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Thoughts on Barrel Length

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Thoughts on Barrel Length

Old 04-01-2013, 04:10 PM
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I just purchased a 20" T/C Encore barrel that was cut down by Mike Bellum. The previous owner has shot it all the way out to 300yds with impressive results. So my question is whats to short in your opinion for a muzzleloader. Here are his(Carlos) targets at 100 and 300 yards
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jaybez101099
I just purchased a 20" T/C Encore barrel that was cut down by Mike Bellum. The previous owner has shot it all the way out to 300yds with impressive results. So my question is whats to short in your opinion for a muzzleloader. Here are his(Carlos) targets at 100 and 300 yards
Just off the top of my head... I would say I would not be as concerned about long range accuracy as energy at long range.

I would not think that shortening the barrel would not have a tremendous effect on accuracy, if the barrel was accurate in the first place. I do feel that you will loose some energy shooting a short barrel - especially if you might be shooting BH which is a progressive burning powder and the barrel length will help it burn more efficiently.

Just a thought...
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:28 PM
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What ever the legal limit is, for a rifle, is too short. If it is 16", then 16" is too short. X7 barrels at 24", are not too short.

In my experience 300 yard is stretching it for a 50 caliber rifle. What is happening out there is the bullet is slowing through the speed of sound, and it doesn't seem it will be as accurate out there, as it was at shorter ranges. My mind tells me this, and so does actual shooting. However 45 caliber rifles may be accurate a way beyond 300 yard, because their bullet, at 300 yard, are still traveling a way faster than the speed of sound.

So..............in my opinion accuracy is not limited by barrel length. Accuracy is limited by the range at which the bullet slows to the speed of sound.

Actually, my opinion is, a shorter barrel is more likely to be accurate, than a longer barrel. A heavy barrel is more likely to be accurate than a lighter barrel. Accuracy suffers when the bullet slows through the speed of sound. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:41 PM
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It is a known fact that a long barrel wipes over a longer distance than a shorter barrel. Our 28 inch barrels are definitely overkill for a powder like Blackhorn which is a progressive burning powder, but with other subs and especially black powder you start out much slower and with less whip. I really believe that with black and the slower subs like Pyrodex you need a longer barrel I like to have at least 32 inches on my traditionals but believe 24 is optimum for Blackhorn. I don't know where to place 777 as I never got past the crud ring far enough to do any testing.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:21 PM
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I'm not so sure a long barrel is all that important for black powder Ron. As an explosive, it burns up pretty fast. I really don't know if it continues to build pressure as the projectile travels down the bore.

I do know I conducted a velocity study in the short barrel of my X7 with GOEX FFFg and got continuous velocity increase as the charge was increased.



I've chronographed only one load with T7 in the X7. But as you can see, it beat all heck out of GOEX. I still use GOEX though for my 175 yard or less hunting situation because the trajectory is flat enough for me and accuracy is just fine.

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Old 04-07-2013, 07:30 AM
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This is the final look of my Encore with the Bellm cut down barrel(20"). Its topped with a Nikon ProStaff 3x9x40. Next weekend I will shoot her in.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:52 AM
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that looks like it would make a great carry rifle. Small and easy to work through brush. Very nice rifle. And since you know it shoots.. seems your all set.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:37 AM
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Dave the 21 inch GM barrels are nice to carry and accurate. I have one in 1x28 twist x21 for my flintlock
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:15 PM
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Well we were down VA for opening day Turkey season and as can see it was over before 7am(10.5in beard). So an all day off and on range session was had with the 20" Encore. I tried everything from 90gr-110gr BH and settled on 105gr.
Bullets shot were PT Golds..Shockwaves..XTP.. Sabots both crushed and smooth. First thing I noticed was it seemed to kick alot more than my longer guns. Second thing was it loaded alot easier than my T/C barrels.
It was sup rising how nice the gun handled both off a rest and free handed.
All I can say about Bergara barrels is they are unbelievable. Super accurate with both the V1 and the Encore using just about anything I put down them.
Here is a 5 shot target at 100yds using 105gr BH and 260gr PT Gold and harvester smooth sabot. I flinched bad on the low one and not sure where the fifth is other than it went through the hole.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:49 AM
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I had a 24" barrel for my Encore and wished I would have gone about 2" shorter. It was real convenient to carry. I did notice for sure that it kicked a lot more though. From that target I would say that 20" looks pretty good though.
Good shooting and congrats on the Turkey.
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