Do you Prefer 24" or 26" barrel for magnum calibers


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sleepyone
November 4, 2009, 09:06 PM
I'm in the market for a 300 Win Mag and want to see what the preference is for barrel lengths and why. I know that a longer barrel will increase muzzle velocity some. Is it enough to make a difference. Sometimes it also increases the weight, which "could" help reduce recoil a tiny bit. I' not too fond of long barrels. It is a lot of rifle to wield. FWIW, I am getting either a Model 70 Sporter 26" and a M77 Hawkeye 24". It is interesting that the Sporter actually weighs 3/4 pd less than the Hawkeye. That is not an insignificant difference. What say you?

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MachIVshooter
November 4, 2009, 09:16 PM
It's always a compromise between portability and performance. But I can tell you that the extra 2" from 24" to 26" makes a big difference in the woods. 26" tubes seem to snag every single branch in the forest.

Personal choice, though. I stick with a 24" 700 BDL in .25-06 for any non-dangerous game. My .375 Ultra mag is 26", but sees limited use. And if I were going fo bear in dense woods, it'd be my 22" Marlin 1895 .45-70.

sleepyone
November 4, 2009, 09:22 PM
Yeah, I can't imagine trying to move around in a stand with a 26" barrel. So far I have never owned even a 24" barrel. About to though. Also looking at the 25-06 in Ruger or Winchester, both 24". How do you like that caliber? Hear a lot of great things about it. Thinking about it for my daughter. I think she is ready to upgrade from her 243.

saturno_v
November 4, 2009, 09:31 PM
In a magnum chambering I would go for the longer pipe but I do not have much experience in hunting to tell you how more cumbersome it is.

I did hike occasionally with a Mosin Nagant (28") and it did nto bother me that much.

In a 300 Win Mag you can get a longer barrel without spending much more than a regular 24" barrel from other rifle manufacturers (Weatherby, Tikka, Mossberg, etc..) ...a Remington 700 SPS has a 26" pipe standard in 300 WM.


However, in my case, when I bought a 338 Win Mag (I got the Weatherby Vanguard for $399) if I did want to go for a 26" barrel rifle I would have spent significantly more...A Rem XCR in 338 WM is about $950, a Ruger Hawkeye about $850 and Kimber Montana was over $1100

2 extra inches, IMHO, did not worth doubling the price or even more....

Arkel23
November 4, 2009, 09:32 PM
It is only a 40-50 fps difference between a 24'' and a 26'' inch barrel, my .300 Weatherby Mag has a 24'' barrel, and you won't really know the difference anyway if you're hunting. I'm gonna tell you just go for the cheaper rifle. People over exaggerate recoil from .300 Mags so bad, don't worry about recoil.

jbkebert
November 4, 2009, 09:37 PM
I have carried a 28" pipe on my .300 win for miles with no problems. Also have not had any problems in a stand. I agree that the recoil is overdone. My wife shoots my Encore using 180 Interbonds over 71.6 grains of RL-22 without a problem. She is 5' 10" and about 150# so not a very big gal. After 10-12 rounds she may stop for awhile but she doesn't complain.

sleepyone
November 4, 2009, 09:47 PM
How much more felt recoil than a 30-06? I have the ballistics info on both rifles. I just want to hear people's thoughts who have fired both. I have never fired anything more than a 30-06; in civilian life.

jbkebert
November 4, 2009, 09:56 PM
Alot of it will depend on the rifle itself. I had a Ruger KM77 allweather in .270 it was a polymer stock and SS barrel. Nice rifle but that pencil thin stock made that darn rifle kick like a mule. I honestly think that sucker kicked alot harder than my .300 weatherby Mark V. Kicked a hell of alot harder than my Encore pro-hunter .300 win. So caliber alone will not tell the whole story. Weight, Recoil pad/dampener, stock style and materials used in the construction of the stock will play a huge role in felt recoil.

sleepyone
November 4, 2009, 11:00 PM
Alot of it will depend on the rifle itself. I had a Ruger KM77 allweather in .270 it was a polymer stock and SS barrel. Nice rifle but that pencil thin stock made that darn rifle kick like a mule. I honestly think that sucker kicked alot harder than my .300 weatherby Mark V. Kicked a hell of alot harder than my Encore pro-hunter .300 win. So caliber alone will not tell the whole story. Weight, Recoil pad/dampener, stock style and materials used in the construction of the stock will play a huge role in felt recoil.
Absoutely agree. My Tikka T3 lite stainless/synthetic in 308 has a lot of recoil. I got the 308 specifically because of less recoil than a 30-06; or so I was told. I think it only weighs 6.5 lbs. w/o scope. I'm 5'10" and 195, using a limbsaver but still think it has more than the 30-06 I used to own. I think you can go too light on weight as well as too heavy. When you think about it, how many of us can't carry a 9 lb, with scope, rifle for a full day?

OrangePwrx9
November 4, 2009, 11:06 PM
The .300 Win Mag. isn't a hard kicker IMHO. I'd say no more than 20% harder than a .30-06. They're a bit heavier than most -06s. That might be what takes the edge off their recoil. I've have the 300 Winchester (Ruger 77 Mk II) and have shot the 300 Wby Mag. and found them both comfortable. I'd as soon shoot them as my M700 30-06. I like the 24" barrel on the Ruger, BTW.

As to barrel length, I think you can still get a Ruger One single shot with the 26" barrel. Because the action is so short, the rifle's overall length is actually a little shorter with the 26" tube than a bolt gun is with 24". They're a bit pricey, though.
Bob

eddism
November 4, 2009, 11:38 PM
Take a look at .338 Winchester Magnum chambered for Lapua's in a 24" Contour 7 with a 10 twist. Leupold holds this round in high esteem.

Coal Dragger
November 5, 2009, 03:07 AM
Depends on the magnum caliber in question. If it is under a .338 bore and has more than about 75-80grs of powder to burn I'll take a 26", otherwise a 24" will be just fine thanks.

Art Eatman
November 5, 2009, 10:47 AM
The comparative recoil numbers are easy. Add the powder weight to the bullet weight and multiply by the muzzle velocity for each cartridge. Divide the larger by the smaller and that gives the percentage difference. That's for equal weight rifles. You can then adjust by comparing the weights of the rifles.

FWIW, I toted a 26" '06--9.5 pounds, total--around a bunch of mountain country for some 30 years. I didn't hunt that much in "jungle", but I did work a lot of brushy country and climbed into a few tree stands. The barrel length was never a bother. I guess the bottom line for me is, if you could go with 24", you might as well go on to 26". To me, the muzzle velocity is more important than the trivial amount of "handy". But, most of my hunting has been in Ma Bell country.

X-Rap
November 5, 2009, 11:08 AM
My only consideration would be if I might want to add a break later, if so the shorter would be my choice. Of course the barrel can be shortened to what ever lenght you like at that time.

I also try to not get painted into a corner when it comes to guns. Don't look at it like its the only one you will ever have and it has to be perfect. Over the 30+ yrs. I've been accumulating guns I've built on the concept of never having to many. Get what you want and get plenty so you can enjoy the variety. There is nothing wrong with having an 06 in 16" 20" 24". Nor is it bad to have a varminter that is painted up and ugly as sin and another with beautiful finish for days at dog town.

The 300 will definately shine brightest at 24" and above but think about the country you hunt, the brush you need to get through, and how quiet you need to be.

Uncle Mike
November 5, 2009, 12:42 PM
2" won't make a bit of difference in the brush...it will however make a rather large, especially at distance, difference in performance of the bullet.

A 4" or better difference in barrel length makes for the noticeable difference in carry ability.

Here's something to ponder....if your going to carry a magnum rifle, then obviously, you have deemed the need for such caliber, so why would you then handicap the caliber by shooting it out of a short length, for the cartridge, barrel?

I mean, if your going to bang away with a 300 MAG then use a barrel that will allow you to wring the most out of the cartridge, why burn powder outside the tube where it does nothing for performance...might as well just use a standard caliber if your going to do that!

I say the 26" tube would be the best for your application!

And between the Ruger and the FNH Model 70....no question there, the FNH Winchester Model 70!

257WM_CDL-SF
November 5, 2009, 06:22 PM
exactly Mike why buy a corvette with a 6 cylinder engine

sleepyone
November 5, 2009, 06:42 PM
thanks for all the feedback! Very useful info.

t165
November 7, 2009, 04:39 AM
Hell...buy the 26 inch barrel. Use it, carry it and if you decide you do not like the length have a gunsmith cut the barrel to whatever inch you are comfortable with. 220, 221 whatever!

SharpsDressedMan
November 7, 2009, 07:49 AM
My rule is if it is going to get carried a lot, and may have to go though any high vegetation, it would be a 24" or less (my .300 WM is an older Remington that came in that length). For long range varminting, hell, have a 29" barrel! Some of the above folks just have to eek out every ounce of energy/ballistics for every round. My .300 loads so easily outclass any .30-06 (from my 24" barrel), that I actually wonder what I would have to shoot, and how far, that the slight reduction of 2" of barrel is going to handicap me. So far, no mule deer or elk has been safe, at any distance a good shot has been made.

PJH
November 7, 2009, 10:04 PM
I like 26" in mags and 24" in standards, but thats just me.

moooose102
November 8, 2009, 07:20 AM
personally, i kike the long tube., yes, for hunting. there have been a few places where it has gotten in the way, but it has never cost me a shot on a deer. 3 years ago, i bought a marlin guide gun 45/70. it shoots and handles fine, but i really would rather have a longer barrel. maybe not as long as the cowboy model (but i have to admit that i thought about it hard!), but about 1/2 way in between.

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