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Thread: Assistance please

  1. #1

    Assistance please

    I am going to look at a 2nd hand .308 tomorrow. It has a 18 inch barrel.

    I would love to hear what everyone thinks about that. Is it to short etc?

    What are the pluses and minuses of a short barrel?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    I have a .30-06 with a 20" barrel and it does the job just fine. Accurate, and plenty of terminal punch, with minimal recoil. However, I struggle to get the velocities stated in the reloading manual, due to the shorter barrel, by about 250 - 350 fps depending on the powder used. So you must run over a chrono to validate what you are getting with that rifle / load combo, otherwise you could be all over the place...

    Also, just FYI, most reloading velocities come from 24" - 26" test barrels with known data. By shooting a .308 with an 18" barrel you could be 300 - 400 fps slow, which might make it a problem for Scotland, where you need a minimum muzzle velocity. If you only start with a 2600 - 2700 fps velocity from your short rifle you could be under the legal limit, allthough if anybody would know I would be suprised. As long as it was accurate fired a good bullet !!!

    Would be a good woodland rifle though !!!!

    All the best.


  3. #3
    RPA do a woodland stalker rifle with a 16" barrel, a friend has just had his .308 shortened to 18" and he thinks it is perfect. It is in no way too short to be an effective rifle over normal stalking distances.

    There is a little dispute over the velocity you lose, but it seems to be somewhere between 25fps and 60fps of velocity that you lose per inch removed from your barrel.

    If the rifle suits you do not be put off buying it!

    Regards, Simon

  4. #4
    I have a Sako with a 20" barrel I have to be selective with the powders that I use to get the best out of it. Noise and muzzle flash are probably excessive with some powders. The rifle just cries out for the use of a moderator. I quite like the handling qualities of the short barrel but certainly wouldn't go any shorter.

  5. #5
    Don't think it will be a problem, if you reload H335 could be good. In NZ Hunter there was
    an article about a 16" 308 loaded with 130gr/h335, speed was well over 3000fps which is in 270win territory.

  6. #6
    I also use a 308 with a 20" barrel and find it more than good enough for my needs,and from what I understand a 308 sheds less velocity than most other stalking rifles per inch of barrel removed roughly 20fps, so in all though you do not say where you intend to shoot ie hill/woodland the 308 will perform more than well enough at normal stalking ranges with an 18" barrel,and would be a very compact carry gun especially for woodland, some very imformative reading on the subject on the link below which will do a much better job than of explaining this topic than myself, good luck and safe shooting!!!!!

  7. #7
    My Howa has been cut from 24" to 18", much prefer it. I had to up my loads about 1.5grs to get it shooting as well as it was but now its spot on. The deer have noticed no difference at all!

  8. #8
    Sorry I should have added this is for woodland/driven work. For on the hill I would take something else.

    I dont reload

    But thank you everyone for your comments.

  9. #9
    All i can suggest is that you reload using powders from the fastest end of burn rate for the calibre, this will ensure as complete a burn in the shorter barrel as possible.


  10. #10
    this might be a question that has been answered a 1000 times but where do you measure the barrel from. obviously from the muzzle but where do you stop the other end

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