What are the major differences between a short action and long action?


PDA






blackops
July 14, 2009, 03:45 AM
I was wondering what the major differences are between a short action and long action?

If you enjoyed reading about "What are the major differences between a short action and long action?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
sarduy
July 14, 2009, 03:49 AM
1 the lenght of the ammo used
2. the size of the receiver.

sarduy
July 14, 2009, 03:51 AM
Long Action
http://mcmillanusa.com/images/actions/g30-crf.jpg

short action
http://mcmillanusa.com/images/actions/standard.jpg

Float Pilot
July 14, 2009, 04:57 AM
Weight

natman
July 14, 2009, 05:40 AM
The short action is shorter, lighter and stiffer. Depending on how you use the rifle this may or may not make a difference. If your hunting takes place in a beanfield stand with a couch and a benchrest, shorter and lighter won't mean much. If you are building a sheep rifle it's a big deal.

jmr40
July 14, 2009, 06:33 AM
About 1/2" and around 3-4 oz. It depends on the maker. A Remington 700 short action is a lot shorter than most others. Savage short actions are only about 1/8" shorter than a Remington long action.

Fumbler
July 14, 2009, 09:50 AM
The box or detachable magazines are also the appropriate length.

Some rifles use the same action length for both long and short action cartridges. They make the bolt throw short for short action cartridges with the use of an altered bolt stop.
A good example is Tikka's T3.

It would be nice to have a "short action" 308 in a Tikka, but in that particular rifle you'd only save 2 oz and it would probably drive the price of the gun up a few dollars.

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 10:14 AM
If you are building a sheep rifle it's a big deal.

The Catch-22 is that you give up velocity with a short action, so you can sacrifice flat shooting for easier climbing. The WSMs are an attempt to deal with that problem, but they tend to like longer barrels that cancel out weight/size savings.

In a custom rifle, designed for weight savings, they might still offer something, of course.

Or you could get something like a Mark V Ultra Lightweight in .257 Weatherby Magnum, 6 3/4 lbs. with a 26" barrel and a big magnum-length action. You don't need to use a weak round and a shortened barrel to lighten up.

Everything is a tradeoff. Short actions are one possible option to throw into the mix.

P.B.Walsh
July 14, 2009, 11:51 AM
How do short actions give up velocity?

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:01 PM
How do short actions give up velocity?

You choose to sacrifice cartridge performance, when you choose a short action and/or a short barrel to get lighter weight.

That's not good or bad. There's just no free lunch.

For a sheep rifle, you want light weight, but you also want flat shooting. The short action isn't necessarily the best compromise. Might be, might not.

Arkel23
July 14, 2009, 12:04 PM
Size and ammo prices lol. It isn't a HUGE difference.

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:08 PM
One more thing...

If you want to shoot fast, you can often cycle a short action without having to break your cheek weld.

Reid73
July 14, 2009, 12:11 PM
Here's a real short action:

http://www.accurateshooter.net/Blog/ruger1cx350.png

P.B.Walsh
July 14, 2009, 12:16 PM
I'm still not understanding how a short action reduces velocity? The bullet's gases are pushing after the primer has been struck, and then propeles the bullet out of the barrel. So how would the length of the action have any affect? Or is it just the longer case capacity to put a bit mire powder in a long action (30-06) compared to less powder (.308).

Thanks,
P.B.Walsh

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:20 PM
Or is it just the longer case capacity to put a bit mire powder in a long action (30-06) compared to less powder (.308).

Yup.

The main difference between a .308, .30-06, .300 Win Mag and .300 Wby Mag is the amount of powder (in ascending order here). Velocity goes up accordingly. The bullets used are usually literally the same (with the caveat that the bigger rounds can push oversized bullets better).

The .308 might have been designed to match the old Garand round's velocity, but it doesn't match a modern .30-06 hunting round's.

Fumbler
July 14, 2009, 12:21 PM
I'm still not understanding how a short action reduces velocity? The bullet's gases are pushing after the primer has been struck, and then propeles the bullet out of the barrel. So how would the length of the action have any affect? Or is it just the longer case capacity to put a bit mire powder in a long action (30-06) compared to less powder (.308).
All he's saying is that long action cartridges tend to be hotter than short action cartridges with the same bullet diameter.

The actual receiver itself has no impact on velocity.

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 12:22 PM
About 1/2" and around 3-4 oz. It depends on the maker. A Remington 700 short action is a lot shorter than most others. Savage short actions are only about 1/8" shorter than a Remington long action.

It's totally amazing how much lighter and more compact and handy my Remington M7 is compared to my Savage 110 in 7 mag. Even my old short action M722 Remington is positively svelte compared to that Savage cannon. I only break out the Savage when I think a magnum caliber is needed, which in the last 15 years hasn't happened, LOL. I hunted with it for a while after I got it, then figured out it was a might much for whitetails. It is a heavy beast to carry all day in the mountains, can tell ya that! That's why I got the M7 in .308, but it's also handier in a deer stand or box blind.

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 12:24 PM
All he's saying is that long action cartridges tend to be hotter than short action cartridges with the same bullet diameter.

The actual receiver itself has no impact on velocity.

Hmm, was lookin' at the published ballistics on the .325 WSM the other day.........

Hey, if you need more gun than that, you ain't in the western hemisphere.

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:26 PM
Note that a .308 Model 7 is designed to be svelte from butt to muzzle.:)

The short action is part of, but not all of, the equation.

Simply getting a 700 in .308 instead of .30-06 probably won't net as much of a difference.

Hmm, was lookin' at the published ballistics on the .325 WSM the other day.........

Hey, if you need more gun than that, you ain't in the western hemisphere.

Yes, but the Model 7 in a WSM caliber isn't any more svelte than your average 700. "Short action" doesn't necessarily translate into a quick little rifle (hence my reluctance to go with a WSM).

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 12:33 PM
Yes, well, most short actions are designed to be svelt, else, why bother? My son-in-law has a Remington "Varminter" in .308, 26" fluted heavy barrel. It seems pointless to me. Yeah, it's accurate, but yeah, in a gun that heavy and long,I'd get it in .375 H&H MAGNUM length action. LOL Short actions are best in compact, light rifles. The whole reason for the short magnum craze is giving big caliber ballistics in a short action, compact round, but I kinda think .308 is plenty for anything I'll ever be shooting at. If I ever can afford a Nilgai hunt, maybe I'll break out that big 7. I could rebarrel that thing in .338 Win Mag, have been thinkin' about that. I mean, if you're going to go excessive, do it right, eh? LOL

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
Here's one that has intrigued me for a while. I have no use for it, but if I lived in Alaska and worried about big bear........

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/itemdetails.asp?value=003B&cat_id=034&type_id=009&item=034009177

It's 4 ounces heavier than the .308 Win version. You can get it in stainless, but not in .325, but in .300 WSM which ain't shabby. Now, I know, find ammo for it in Alaska, right? I reload so ammo wouldn't be a problem if I lived there, assuming Midway USA and UPS delivers there. LOL

Reid73
July 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
The whole reason for the short magnum craze is giving big caliber ballistics in a short action, compact round, but I kinda think .308 is plenty for anything I'll ever be shooting atRight on (substitute .358 if a larger bore is for some reason thought necessary).

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
The whole reason for the short magnum craze is giving big caliber ballistics in a short action, compact round

That's why I think that the WSMs are an engineering failure -- not that they don't work, but that they fail to really meet their design criteria in the real world.

For example, the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight, which is a sleek, but full-size rifle (more of a fair comparison, since the standard-caliber Model 7 is lightened up a bit more AFAIK, so it makes the WSMs look even worse).

.308 - OAL 42" - 6 lbs. 8 oz.
.30-06 - OAL 42 1/2" - 7 lbs.
.300WSM - OAL 44" - 7 lbs. 4 oz.
.300 WM - OAL 44 1/2" - 7 lbs. 8 oz.

The size and weight of the rifle seems proportional to the performance, to me.

If the WSM were a true engineering success, you'd expect the .300 WSM to be a .308-like rifle. But it's not.

In a receiver gun like a BLR, though, it does seem to offer something.

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 12:57 PM
WRT short and other magnums, I thought that they were excessive until I came here.

We have high mountains and deep canyons, prairies and rolling hills.

Antelope, sheep and bighorns beg for flat shooting rounds. Elk and moose benefit from big ones. Even mule deer live in some amazing terrain.

It depends on what you're pursuing, and where.

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 12:59 PM
Well, then, don't get the winchester....:D That BLR is 6 lbs 12 ounces in .325 WSM. Of course, I kinda like the gun. My buddy's .308 BLR is a 1.5 MOA gun, pretty good for a lever gun, but no in that magic 1 moa range I'll admit. Out there in your part of the world, that can matter.

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
I kinda like the BLR.

Bolt guns are just so simple and elegant, and easy to clean. And the Featherweight handles like a shotgun.

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 01:08 PM
Well, bolt guns ARE inherently easier to get better accuracy out of and, well, I only have one lever gun. I love the BLR, but not enough to pay the money for one when I really don't NEED it, LOL! Hell, I'm going retro lately in my hunting, anyway. Got this damned archery disease I can't shake and the black powder thing, too. LOL! I wouldn't be so afflicted if I didn't live where you can't see a deer more'n 100 yards, I guess. Just trying to put some sport in it and I'm tiring of the handguns.

Hey, talk about your ultimate short actions, that Hawken Hunter Carbine is it!

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0006380210011a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=Hawken+Hunter+Carbine&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=9&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=17&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/content/Item/21/00/11/i210011sn01.jpg

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 01:16 PM
What kind of velocity do you get from that barrel?

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 01:21 PM
About 1200 fps with a 385 grain .50 cal Hornady Great Plains bullet. I am sorta scared to shoot a sabot 240 .44 bullet over my chrono, afraid the sabot will smack it, but a 250 grain Lee REAL bullet (didn't work, too light for the fast twist) clocks over 1400 fps from it, so I reckon a 240 is up there with a hot .44 mag from a 6" N frame. All shots fired with 90 grain equiv. Pyrodex RS. It is very accurate with either bullet, a little moreso with the sabot. I get 2" at 100 yard groups with the sabot, but I kinda like that big chunk of lead. I have a 360 grain Minie mold for that shoots well, too, but you have to use soft lead. Hard range scrap doesn't seem to work well, doesn't spread the skirt. So, hell, Hornady great plains bullets are cheap enough. LOL

Paradiddle
July 14, 2009, 02:19 PM
The internet told me I could cycle a short action faster during a zombie attack.

Don't tell the Brits their Enfields were really slow......

;)

blackops
July 14, 2009, 02:49 PM
My son-in-law has a Remington "Varminter" in .308, 26" fluted heavy barrel. It seems pointless to me. Yeah, it's accurate, but yeah, in a gun that heavy and long,I'd get it in .375 H&H MAGNUM length action.

Just wondering....why does the length of action matter in a longer heavy heavy gun? I mean the barrel weight and length are going to make it higher velocity and more accurate. Are you suggesting simply that because of the weight and length you might as well just have a larger round to handle it. So basically in your opinion you don't need that size of gun for that size of caliber?

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 02:54 PM
The .308 is known for being an accurate round. It's possible that a short action, being a bit more rigid for a given strength of construction, helps that. Or maybe it's just accurate because a lot of accuracy shooters have dinked with it, so people know how to get the most from it (gunsmiths, reloaders, etc.).

The question is, what kind of "varmints" are you going to shoot with a .308 at 500+ yards? Mutant 100 lb. prairie dogs?:D

krs
July 14, 2009, 04:49 PM
Mutant 100 lb. prairie dogs?

Hey, prairie dogs are downright mean when they go over 100 lbs. It must piss 'em off to be so chubbie so they take it out on hunters. You'd BETTER use at least a .308 or the things will come mess you up serious! It's no laughing matter.

natman
July 14, 2009, 05:48 PM
I'm still not understanding how a short action reduces velocity? The bullet's gases are pushing after the primer has been struck, and then propeles the bullet out of the barrel. So how would the length of the action have any affect? Or is it just the longer case capacity to put a bit more powder in a long action (30-06) compared to less powder (.308).


Bingo.

Uncle Mike
July 14, 2009, 06:18 PM
I mean the barrel weight and length are going to make it higher velocity and more accurate.

More velocity yes... more accurate, no-

Match the action length to the cartridge you need to utilize...

Match the length of the barrel to the amount of powder you need to burn-

Match the weight of the barrel to the fact that a heavier barrel can get off more shots in succession before it needs to let cool and the added weight is a bonus in the prone position, or any position for that fact... but this is not the rule.

1858
July 14, 2009, 06:39 PM
That's why I think that the WSMs are an engineering failure -- not that they don't work, but that they fail to really meet their design criteria in the real world.

Hmmm ... what exactly was their design criteria?

If you look at the Savage Weather Warrior ...

.308 Win > 6.5 lb
.300 WSM > 6.75 lb
.300 Win Mag > 7.0 lb

... or the Remington Alaskan Ti

.300 WSM > 6.0 lb
.300 Win Mag > 6.25 lb

... the .300 WSM reduces the overall weight of the rifle while almost maintaining the ballistic performance of the .300 Win Mag. OK, a 1/4 lb may not be much to some, but don't forget to account for the difference in weight between the ammunition too ... it may or may not be significant depending on your application. If you need .300 Win Mag performance, why would you buy a Savage 116 model when you have the option of a .300 WSM (16 model)? The only hunting advantage of the .300 Win Mag over the .300 WSM is magazine capacity, but a spare magazine or two would solve that. Another advantage of the .300 WSM is that although the Savage short actions are long, the Savage long actions are supposedly VERY long. I have both a .300 Win Mag and a .300 WSM (Remingtons). The .300 WSM is reserved for hunting (150gr to 180gr bullets), and the .300 Win Mag is reserved for long-range competitive shooting i.e. 600 yards plus shooting 208gr or heavier bullets. I think the .300 WSM gives us options and I think it's here to stay. If it were "invented" first, the question might arise as to whether or not the .300 Win Mag would ever have been necessary or wanted.

http://www.savagearms.com/16fcss.htm
http://www.savagearms.com/116fcss.htm
http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_alaskan_Ti.asp

:)

ArmedBear
July 14, 2009, 08:19 PM
I think the .300 WSM gives us options and I think it's here to stay.

I agree. So do many other cartridges.

What the .300 WSM doesn't give you is something that feels like a .308 Featherweight that shoots like a .300 Win Mag.

A few ounces off a .300 Win Mag just wasn't quite what was promised, as I recall.:)

MCgunner
July 14, 2009, 08:31 PM
Just wondering....why does the length of action matter in a longer heavy heavy gun? I mean the barrel weight and length are going to make it higher velocity and more accurate. Are you suggesting simply that because of the weight and length you might as well just have a larger round to handle it. So basically in your opinion you don't need that size of gun for that size of caliber?

I want something light, easy to carry in rough country, short, easy to swing around a box blind. Handier, lighter the better. That's what I see is the short action role, at least in guns like the M7. If I'm going to have a big heavy gun, I'll have a long action or magnum action and more power/range. Just because it's a .338 win mag don't mean I can't make it shoot sub MOA, ya know.

As for lots of shots and cooling the barrel, it only takes me one....:D Of course, yes, we do tend to have better riflemen in Texas. :neener:

If you enjoyed reading about "What are the major differences between a short action and long action?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!