Lee PrecisionRepackboxMidSouth Shooters SupplyADvertise here
Titan ReloadingRotoMetals2Inline Fabrication

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Optimal Barrel Length - 7X57

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Statesboro, Ga
    Posts
    30

    Optimal Barrel Length - 7X57

    Hello all,
    I'm debating putting my military Model 98 sporter on a little diet, and part of that is thinking about barrel length. It is a cut-down stepped military barrel, and the current version of the barrel is 22.5 inches long. Now, I fully understand that barrel length is important for powder burn, so I don't want to go too short, but can anyone offer some real-world experience on the 7x57 with various barrel lengths? This particular rifle is used exclusively for j-words and deer hunting, and the most common powder used is a stiff change of 4064 and the old W-W 175 grain round nose bullets. Accuracy is solid, at 1 MOA, with this load.

    I'm looking at different options to try to get the gun down below 7 pounds with scope and sling, and using the old Parker-Hale aluminum trigger guard and floorplate, Weaver bases and rings, I'm close. I'm not committed to shortening and recrowning the barrel, but knocking off and inch or two, as well as looking at the other end for a lighter recoil pad, should keep the gun balanced and still shed some weight. Also on the list, slimming the stock - it's a nicely redone piece of light walnut, but I think there's some "heft" in there that can go away.

    And yeah, I don't "have" to do any of it. As the rifle sits, it carries well, shoots well, and is still pretty light - 7 1/2 pounds. This is more about "can I do it" versus "I have to do it." Based on what I've seen, though, knocking the barrel down to 21 inches won't have a negative effect in "real world" performance, but I respect the knowledge base on here, even if this is a jacketed gun. I'd like to hear ya'll's insights!

    Cree

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    10,414
    1-1/2" cut from the barrel wont hurt a thing, but won't amount to much weight loss, either. Ive had a 7x57 Mauser 98 sporter with an 18" barrel and one with a 26" barrel and i never noticed any difference in the field other than the shorter barrel was handier. Slimming the stock and drilling hidden holes in the buttstock and forearm channel can help - as well as a lighter recoil pad like you mentioned. Another area to trim weight is the scope. You didn't mention the scope that you are using but some are quite heavier than others. Good luck, a 98 Mauser sporter is a great hunting rifle.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas
    Posts
    3,666
    Go on a diet, lose 8 ounces and there you have it.

    Leave the gun alone! A 7mm Mauser with military barrel that will shoot 1" is cherry

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    6,726
    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    Go on a diet, lose 8 ounces and there you have it.

    Leave the gun alone! A 7mm Mauser with military barrel that will shoot 1" is cherry

    Mike
    Words of wisdom.

    Another option is to loose the scope and go with a receiver sight and flat topped post front.

    Robert

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    18,561
    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    Go on a diet, lose 8 ounces and there you have it.

    Leave the gun alone! A 7mm Mauser with military barrel that will shoot 1" is cherry

    Mike
    I'd also venture the barrel should be left as is. My 7x57 is on a M95 Chilean with the barrel cut back to 22". Accuracy is excellent and I doubt losing another 8 ounces off the rifle would make it any more comfortable to carry.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Rodfac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Oldham Co., KY
    Posts
    491
    Leave the gun alone! A 7mm Mauser with military barrel that will shoot 1" is cherry
    For gosh sakes, take this advice! Rod
    Rod

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Statesboro, Ga
    Posts
    30
    Thanks to all the folks so far - yes - I realize how little weight an inch or two of barrel will actually lose, and this barrel - a post WW2 Belgium replacement - is a fine shooter. I’ve never tried “light” loads in it, as the 175 grainers have always worked well (even Privi’s old 174? Grain Soft point bullet shot well in this rifle).
    Whoever started this rifle did a modestly “good” job on it, but it wasn’t anything special. I’ve tried, over the years, to continue to improve it, and to that end, even though I put the stock on a diet years ago, I think there’s still some “girth” that could represent ounces to be lost. It’s one of those guns I’ll never sell - the day I bought it was the day Dad had his hip replaced and came through with flying colors, so it was a little bit of a celebration for me at a time when I was financially strapped.
    At the same time, if you swap out too much of these guns, you get too far away from the “real” gun you bought. I like the ideas you guys have shared and I’d have to agree with Texas By God that a few well-placed holes in the butt as well as a lighter pad can give really good results. I’ve done it on a few others and it’s amazing how that tiny bit of weight being removed can change how a gun carries and holds.
    I knew I could depend on you guys for good advice!
    And Larry Gibson - I wholeheartedly agree with you on the receiver sight and have done that on my other project right now - a Turk in 7.62X39 in a really nice Mannlicher stock. A nice old Redfield Series 80 is on that one and I’m getting it dialed in for boolits only. Right now, tweaking the follower on it to get it to play nice and feed from the mag is the biggest challenge.

    I really appreciate the advice ya’ll! (But feel free to keep it coming...)

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Statesboro, Ga
    Posts
    30
    Mk42gunner - I just realized I responded to Larry’s post as yours. You’re right, a peep is a great way to save weight! Sorry I didn’t give you credit where credit was due for your response!

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Butler, MO
    Posts
    6,726
    Don't worry about it. No harm done.

    It is surprising just how much more responsive a bolt action is with iron sights than with a scope, even properly mounted where it just seems your eye is directly behind the crosshairs. This has to be because of weight and balance.

    Many rifles that feel great in the store become kind of ho-hum after a scope is put on.

    The downside to iron sights is you loose 30-45 minutes of hunting time because you just can't see the sights, while crosshairs are still perfectly visible.

    Robert

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    365
    If the barrel is properly crowned,I would leave it be. The only advantage to cutting it back a few inches would be to make it easier to handle in a brushy,or tight area.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona
    Posts
    18,561
    While not meant for me it certainly could have been. As you can see my 7x57 M95 sports a Redfield receiver sight.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC01117.JPE 
Views:	19 
Size:	29.1 KB 
ID:	270371
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Statesboro, Ga
    Posts
    30
    You’re right on both counts - since this is one of my two “go-to” deer guns, the scope ( Leupold VXII 3x9) is very important in the bottoms and cutover timber tracts we lease. At the same time, I try to keep those scopes balanced with the most likely usage - in this case, pinpoint shots in low/poor light with substantial “stuff” in the way. I’ve shot plenty of deer at rock-throwing distance when they “pop” into view and, in the same stand, have the chance to shot out past 200 yards. I see a lot of guys in this area mounting 4X12 or 4X16 glass with one piece steel mounts on rifles that will never need it and then wondering why the gun is so heavy. So the VXII and Weavers might be a tad on the heavy side, but it is a fair trade in this case.

    As to peep sights, almost all my “bubba’d” boolit guns wear either steel Redfields or Lymans, the one exception being an Type 38 Arisaka rebarreled to 7x57 that wears an old Leupold 2x7. I do try to hunt with it at least a few times each year to keep it from feeling left out, but it gets a lot of time at the range year-round.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Stephens City, VA
    Posts
    133
    Great choice for a deer rifle. My favorite cartridge. It's tough to build a light weight rifle on a 98 action. Getting one down to 7lbs takes some work. As noted shortening the barrel will get very little weight off. When slimming the stock it is easy to get carried away and get it looking odd. I'm for drilling holes lengthwise in the buttstock, filling them with foam and a light weight recoil pad.

  14. #14
    A reversable modification to shed weight would be to swap out the wood stock for a synthetic stock. Perhaps a Hogue?
    “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” - Ronald Reagan
    "God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best." - Voltaire

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Moorhead, MN
    Posts
    534
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Leave well enough alone.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    TCLouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    4,254
    Ramline plastic stock would probably more weight loss that whacking off any reasonable amount of barrel.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    6,999
    It sounds like this may have already been put to rest but I'm going to chime in and side with the posters that said - leave it alone.

    I hold the 7 x 57 in high esteem and I think 22" is about the right barrel length. I also agree that losing few inches will not reduce enough weight to counter the loss of velocity and potential loss of accuracy (you're doing pretty well at 1 MOA )

    There's not much to be gained and a lot to lose, so my vote is leave it alone.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Statesboro, Ga
    Posts
    30
    Thanks for all the advice - the barrel is now “untouchable” and even though it’s deer season, I’m just going to lean on my Model 70 in ‘06 for a few weeks while I put the stock on a diet. I took a few comparisons of the relative size and shape of several other sporters in the safe and realized that there was some weight to be lost between “girth in the butt” and too much recoil pad (a Pachmyer shotgun pad installed by a PO). I’ve rooted around and found an older rifle pad and spacer in the junk drawer that matches the screw spacing nicely and, when mounted, keeps the comb height right but allows me to slim the bottom and the toe considerably. A few holes to be drilled into the butt of the stock, too, will add up. I figure it’s only a few ounces, but those ounces are all coming off the butt, so the balance will shift slightly forward.

    Even if I don’t get to the mythical 7 pounds, I agree with all ya’ll’s suggestions on leaving a sleeping dog lie - a good barrel that shoots is like a happy wife. You may not know why she’s happy, but you don’t just start randomly changing things. I live in a sort of quiet fear of having to replicate the accuracy I’m getting now from these ancient W-W 175 grain round nose j-words when my box of them finally runs out.

    All in all, this project ought to be good for at least a podium finish at the waste-of-time-Olympics, lol.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    6,108
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye Bly View Post
    Great choice for a deer rifle. My favorite cartridge. It's tough to build a light weight rifle on a 98 action. Getting one down to 7lbs takes some work. As noted shortening the barrel will get very little weight off. When slimming the stock it is easy to get carried away and get it looking odd. I'm for drilling holes lengthwise in the buttstock, filling them with foam and a light weight recoil pad.
    My opinion, but the 7x57 and small rings were simply made for each other. A '93 or '95 makes a much trimmer rifle it seems to me.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check