16 inch or 14 inch barrel


Herman Jacobs
January 23, 2013, 10:48 AM
I hope someone will be able to give me advise, i am in the process of purchasing a Sig 516 Patrol to use for 3 gun competitions as well as using the firearm for varminting on Jackal. Will the 14 inch barrel make a major difference in accuracy and decrease in speed? I prefer the shorter 14 inch barrel for competition shooting but if the 16 inch barrel will give me more accuracy for varminting out to M i will rather consider the latter.

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January 23, 2013, 11:22 AM
varminting out to M

As in 1000? Feet, yards/meters?

January 23, 2013, 11:25 AM
out to M??

You mean like 1,000 yards?

Yes, a longer barrel would be a major asset.

More Velocity = Less drop & wind drift.
Less drop & wind drift = Two less things to contend with at long range.

There should be no affect on accuracy based on barrel length.
Just less velocity and more drop the shorter the barrel.

But regardless of all that.
The .223 carbine is not a 1,000 yard rifle or caliber, regardless of barrel length.

If you notice, the trend in 3-gun is for 18" - 20" barrels.
They give flatter trajectory, stay on target better for faster follow-up shots, and a smoother more stable swing between targets.

The trend in varmint rifles is for 20" - 24" barrels because they hold steadier, and give higher velocity & less drop.


Herman Jacobs
January 23, 2013, 11:35 AM
Sorry guys, do not know what happened there, no maximum for Jackal will be 300M for good clean kills. Also our 3 gun shoots are maximum 100M. Will there be a major difference at these distances?

January 23, 2013, 11:44 AM
No. But pro 3-gunners all use longer barrels than 14", FYI.

January 23, 2013, 03:49 PM
A longer gas system gives a smoother recoil, so a lot of guys go with a rifle gas and 18" barrel. What division would you shoot? If you would shoot Tac Optics, a shorter rifle, like a 16" barrel / mid gas would be fine. Same for irons, but the short site radius would make it a little more difficult. A 16" carbine w/ a 1-4x scope would be a good multi-purpose gamer, varminter, home defender.

January 23, 2013, 04:08 PM
You’ll be using a 14 or 16 inch pistol for 3 gun, interesting. However, if you plan on adding a stock and making it a rifle, needless to say the 14” barrel will be a SBR that will require federal approval and federal approval to take it out of state, something to think about.

January 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

He didn't say Sig 516 Pistol.

He said Sig 516 Patrol, which is a carbine.


January 23, 2013, 04:21 PM
I'm an IDIOT...sorry about that.

January 23, 2013, 05:09 PM
won't the 14 inch put you in nfa territory 200 tax stamp and notification to nfa travelling to out side states?sbr

January 23, 2013, 05:41 PM
I'm assuming he'll have a FH pinned/welded to 16".

Jim Watson
January 23, 2013, 06:37 PM
I'm assuming he is not in the USA, being that we don't have jackals outside of zoos that I know of.

January 23, 2013, 06:41 PM

Herman Jacobs
January 27, 2013, 02:49 AM
I live in South Africa, our 3 gun here is not the same as the 3 Gun that you shoot over there, i recently bought a book on the type of competitions that you shoot in your country (3 Gun Shooting by Chad Adams) and i cannot comprehend how competitors from this country adjust to take part in the type of competitions in your country. I have never shot further than a 100m in any of our shoots, based on that i do not see the necessity of a barrel longer than 14 to 16 inches with a 1 in 7 or 8 twist.

I honestly appreciate your feedback, thank you very much.

January 27, 2013, 12:07 PM
welcome to the thr, herman.

even if you are hunting jackals further than 100 meters, two inches of barrel length will not make a difference the jackal can detect.

what caliber are we talking about, here? sounds like a 6.5mm.


January 27, 2013, 12:09 PM
It's not about distance.

A 14" barrel, even in a midlength gas system, will have a more abrupt, violent cycling action than an 18" or 20" rifle length gas system. (It's .223/5.56 so we're speaking in relative terms)

If you're looking to shoot a lot of rounds in a hurry, a smoother recoil system will be beneficial.

If you're serious about 3-gun, run a 20" rifle length gas and look for a LMOS carrier.

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