.308 carbine barrel length?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by AxesAreBetter, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Since we have been having a lot of gun talk, at what length does a .308 barrel become too short for you?
  2. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Anything under 16" is too short for me. If I need shorter I want a different cartridge.
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I had a 16" DPMS (AR10 flavor).
    In my opinion, too much velocity loss. Factory loaded 150 gr Federal Am Eagle clocked between 2500 and 2550. Clocked about the same for Winchester commercial hunting loads. Would have preferred a 20" medium weight barrel.
    Just my [2c].
    It was basically a semi-auto .30-30 that fired spitzers instead of flat points.
  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    It depends on the type of action, bolt or semi-auto.
    With a bolt action the 16.5" "scout rifle" pattern seems to work, a guy here made some nice ones from Lee Enfield mil surp rifles.

    By here I mean this board and his opinion would be great.

    With semi you have to watch cycling the FN FAL para rifles were 17.2" but if you work on the gas port you can make 16.5 cycle reliably
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  5. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Yep, 17.5/18inches is about as short as I would go the FAL "para" and "bush" rifles are a nice compromise to the standard length. There is a reason to carry a 7.62 rifle and it is mostly best served from something with a little more tube. My most used hunting rifle wears a 21inch barrel (I was going to go with 20 but changed my mind as it was going inbthe lathe). That length with my handloads is giving me @2590fps with 165gn projectiles.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Keep in mind that most manufactures specify a 21 inch barrel as standard for max projectile speed, so any thing shorter is going to give up some of that speed, and by extension, Energy! How much depends on the load and and the twist rate and type of rifling. In my mind, the whole reason for having a full power round is range and hitting power advantages over the smaller carbines, so having a compromise in that cal, I would keep at 17 1/2 inches or longer! Differing platforms Say a G-3 VS an FAL will show almost 100 FPS advantage for the FAL just because of the action type while using the same barrel specs and ammo, a M-1A having a slight advantage over the FAL of about 40 fps because of the rifling type, again all else being equal. My bolt action .308 with R-5 Rifling in a 24 inch barrel has almost a 150 fps advantage over the G-3 with the exact same ammo, and because of barrel length almost a 500 yard advantage in effective accurate range!
    M118LR, Sgt Nambu, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The thing you MUST understand... Barrel Length does more that impact Projectile Velocity, and Energy... Matching a Loading to Barrel Length, is a critical part of the Ballistics of ANY FireArm.... If you are using a Factory Loading in a short Barrel, likely all the Powder hasn't burnt by the time the Projectile leaves the muzzle... Then you get a Muzzle Flash... The shorter the Barrel, the BIGGER the Flash, less Projectile Velocity, and Energy, and the more wasted Power, per round.... Consequently, if you are shooting Factory Loads in a Longer Barrel (Say 26") You are getting Maximum Projectile Velocity, and Energy, for that Loading, minus the losses, due to friction between the Projectile, and the Barrel, once the has Powder ceased imparting energy to the Projectile, but before it leaves the Muzzle.... The "Ideal" is to have the Powder just Finishing burning, as the Projectile, leaves the Muzzle.... Usually, somewhere near that point one finds the "Sweet Spot" for that Barrel/Projectile Loading, that Maximizes Projectile Velocity, Energy, and Accuracy.... Any Factory Loading is a compromise that does it's best for the average Barrel Length...
  8. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Agreed, my para is 18".
    Also shorter barrels tend to create a flame thrower effect at night making it easier for "them" to know where you are.
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  9. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Anything that requires a tax stamp is too short.
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  10. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    And lets not forget, .308 gets might loud with short barrels, and the flash gets pretty hard for flash hiders to dampen!
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  11. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Is it worse than a Mosin-Nagant M44
  12. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If you would tailor the Loading, to the Barrel, instead of wasting all that extra Powder in producing that BIG Flash, you be be much better off, with negligible loss in Projectile Velocity or Energy....
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  13. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Yeah, this guy even chopped off an extra inch off the already too short carbine. Shooting spam can surplus that was designed for the rifle with 8 additional inches of barrel .. and you get this! So if you can't hit the target, you can either blind it .. or if close enough, burn it with the ruskie club.!
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  14. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Bulgi milsurp is worse than that flash, I have half a spam can left. Milsurp is hard to tailor --
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  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Naw just pull the Projectiles and re measure the Powder... Easy Piesy....
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  16. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    More fun to start fires in the grass from shooting prone ---
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  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Only if you can put them out... otherwise, it is a disaster....
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  18. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    I have an old Winchester M-100 carbine in .308. It sports a 19" barrel, and that's short enough for me! It is loud and at twilight, it's got a pretty good muzzle flash! :D
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  19. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have a Remington 660 in .308, think the barrel is 18" and it is painful to shoot.
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  20. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    So your at it again AX?
    Okay, I'll bite.
    Barrel length on the .308 Win is determined by the task that needs to be performed.
    (ie) Sport Game Hunting. The standard 16 inch min will allow you to take most any North American game animals out to 300 yards.) I'm happy with the 18 inch barrel on the Old Model 7, but the 20 inch on the Old Model 70 ain't much more to drag around.
    But once you get to Long Distance Shooting 22 inches is the min that efficiently takes the M118 to the 1K Target. (it's like it was designed that way. LOL) Remington came out with a 24 inch 5R (The Milspec Model) that I'm particularly found of, and Big Green was using a 26 inch 5R (M24) until it replaced with the 300 Win Mag in the M2010. Now when Smith revamped the M14, the cryogenic 18 inch was all the rage. But just like the Mexican Match ammo, 18 inches and 168 grains ain't gonna get you past 800 Meters, but 180 grains of PSP out of 18 inches is gonna let you eat any North American critter with hooves at extended range.
    So if it's CQB, min barrel length.
    If it's Sport Hunting, about 18 inches.
    If it's Professional work, no less than 22 inches.
    Guess that didn't solve much? LOL
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