Barrel length for .223 bolt action?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dryft, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. Dryft

    Dryft Member

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    After searching long and hard, I've decided to build a left handed bolt action rifle for the range.

    I've decided to go with .223, as that's a readily available round, there's all sorts of load options and, while I don't reload yet, there's a lot of information available when I start.

    Planning for heavier bullets, and a 1/8 or 1/7 twist, what kind of barrel length should I be looking for?

    Any suggestions, recommendations, or advice would be most welcome!

    Thank you.
     
  2. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    24" for max velocity. 20" or 22" for good velocity and more rigid
     
  3. Naybor

    Naybor Member

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    Agree with HOOfan.

    It's according on what you want the rifle do.

    Target and still hunting (coyote, prairie dog): Bull Barrel.
    Other: regular barrel.
     
  4. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    What action are you going to use?
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Anything over 20" is just for balance and asethetics with 223. You'll still see velocity increase with longer barrels, but it would really be minimal.
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  7. MachIVshooter
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    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    If you handload, you can realize the benefits of a 24" or even 26" barrel using slower powders.

    That said, most .223 loads don't gain much beyond 20"-22". For a bench gun where weight doesn't matter, I'd go with a 22" or 24"bull barrel. But for a field sporter? 20" or 22" light contour.

    I had a little Handi-rifle .223 lightweight, 22" tube. I'd have been shocked if that gun weighed 5 lbs., and it certainly lived up to it's name.

    My light varmint gun has a medium contour fluted barrel, weighs just under 7 lbs without scope. It's a Remington 700 LVSF .17 Rem. Not quite as stabile as my heavy barreled 26" .220 swift (also pictured), but a lot more pleasant to walk around with:

    Varmintrifles.jpg
     
  8. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Palma, F/TR and F Class rifles in .223 generally use between a 26" and a 30" barrel. Varmint guns will run about 26". A bolt action gun is not an AR. There are reasons for using longer barrels. Nothing succeeds like success as they say. Have a look at the equipment listed here:

    Compared: Four .223 Caliber Savage 12 Series Varmint Rifles

    This should give you an idea what is being done with bolt action .223 rifles. These rifles are setup very similar to the exceptional F/TR and F Class rifles Savage is putting together. The main difference is that the target rifles use 30" barrels.
     
  9. EAJ

    EAJ Member

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    Here's a CZ 527 .223 Cal. Varmint Kevlar with a 1:9 twist 24" heavy, tapered (.99" -.71"), barrel. A little over 8 lb. with scope.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    When did 223 ammo become readily available again?
     
  11. Tony50ae

    Tony50ae Member

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    MachIVshooter, I have that Remington LVSF too but in 223. Love that rifle! I wonder why they discontinued that model? Seems to me it would be popular.
     
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