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Thread: How short is too short (.22lr barrel)

  1. #1

    How short is too short (.22lr barrel)

    I have a sako quad and acquired a 15" barrel and spare synth stock
    previously it worked a charm, hole on hole or close to it at 50yds

    The crown and thread job was a bit ropey so I had it recut and in chasing my dream of a very short pointy rifle I had an inch and a bit nipped off so the threads were just longer than the stock
    The crown and threading job I had done is first class, have had work done on centrefires by the same person and they all perform well

    took it out last night for the first time to zero it and it wouldn't group for toffee!
    picture below to demonstrate just how bad!
    the three triangular shaped groups are the .22lr (little circular ones at .17m2 at 50/100)
    for contrast the sticker on the lower right is one of 5 shots plinking off sticks at 60 yds with the 14-15" barrel
    4 inside an inch, 3 at around 1/2", off a proper rest it was mostly touching with some around about

    barrel hasn't been deep cleaned (other than to remove swarf/solvent from cut/thread job)
    ammo is the same
    mod is the same
    scope is the same, (all tight)

    bottom target wasn't the most solid rest but no worse than off sticks (shots to the left were first ones to zero and the scope was adjusted)
    middle target was two groups prone off a solid rest. first group left and scope adjusted to move POI right

    is it now too short? or am i missing something here
    I am conscious that the twist rate of 1:16.5" means it now only has roughly 3/4 of a twist as opposed to nearly one full twist with a 15"

  2. #2
    i have the same rifle and often wanted to do the same. I know that others have chopped it down without losing accuracy.

    sounds daft but the barrel and stock are tight?

    have you also checked to see if the barrel is still free floating?

  3. #3
    Check back of moderator isn't touching stock esp. if threads just clear stock as you said above.

    Hope you get it sorted-might be worth a really good clean and going back to basics and trying different brands of ammo again?



  4. #4
    mod is clear of stock
    its actually a varmint stock and a sporter barrel so "free floating" doesn't do it justice

    stripped mod and all baffles are perfect, no clipping
    scope is tight
    barrel is tight
    mod is tight


  5. #5
    Despite how good you thought the smith was that threaded the barrel-check the crown and ends of the rifling under a magnifier. I had same problem when a self titled 'expert' threaded my .22lr using a center in the barrel for support.

    Another 1/2 inch off and a rethread-my problem was solved.

  6. #6
    as ive said before mines 14 inch(NOT BRAGGING) and groups brilliant, but having said that it wasnt allways like that when brand new it was ok but not as good as it is now,might just need a few shots through it,and also had a brand new 455cz that was crap not the rifles fault after countless rounds and checking for weeks i found a slither of swarf in one of the mod shoulder threads cleaned out brilliant ,not saying its that but as you say youve just had it cut?

  7. #7
    Maybe try shooting the rifle without the mod. That way you will know if it is affecting anything.
    Remove action from stock & refit checking bedding is correct.
    Refit the barrel ensuring it is properly/rigidly secured to the action.
    Clean the bore thoroughly & make sure the crown has no burrs then shoot a good few rounds through it to "lead lube" the rifling.
    Do your grouping tests of a really solid bed (bench rest conditions with front & rear bags).
    If it shoots well then, start looking at the thread / mod fit / concentricity etc.


  8. #8
    I have checked the crown and muzzle
    looks perfect, as have all other crowns I have had done by them

    crown is concentric and perfectly smooth, no obvious angle to any gas
    clean edge to all lands
    done the cotton bud test, can't get anything to snag

    micro rifling looks clear as far down muzzle as I can see
    mod mounts perfectly, no snagging
    shoulders on barrel square and sight through barrel with and without mod shows no obstruction

    very odd

    have a ammo test to do now to see if is just a flavour thing with the changed barrel harmonics
    have some:
    Eley subs
    RWS subs
    Win subs
    CCI segs

    will see how they fair. be gutted if it likes the CCI's as they are pain in the proverbial to chamber!

    will try a group without mod to check first and maybe foul up the barrel a bit

    Last edited by bewsher500; 10-06-2014 at 11:58.

  9. #9
    If all fails - maybe pressure bed the fore end to dampen the harmonics. (a temporary trial using cardboard or insulating tape is probably the way to determine if it is the way to go) Or add bedding for the first few inches of barrel from breech - removable barrel may affect this option???? - Cheaper than a new barrel!
    I don't think you'll get a massive difference with different makes of ammo (similar projectiles running at similar velocities etc etc) - Maybe also try some high velocity rounds too - Do post your next targets. - Genuinely interested in this one!!

    Just had a thought - when cleaning the barrel, when it's clean, try running a really tight patch up the bore - you can usually feel any bulges in the bore if there are any. If it has been shot with an obstruction in the bore at any time in the past, it could have been bulged & you getting it shortened a bit may mean you now have a blunderbuss type of muzzle.
    However a bulged bore doesn't always mean bad grouping.


  10. #10
    If it "worked a charm" (your words) before, why on earth did you try changing it?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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