Single Six

Shorten Savage .223 22" to 16.25"?

22 posts in this topic

I want my Savage bolt action varmint rifle to be a little lighter and handier. Any major disadvantage to shortening it? More muzzle blast/noise, little less velocity, but I don't shoot very long range anyway, maybe out to 300. Mil 5.56 rifles are about 16"... Mine is a tapered sporter barrel, not a bull barrel. Any problem there? Planning a CBored crown. Any particular way it should be done? Thanks

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The things you listed are the main disadvantages, and offset any advantage I could think of (which is none).22" sporter barrel is a pretty handy length as is...if you are dead set on a slightly shorter length I personally wouldn't go below 20"

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+1 what tawnoper said... No advantage, but plenty of disadvantages IMOChopping nearly 6" off the barrel will gain little to nothing in terms of lighter weight & handiness of rifle. Besides substantial increase in muzzle blast, it will also result in considerable velocity loss, & will not point or hold near as nice or steady, especially on the longer 300 yard shots. I do not recall the exact velocity loss in one test between a 16" vs 22" barrel, but believe it was approx 250+ fps loss? I suspect it could be even worse, depending on the rifle(s).Frank

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250 out of 3000 seems like a small percentage...does it really make much difference? I know 16" barrels aren't uncommon on ARs, etc...?

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That's 12 percent, pretty substantial. I feel like a bolt action with that short of a barrel would feel funny. But if you wanna do it, go for it. I don't think anyone on this forum will stop you. :)

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I know 16" barrels aren't uncommon on ARs, etc...?
That's true... I know some police that use them. Military, or military type rifles are real popular among many hunters today, which is fine, but often times are not the best choice in hunting situations. Especially those with short barrels. You stated you wanted your "varmint" rifle to handle 300 yard shots. Definitely do-able with a snub nosed rifle, but also definitely more difficult.I too will take 12% of anything. Interest at the bank, pay raise, whatever. Also, like I said the velocity loss could be much higher. I've gotten higher velocity losses in just 4" of barrel reduction, but in somewhat hotter rounds however. And, just how far does one carry this reduction in performance? Until we're shooting 30-30's again?Anyway, if a shorter barrel is what you want, then by all means go for it. All kinds of ways to play this game.Frank

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on a .223 you lose about 30 fps per inch...........

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There's a couple of guys on this forum that have done this to there guns and seem to like it but it does seem pointless as the weight you would save is almost nothing. Go to Home Depot and get a piece of 1/2" rebar and cut it to 6" and that is probably close to the weight you would be cutting off.

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There's a couple of guys on this forum that have done this to there guns and seem to like it but it does seem pointless as the weight you would save is almost nothing. Go to Home Depot and get a piece of 1/2" rebar and cut it to 6" and that is probably close to the weight you would be cutting off.
Heh heh, I know. I run a machine and welding shop, I have a pretty good idea how much metal weighs. But a little off the end would help, there's a leverage factor. It's hanging out there past the foregrip where you hold it. I'm thinking handier as far as size, in and out of the vehicle, which I do quite a bit, much smaller rifle case, fits in vehicle easier. I mostly shoot prone-bipod so holding steady isn't a big deal.

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Nooooooo. You'll be saying :doh[1]: if you do this.
Please expound...why? I can't see how 200fps is going to make much difference if I'm shooting inside MPBR, 250 yards or so.

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Well, just more of the same of what you've already heard. I think it'll shoot harsh with more recoil, you'll have more hop with your bipod which will make a follow-up shot harder, more loss of sight picture with the shot, may lose accuracy because your barrel harmonics will change and your twist rate may not be optimal for your barrel length, you'll have difficulty selling it if you ever decide to, loss of fps means loss of fpe which may matter if you later decide you want or need to take longer shots on bigger game, not much weight savings, not much gain in maneuverability since a 22" sporter barrel isn't really very awkward to handle, that sort of thing. (Yeah, I know, Braz. Run-on sentence. But it was fun.) I'm just thinking eventually you'll wish you hadn't cut it and want your rifle back the way it was. Also, you know, AR-15's are gas guns with a recoil spring. So a 16" barrel AR will feel smoother than a bolt action would of similar length. So I don't think it's a fair comparison upon which to base a decision to cut your barrel. On the other hand, what do I know? Maybe you'll end up with a tack driver and start a whole new trend in short sporter barreled bolt rifles and we'll read all about it in next month's Rifle Magazine. :doh[1]:

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If you want to cut it down then just do it, you can always buy an after market barrel or a take off barrel and switch back if you don't like it.

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Well, just more of the same of what you've already heard. I think it'll shoot harsh with more recoil, you'll have more hop with your bipod which will make a follow-up shot harder, more loss of sight picture with the shot, may lose accuracy because your barrel harmonics will change and your twist rate may not be optimal for your barrel length, you'll have difficulty selling it if you ever decide to, loss of fps means loss of fpe which may matter if you later decide you want or need to take longer shots on bigger game, not much weight savings, not much gain in maneuverability since a 22" sporter barrel isn't really very awkward to handle, that sort of thing. (Yeah, I know, Braz. Run-on sentence. But it was fun.) I'm just thinking eventually you'll wish you hadn't cut it and want your rifle back the way it was. Also, you know, AR-15's are gas guns with a recoil spring. So a 16" barrel AR will feel smoother than a bolt action would of similar length. So I don't think it's a fair comparison upon which to base a decision to cut your barrel. On the other hand, what do I know? Maybe you'll end up with a tack driver and start a whole new trend in short sporter barreled bolt rifles and we'll read all about it in next month's Rifle Magazine. :doh[1]:
Now that's a good point. I don't like hop/loss of sight picture. For that matter, I think I've changed my mind. I'm going to put a 26" bull barrel on it., ha ha!

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I think I've changed my mind. I'm going to put a 26" bull barrel on it., ha ha!
Now T H A T ' S what I'm talking about! :doh[1]:

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If you want a short handy 223 then get an Encore pistol with a 10-15" barrel. I have one with a 15" barrel and it shoot very well.

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That's what I was thinking....then I thought I'd rather keep my shoulder stock and I already have the savage...if .223 shoots OK out of a 15" pistol, why not a 16" rifle?

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Gotta check the price of another barrel 'fore I take the hacksaw to this one.

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speed is what makes those little bullets preform. An example is I had a ruger 22-250 with a 20" barrel. It would dent the metal target @ 200 yards. the remington with the 24" barrel would shoot thru the plate at the same distance with the same factory load.

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