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#1687967 - 10/06/10 02:16 AM ideal 223 barrel length
SSG RED Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/04/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Michigan USA
Ok sifted through 20 pages and didn't find it in the arcives.

what would be the max efficient barrel length for a 223?
I know the m-16 leaves alot of powder unused in the form of muzzel blast and flash.

I have a t/c encore and plan to add a 223 barrel to the collection should I go 26 or go for the 28 inch pro hunter barrel?
practice does NOT make perfect..only permanent
so practice doing it right!

#1687982 - 10/06/10 05:48 AM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: SSG RED]
OldTurtle Offline

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19614
Loc: East Central FL
If you reload, I think that will be dependent on the powder burn rate that you use..faster for shorter barrels, slower for longer ones...

If you are restricted to factory rounds, I would think that 20"-22" would be a possible minimum for efficiency, but that's just a guesstimate..

All my ARs in that caliber are now 16" barrels and I use a couple of pretty fast powders and am not bothered by much flash...
Nature shares her secrets not to those that hurry by, but to those that walk with a happy heart and a seeing eye...

#1687985 - 10/06/10 06:13 AM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: OldTurtle]
JLJ223 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 2168
Loc: Ohio
I would say 24-26" my VS has a 24" and it seems to do fine, my VLS has a 26", none of them seem to show any flash.

#1688064 - 10/06/10 10:11 AM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: JLJ223]
muskrat30 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 2769
Loc: Wisconsin
I think with an encore you can use a little longer barrel & still not be bad on over all gun length, because of the short breech/action. For the MI woods I like to stay at 22" or less with the average bolt action. If it was me I'd look at overall length & not go over 24" with your encore. The few times I carried a 24" bolt gun I thought it was longer than I cared for.

I've gone down to 20" with some of my favorites, classic compact 70, model 7, & a micro-hunter. These are guns you carry a lot & shoot little. Personal preference is a large factor.

#1688258 - 10/06/10 04:40 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: muskrat30]
BrentWin Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 632
Loc: Fulton, MO
The ideal length is whatever fits your use for the rifle. For me it's 18". The optimal barrel length is probably around 24" for a 223.
Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

#1688261 - 10/06/10 04:45 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: BrentWin]
crowpopper Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 1286
Loc: Upstate NewYork( Adirondacks)
wonder how much im losing using the 15 in encore pistol bbl
i reload using if i remember without checkin my book 26.5 grains of rl 15 under a 55 grain nosler ballistic tip
the guns is very accurate but i dunno about muzz flash as ive only shot it in bright sunny days

#1688312 - 10/06/10 05:51 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: crowpopper]
SSG RED Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/04/10
Posts: 122
Loc: Michigan USA
Much thanks! I want all I can get from the rifle, but no point dragging more than is needed.
I bought a rifle someone else had built with a 30" barrel chamberd in 308. I had a smith shorten the barrel and it actually cronigraphed faster! extra barrel length actualy slowed it down w/factory loads.

once again much thanks.
practice does NOT make perfect..only permanent
so practice doing it right!

#1688439 - 10/06/10 08:30 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: SSG RED]
sleddogg Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 04/18/03
Posts: 2103
Loc: Granville, Ma
Ballistically, I have no idea what is the ideal length in a 223. But for hunting and firing at coyotes, I have to admit my 24 inch Remmy 700 is by far the most pleasant to shoot. Getting that blast away from your ears a bit is a big plus to me.

No, I don't use earmuffs while hunting. blushing
" Life is just something that happens to me between coyote hunts" Sleddogg 2003

#1688547 - 10/06/10 10:23 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: sleddogg]
MPFD Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 5066
Loc: Kansas
If it was a Heavy barrel, slow twist bolt gun, I'd say 22"
Fast twist AR, I'd say 20".
But I really liked my 16" CAR Hbar for calling.

How much barrel do you really need to burn 27 grains of powder.

Edited by MPFD (10/06/10 10:24 PM)
Regards, Dustin

#1688556 - 10/06/10 10:30 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: SSG RED]
Hooked Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 4186
Loc: Nebraska,USA
efficient to me when I chose between a 20" ss bull barrel and fluted 24" ss barrel was how the rifle felt(wielded?)when handled, the 24" felt clumsey.
LR 308, because when SHTF, all those %&*$@3 buying up and hoarding all the 22LR won`t stand a

#1688584 - 10/06/10 11:27 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: Hooked]
NM Leon Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 10335
Loc: AZ, NM, TX
I recall from somewhere that a 20" barrel is generally considered optimum, but there's more to it than that, especially with a .223.

For some reason a .223 doesn't lose as much velocity with a shorter barrel as most centerfires, meaning you can go shorter (more inherently accurate) without losing much velocity. A 16" "M4 length" barrel still works pretty well for velocity, allows a larger diameter barrel within the same weight limitations (even more accuracy), easier handling in close quarters, etc, but it's loud...REALLY LOUD!!!.

Interestingly enough, ballistic tests of the 5.56/.223 have shown that (with some ammo) penetration and wound damage actually increases with a lower velocity.
"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan.

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed-unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." James Madison

#1689090 - 10/07/10 06:52 PM Re: ideal 223 barrel length [Re: NM Leon]
vahunter Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 1967
Loc: Virginia
I had my savage cut to 16 1/2". Makes it a handy little predator gun.

Edited by vahunter (10/07/10 06:53 PM)
Al Gore did not invent the internet but he did make up global warming.


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