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Thread: 16" Barrel on a 308? Or a 6.5 x 55? Or something else? Or don't bother?!

  1. #1

    16" Barrel on a 308? Or a 6.5 x 55? Or something else? Or don't bother?!

    Hi, does anyone have experience with 16" barrels on deer calibre rifles? I mainly shoot roe and fallow, but would like something I can do boar and reds in scotland with too...


    I'm thinking about getting a 16" 308 but I'm struggling to find anyone with experience or BC info on this calibre if you cut it down? Would a 6.5x55 be better? Or is there something else entirely that someone can reccomend?


    The reason I as is I like a short barrel, for manoeuvrability etc, but I do want something that will handle the odd long shot I take and the 600yd+ days at Bisley


    Thanks,
    Rich

  2. #2
    FN USA have the FNAR tactical rifle on the market wih a 16 inch barrel. If FN puts their name on it, it can't be bad.

  3. #3
    I have to be honest with you and say that I don't see any disadvantage with the 20'' barrel on my 308 that would want me to cut it to 16'' and have to worry about suitable powder burn rates, MV and so on. However, I do remember reading somewhere that a 7-08AI was a calibre that lent itself to a short barrel but even then I think they were still referring to 20''.

  4. #4
    I don't know if 16" is on the short side, but 18" seems to be pretty common for .308 these days.

    This article supports 18" barrels: http://www.tacticaloperations.com/SWATbarrel/

    A mateos mine has an 18" barrel on his .308 and it is nice and short and handles really well, even with a mod.

    A shorter barrel will also be less flexible, and therefore more accurate (all things being equal) than a long barrel.

    Cheers,

    Christian

  5. #5
    I work a 20" .308 with a moderator for Reds and Roe, I like it. Have a look at this thread http://ukvarminting.com/forums/index...howtopic=12694 lots of info here on pros and cons of short barrels. Basically you get .303 performance in a short handy format, will handle any European game with it except big brown bears. Probably OK even for them if you are lucky and get a one shot kill but for angry bear you need accuracy and the ability to deliver lots of power reliably to drop it before it reaches you. Not much of a problem in the UK though.

    Bob

  6. #6
    Let me see.....

    a 308 16" ?

    You cant go for anything except the STEYR SSG 69 PIV
    Steyr Mannlicher US:Versions

  7. #7
    If it is a stalking rifle, take the length out of the action instead. I like short rifles. I don't like short barrels. If you insist on a shortened barrel, go for something with a maximum of bore to cartridge capacity - in a .30 cal the 30BR would be a good choice. FWIW, my Blaser is about 4 inches shorter thru the action than a conventional turnbolt - which is the main reason i mostly stalk with a Blaser and why Blaser's handle so well. Go to a single shot, and you can reduce your action length by as much as 6 inches! This is a large part of why a lot of very experienced stalkers have single shot rifles. Some of the minature turnbolt actions like the CZ527 can save you a couple of inches. And of course, taking an inch out of the length of your action saves quite a bit more weight than taking an inch out of your barrel, and generally results in a stiffer action. Hence a short action (like the .308) is generally about half a pound lighter thru the action than a long action (like the 6.5x55).

    The idea that shortened barrels are necessarily more accurate is a furphy - which is of course, why all competitive target rifles have very long barrels rather than short barrels. In a lightweight rifle, a shorter barrel will be a bit stiffer and may provide greater accuracy (this is debatable, and has to do with harmonics). However a key determinant of accuracy is pressure at the bore, especially in heavy-barreled rifles, which has a tendency to tip bullets. This is the main reason target barrels are long - to reduce pressure at the muzzle and minimise the tipping effect as the bullet exits the muzzle.

  8. #8
    If the length of the rifle really is a bother then go and get a nice falling block rifle. The action/receiver is so compact you can have a decent length barrel.

    Then go learnt to use it and reload for the next shot. If Big Game hunters in Africa can do it then I am sure you could learn to .

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by brenneke View Post
    If it is a stalking rifle, take the length out of the action instead. I like short rifles. I don't like short barrels. If you insist on a shortened barrel, go for something with a maximum of bore to cartridge capacity - in a .30 cal the 30BR would be a good choice. FWIW, my Blaser is about 4 inches shorter thru the action than a conventional turnbolt - which is the main reason i mostly stalk with a Blaser and why Blaser's handle so well. Go to a single shot, and you can reduce your action length by as much as 6 inches! This is a large part of why a lot of very experienced stalkers have single shot rifles. Some of the minature turnbolt actions like the CZ527 can save you a couple of inches. And of course, taking an inch out of the length of your action saves quite a bit more weight than taking an inch out of your barrel, and generally results in a stiffer action. Hence a short action (like the .308) is generally about half a pound lighter thru the action than a long action (like the 6.5x55).

    The idea that shortened barrels are necessarily more accurate is a furphy - which is of course, why all competitive target rifles have very long barrels rather than short barrels. In a lightweight rifle, a shorter barrel will be a bit stiffer and may provide greater accuracy (this is debatable, and has to do with harmonics). However a key determinant of accuracy is pressure at the bore, especially in heavy-barreled rifles, which has a tendency to tip bullets. This is the main reason target barrels are long - to reduce pressure at the muzzle and minimise the tipping effect as the bullet exits the muzzle.
    Ahhh actually target rifles such as used in teh palma match have long barrels for two reasons........................

    1) they need the length to keep velocities up for that 155 Grn Palma bullet to still be super sonic at 1200 yards

    2) For the sight radius.

    The shot fall and tightness of group has more to do with barrel harmonics and nodes than length of barrel.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I work a 20" .308 with a moderator for Reds and Roe, I like it. Have a look at this thread http://ukvarminting.com/forums/index...howtopic=12694 lots of info here on pros and cons of short barrels. Basically you get .303 performance in a short handy format, will handle any European game with it except big brown bears. Probably OK even for them if you are lucky and get a one shot kill but for angry bear you need accuracy and the ability to deliver lots of power reliably to drop it before it reaches you. Not much of a problem in the UK though.

    Bob
    Strange as chap I know in Alaska uses and has used a Ruger .44 Redhawk for bear protection ad he has found that unlike a lot of experts proclaim that heavy bullets are needed that the 180 HP bullet from the Redhawk is seriously bad medicine on the bears.

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