Custom barrel length for dangerous game bolt action rifles

Handling barrel length for big game, dangerous game bolt action rifle


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Jefferry404

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for a custom barrel, what lengths are folks specifying? when designing barrels, i normally use Saami spec. (bolt face to muzzle)
but i think most hunters use what i call "handling length" which is from the front of the action ring to end of the muzzle.
These would be on Model 70, CZ550 magnum and Mauser style square bridge actions.
Given the above definition, thought to see what folks are using for these cartridges or similar: 338 winmag, 375 mag, 416 mag, 458 mag. thanks
Steve
will do none magnum in a 2nd poll.
not sure what tag means in the poll form?
 
None of the above..
 
I may not understand the question correctly, but only the cartridge 458 Win Mag would fit the quoted barrel lengths for me. The barrel length for the other cartridges mentioned starts for me at 24", and for all Magnum cartridges it starts at 26" because I would like to make full use of the performance of such cartridges.

It is sure that you have to take the handling of a big bore rifle for hunting dangerous game into account, but then you also have to choose the appropriate cartridge to suit shorter barrels. There are some, the cartridge 458 Win Mag was cited, but they are not the classic often used cartridges 375 H&H Magnum and the various 416.
 
I have seen a few big bore rifles with short barrels. With appropriately designed barrels in terms of wall thickness and rifling, a lot can certainly be achieved in terms of stabilizing a bullet and accuracy. All the studies I have read so far show that by shortening a barrel, muzzle velocity is lost and with it the potential of some cartridges, especially the Magnum ones. This is not always relevant when hunting, but it is when shooting a longer range. Nevertheless, I would like to get advice from experts.
 
Barrel length is in the eyes of the beholder ie some folks are prone to a short length as they visualize shots that are under -50 yds others want to reach out to the horizon. So barrel length is a personal concept.
 
for a custom barrel, what lengths are folks specifying? when designing barrels, i normally use Saami spec. (bolt face to muzzle)
but i think most hunters use what i call "handling length" which is from the front of the action ring to end of the muzzle.
These would be on Model 70, CZ550 magnum and Mauser style square bridge actions.
Given the above definition, thought to see what folks are using for these cartridges or similar: 338 winmag, 375 mag, 416 mag, 458 mag. thanks
Steve
will do none magnum in a 2nd poll.
not sure what tag means in the poll form?
Lija cuts their barrels from 28" blanks. I ordered mine for 404J cut to 24" long from receiver ring. Dan suggested #5 profile. It worked out for a perfectly balanced rifle that weighs ten pounds. Maybe a bit heavy for some folks but balance and recoil reduction are important for me. I want a DGR that holds well and floats on moving targets. My battered retinas can't handle a lot of unnecessary recoil.
 
My rifle caliber 500 Schüler has also a barrel of 24" and moreover is very light. Apart me, no one has ever do more than one shot with it.
 
Finding a barrel length will depend on the cartridge you decide on and the ballistics you can live with.

While we are on the subject of choosing a cartridge, the 338WM is not legal for DG hunting in Africa.

I had my CZ550 375H&H shortened to 22” and it felt right to me. However, now I have a Blaser R8 in 375H&H with a 24” barrel and it’s even better.

How a rifle balances and fits you, along with the intended purpose of it will also play a role.

There is no “right” answer. Just a barrel length that will work for you and your rifle.
 
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The cartridges from B&M are a special concept that is well suited for short barrels.
That they are. As a hand loader, I’ve also run a 20” 375 ruger with the same ballistics as a 24” barrel without issue. Most barrels I’ve cut down to 22” on all my smaller cal magnums that don’t carry a suppressor.
 
22” is good for the 458 Win Mag and I have one. You lose little with it at that length with the case capacity and bore size but the rest will suffer…
338 24” to 26” , 375 H$H 24” to 25”, 416 any mag 24”
 
Personally I voted on the 21" just because I have a barrel orderd in 20"5 in 404Jeffery .. waiting exciting .
 
Personally I voted on the 21" just because I have a barrel orderd in 20"5 in 404Jeffery .. waiting exciting .
My opinion is it is too short for the 404....muzzle lift will be increased if you use modern loads....taking away the advantage of quick recovery for the second shot. Shorter barrels seem to be the modern craze....maybe I am too old fasioned for the the new trends....
 
Coming in at a towering 5'5" I had my 404 built with a 23" barrel. That is as short as Reto Buehler recommended for a 404 while still allowing proper balance and handling.

Obviously I went with a slightly shorter barrel because with a 24" or longer barrel they end up stuck in the mud.

Other than that I think you might be making a mountain out of a mole hill.
 
My opinion is it is too short for the 404....muzzle lift will be increased if you use modern loads....taking away the advantage of quick recovery for the second shot. Shorter barrels seem to be the modern craze....maybe I am too old fasioned for the the new trends....
Honest I'm not sure if it's gonna work..but I try it out. It's a 1-14 twist btw.
If it's going wrong I'll just add some " in a new barrel order. The plan was a 50 yeard barrel. (close range )
 
Honest I'm not sure if it's gonna work..but I try it out. It's a 1-14 twist btw.
If it's going wrong I'll just add some " in a new barrel order. The plan was a 50 yeard barrel. (close range )
Will also depend on what load you want to use....2150fps may be fine but 2300 to 2400fps the muzzle jump will become an issue.....balnce and weight of rifle will of course also have a big influence on the end result...again just my 2c and experience with dg rifles and calibers...
 
My answer partially depends on terrain. Is the majority of my hunting likely to take place In thickly wooded areas, or open areas?

I'm also taller than most, so a longer barrel doesn't bother me. I prefer 24-26 for most rifles.
 

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