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Thread: Real world muzzle velocities in short barrel rifles

  1. #1

    Real world muzzle velocities in short barrel rifles

    With so many of the deer hunters here using stutzen rifles or short barrels with moderators, and a lot of serious shooters and handloaders, I was curious what kind of actual velocities you are getting with various cartridges. I am not talking about super hot loads, but normal loads, especially factory ammunition.

    It would be especially interesting to hear from those who are shooting the same load in a full-length rifle, or shot the same load in a rifle before it was cut down and threaded, who can compare both for actual loss in FPS per inch of barrel.

  2. #2
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    SW Birmingham (Rubery Rednal)
    Not first-hand experience, but I recalled reading something about this and a quick search retrieved the article in question.

    You may know of it already, of course.
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
    "I'm off to spend some time at the top of the food chain..." - (after) Tulloch
    "Oh [dear], they probably heard that in the village!" - RickoShay

  3. #3
    308 Win, 16", 150g Sierra Pro Hunter, 2700fps.

  4. #4
    Hi there

    7mm08 18" barrel
    120grn BT's 2770fps
    140grn BT's 2690fps

    I have loads that work with both Vhit 150 and H4350 and neither are at the top end of the loadin spectrum but both are very consistent


  5. #5
    My 20-inch 7mm-08 gets about 2,9oo fps with Remington 120-gr HP ( 3000 in a 24 inch barrel ).
    Standard 140-gr / 2,800 Remington or Winchester gets 2,720 from the same rifle.

    I have, for a long time, recorded the velocities claimed by gun owners which i have run across in other reading. The .30-06 class of cartridges and larger interest me, because I have seen a wide variation in velocities for the same cartridge. It seems that shorter than 20 inches, you see large drop offs in MV for the .30-06, .270, .280, 7x64, .338 WM, and .375 H&H, but not so bad down to 20 inches.

    Another trend I seem to see, and experience in my own carbines, is that the slower powders and mid-range bullets seem to do better than expected, better than the fast powders.
    Last edited by Southern; 16-10-2014 at 03:09.

  6. #6
    very interesting article in a dated Shooting Times I just read
    chopping a .270 down from 22" to 16"
    firing 3 kinds of factory ammo

    best length for shortest barrel and minimal MV drop (circa 100-150fps IIRC)?


  7. #7
    Barrel lenght is something im trying to get a feel for before i get a rifle it will be a 260 rem or 6.5mm

    this 6.5mm x 47 has a 14" barrel and claims 123 lap Scenar at 2500- 2622fps just on the ME limit for deer 1877ft lbs best

    this one on a 26" barrel claims 2930 fps 2344ft lbs

    so 12" shorter barrel drops 300fps MV and 467ft lbs ME

    don't think i want 14" short but 16-18 should be fine IMO for 200yrd deer and 4-500yrd Fox

  8. #8
    I helped a friend chrono a Steyr Mannlicher Pro Hunter Mountain (16" barrel) in .243 last year.

    Using factory rounds, it was only JUST deer legal in ft/lbs at THE MUZZLE !

    He was/is an excellent shot, and it was only his spot on shot placement that allowed the round to do it's stuff at 100 + metres.

  9. #9
    to be fair we all know the "deer legal" MV is a administrative limit rather than a functional one

    deer legal .243 for roe is usurped by "non-deer legal" .222 simply by heading north and crossing the border!

    My .222 has a 19-20" IIRC
    no roe has ever complained

    I do like the idea of a short barrelled single shot though



  10. #10
    bewscher500 -
    Years ago, all the SWAT teams were shooting 24 and 26 inch .308 Wins. I thought that was ridiculous, because the shots are so short, and a carbine can be gotten in and out of a vehicle so easily. I built a Rem 700 SA with a heavy 20-inch barrel, deep flutes, that was very accurate. A gunsmith friend who had been a US Army armorer and a gunsmith building SWAT rifles when he was on the police force helped me. We had to take it to Remington and show them to convince them.

    I think below 20 inches is rather pointless. The .223, 222, .308. 7mm-08 and 8x57 will do well at 20 inches. It is also an issue of balance for me.

    I once bought a Ruger M77 RSI .270 Win from a friend who had broken his collarbone. They have an 18.5 inch barrel. It shot really well, especially with 150-gr bullets, losing less velocity with those than with 130-gr, but it still was 75 fps slower than my 20-inch Mannlicher.

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