stuporman said:I have heard many opinions on this matter.
Some say the .22 rimfire's optimum is 16".
Longer, bullet actually loses some stability from friction and loss of gas pressure as the action cycles on an automatic.
Any Gunsmith type opinions?....Most modern bullets in the 22rimfire reach their max speed in 16inches of barrel...some of the hyper fast shells still gain a little speed to the 18in. mark.....the bullets and lube on them are designed for normal length barrels and they are often longer than the 18in length and thus the bullets will do fine in the longer barrels on modern guns.....the actions on auto rimfires are usually recoil operated and they strart to move as soon as the bullet leaves the case and they will work with very short barrels if need be such as on legal suppressed guns with short barrels.....the longer barrels on target type guns were from iron sight days and long barrels to get the long sight radius and thus more accurate AIMING not accurate because of the long barrel...today with a scope the looks and balance and noise determine the length past the 16in US legal rifle barrel length...and 18 to 22 inchs are the normal lengths in modern guns outside of the special survival takedowns and long position target type guns......good luck and good shooting!!