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Thread: Barrel length and load data

  1. #1
    Marksman
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    Barrel length and load data

    Load data is published for certain barrel lengths, like accurate for 308 is 24". Is there any adjustment needed to the book load data for different length barrels? Such as a 20, or a 16 for something like the sr762?


  2. #2
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    I dont think that adjustments are too critical when it comes to standard rifle barrel lengths. Most load data for carbines vs rifles have different data listed, such as 223 for example, there is bolt action data and service rifle data, same with the 308. They are usually somewhat similar, but yet different and if you follow the rules by reducing charge weights and working the load up, you shouldn't have any issues. I would be more concerned with using rifle data for single shot handguns chambered with rifle calibers. Most of today's load data books have a section for such guns.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    Reloading manuals are mostly online these days and it pays to collect lots of data from all sources when designing a load for a specific rifle.
    Manuals have been published by equipment sellers like Lyman, bullet manufacturers such as Speer and Hornady, and powder suppliers like Accurate and Hodgdon. Then there's the LEE manual which is a composite of other manuals.
    If you collect data from all possible sources you're likely to find some that fits your rifle... but not necessarily your powder or bullet.
    So it's good to know that for all moderate burn rate powders the same pressure is developed regardless of barrel length.
    And if a really slow burning powder (usually only suggested for heavier bullets) requires an entire 24" to develop peak pressure, it will run out of barrel length in a short barrel and you'll get a terrific muzzle flash. Inefficient but not dangerous.

    Look for and save links to reputable published data manuals (not just contributions of people's personal experiments) and consult them all before experimenting. There's usually something out there to suit you.

    Last edited by handcaster; 12-31-2013 at 11:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Marksman
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    Thanks guys!


  5. #5
    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    http://www.accuratereloading.com/reload.html

    Link takes you to their home page... scroll down the left side for links to caliber-specific data and note particularly one link http://www.accuratereloading.com/223sb.html entitled ".223 Remington in progressively shorter barrels."

    They started with a 22" barrel and tested .223 in it with various powders, using the same bullet and primer each time.
    After each set of tests they chopped an inch off the barrel, recrowned it and tested again. They're down into pistol calibers now
    and the page says the testing isn't over. Test data includes group sizes and muzzle velocities.

    It takes some analytical skills, maybe even do some graphing, to determine from these data the trends with decreasing barrel length but the trends will doubtless be applicable to .308 as well.

    Last edited by handcaster; 01-02-2014 at 08:13 AM.

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