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Old December 28, 2019, 07:12 AM   #4
jmr40
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Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,877
There is no guarantee that rifle "A" with a 24" barrel will shoot any faster than rifle "B" with a 22" barrel. In fact some 22" barrels will be faster than some 24" barrels with the same ammo. There is far more difference between 2 individual barrels than 2" of barrel makes. Your decision should be made on what length looks and balances best to you.

I have two 30-06 rifles, both with 22" barrels. The Winchester is consistently 90 fps faster than the Remington with any load I shoot through them. I shot a buddies 22" barreled 30-06 over my chronograph once at the range and his gun was 130 fps slower than mine with ammo from the same box.

My Tikka 308 with a 20" barrel is the fastest 308 I own, shooting faster than either of my 308's with 22" barrels. And my Winchester with a 22" barrel is always 25-30 fps faster than the 22" Kimber. The 18" Ruger 308 is only about 30 fps slower than the 22" Kimber and about 50 fps slower than the Winchester.

Over the years manufacturers have toyed with 24" barrels on 30-06 class cartridges occasionally, but I've seen far more at 22" than 24". That is the sweet spot for me. I've owned one with a 20" barrel and my brother had one of the Ruger compacts in 30-06 with an 18.5" barrel. The 20" barrel I could have lived with, but muzzle blast from a 30-06 and an 18" barrel was just too much.

If you were to cut an existing barrel down by 2" I'd expect you to lose no more than 50 fps. But if replacing a barrel it is hard to say. You could go to a 22" barrel and pick up velocity compared to your old barrel. Or if you already had a "fast" barrel and the new one happens to be a "slow" barrel you could lose 150 fps.

But for what you want to do it wont matter. Even from a 20" barrel a 30-06 is faster than a 308.
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