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

Is a 20 inch barrel good enough for a 308 hunting rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cal-gun Fan, Mar 9, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,164
    Location:
    Utah/California
    Basically as the title says. I'd prefer the shorter barrel if that would not affect velocity too negatively.
     
  2. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,649
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Depends on who you believe.

    I have a 19" barrel on my primary hunting rifle in 7x57. I haven't noticed any issues with it. YMWV.
     
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    yes.
     
  4. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    359
    Location:
    North Pole, Alaska
    I have a 308 with 18 inch bbl, Old Remington 660 , My AR10 w/20 inch bbl, and a Howa 308 w/24 inch bbl. I would not hesitate to take anyone of them hunting.
    The only problem with the 660 in 308. You do need a burn permit from the BLM or state forestry service. She is a flame thrower.
     
  5. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,337
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Velocity should not be negatively affected by a 20" barrel length unless you are loading with a very slow burning or progressive powder. Generally speaking, with most conventional smokeless powders achieve full burn and, therefore, essentially peak velocity by the 16" - 18" range.

    The other question that may be relevant is the barrel twist rate and intended bullet weight. 1 in 12 is pretty common for .308 so unless you are cutting down a barrel with a lesser rate of twist and/or intent on using very heavy for caliber bullets, anything in the 150 - 180 gr range should adequately stabilize in a 20" barrel. 20" is a good length.
     
  6. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    1,433
    Location:
    California
    If the extra fps makes the difference you should be looking at another caliber. That said I feel 20" to be perfectly adequate for .308.
     
  7. Dmitri Popov

    Dmitri Popov Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Wayne County, West Virginia
    Yep, It'll kill just as dead as anthing else.
     
  8. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    510
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    You'll lose maybe 50 fps going with a 20" compared to a 24"... not something I would be concerned about.
     
  9. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,359
    Location:
    Luling Texas
    I have AR10s with 20" barrels, shooot a long, long way with em.
     
  10. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Messages:
    753
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have had several rifle barrels shorten to 20", 30/06, 308, 7-08, and even a 45/70.

    What ever lost muzzle velocity was more than made up for in handling.

    A well balanced firearm is a fine hunting rifle.
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,447
    Location:
    Georgia
    Yes!
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,850
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    My understanding is that the .308 was among the first where a computer was used in the design. The idea was to replicate factory '06 performance with a 150-grain bullet at some 2,800 ft/sec, when using barrels in the range of 18" to 22".

    Seems like they accomplished their goal...
     
  13. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    936
    Location:
    Tn.
    308's perform wonderfully out of short barrels, You do loose a little velocity the shorter you get but IMO it doesn't affect the .308 as bad as it does other cartridges based on the same case like the .243 and .260 ect. An 18 inch .308 makes for a nice light weight unit and is still capable of reaching out at a good distance.
     
  14. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,676
    Location:
    Silver Hill, NC
    20" barrel is fine. My Remington Model Seven .308 is a 20 incher and is great...short, light, and good to go.

    400977564.gif
     
  15. bpl

    bpl Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    927
    Location:
    PA
    Yes:)
     
  16. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Michigan
    In .308, the only reason to go longer than 20" is for F-Class competition.
     
  17. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,164
    Location:
    Utah/California
    Ok, thanks a lot guys!
     
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,447
    Location:
    Georgia
    Not true. A 308 or any other cartridge will continue to to increase in velocity well beyond 18". It becomes a question of how much. A 26" barrrel will give you about 250 fps more velocity than a 16" barrel. The difference between 22"-24" barrel and a shorter 20" barrel is not that great. Around 50-75 fps, 100 at most.

    But the 308 is more efficient than most and the difference would be much greater with many other rounds. I'm of the opinion that 20" is a good length for the 308. You still get good velocity at that length and would have to go to 28-30" to see a notable improvement. But that is also about as short as I'd want. You do start to see notable decreases in velocity when you drop under 20". But probably the biggest problem is that muzzle blast becomes a major concern.
     
  19. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,892
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    20" is plenty good.
     
  20. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,047
    Location:
    Michigan
  21. mac66

    mac66 Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,004
    Location:
    Michigan
    My go to hunting rifle for the last 25 years is a Winchester Mod 70 308 w/20" bbl, 2-7 Leopold scope. It has taken whitetail, mule deer, antelope, caribou, black bear out to 400 yards. I have not found anything better than that rifle.
     
  22. biggameballs

    biggameballs Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    377
    Yes a 308 was designed to be effecient enough to get close to max performance out of a shorter barrel.
     
  23. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    745
    Location:
    Near Fairbanks
  24. Dr T

    Dr T Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,034
    Location:
    Colorado and West Texas
    My Ruger Frontier 308 has a 16.5" barrel. I can't say that the deer have noticed...It is awfully handy in the pickup.
     
  25. Maxicooper

    Maxicooper Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    CZ 550 FS .308win, 20.5" barrel ;)

    6898725781_b4c114c1af_z.jpg
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page