How long is too long for a .308 Win barrel?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bikemutt, Apr 6, 2019.

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  1. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    I'm getting real close to buying a .308 Win rifle with a 24" 1:11 twist barrel, is 24" wasted on, or even detrimental to the .308 Win cartridge?

    Thanks
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    sounds like your getting a rem mili spec. depends on how fare you would like to shoot. 24 will get you to 1000yds so will a 20 but only just the 26 will be even faster. 24 is a good length.
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep.
     
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  4. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    the long barrels making bullets slow down is a practical myth. Even in pistol cals you still see gains at 20 inches in most cases. You loose your leaps after about 12 inches in most calibers anyway, and from there is just how much do those little gains mean vs how much length do you want. 24" will be about optimal as long as its not too long for taste. I know 26" feels too long in a bolt gun for me, under 21" feels to short. 21-24 would be my idea of perfect.
     
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  5. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    https://rifleshooter.com/2014/12/308-winchester-7-62x51mm-nato-barrel-length-versus-velocity-28-to-16-5/
    Depending on what you are doing, (unfamiliar with .30 twists) twist rate may be slow? But then in .308 I'd guess you're not pushing crazy heavy longs either huh? Anyway to barrel length
    https://rifleshooter.com/2014/12/308-winchester-7-62x51mm-nato-barrel-length-versus-velocity-28-to-16-5/
     
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  6. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    After about 80 calibers, what you gain in velocity is not worth the extra length and unwieldiness....
     
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  7. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I wouldn't want longer than a 22in barrel on a general purpose or hunting .308. For me the .308 really makes the most sense with shorter barrels, 16"-20", much more and I prefer other chamberings.

    You can always buy a longer barrel and have it cut though.
     
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  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    “Detrimental” length would be predicated upon the application. 24” sure isn’t doing anything bad for velocity or precision in a 308win, but you might find it isn’t as handy as it could be for deep woods carry. In deference to my tinnitus, I’ve been carrying 24-26” barrels with 7-11” suppressors out front for the last dozen years or so, even in thick timber, so I’m probably biased. If I weren’t young enough and flexible enough to move around brush and tree limbs with my rifle, maybe I’d complain about the length and weight. Someday maybe. Someday.

    If I were primarily still hunting or stalking in thick cover, then I’d worry about the difference. Stand hunting, no difference. Hunting in less dense timber or open country, no concern at all from me.
     
  9. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    308 Win is a pretty efficient cartridge. It doesn't lose a lot of velocity from a shorter barrel, but by the same turn, it doesn't gain much from a longer one either.

    So 24" is absolutely fine and will definitely get you to the advertised velocities for the caliber. The extra 2-4" of barrel length may not help the 308 as much as it would some other cartridges, but it doesn't hurt it at all.

    I don't think I'd go any longer than 24 though. If I'm going to be packing or shooting a 26" rifle, it might as well be a magnum.
     
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  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    In fairness - Palma guys are shooting 32” 308wins, and doing so for a reason.
     
  11. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i for the bench or not for carrying the longer barrels are nice, you can load lighter for the same fps. giving you longer brass life and better chance to find a better node. by the op description the rifle sounds like a mili spec with the 1-11 1/4 twist.
     
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  12. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    24" 22" 20", all good for 308 win, though, you never specified usage. If your going to squeeze out as much velocity as possible, then go for the 24" you had in mind. Not detrimental imo, but again, I can't say for sure since usage wasn't specified. I'm just happy to hear someone wants the 308 win. Getting sick and tired of the Creedmoor talk.
     
  13. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  14. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Surprised people fell for that. Retitle the 308 win in metric and stamp Creedmoor on the rear and sales will go through the roof.
     
  15. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    wish they would do that with a .300 savage, now THAT id buy.....

    I agree with VT, barrel length is dependent on use, and personal preference. Theres no balistic down side to going longer on a .308
    I tend to like longer barrels. Ive got 2, no 3, guns with barrel shorter than 24", the rest are that long or longer. Ive also used 24-26" barrels since i was in high school, so even in thick cover they dont feel awkward to me.

    also as stated, there are NO downsides to getting the blast and muzzle pressure, as far away and as low as possible.
     
  16. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    A barrel of 20-22" in 308 will give you about all the useful velocity you're going to get. That is where I like to be. I have one 18" barrel and think that is too short, but 20-22 is perfect for me in that cartridge. There is a lot more difference between 2 different rifles with the same barrel length than you'll see with 4" of barrel. There is no guarantee rifle "A" with a 24" barrel will be faster than rifle "B" with a 20" barrel. Around 25-50 fps difference between barrels of the same length is perfectly normal. I own 2 different 308's with 22" barrels, one is always 20-30 fps faster than the other. One of my 308's has an 18" barrel and averages only 60-80 fps slower than the 22" guns. The one with a 20" barrel splits the difference between the 2 rifles with 22" barrels.
     
  17. farmerboy78

    farmerboy78 Member

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    it all depends on the application you will be using the rifle for. for tactical purposes, I'd say a 24" is about right. for hunting purposes, around a 20". for bench or prone shooting, I've seen from 24-32" barrels. and regardless of what some have previously said, the longer barrels do boost your velocity, using handloads, and in 1000yd gr match, the 308 needs all the speed it can get!
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, the OP did not say what application.

    My hunting .308 is a 20" barrel, works just fine and very handy in small spaces. 99% of the time another 2" wouldn't hurt a bit.

    My target/tactical/whatever .308 has a 24" barrel and I like the little extra velocity it gives. It's a heavy barrel and I don't do a lot of walking around with it.

    16" .308 is LOUD! Keep that in mind. 18" is too short as well IMHO.

    20" or longer for me, depending.

    But the question was...

    No it isn't "wasted", you get some more FPS from it, although it can be debated as to whether those extra FSP are worth it in "XYZ" application.

    Is it detrimental? Absolutely not, unless you count size/weight against it, and then a debate could be had.
     
  19. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    Thanks THR, this rifle I'm considering would be strictly for bench work. I would plan on re-barreling it when the time comes so I could make any adjustments then, I just don't want to spend time and components shooting out a handicapped barrel to start with is why I asked the question.
     
  20. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    The bench won't notice the extra length or weight, and for that, I'd run 24-26" minimum.
     
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  21. lightman

    lightman Member

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    It depends on the purpose. Palma shooters use 30 or 32 inch barrels and other competition shooters use barrels close to that. Most factory sporters come with 22 in barrels and they work well for most hunting situations. I built a custom 308 for a walking hunter with a 20 inch barrel. I get 2800 fps with 150 grain bullets out of it.
     
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  22. Garandimal

    Garandimal member

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    1. Why 1:11 twist?
    2. What intended use/purpose is the rifle?




    GR
     
  23. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I like the looks of a 24" heavy bbl on a short action.
     
  24. Garandimal

    Garandimal member

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  25. z7

    z7 Member

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    For a pure target rifle a 26” + is popular and I would say heavier

    I’d also recommend threading the muzzle for a suppressor or a good muzzle brake

    308’s don’t kick much anyway, but a 18lb 308 that has a good muzzle brake I very pleasant to shoot and the lack of recoil can help you be a more consistent shooter
     
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