308 Barrel length question for 600yds

rich56

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At the max 600yd range I can shoot at. In 308 is a 24” barrel a deficit over a 26-27” barrel? If I have the proper twist barrel are 155gn bullets competitive against 175-185 gun bullets? I
 

Faronth

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A 24" barrel for a .308 is perfectly fine for 600yd range and much more for that matter. Run a few searches and you will see plenty of folks running much shorter barrels then that in 308 with excellent results.

A 1 in 10 twist rate is pretty common in the bullet weights you mentioned above. I have read posts on this site about having a faster twist rates (1 in 9) for heavier 300 magnum rounds ~ 220+ grain vlds for much longer ranges then you mentioned above. Again the site search engine is your friend here. If you have trouble using it dump your search in Google and it does a pretty good job finding Snipers Hide threads.

A 1 in 10 twist should handle what you mention you are shooting just fine given the caveat that your particular barrel likes the load/bullet you are shooting.

HTH
 

Huskydriver

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Are you competing in Fclass , sling, or ftr? Shooters that compete in these disciplines build rifles for specific matches. So the answer is it depends on what your competing in
 

rich56

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I would be shooting F/TR class. Beside the 24” VS 28” thing I was interested in if the 155s were competitive against the 185s at 600yds. One of the purpose built rifles I’m looking at buying has a 1/13 twist barrel. That might do best with 155s.
 

milanuk

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If you're looking at a longer barrel running 155s faster, vs a shorter barrel running mag-length 175—185s slower, the answer is there probably is no real difference unless you over-drive the crap out of the short/heavy combo.

If you are looking at equal barrel lengths, with appropriate single shot chambers, the 185 will probably be the better choice.
 

Huskydriver

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I wouldn't do 155s unless you were shooting Palma. Palma shooters usually run 30-32" 1-12 or 1-13 twist barrels to get the 155s up faster.

Shooting ftr with a 24" tube is fine for using 175-185s and a 10 or 11Twist.
 

Long Range 338

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2 factors in my mind would influence my decision and opinion (its free and worth what your are paying for it 😉). 600 yards isn't that far in the current state of affairs so you are stuck looking at 1- what your rifle shoots best and 2- wind performance. Drop is drop and should be able to be documented or calculated accurately. Wind being the great equalizer, time of flight is what gives the wind opportunity to influence your shots. If you can push a high bc 155 gr bullet fairly fast you could potentially gain an edge in wind calls. You would have to calculate this and field verify. However, I've never participated in F/TR and if they are shooting heavy bullets I'm sure its for good reason and all of this is just random rambling put out on the web.
 

rich56

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Thank you for opinions. The reason I'm asking these questions is I'd like to stick to 24" barrels because that makes the traveling a bit easier than the 26-28". Yardage is 600 as stated. Most rifles I'm looking at are 1/12". 1/10" are harder to find in my price range. I have experience reloading but will not be pushing the limits of my 308s. None of my local ranges have 600yds to experiment and practice makes this thing a crap shoot.
 

Long Range 338

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If you are shooting factory ammo, go with the heavier loads. Even in 1/12 the 168s should work.
 

milanuk

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S175MK & B185 Juggernauts should be fine in a 12 tw. It's not like you're going to be skirting the trans-sonic region @ 600yds.

FWIW last I checked, most Savage 308s were 10 tw by default, with the exception of a few of the Target models.
 

Nafta

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The difference between 24 and 26 is marginal. If you prefer shorter, go shorter. Will you lose some ballistic advantage compared to a 32" barrel sending a 155 Palma bullet insanely fast, or a 200gr faster then you thought possible? Some. At 24" I would go the 175-185 route. Crappy thing with F-TR is that many try get a ballistic advantage and that defeats the purpose IMO. There's F Open for that. Cool thing with 600 yard is that it's not that far. A good shooter with a good rifle can do well with a short barrel and 175 SMK. Last thing, before buying someone else rifle, don't try to adjust or convince yourself the specs of this rifle are OK. Do it the oposite way. Ask yourself what you want to do, what you like, what would be YOUR specs. Then you'll know if the rifle is a good buy for YOU, or not. Good luck anyway
 

308pirate

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At the max 600yd range I can shoot at. In 308 is a 24” barrel a deficit over a 26-27” barrel? If I have the proper twist barrel are 155gn bullets competitive against 175-185 gun bullets? I
No

Yes

ETA: you will not get beaten because others have longer barrels or the "proper twist" (whatever that is)
 
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308pirate

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Thank you for opinions. The reason I'm asking these questions is I'd like to stick to 24" barrels because that makes the traveling a bit easier than the 26-28". Yardage is 600 as stated. Most rifles I'm looking at are 1/12". 1/10" are harder to find in my price range. I have experience reloading but will not be pushing the limits of my 308s. None of my local ranges have 600yds to experiment and practice makes this thing a crap shoot.
When in the actual fuck did it ever become "common knowledge" that you need a 1 in 10 barrel to shoot anything "heavy". 1 in 12 will stabilize up to 180 grain bullets with ease.

Any 308 rifle that can hold less than 1 MOA, regardless of barrel length, will do just fine at 600 yard F/TR. 600 yards just ain't that far for a 308.
 

theLBC

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600 yds is easy with my 20" 1:12 barrel. theoretically, you should have no problems.
i'm not using anything heavier than 175gr SMKs.
 

Nafta

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Defeats the purpose? LOL

It's a game. People game it.
You're right, people game it... And that defeat the purpose of competiting on the same ballistic level. People who want to play ballistics and are not pussies are in open class.
Just my opinion, and a bit of humor. Don't be offended.
 

Huskydriver

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You're right, people game it... And that defeat the purpose of competiting on the same ballistic level. People who want to play ballistics and are not pussies are in open class.
Just my opinion, and a bit of humor. Don't be offended.
Ftr shooters and palma class Full bore aka sling shooters don't compete as they are in different classes...
 

308pirate

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You're right, people game it... And that defeat the purpose of competiting on the same ballistic level. People who want to play ballistics and are not pussies are in open class.
Just my opinion, and a bit of humor. Don't be offended.
I'm not offended. Just annoyed at people who can't play the game so they want the rules tweaked in their favor.

Let me explain the "ballistic level" you're talking about: 308 Winchester or 223 Remington. That is IT. No other qualifiers or restrictions. If you want that made more "level then maybe you should petition to take F-TR back to the old Palma days of issued ammunition. LOL let me know how that works out.

It sounds to me like your ass is sore because you were beaten by someone who put more time into developing a better load within the rules.

Maybe the "pussies" that shoot better than you in F-TR simply don't want to deal with all the benchrest bullshit associated with F-O. Ever thought of that?

You're probably the same guy who bitches about people not shooting their carry pistol in their leather IWB in IDPA or whines about people shooting $1500 Tanfoglios in USPSA Production.
 
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308pirate

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Ftr shooters and palma class Full bore aka sling shooters don't compete as they are in different classes...
I don't think that's what he's talking about. He's just pissed that most shooters want to maximize their advantages within a set of rules (F-TR in this case).
 

Nafta

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I don't think that's what he's talking about. He's just pissed that most shooters want to maximize their advantages within a set of rules (F-TR in this case).
Not pissed at all dude. I shot my last F Open match 15 years ago, I won it. Never shot F-TR. I remember F-TR being an altenative to the ballistic race that was taking place in open. Why having a caliber restriction if not to level this aspect of the sport? Just chill, you're way too angry. Apologies to the OP for the shit we both made in his thread. I'm out.
 

XTR

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The question here is quite simple do you want to participate and enjoy shooting and test/develop your skill or do you want to compete. There is nothing wrong with either answer.

If you are playing game for your own enjoyment then anything you shoot is just fine. However, if you are on the line to compete and it is your intent to win then you need to Reach for all of the advantages that you are are afforded with the rules. At club matches and local regionals I like to shoot at 223 with 90 grain bullet at mid range, but if it’s a major match and there’s hardware to take home I use 308 with 30 inch barrel and 200-20x bullets.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to open the JBM website and enter the bullets that Are available to use and the achievable muzzle velocity’s and figure out what advantages you gain by using longer barrels and/or heavier bullets.

If you are coming to compete in mid range you better bring an A+game. Just an example, Craig Martin shot a 600-47X in FTR at the LA championships in Palo Alto today. No other FTR shooter cleaned the day, it wasn’t a trigger pulling match.
 
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XTR

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You're right, people game it... And that defeat the purpose of competiting on the same ballistic level. People who want to play ballistics and are not pussies are in open class.
Just my opinion, and a bit of humor. Don't be offended.
In competitive FTR there really is no ballistics race. I would wager that 95%+ of the guns on the line at the F class national championship had 30 inch barrels, one in 10 twist, shooting 200 grain bullets*, running mid 2600fps, with NF or Vortex GE scopes. It doesn’t get much more level than that.

*either the Berger 200-20x or the Berger 200 hybrid.
 
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rdog52

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The question here is quite simple do you want to participate and enjoy shooting and test/develop your skill or do you want to compete. There is nothing wrong with either answer.

If you are playing game for your own enjoyment then anything you shoot is just fine. However, if you are on the line to compete and it is your intent to win then you need to Reach for all of the advantages that you are are afforded with the rules. At club matches and local regionals I like to shoot at 223 with 90 grain bullet at mid range, but if Pit’s a major match and there’s hardware to take home I use 308 with 30 inch barrel and 200-20x bullets.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to open the JBM website and enter the bullets that Are available to use and the achievable muzzle velocity’s and figure out what advantages you gain by using longer barrels and/or heavier bullets.

If you are coming to compete in mid range you better bring an A+game. Just an example, Craig Martin shot a 600-47X in FTR at the LA championships in Palo Alto today. No other FTR shooter cleaned the day, it wasn’t a trigger pulling match.
Very well put, Wade. Perfect, well spoken advice. Peter Johns tied Craig's daily agg at the Texas mid-range championships yesterday. He also shot a match record of 200-18x. The FTR bar has been raised by these fine shooters!
 

PracticalTactical

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If you are centered around the 155 you can get the barrel made a little undersize to help improve accuracy with such a short bearing surface. I think its a .3075 or possibly a 0.307... but check with the barrel maker.

I have one I believe from Krieger and it shoots exceptionally well at 300-800 yards, even 900, but things get dicey at 1000 yards.

There is no perfect rifle for all distances and all conditions, so it's nice to know your strength and play into it. For 300-600 the 155 is great as long as winds are moderate.

If your plan as recommended above is to rig for 200 grainers, then do not get a short action. Get an action that is made for a 30-06 so you can eject the live round which will be way too long to eject from a short action Rem clone.
 

XTR

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If your plan as recommended above is to rig for 200 grainers, then do not get a short action. Get an action that is made for a 30-06 so you can eject the live round which will be way too long to eject from a short action Rem clone.
if you are planning to shoot F class and other NRA HP competitions I would disagree with this. There may be someone on the line shooting a long action, but I don’t know about it. It’s not necessary to be in a hurry to get a round out. Ejecting a live round does require pulling my cheek rest and bolt. The cheek is magnetic mounted and the bolt release is on the side. It’s what we do. Remember you are talking about a competition where almost none of therifles have installed safety. It would certainly be a convenience but it’s not one that I’d buy a long action just to get.
 

PracticalTactical

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if you are planning to shoot F class and other NRA HP competitions I would disagree with this. There may be someone on the line shooting a long action, but I don’t know about it. It’s not necessary to be in a hurry to get a round out. Ejecting a live round does require pulling my cheek rest and bolt. The cheek is magnetic mounted and the bolt release is on the side. It’s what we do. Remember you are talking about a competition where almost none of therifles have installed safety. It would certainly be a convenience but it’s not one that I’d buy a long action just to get.
This is a curious response...

What is the "benefit", an actual benefit of building a rifle with the knowledge from the outset that it will not eject a live round?

Just because its not what you do, or a hundred other guys have done, (probably because they never considered this problem either) does not mean its not what should be done.

Heck when I started shooting F Class 20 + years ago, I used a short action Rem 700 tube gun and still use that rifle this day, but I also use the same rifle for sniper matches and cannot use the F Class load for that. So all that ballistic knowledge from F Class does not come with me to the sniper match. On top of that I have to swap barrels for the shorter throat, which is just a few minutes but then I need to zero again.

20 years ago I just didn't know I would one day be shooting bullets that were too long to eject, but if I knew better at the time, I would have done better and changed my approach to long action back then.

So either way if a reader of this post is aware of the trade off made with a short action, at least he can decide for himself what to do.
 
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milanuk

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If you are centered around the 155 you can get the barrel made a little undersize to help improve accuracy with such a short bearing surface. I think its a .3075 or possibly a 0.307... but check with the barrel maker.
It's a combination of land/groove diameter that was popular with the .308/155s for a while - specifically .298 x .3065", as compared to something more normal, like .300 x .307, or .304 x .307. The actual *reason* had nothing to do with the bearing surface, as this 'fad' started around the time of the Sierra 155 'Palma' MatchKing - the old one, the 2155, not the newer 2156 version. The 2155 was shaped like a tug boat, and could only be considered as having a 'short' bearing surface by comparison to say, an old S190MK ;) The reason for the tighter bore/groove diameter stemmed from back when international Palma was shot with issued ammo provided by the host country, and the issued ammo in question, Radway Green (RG) was notorious for having somewhat undersized bullets. The undersized bores were an effort to maintain accuracy with that ammo. As it turned out, they *also* worked pretty damn well with regular 'domestic' 155s, and to some degree, provided longer accurate barrel life with the taller lands. That said, I think I did pretty fair with a .304 x .307 bore running B155.5BTs back when those were 'the bullet' for FTR even @ LR ;)


A lot of that went out the window with the move in FTR to heavier bullets like the 185 and above - the tighter bores tend to pressure out before you can get up to useful velocities. I think that is in part why it took so long for heavier bullets to 'take off' in popularity - everyone was so fixated on the tight bores being something magical for long range accuracy, without considering *why* they came about in the first place.
 

XTR

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I’m not saying that it wouldn’t on occasion be a convenience to have a long action but I generally only have to pull an unfired round on the occasion that at the end of a match I forget my round count and drop an extra round in or in a team match when the coach decides to shut down and wants me to take out the bullet that’s been in and on really rare occasions when we’ve had a cease-fire and that’s happened two or three times other than at Camp Perry.

The advantage of a short action is that it is lighter, there are more stocks designed for them, The convenience of shorter cycle. I’m sure some would argue stiffer but I don’t think that that matters very much because it’s F class notBR.

and...

If PRS ever allows anything heavier than a 178 in 308 class I would probably build a long action 308 to run heavier bullet from a long action magazine o_O
 

PracticalTactical

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You could use a tricked out F Class version of a 308 in PRS Open class.
I'm running a hot 223 with 88s and that's OK as long as I register as an open class shooter.

I actually had the same problem (action and mags too short) with 223 and went to quite a lot of trouble to build a rig that will feed and eject 223s seated to 2.630" long.

It's the same problem really with both cartridges that once you start running the long and heavy VLDs, traditional thinking does not work, especially in a repeater where the mags are too short for the ammo.
 
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