun, SO WHAT! You do realize that you will need to recrown your barrel though.

Offline nomosendero

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Re: Optimum barrel length of 243?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 07:33:03 pm »
Thanks again for the replies fellas... Other than wanting a short barreled "truck gun" there are the other reasons i wanted a short barreled rifle. I hunt in South La., most of my hunting is swampy, muddy, briar laden woods that make for rather fun walking. I hunted one year with a Rem PSS in 25-06 and heavy barrel with a Wenig stock. This gun was around 9 pounds with a 26"? barrel. It didnt make for a good time walking several hundred yards. I hunt the areas that are shown in the show "Swamp People". 
  I think I will probably stay with the barrel that comes with the Handi, 22". Thanks again for the info! Dave

Smart choice!!
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