Author Topic: Long vs. shorter barrels  (Read 20736 times)

Edd

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Long vs. shorter barrels
« on: August 01, 2008, 04:32:09 PM »
Bunch of questions here...  Do we really need those 42" or longer barrels? Raise yo hand if the main reason you own such a lengthy barrel is 'cause it looks good. My arm is getting tired.

What's so wrong with a 36" barrel? Couldn't we do it all with a barrel that long?? How many of us studied the velocity figures when we elected to go with a barrel over 40 inches??

Do I hear some amens for the 36" - 38" barrels??  I can't hear you! Must I go out on the porch so I can hear better??   ;D

Edd


chapmans

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2008, 04:41:56 PM »
 Edd,
 My offhand AMS gun has a 1" X 36" GM .40 and it is the gun I shoot at most of the local matches I have an open sight gun full stock with a 7/8" .40 GM, also my x-stix guns have 42" barrels because I think a longer sight radius is more accurate especially when I move the sights up the barrel 13" to 14" so I can see them.
  Steve C.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 05:05:00 PM by chapmans »

Evil Monkey

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2008, 04:47:02 PM »
Other than sight radius, I doubt that long barrels have much intrinsic value. However, there's nothing wrong with haveing a long barrel just for it's visual appeal. IMO it's no different than figured wood, carving, patch boxes, inlays, engraveing, or even tight inletting. All of these things are added for visual appeal and add little or no intrinsic value.

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2008, 04:49:05 PM »
Quote
What's so wrong with a 36" barrel? Couldn't we do it all with a barrel that long?? How many of us studied the velocity figures when we elected to go with a barrel over 40 inches??

Do I hear some amens for the 36" - 38" barrels??  I can't hear you! Must I go out on the porch so I can hear better?? 
OK I will sound off for the 38" barrels. I have a J. Dickert style rifle that I built with a Rice 38" .54 caliber barrel. I don't consider myself a good shot but it will cut clover leafs at 25 yards if I do my part. I shoot 3F Goex in it and to me it shoots as good as the 42 inch Getz that I had on another rifle (since sold).
Dennis
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Offline T*O*F

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2008, 05:08:53 PM »
Why a long barrelled gun?  The answer is in how you shoot.

Everyone these days seems to want a short barrel, lightweight gun.  You point it at the target and then wave it around until you acquire a sight picture.  These have become known as "fast handling guns" and are all the rage today in both cartridge and ML.

Old timers didn't need these.  Gun weight was often given in sales ads.  A long barrel, offhand gun should be slightly weight forward when shouldered.  It is mounted and brought to bear slightly below the target.  Your breath is taken, which raises the barrel to point of aim, and the shot is taken.  Because of the weight, the point of aim is able to be held better without wavering.  It holds on target.  The longer sight radius is a bonus.
Dave Kanger

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Daryl

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 05:17:59 PM »
Edd- if the design supports a 32" barrel, go for it.  My old English gun has not been beat for accuracy so far at any range and it only has a 32" barrel. Here's a picture of my friend Brad holding her, gently. I think a slim Penn. rifle of the 18th century might look a bit strange chopped off at 36", but there are some 38" guns as Dennis notes.  Going to the largest bore size supported by the barrel's outside dimensions will lighten weight considerably. There is a big difference between the .45 and .40 bores on my 7/8" x 42" barrels.  It's 7/8" straight octgonal shape supports a .50 as well as taht was the original barrel on the gun when I got it.  I didn't like the offcentre hole, so I changed it to .45, then the current .40 to shoot the squirrel match at Hefley.
: The rifle pictured below weighs 9 pounds with it's 1 1/8" barrel in .69 cal. it holds easily and made 1.2" to 1.5" 5 shot groups at 100 yards in the 1980's and 1990's, still does as a matter of fact, even with my older eyes. I did this just last year when retesting for Rendezvous.

chapmans

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2008, 05:31:12 PM »
 My first real target rifle had a 1" X 32" GM .40, turned half round with redfield sights, half stock, it weighed in at 9.5 lbs I must have put 50,000 balls through that gun, I shot it for 10 years, and won truck loads of stuff with it, it hung pretty well with the under rib and steel thimbles and redfield sights. I always shot .395 swaged and pocket drill and the load started getting loose about 6 inches from the breech so I went to .400 cast and it was fine, I thinking about reviving it for old time sake.
 Steve C.

Harnic

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2008, 06:15:03 PM »
I built a 50 cal. Track fullstock flint Hawken a couple years ago & left the barrel the full 42" as the GM blank came that long.  I find it much too heavy for offhand shooting but like our friend Edd love the look on the wall!  The fact that I can't shoot it offhand accurately is a small pain, but other than that I an extremely happy with it.  My complaint with shorter barreled guns is noise!  My buddy assembled a 50 cal. Lyman flint GPR last winter under my guidance & shooting the same 70 gr charge of 3f GOEX, mine has a nice mellow sound whilst his sounds like a bloody Howitzer going off!  It reminds me very much of the sound of a 22" 458x2" Mauser I built years ago!  The noise factor as well as good looks are all it takes to keep me in the ranks of longrifle shooters!  If I ever get around to building myself another flint gun it will be a smoothbore like Leatherbelly wants me to so I can keep the long barrel while shedding a lot of barrel weight.  Be kind to our ears out there folks!  Leave the sawed-off guns at home! ;)

Daryl

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2008, 07:18:56 PM »
Harry & Edd - build a nice .69 with a 32" barrel. It has a nice mellow sound with 165 to 200gr. 2F. It's the 3F that's noisy!  Oh, BYTY - it kicks like the .458 2".

northmn

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2008, 07:24:21 PM »
Personally, I think the longer barrels make into better looking rifles that do not shoot any better if not worse than a shorter barrel.  Like all things, as TOF mentioned some carry it too far for "handiness" .  But a 32 - 36 inch barrel shoots fine for me.  There has been some discussion on gain in velocity with longer barrels.  Others claim they have gotten a gain cutting them off.  I remember trying a 32" barreled CVA Mountain rifle a friend had.  I was impressed.

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008, 07:28:01 PM »
If your arm gets tired work out with the rifle more. Dry fire 20-50 rounds a night. Shooting is like any skill it needs practice.

I prefer heavier guns for offhand and a 42" barrel even if swamped and light will hold better than a 32" of the same weight. Plus the better sight radius.

Dan

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ironwolf

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 07:44:31 PM »
  I'm raising my hand.  Got a couple of short fat barrels in the works now.
I'm also with Dphariss on the work out.  Build a heavy gun and get strong enough to shoot it.  And dry firing is good practice in and of itself, the work out is just a side benefit.

  Kevin

Offline Gene Carrell

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2008, 09:41:20 PM »
I think that balance is at least, if not more, important than weight. Tom Caster built me a rifle recently, to my dimensions (LOP, drop) with a 42" 50cal "B" profile bbl. it balances 2-3" in front of my left hand, thus nose-heavy, and I'll say it is as perfect as can be had. Wish I could shoot as well as the rifle will.
Gene

roundball

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2008, 09:47:04 PM »
I've thought that the true "long rifles" had the look of yesteryear with their 42" barrels.  But not having any actual "long rifles, all of my barrels are 32" & 33"...however, I use 3/8" solid brass ramrods so I never have to worry about one breaking or ends pulling off while out on a hunt...and that adds another couple pounds out under the barrel.

They're all a tad muzzle heavv but I like it as it does indeed make that front sight hang on the target better and helps with accuracy...they all weigh in the 9.5-10.5 pound range.

BrownBear

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2008, 10:09:22 PM »
I'm kinda split down the middle. 

I certainly like and admire the longrifle style, but then the question of bulk and balance comes in.  My prefered hunting grounds are tight quarters and close range, fast shooting.  The right rifle for that balances more like a shotgun with the weight right between my hands regardless of barrel length.  Shorter offers some advantage in dodging limbs, but it's not as important as balance.   Last year's deer jumped at about 10 feet and I dropped it a split second later inside 20 yards.  My ace gun for that has a 26" barrel tapered 1 1/8" to 15/16" and 58 cal.  It balances about as well as a 20 gauge upland double, so you don't notice the 9.5 pound weight.  You better have your act together for deliberate shooting on the range, though.  On a good day it will put all shots touching offhand at 50 yards, but more typically a group of ten will have 7 touching and the others an inch or more away.

On the range for deliberate shooting I sure enjoy the advantage of longer sighting radius and more weight at the muzzle.  If I'm hunting open country I like the same guns.  My go-to gun for both is a GRRW 58 cal Hawken with a 36" 1 1/8" x 1" barrel, and comes in at 12.5 pounds.  It's a death ray when there's time to aim it, but it's about as useful as scrap iron and wood chips for fast shooting at close quarters.  Yet on the range it's a ragged hole grouper at 50 yards and beyond.  It just doesn't swing fast enough to do the job for fast shooting at close quarters.  Tried it, and got the sad tales to tell.

Edd

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2008, 12:16:13 AM »
If your arm gets tired work out with the rifle more. Dry fire 20-50 rounds a night. Shooting is like any skill it needs practice.
Dan



Dan, I'm not sure if you were speaking to me. My arm was tired because I had my hand up a long time while in agreement with my comment about longer barrels being attractive.   :)

Actually, my 42" barrel is only 3/4" across the flats and a puny little .36 caliber. I can hold it up for a full minute before taking the shot...

Edd


Offline Pat_Cameron

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2008, 12:26:22 AM »
I don't have  the experience of most but will comment anyway.
My 40 cal is 38 inches and the parts I just purchased for a 32 cal
have a 36 inch barrel. The small hole made for a lot of extra steel.
I think it depends on the caliber but find 38 inches works best for me.
40 inches is good but I find 42 inches to be a bit long for me.

Pat Cameron
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Candle Snuffer

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2008, 03:39:28 AM »
Well lets see,,, I have rifles with barrels that are 28", 29", 30" 32", 36", 37", and 42"...

As far as the most used,,, I would say it's the 36" barreled ones.  They range from .40 to .54 caliber, and are anywhere from 7/8" up to 1 1/8" across the flats.  They all have a purpose and serve the purpose they were built for just as the 42" barreled rifles do.

My all time favorite is probably my 37" x 1" - .50 caliber Douglas barreled rifle with peep sights.  This is my AMS x-stick rifle that in a pinch I can shoot offhand if I want to.  It has brought home many a medals for me.

Unfortunately, they have only been 3rd place medals but I'll take 'em considering the competition I go up against at State Shoot.  It has also bought home many a monthly shoot bragging rights and 1st place certificates...

I like the looks of the 42" barrel on a longrifle and fact is, it's about the max length I personally can handle when I'm loading.  I like to see the ball over my patch before short starting it.  Any longer barrel and I'd need a step stool or have to change my loading technique...  The way I load now is to ingrained in me to change. ;)

Harnic

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2008, 04:11:31 AM »
I suspect I will invest in a 62 cal bore reamer sometime in the future & bore my 50 cal rifle out to a 20 ga smoothbore, that'll reduce the weight dramatically & allow me to stay with the long hex barrel I love so much.  The supposed loss in accuracy won't be a problem because I can't see the sights well enough now!

tg

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2008, 01:27:58 PM »
I used to shot the shorter barreld production guns but went with the longer barrels on more PC replicas and have not found them to be any disadvantage in any way when hunting in heavy cover or plinking I now have a 42" and 44" swamped or oct /rd it is really a matter of choice unless you are into a PC/HC thing and a short barrel does not fit the mould.

long carabine

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2008, 04:44:10 PM »
Longer barrells burn powder more, not as much fowling. I found that a 44 inch 54 cal is more accurate than a 38 inch 54 cal. My opinion only. Tim

Daryl

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2008, 06:43:05 PM »
Harry- how long have you had a hex barrel on your longrifle. Which direction do the points go?

Harnic

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2008, 07:14:50 PM »
Harry- how long have you had a hex barrel on your longrifle. Which direction do the points go?

?!

Daryl

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2008, 07:15:56 PM »
I suspect I will invest in a 62 cal bore reamer sometime in the future & bore my 50 cal rifle out to a 20 ga smoothbore, that'll reduce the weight dramatically & allow me to stay with the long hex barrel I love so much.  The supposed loss in accuracy won't be a problem because I can't see the sights well enough now!

Yeah- I know I'm being picky.  I was surprised you make the typo, though.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 07:16:59 PM by Daryl »

Harnic

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Re: Long vs. shorter barrels
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2008, 02:48:06 AM »
:P Daryl! :P

Actually a hex barrel would be good with a taper.  Wouldn't need sights if you aligned the top edge right!  ;)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 02:50:19 AM by Harnic »