1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

.357 Rifle Ballistics vs Barrel Length

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by go_bang, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. go_bang

    go_bang Well-Known Member

    I was wondering if anyone has seen any ballistics numbers that show the real-world difference that barrel length makes with .357 in a rifle. With the differences in barrel length between the Marlin, Puma, and Taurus .357 cabrines I am curious if .357 has enough umph behind it to show a real increase in velocity out of a 24 or 26" barrel versus a 18.5" barrel.
  2. grimjaw

    grimjaw Well-Known Member

    Hit the search engine for "357 rifle ballistics". This topic has been covered numerous times in detail on the forum.

    I don't know about anything longer than a 18" barrel, since that's all I've had available to chronograph. I would think that out past 20" the increase is less noticeable but I'm guessing.

  3. jlmurphy

    jlmurphy Well-Known Member

    Some of the reloading manuals have stats for handgun/rifle cartridges. If I remember correctly, most semi auto cartridges didn't really benefit from a longer barrel, but the revolver cartridges with larger cases did show real improvement.
  4. 106rr

    106rr Well-Known Member

    As a rough guide you can add 250 to 300 fps to the pistol ballistics. Check out Buffalo Bore for max loads - !58 gr at 2100+ fps in a rifle. I think most 158 gr loadings hit about 1700 or 1800 fps in a carbine. The Hornady XTP and Speer GOld Dots seem to be a favorite with hunters. <www.stoppingpower.net> <www.tacticalforums>may have more info.
  5. go_bang

    go_bang Well-Known Member

    I've run several searches against THR and via Google and did not find an answer to my question.

    Let me rephrase the question. I am considering saving up for a .357 carbine. My first choice at this point is a Marlin 1894, which has a 18.5" barrel. There are other .357 carbines with longer barrels. Some of the Pumas are 24" and the Taurus Thunderbolt is 26". My question is does an extra 6-8" of barrel length make any significant difference in the ballistics of the .357 round? This is not my primary factor in deciding on a carbine, but it is something I am curious about.
  6. jlmurphy

    jlmurphy Well-Known Member

    The two advantages to a longer barrel are; longer sight radius ; more room for powder combustion. The .357 Mag. is basically a lengthened .38 Special, which is a lengthened .38 Smith and Wesson, which I believe was a black powder round. Each was stretched to prevent chambering in older, weaker pistols. There is plenty of room in the case for more powder, up to safe limits. A longer barrel gives more time to safely accelerate the bullet. I'm guessing that 18" would give you most of the advantage of a longer barrel. I would recommend trying each rifle, sometimes intangibles make the choice easy.
  7. bakert

    bakert Well-Known Member

    Speer's Manual no. 13 has a short chapter on page 443 titled "Why Ballistics Get Gray". Test of .357 revolvers and rifles from 2 1/2" snubs to a 24" rifle barrel. Surprising how much variation between two identical guns with the same barrel lengths. Test guns, revolver; S&W, Colt, Dan Wesson and Ruger. Longer barrels; TC contender, Martini, Win and Marlin rifle barrels. Some very interesting and surprising results from their tests. A good read.
  8. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    For a REALLY long barrel to get you a benefit, you need a lot of slow-burning powder--more than even a magnum pistol cartridge will give you; you need a bottlenecked rifle cartridge (or MAYBE the stretched-out .357 Max?). I do not have, nor have I seen, concrete comparative data between an 18.5 and 26 inch (or whatever) barrel for the .357. What I do know, however, is this: out of my 18.5" Marlin, a max published load (from hodgdon) of Lil' gun will push a 158-grain Hornady XTPFP at an honest 2,000 fps. The only load I've seen that'll go faster than that is the commercial load noted above--and they, too, clock it from an 18.5 or 20" barrel, if I recall.

    If there were significant gains to be got above that 2,000-2,100 fps range by adding another half-foot of barrel, I think I'd have heard about it, and I haven't. So, if it were me choosing, I wouldn't choose the longer barrel unless I really liked it for some other reason. To me, though, the little carbine format is just right for maximizing the .357 mag's potential.
  9. Sniper X

    Sniper X Well-Known Member

    1894 Legacy

    I have an 1894 Legacy Winchester in .357mag that has a 24in barrel so I'll have to chrono a few different rounds and post up the facts.
  10. 106rr

    106rr Well-Known Member

    You won't gain much past 16.5". The legal problem of short bbls is an issue. You cannot take a rifle into Canada with a bbl length less than 18". Your local laws may differ. Mine is 18.5" and I would rather have a 16.5" but the difference isn't worth the price of shortening the bbl and tube magazine. You will also lose one or more rounds of mag capacity. Mine holds nine rounds in the mag and one in the chamber. The ideal SD carbine would be a stainless Marlin model 94 in 357 mag with a 16.5" bbl. For hunting a little more sight radius wouldn't hurt and might help.
  11. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Well-Known Member

    I have both....

    A 686+ with a 4 inch barrel, and an 1894c with the 18.5" barrel. From my chrony, the revolver puts S&B 158grjsp out at 1250-1300 fps (going on memory), and the rifle puts them out at 1850-1900 fps. The Buffalo bore stuff is considerable north of that. Basically the rifle will at least do better than double the muzzle energy of the revolver.:D

    Also as has been said before here, if your going to reload Hodgon's Lil'Gun is the way to go,
    Accurate, and punchy.
  12. pricedo

    pricedo Well-Known Member

    No 18" rifle barrels in Canada???????.........hardly.

    Just looking at a Canadian retail website where they are selling Rossi lever actions with 16" barrels?

    I know semi-automatic center fire rifles with barrels less than 18.5" are called restricted firearms (shooting range only) in Canada & they are treated just like handguns & you need a special "authorization" permit from the Canadian authorities to get them across. Once there they can only be used at a government approved range & only with a written invitation by the host range officials either to a formal competition or as a guest shooter. Don't get caught shooting in the bush or at a gravel pit with a restricted firearm unless you want to become an involuntary guest of "Her Majesty" for 4 years in a federal hoosegow.

    Buddy of mine took his Winchester Trapper with a 16" barrel across into Canada without a problem a couple of years ago.
  13. wombat13

    wombat13 Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised no one has posted the link to Ballistics by the Inch. Here it is:


    Click on the links for each load in the first table and you will get a chart of velocity vs. barrel length for the load. If you look at each of the charts you will see that the velocity gains level off after about 12".
  14. RollerCam

    RollerCam Member

    Good info on that site ---Thanks!

    "Winchester 94AE, 16" barrel shooting a CorBon 125 jhp gets 2105 fps."

  15. essayons21

    essayons21 Well-Known Member

    Wow, thats some serious thread necromancy

Share This Page