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What is the optimum length for a 223. I realize a 22lr only needs 11" to burn all the powder. I was wondering what length is it for a 223. Am finally getting around to building my ar15 varmit rig and was trying to go with a 16" barrel if it is efficiant. Below is a chart barrel length chart for the 17HMR. I would like to be able to find one like this for the 223.

Bullberry Barrel Length vs. Velocity DATA

22 inch = 2517 fps, 103 fps spread
21 inch = 2523 fps, 66 fps spread
20 inch = 2515 fps, 86 fps spread
19 inch = 2538 fps, 83 fps spread
18 inch = 2522 fps, 41 fps spread
17 inch = 2505 fps, 43 fps spread
16 inch = 2492 fps, 53 fps spread
15 inch = 2477 fps, 27 fps spread
14 inch = 2432 fps, 70 fps spread
13 inch = 2419 fps, 32 fps spread
12 inch = 2387 fps, 57 fps spread
11 inch = 2338 fps, 45 fps spread
10 inch = 2276 fps, 45 fps spread

Thanks
 

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re

16 inches is not really enough for .223.
I wouldn't go below 20 inches.
 

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if you are looking to save weight then 20" is a good choice, and as Yimmy said, I wouldn't go below that. My Varmit rifle has the 24" and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but that just me.
 
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