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Old October 18, 2012, 08:13 AM   #1
cw308
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Twist rate for targetshooting

On a 223 Savage bolt action 26" barrel, what twist is better for target shooting 1 in 7 or 1 in 9, at ranges 100 - 300 yards. I reload, also barrel wear with eighter twist.Thanks Chris
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:00 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Depends on the weight and length of the bullet(s) you select. Longer and heavier bullet, faster twist.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:40 PM   #3
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Considering the ranges listed, and the fact that you're shooting paper, heavy bullets aren't really a requirement. With that as reference, I'd suggest the slower twist... and perhaps even slower than 1:9.

Back before the military desire for heavy bullet 5.56 loads, the typical .22 cal centerfire target/varmint rifle had a 1:12 ~ 1:14 twist... with the typical 50-55 grain FB or BTHP doing quite nicely in a relatively slow 1:14.

If you get a chance, go to the Berger Bullets website and take a look at the recommended twist rates for their various bullets in the varmint and target selections. Figure out the heaviest bullet you'll ever want to use and go from there.

I wouldn't worry about wearing out a barrel... more barrels are ruined with poor cleaning methods than with bullets.
In a non-competition setting you'll get several thousand shots through a barrel before it might start to push your personal accuracy drop-off button.

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Old October 18, 2012, 12:53 PM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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I'm a faster twist guy, but 1 in 7" is pretty fast... even at 200 yards, too light a bullet can give you fits, until you get used to shooting in the wind... I have an older Contender barrel with a 1 in 14" twist, & it doesn't shoot even 55 grain bullets well... I've not seen a down side to faster twist rates than what is needed to stabilize a bullet ( maybe over the life of the barrel, it may be shortened a little with the faster twist ??? )... but again... most all target barrels 1st see wear at the throat, so the twist rate wouldn't have anything to do with troat wear...

my exprience shows a 1 in 9" twist should stabilize up to 68 grain bullets with even medium loads... so 1 in 7" should only be needed for bullets heavier than that...
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:59 PM   #5
cw308
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Lets say I was using a Sierra 69 gr. HPBT bullet, would you go for the 1-7 or 1-9 twist 26" barrel. I read the 1-7 twist barrels burn out faster. I shoot 30 rounds per range trip, take time between shots. Clean after each trip, I'm old school. What twist would you go for. Thanks Chris
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Old October 18, 2012, 01:10 PM   #6
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For 69gr SMK and a 26" barrel I would choose the 1:9 twist.

The bullet will be properly stabilized (no issues, a 1:9 is fine even from a 20" AR barrel). A tighter twist won't help tighten groups (bullet imbalance can cause groups to open up with too tight a twist).

I wouldn't go to a 1:7 twist with a 26" barrel until I needed to shoot something heavier than 80gr bullets. A 1:8 should be fine all the way up to 80gr (although a 1:7.7 is advised if you are shooting a 20" AR for 80gr bullets).

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Old October 18, 2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimro
For 69gr SMK and a 26" barrel I would choose the 1:9 twist.
I'd agree... 1:9 is perfect and will be fine down to about 50 grain as well, as long as the bullets are of good quality with consistent jacket wall thickness.

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Old October 18, 2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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Thanks guys for the info. The rifle I'm looking at is the SAVAGE 12VLP DBM, 1-9. REMINGTON 700 VARMINT is on sale at Dicks Sporting goods for $442. with rebate, but the twist is 1-12. I feel the lighter bullet 52 gr.Sierra HPBT wouldn't handle the wind as well, thats why I like the faster twist with the 69 gr. HPBT.
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Old October 18, 2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
SAVAGE 12VLP DBM, 1-9.
REMINGTON 700 VARMINT 1-12.
I feel the lighter bullet 52 gr.Sierra HPBT wouldn't handle the wind as well, thats why I like the faster twist with the 69 gr. HPBT.
Lighter bullets at faster speeds vs. heavier bullets at less fast speeds. Time to target vs. mass and centrifugal force. There's a discussion that tends to be as fluid as the subject itself.

Either or... have fun with it!

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Old October 18, 2012, 05:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Lighter bullets at faster speeds vs. heavier bullets at less fast speeds.
Doesn't matter: the heavier, higher B.C. bullet will have less wind.

Federal is kind enough to load .223 with the 69 and 77 grain MatchKing in .223. as well as a 50 gr JHP, and lets you compare velocity and wind on their web page.

Their 50 grain bullet starts 375 FPS faster than the 69 MK, still has ~200 fps more velocity at 100 yards, yet has ~30% more wind drift.

The same 50 gr JHP has a 600 FPS advantage over the 77 MK, which is even better in the wind than the 69 grain.

Now whether this wind advantage matters for short range shooting (and yes, 300 yards is short range), is another matter. Here are the wind drifts for a 10 MPH full value wind for the 50hp/69MK/77MK at .223 velocities:

100 yds: .9/1.0/1.3 200 yds: 3.8/4.3/5.6 300 yds: 9.0/10.3/13.8

Yeah, the 77 is the best, but probably not enough to bother with.
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Old October 18, 2012, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
The rifle I'm looking at is the SAVAGE 12VLP DBM, 1-9. 52 gr.Sierra HPBT
Accuracy wise you had the answer in your post. IMO you need the heavier bullet beyond 300 and the 1/9 twist will shoot the 69 sierra match just fine.
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