.375 21" barrel?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Rick Cox, Nov 24, 2017.

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  1. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    The balance was my first consideration but 4 inches shouldn’t affect the balance much as the barrel is not that heavy compared to the overall weight.
    Personally I would leave as is.
     

  2. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    my 375 ruger also has a 20" barrel. it is handy and shoots fine. have not notice abnormal muzzle blast when shooting it. as noted before, if you cut it, you can't put it back. also, if you cut it, it is critical that you have it nicely crowned so you don't lose any accuracy.
    the other concern is that the approx. 100 fps of velocity you lose...might cause the bullets to bounce off of the game you shoot with it!:LOL:
     

  3. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    I have a Sako Kodiak with a 21" barrel. Velocity loss has been between 75-140 fps, depending on powder used. The comparison was made between the Sako Kodiak and a Kimber Talkeetna 375 with a 24" barrel. With a max load of RL15 and a 300gr Barnes TSX, the Kimber gets 2590 fps, and the Sako gets 2450 fps. Of course, the difference in barrel smoothness, ect. could have an effect as well. The Kimber comes from the factory with a Krieger barrel, so I'm sure it could be a better barrel than the Sako. Although the Sako shoots as well or better than the Kimber.
    I then loaded some loads using Win 748 powder and the Sako then shot over 2500 FPS with the same bullet. So, the faster powder seems to get more velocity in the shorter barrel, where as the longer barrel does better with a slower powder. I haven't noticed any bad muzzle blast with the shorter barrel either, so I wouldn't worry about that at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017

  4. Milan

    Milan AH Enthusiast

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    I say do it. I was going to chop mine up (.458 Lott). I have always liked the big CZs but like the smaller ones better and the 25+" tube just seems unwieldy. I had a Sako Kodiak and that had 21+" barrel and seemed to handle faster. Too bad its stock fit me about as well as the Rugers (not at all) and kicked the snot out of me. So I went back to CZ. Pleasure to shoot just a tad long. Sold it to a guy before I got to shorten it. However, he was going to do just that as he too used to have one that he shortened and then got rid of it and missed it. I now have Whitworth and am happy with it as is. I'm also playing with a project on a VZ24 action that already came with a 20" barrel. I like 20" barrels for the bush here. In more open areas I do not care really but 25+ seems long to me any way you look at it. I don't even like the long 30" barrels on my target rifles but there it is needed. For an all-around rifle 21-22" seems perfect to me.
     

  5. siutis

    siutis AH Senior Member

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    My 375 Ruger sports a 20 inch barrel and my 375 H&H has a 21 inch barrel. Much easier to handle in the field. No noticeable difference in stopping power.
     

  6. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I don't now how much it will effect velocity of a 375h&h. If you do it on a 300 or 7mm mag you would be reducing their performance to the level of a 30-06 or 280 rem.
     
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  7. siutis

    siutis AH Senior Member

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    I lost approximately 47 fps with buffalobore 375 300 grain TSX. I reduced the barrel from 24 to 21. 2533 fps on the 300 TSX
     

  8. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Truth has been spoken. My 14-5/8" length of pull .375HH made by Cogswell & Harrison has a 26" barrel. It is delightful to carry and well balanced. Its also crazy accurate. The 21" bobbed barrels were made for professionals, not for hunters. Many of the africa guns were cut back so they would be easier to stalk through jess and for making instinctive shots at DG at close ranges in a heartbeat to protect life and limb. The PH doesn't care about velocity nor accuracy, they care about speed, ease of carry, and reliability.

    As a consumer, go with the traditional barrel length because its not your job be the PH and the pre-war English knew what they were doing with the longer barrels. Perfect client guns.

    Alternatively, go to Steve Barnett and look at the dozens of "bobbed" safari rifles available. $12,000 pre-64s and others that are worth less than HALF because somebody read a few books about Africa and started hacking client guns to make them professionals guns. Translation: making 350 yard guns into 100 yard guns.
     
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  9. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    What DG have you stopped with these short barreled rifles?
     
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  10. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Irrespective of barrel length, balance and proper fit takes precedence.
     
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  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The issues of long/short, heavy/light, balance point location, etc all relate to ones expectations and experience. If someone grows up using an item of certain specifications, whether it is automobiles, houses, clothes or rifles and shotguns he/she will be accustomed to those characteristics and their thought process and muscle memory will be in accordance with those limitations/benefits.
     
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  12. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @Ray B That may be true, but lets peel the onion a bit more layers. As you know, and we surely agree, form and function are key to a "proper" weapon. Today, most modern guns are akin to the modern car: fake features out of place. (spoilers on economy cars. Huge tires on SUVs that cannot handle actual offroad use)

    Own weapons where form and function go together is the ultimate point. A proper european made rifle of any vintage was made with a barrel contour and length to provide a particular capability. A .375 had a 25-26" barrel for client accuracy and the ability to kill anything at any reasonable ranges in Africa. (bob the barrel, and it is now a short range client protection tool) A mannlicher stocked gun in 6.5x54 with 18"-20" barrel was for carrying in Alpine conditions all day to take a shot inside 150 yards. Form met function. I love that vintage guns still have their form and function. I loathe that most modern guns were made by marketing departments where there is no sensibility.

    Barrel length.
    Barrel Contour.
    Magazine type.
    Magazine release type.
    Safety type.
    Overall weight.
    Stock style.
    Comb height.
    Iron sight arrangment.
    Sling attachment type.

    All these features had particular purposes and fitness for a particular use. In short and concise as I can be: a rifle or shotgun of any European or American manufacture before 1960 was made with tremendous thought and consideration. Thousands of hours of real-world considerations led to a group of experts building a product that was PERFECT for a use case. They then let sales and marketing teams persuade the public that the product was what they ought to want. Today, a marketing department specifies what a gun should have on it to sell to customer (bubba) demand. Today, guns are built and sold meeting ridiculous wish lists that the same people that like zombie hunting and watching Kardashians think are realistic.

    This picture sums up the pinnacle of my feelings on the matter: (most ironic picture I've ever seen, I just had to send it to friends for a chuckle)

    30743576_10156407118914106_5069357574575357952_n.jpg
     
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  13. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    One of the best things about the new powders of recent years is you can now get the same velocity out of a 22" barrel as you used to out of a 26". Also a lot of the older cartridges can obtain higher velocities without increased pressures.
     
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  14. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I have a Sako Kodiak .375. Love everything about it, except the short barrel. I would appreciate 2" more barrel length for better handling when actually shooting, longer sight radius for the excellent irons, less muzzle blast, and faster bullet speed. The only advantages of a short barrel are conveniences that you enjoy when you are not actually shooting. I prefer to have all the practical advantages I can when I shoot.
     
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  15. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Do you have issues when ejecting empty cases hitting the scope?
     

  16. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    I found mine to be perfect for handling and accuracy with challenging hunting shots. Wonderful rifle. Shells never hit scope. Hammer of Thor on many a running target at 200m.
     

  17. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    No muzzle blast difference that I could determine.
     

  18. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    My Winchester M70 .375 H&H originally had a muzzle brake installed on the end of the barrel when I got it. I pulled this off first thing but then I had an unsightly ring of threads on the end of the barrel. I didn't want those so I had a gunsmith cut an inch off the barrel and move the front sight back a bit. It turns out the guy already had 1" chopped off the end of the barrel, so I now had a 22" .375 and you know what? It still shot 1.5" at 100 yards and 270 grain loads hit 2,700 fps easily and 300 grainers left the barrel at 2,550 using RL17 powder and no where near max charge. It was a handy little rifle albeit a bit heavy

    As @Red Leg had mentioned, Americans aren't really good at mass producing practical, well thought out but fine firearms and so it was with this Winchester, it was produced by bean counters back in the 80's where they determined that they could save time and money just making all the "safari weight" barrels the same profile. So the .375 had the same profile as the .458 and the gun still weighed in at almost 10 lbs with a scope on it. With the 22" barrel it was still a little muzzle heavy which is preferable to butt heavy I guess. Still shot good enough!

    I am VERY thankful it wasn't during the current zombie/tacticool/sniper/mall ninja fad of today or Winchester might have painted it OD green and slapped picatinny rails all over it and snapped a 20 round detachable magazine to the bottom of its tupperware stock.
     
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  19. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    Yes, I did have that problem at first. After trying a few things and research on line, I determined that the extractor claw was built with too much clearance between cartridge rim and the bolt face. A new extractor from Sako was the same. The excess clearance allows the case to wobble upward at the moment of ejection, and the momentum of the initial movement makes the case eject in a high arc. With a tighter grip the case will move more horizontally. So I had a very skilled machinist build me a new extractor claw with only 0.005" clearance. That changed the angle of ejection and now it is perfectly reliable and ejects at the correct angle.

    While trying to make the original extractor work with the quite low mounted Leupold 2.5-8x scope I turned it 90° counterclockwise so that the right turret was top, top turret to the left. That is also a way to make ejection reliable. I actually left the scope turned that way even after installing the new extractor. It allows quicker access to the loading port for single loading, clear view to see the chamber and magazine, and more room to top up the magazine. The Dual X reticle can be used equally well either way. I'm leaving it that way. Makes me wonder why adjustment turrets were ever standardized with one turret over the ejection port.
     
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  20. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    I love reading thru threads on short barrels vs standard (or long barrels for that matter). There is a classic or nostalgic connection with a 25" or 26" barrel, and sure, they have there place and are great tools. Are they needed in most practical calibers in today' age? No more than shorter barrels are not needed in my mind.

    If I purchase a nice used rifle, I generally except what the barrel length is and shoot it and use it as it was intended. If I'm having a rifle built for me....I have no need to for a barrel over 22". Its a personal decision and mine are all made for precise reasons to fit my needs and wants. The days of velocities shrinking is all but gone when you decide to play with powders as you can load a cartridge to almost any "factory" level for hunting purposes (this is in reference to a barrel being cut down to the 20"-22" range from 24"-26"). And, for my hunting within 500-600 yards and much closer (hopefully), 50fps doesn't make or break me

    Frankly, a 22" 300 WM of mine shooting factory 190 Federal gold is a ringer at 1200 yards steel punching if I do my part. I haven't even thought about working a load up for it yet as that factory ammo just works. Lets just hope I stay working in the industry and never have to pay retail prices:whistle:
     
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