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.223 Barrel Length

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.223 Barrel Length

Old 06-16-2008, 11:55 AM
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Default .223 Barrel Length

I can't use my AR for hunting groundhogs and coyotes in PA so I'm going to buy a nice bolt action varminter rifle. I'm looking at all brands and makes and see barrels from 20" to 26". What is the optimum barrel length for this caliber? I will probably be shooting between a 50-60 grain bullet. I'm not worried about weight.
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:49 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

Most varmint rigs you'll find usually have a 26" tube. I have 24" tubes on my 223 and 223AI and have had no problems with range or velocity. I would say go with a minimum of 24".
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:17 AM
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

i have a savage mod 25 varminter with a fluted 24" blued med contour barrell. its a tack driver that beeing said i think that 26 is too much even 22" would suffice but the 24" really shines
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:57 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

Barrel length is strictly a compromise. What is your goal?? Velocity?? Ease of handling?? You have to establish your parameters before you determine your barrel length. For me I have two types of Varmint rigs. I have fixed position rigs and fast handling rigs. On my fixed position rigs I prefer a 28 inch heavy barrel. For quick handlling I prefer my 20 inch barrel. So how will you be using it??

I also GH hunt in SW PA. I washunting with my RR Varminter last year when a State Trooper came along. We talked for about 20 minutes, and I gave him a cold Pepsi(thank goodness). Before he left he told me to put my AR back in my truck.He said he could have arrested me, but he thought I was a nice guy. So he warned me about the AR being illegal in the GH field. I got lucky on that one.

By the way the barrel length on my RR is 20". It is one fast handling son of a gun. Tom.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

If I really wanted velocity I'd go with a 22-250. To me the advantage of the 223 is it's mild recoil and easy of handling in a light weight rifle. I'd go with a 24" barrel max, but a 22" would be even a little more handy.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:31 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

The velocity loss between 26 and 24 inch barrell is probably around 60 FPS. See the attached link which compares velocities from 22 inches down to 14 inches. Pleasenote these are from the same barrel being shortened, I feel this is the only way to accurately judge velocity loses.


I would stick with the 223 for varmint hunting the ammo is cheap and it shoots plenty flat at 3200 fps.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: .223 Barrel Length

I have decided on using a .223 for several reasons. It's cheaper to shoot. Hopefully cheaper to reload when I get into that. More variety of factory loads for it. Not as fast as a .22-250 so hopefully the barrel will last longer. The ranges I will be shooting at are less than 300 yards.

The gun I will buy is the Remington 700 SPS Varmint. There were several choices for a rifle but I found that I can get an awesome deal on the SPS. It has a 26" heavy barrel on it. I will primarily be hunting ground hogs with it. It's a bit heavy for carrying but not too bad. I want to try hunting some Coyotes also. That will be from a blind so weight and length shouldn't be a concern. Will also be hunting some paper targets so weight and length aren't a concern again. I have heard a lot of good things about this rifle but also that the stock isn't the greatest. Anyone have any experience with one?

Thanks for all the replies so far.
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