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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Remington 700 TWS in a .308. I was thinking of having the barrell reduced from it 26" length to 24 inches. This would enable me to have the crown recessed. It would also allow me to switch to a shorter hardcase that would easily fit in the trunk of my patrol car. Will going from a 26" to a 24" barrel on my .308 have a noticable effect on my accuracy? If so how?
 

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I'm not sure if simply reducing the barrel length will have a "noticable" effect on accuracy (as compared with the same rifle before shortening the barrel), and may help if the old barrel did not have a target crown to begin with. (But then I don't know what you mean by noticiable). If you mean 1/2 MOA groups just jumped to 1.0 MOA I seriously doubt it.

I've seen short barreled rifles shoot incredibly tight groups at medium and long distance. Conversely, poorly built rifles with 30 inch barrels may not be able to hit the barn they are sitting in.

There is one effect that I can guarantee - you'll lose somewhere between 50 and 80 fps when using the same ammunition that you were shooting with the 26 inch barrel. Its a fact of life. Longer barels will give you higher velocities with the same powder loads than shorter barrels.

In the 6.3x55 discussion I think someone talks in terms of 25-40 fps per barrel inch drop in velocity.
 

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After about 16-18", the length of the barrel will not "improve" accuracy, its all about the quality of the barrel at that point. Tac-ops (and others) loves the 20" barrels, they seem to get the best accuracy using that length. In fact, the remtington LTR with its 20" barrel has been more accurate then the standard 700P on average. What is most important is the quality of the work on the barrel. If your smith is good, you may see better accuracy if he does an excellent crowning job. If you have a good smith, I would have no reservations having the barrel shortened.

Personally, I prefer 24", the rifles just seem to balance better for me, and are easier to handle (and a bit lighter) and still get me the good velocities. My bravo-51 has a 22" barrel, its nice also.

MEL
 
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Yeah. Like they said. After you get up into the 20= inch range, your accuracy expectations should not change. It can improve however if the original barrel had a poorly cut crown, and the newly cut one is done correctly. But the main advantage that the longer tubes gives you is a slight increase in velocity, which will lead to a shorter flight time and subsequent less chance for wind and gravity to act on the bullet, theoretically improving accuracy. However in practice these purported accuracy gains are infinitesimal. Conversely, some of those short barreled rifles are very accurate, owing mainly to the stiffness of their barrels.
 

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My Bushmaster XM15 M4 Carbine has a 16" heavy barrel, shoots 3/4" 3 shot groups @ 100y, can hold sub-moa out to 600m. Shorter barrels like that are more accurate because of stifness. It all comes down to quality, and some to do with luck, getting a good barrel on your rifle.
 
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