What round for a 16" barrel?


March 17, 2006, 10:58 AM
I was recently reading a thread about the Springfield Armory SOCOM 16. The thread really degenerated into bashing on the .308 out of a 16" barrel but it made me curious.

I'd like to see a discussion of what rounds work well with a 16" barrel since it seems to be widely accepted that the 308 does NOT work well with a 16" barrel.

I'm even a bit curious about how the magnum pistol rounds (357 mag, 44 mag, etc) work in small rifles. Feel free to include them in the discussion.

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Creeping Incrementalism
March 17, 2006, 12:26 PM
Could you post a link to the thread where the consesus was that a 16 inch barrel is too short for 30 caliber?

According to Springfield, there was only a 150 FPS velocity drop compared to the full-length M1A with heavier bullets, and 200 with lighter bullets. Though I'm sure this will vary from rifle to rifle. Considering that 7.62x51 and 308 Win is considered too powerful for humans, I don't see any problem with the "edge" lost with a short barrel.

Anything with a softpoint would do fine, I think. Not that milsurp 7.62 FMJ's would be terrible.

I just picked up a SOCOM II and plan on taking it to the range within the next few weeks and trying out a variety of ammo. I'm paricularly interested in trying some Silver Bear 140 gr. SP. I know its cheap Russian ammo, but hey, if it is reliable and accurate enough, I think it'll make my day. I'll try and get my chrony set up for it too and let you know how it goes.

Don't Tread On Me
March 17, 2006, 12:45 PM
SOCOM 16 seems like a 0-200 yard gun (like an AR or AK)...with the primary focus being 0-100 yard work and less. That being the case, it really doesn't matter what the velocity is, the .308 at those ranges will be devistating.

Many articles I've read have said that Springfield recommends the 110gr Hornady TAP out of this gun. Low recoil, high velocity. I'm sure anything will work fine though.

Everything about the SOCOM 16 is a positive in my opinion (except the price).

March 17, 2006, 01:08 PM
7.62x39 is probably optimized for a 16" barrel or thereabouts. The barrel on my SAR-1 is 16.5", I think.

Old Time Hunter
March 17, 2006, 06:33 PM
.44 Mag in a '94 Trapper. If you use factory ammo, check out Winchester's (Olin is NOT going out of biz) gold and platinum partition's in the premium section of the catalog.

March 17, 2006, 06:37 PM
Use whatever cycles this gun properly.

March 17, 2006, 08:50 PM
Any chambering that uses relatively fast powders and that has a limited case capacity relative to its bore diameter will be more efficient in shorter barrels than chanberings that are more overbore. That's the crux of the '308 needs a 18"-20" barrel' argument. Chamberings that do not NEED a longer barrel include any pistol/revolver chambering, 22LR, and the intermediate rifle rounds (7.62x39, etc.)

And all that's true, but the flip side of this discussion is that 308 from a 16" barrel is still more powerful than 7.62x39 from a 16" barrel....

Eat Beef
April 6, 2006, 09:20 PM
I have a 94 trapper in 44 mag as well.

I find that the 16 inch barrel pushes the round a little too fast for hollow points. They end up breaking up or flattening and not getting much penetration.

That means a big whallup. This gun is primarily a hog piece, so on big ones (200 + pounds), the lack of penetration lets some get up. :eek: But I have yet to have one not go down. :D

Has anyone found a round they like (for accuracy) in the socom? I have one inbound. Also, are commercial loads safe for the op system? I shoot a lot around my cows and don't really like the idea of ball bouncing around.

BTW, I'm the new guy. I really like ya'll's sight.

Eat Beef

April 6, 2006, 10:32 PM
Well I shoot a .308 in a Ruger 77 RSI, I think the barrel is about 19" and it still works great. My .50 beowulf is also fine with a 16" barrel.

April 7, 2006, 06:46 AM
heck...ANY round can work well out of a 16" barrel if you reload for it...one of the ways I check to see if my loads are working in the right range is the amount of unburnt powder left in the case and barrel.


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