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Thread: best all around barrel length?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    best all around barrel length?

    I know this there are many differing opinions on this subject. I know that the sight radius is better with a longer barrel, and I know that speed in swing is better with a shorter barrel. I am just getting into BPCR so I have lots of questions so please bare with me. I have found great rifles with everything from 28" to 34" barrels. I had kind of figured on sticking with something in the 30" range to get started with. But man a couple of the guns with 34" barrels are sure good looking rifles. I am looking at mid to long range target shooting and I know that offhand shooting out to a couple hundred yards is part of the shooting, as well as maybe hunting with the rifle..45-70 is the caliber I am starting with and am looking at both Browning BPCRs and Pedersoli 1874 Sharps. So any feed back from you who know better than I would be very great. Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master dave roelle's Avatar
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    30 inches is most popular and its a good compromise between off-hand balance and sight radius

    i have 30's and a 32 the 32 is great off sticks but a bit front heavy for offhand

    Dave

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    This is sort of a personal choice. It you go with a heavy caliber like a 110 or the 100 then the extra weight of the long heavy barrel would be a plus. I have rifles from 30" to 35" not counting the trapdoors. I don't see any difference in accuracy between 30 and 35". It depends on how your upper body strength is for shooting off hand. I used to think a 32" was perfect for me but the 30" light or heavy barrel does very good with no shortfalls that I see.
    Kurt

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    My C Sharps 45/70 came with a 34 inch Badger barrel and it"s a great shooter , but they forgot the wheels (required for hunting)

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have 30 inch barrels on all the rifles I use. I have a couple with 28, but they are more sensitive to elevation settings and holding. The longer barrels are too slow, even clumsy to my mind. I am primarily a hunter and shoot a lot of gongs for practice. The 30 inch barrel works best for me. A 45-70 with a 30 inch barrel will reach and hit at 1000 yards and beyond if you know how to load for it and shoot it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    I don't think I would turn down a good rifle with a 32" barrel...my upper body strength is not an issue. But the 30 just seems to be a good all around length.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    I too am primarily a hunter. I have always hunted with heavier rifles than the light mountain rifles that seem to be the norm today. So lugging a 10# rifle into the high country isn't a huge deal for me. I am planning on shooting gongs during the months when I am not out in the field hunting. Thanks for your input.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    I know a 34" is a tough one to handle off hand. Though I have a flint lock with a 40" barrel that isn't all that bad but there quite the mass in that rifle that yours has...just out of curiosity, what does your C. Sharps weigh in at?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I am leaning towards 30" as best of both worlds balance sight radious and overall weight. Contour makes a big difference in the weight and balance also. a 34" long barrel with a skinnier countour may feel good at about the same weight as the 30 or 32.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    For BPCR the longer barrels can have issues with the lub. running out at the muzzle. For paper patch it's not an issue.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    For target rifle I prefer a 32 inch barrel.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    for target shooting, the ability to think and act in moa can be very important.
    the ring sizes are known and common knowledge in moa, and are a useful tool.
    silhouettes are also known in minutes of angle, there being available plot targets so marked in moa squares.
    wind charts are most easily generated in moa.
    to be able to adjust sights in this form is important.
    with the correct sight radius, 1 point = 1 moa.
    you need a 32" barrel to get this sight radius with placement of most tang sights.
    hunting rifles this is not an issue generally.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    Well since the majority of my shooting will be at targets and gongs, I will take this into consideration, thank you. I hunt for about 6 weeks when I can get out....so obviously if I am shooting this all the time it will be at targets. I have been talking to a couple of gentlemen that have rifles for sale with 34" barrels..one is a heavy octagon that he has been shooting Silhouette with for many years...The other is a long range Pedersoli Sharps. I do know that for me a muzzle heavy rifle is easier to control off hand than a lightweight one..I can control the sway on the heavy one but the light weight muzzle tends to bounce more for me..just my observation. Thanks again

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikingson57 View Post
    I know a 34" is a tough one to handle off hand. Though I have a flint lock with a 40" barrel that isn't all that bad but there quite the mass in that rifle that yours has...just out of curiosity, what does your C. Sharps weigh in at?
    12.5 LBS and it feels like a whole lot more ,guess I"m just tired

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikingson57 View Post
    Well since the majority of my shooting will be at targets and gongs, I will take this into consideration, thank you. I hunt for about 6 weeks when I can get out....so obviously if I am shooting this all the time it will be at targets. I have been talking to a couple of gentlemen that have rifles for sale with 34" barrels..one is a heavy octagon that he has been shooting Silhouette with for many years...The other is a long range Pedersoli Sharps. I do know that for me a muzzle heavy rifle is easier to control off hand than a lightweight one..I can control the sway on the heavy one but the light weight muzzle tends to bounce more for me..just my observation. Thanks again
    You almost need two rifles... But with that said, if forced into just one rifle, I would opt for a 30 or 32 in. standard weight barrel, and get buffed up for the added recoil when shooting targets.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    getting buffed up isn't an issue...lol..I know I need two rifles..Actually I "NEED" more than two..but to get started I will figure on a 30-32" rifle.. Thanks for your advice...

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    muzzle heavy is good..........as long as the weight is still between your hands.
    once the weight goes past the front hand the butt tries to lift when shooting offhand.
    or you need a hooked buttplate.
    keep safe,
    bruce.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    My hunting rifle, top, has a 32" light barrel in a .44-77 it weighs 10# 3oz it carries very well and hold very good off hand. With the Lawrence rear sight you can carry it with out it digging in your hand like a full or simi buckhorn will. The balance point of the top rifle is right at the rear sight.
    The bottom rifle, the CPA, is my target rifle I have used now for two seasons it has a 30" heavy and it weighs 12# 1oz and it is a .45-90. Very responsive to sight changes but at 77 years I lost a lot of upper body strength holding it off hand, Chickens just don't stand still LOL.
    Would I carry it hunting???? not as long as I have the top rifle

    Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
    Boolit Bub vikingson57's Avatar
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    Thank you...wood you spend a day at the range with the top rifle with it being 10# 3oz?. One rifle I am looking at is right at 11#. At 60 I can still frame walls and do a full days work as a carpenter...so I think for not I can handle the 11 pounder...but would avoid anything heavier in the field.. Thanks again and maybe those chicken will start sitting still for you again. LOL

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Yup sure would and do it. I have no problems shooting 1500 rounds from 110 grains of black and a 720 gr bullet .50-90 to the girly .44's in 10 days at gong shoots a all day at the range is not a problem with that .44-77.
    I'm a retired plumber but been retired since 2000 and putting Kolhler cast iron bath tubs in houses and swinging 6" 300 lb water mains in ditches by hand are over.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check