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Thread: Optimum Barrel length

  1. #1

    Default Optimum Barrel length

    I see tradex has a 9,3x57 based on a 98 action for sale -but with a shortened a 20'' barrel.What appreciable diference would this make in terms of reduced velocity?My concern would be with the relatively low velocity achieved with the regular 26'' barrel shooting 286 gr bullets would a 20''barrel be too short?
    Last edited by ratherbefishing; 11-15-2008 at 11:48 AM.

  2. #2
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    The 9.3X57 M46 and 146 were made with a 600mm barrel, means 23 5/8".

    With a 20" barrel, you can expect loosing arouns 75 fps.
    But remember the loads for the 9.3X57 are pretty mild and can be improved quite a bit with the proper powders.
    Coagula / Solve

    Baribal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baribal

  3. #3

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    I'm new at reloading ,started out using IMR 4064,speer 270 gr and 286 privipartizan and am interested in other loads and options.I also picked up a bunch of cast bullets

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    It's an issue I've mulled over myself as to whether to lop one.

    As Baribal says, I bet you could still break 2000 fps with a 20-inch bbl and 285 grain bullets. I get over 2100 with my handloads in the issue bbl so I'm guessing I'd still reach 2000-2050 with a short bbl.

    It might indeed be detrimental to those who shoot factory ammo only. Somebody here or on another site {can't remember} posted chronographed Norma ammo and it showed UNDER 2000 fps for the heavy bullet, something like 1980 fps IIRC. With heavy bullets that might be near the limit of their expansion velocity in the first place, I'd steer clear of such a reduction {1900 +-}, as shots at 150-200 yards or so might not provide adequate expansion. Without testing, I cannot say for sure.

    Olav on this site has mentioned in the past that such stubby guns used to be popular with the dog handlers in Norway and Sweden, and for put-down shots at very close range the short barrel might not matter at all. It is hard to imagine a better package for that work than a 5 1/2 lb, 20-inch bbl 9.3x57!
    Last edited by 9.3x57; 11-15-2008 at 01:34 PM.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

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    I have a 9.3x57 with a 21" barrel. The only loads I have chronographed have been with light bullets (232 grain Vulkan and Oryx). Using the Dieter Sturm load from Handloader
    (54 gr. 748), I am getting 2375 fps with each bullet. Sturm, I believe, was getting about
    2450 fps from his 60 cm. barrel. That comes out to a difference of about 75 fps. When I get around to chronographing some 286 grain loads, I'll report.

    A.P.Ball

  6. #6

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    so am I correct here that IF you had a 20''barrel, you might be better served by using lighter[and faster] bullets?Could the fact that this one was based on a 98 action allow slightly more powerful loads to compensate for the loss of velocity?Put a Norma peep site on it and it 't be a heck of a black bear gun though.

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    I've been looking at that gun,wondering the same thing myself. I see there is a 8x57 in a commercial M38 action also at Trade Ex with a cut down barrel. but the monkey has been quiet lately,so I figured why not let sleeping HVA Monkeys lie.
    Last edited by Woodbeef; 11-15-2008 at 04:56 PM.

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    It's a small fireplace with a big chimney, and it uses rather quick burning propellants, so the loss isn't all that bad.

    My soon-to-be (?) full stocked model 146 is cut down to 20" and still gives more or less exactly 2000 fps with 286 grain bullets with standard handloads. And being a 98 action I could probably push those numbers a bit if I wanted to, which I don't.

    Pettson

  9. #9

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    These Husky's were chambered in 8x57,9,3x57 and 9,3x62-all in the same 96 actions.Now, please remember I'm totally new at reloading, but if its the same action would it be correct to say the pressure is the determining factor so what is more important-the powder charge-or the bullet weight?ie-would the same weight of bullet[eg 250 gr]with the same powder charge result in the same pressure no matter if it was an 8x57,9,3x57,or a 9,3x62?

  10. #10
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    This one's a tease for me, as I've been mulling over lopping a 9.3x57 barrel off at 17 to 20 inches for a long time. I chopped a 6.5x55 to 17 and I really like it.

    A 9.3 at 17 might not be able to push the 285's very fast, but even so, bullets are easy to modify to produce expansion. Let's assume a worst case; a 46 action shooting 285's at 2060 {true stated factory +-} in 24-inch and something like 1900 to 1950 fps in a 17.

    Such a gun would in effect be a "heavy bullet" .35 Remington, and THAT is not a bad thing at all. Alot of big deer, elk and black bear have found themselves clothed in freezer wrap after being introduced to the .35 Remington. True .35 Rem velocities with the 200 grain bullet often don't see the far side of 2000 fps, and with 85 grains more bullet weight that's real Champagne at the wedding!

    Those 300 grain Hornady .375's resized to fit the barrel and weighing in at 296 grains after modification to open up might go 1900 fps even and should shoot clear thru Bullwinkel on a side shot. Performance should approximate a .375 JDJ in a pistol, I should think.

    Such a gevær should go a smidge over 6 lbs with the scope fitted and under 6 with irons.

    For Ratherbe's black bear, especially hound-chased ones, what a winner!

    I am thinking a detachable scope mount fitted with a good old 4X Burris Mini on Warne mounts with a good Sourdough front sight and the Weaver-compatible peep rear. I've got the leather scope scabbard all worked out inside my head and a quarter hide of 8 oz leather in the shop just waiting for it.

    I've been thinking about this one for a while but have never done it.

    I need to.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  11. #11
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    Default Shorter barrels

    .
    I bought a 6.5 that had been shortened to 20 inches, with the stock modified to a Mannlicher stock configuration. It is still very accurate within ordinary hunting ranges......(about 300 yards here in Manitoba). Although 300 yards is a LONG shot, I would say, based on about 50 years of hunting from New Brunswick to B.C., that most game animals are shot well under the 200 yard mark.

    About 1962 when Remington came out with the 700 action, all the barrels for that initial production were 20 inch barrels. I bought one in .308 Winchester, and still have it. My main hunting rifle for over 20 years in B.C. was a Ruger 18 1/2 inch .308 Mannlicher Carbine, and I shot a LOT of Mule Deer, Whitetails, Elk and Moose with it. I never lost a single animal, and only a few times I had to shoot more than once.

    The big advantage is the shortness and handiness of the hunting rifle with a short barrel. There is not a lot of disadvantage to them. I think the pre-occupation with velocity is really more worry than fact. An animal hit in the right place will go down, and it does not matter whether it is a 30-06, a .308, a 30-40, or even a 30-30. Perhaps we get too enamoured with the latest creations that promise us another 100 fps. That 100 fps, over actual hunting conditions, is negligible.

    If a 170 grain 30-30 at 2000 fps, out of a 20 inch barrel Winchester 94 will drop a game animal, does anyone really think that a similar animal hit in the same place by a 9.3x57 at 1900+ fps is going to have a 230 to 286 grain bullet bounce off it?

    I would not sweat the small things, or pick nits. Obviously the previous owner wanted a short and handy rifle, for HIS hunting conditions. If your hunting conditions are the cedar swamps or the dark timber or bush, you would be well to see a hundred yards.

    During the early years of the 1900s, the Mannlicher Carbine in 6.5 MS was considered adequate enought. Bell in Africa used one in 7x57 to cull Elephant herds.
    .
    Last edited by buffdog; 11-15-2008 at 09:17 PM.
    I can make it to the front gate in 3.2 seconds. Can you do it in 3.1?

  12. #12

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    My second 9,3x57 has a Norma peepsight,almost like a ghost ring,[the reason I bought it]and I think something like that would be ideal in a short barrel. Bear hunting here is spot and stalk[no bait or hounds]but you can get pretty close if the wind is right.But-this country[Vancouver Island] has logging roads or clearcut blocks right next to thick salal and christmas trees,and you want a bear down right now, because they head for the thick stuff when they;re hit,and trust me tracking a wounded bear in stuff so thick you can't see your feet makes it ,shall we say,interesting.If I want a bear-I want it down-now.Hopefully a 286 gr privipartizan right on the shoulder will do just that
    Last edited by ratherbefishing; 11-15-2008 at 11:31 PM.

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    The barrel on my M46 is a bit longer than indicated by Baribal. From the breech to muzzle I measure 616mm, which isn't much difference, but when placed side by side with my k98 rifles with 600mm barrels is quite noticiable.

    Nels

  14. #14

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    I know there is an optimum barrel lenth where the velocity increases to certain point, then decreases as friction takes over.With a .22 ,its about 16 '' but obviously that is diferent with each rifle and load.

    Being new to reloading,I'd still like it if someone could explain how pressure works-what the variables are as related to the Huskys based on the same 96 action,but with diferent chamberings-8x57,9,3x57,and 9,3x62.My specific question was-if you used a 250 gr bullet ,with the same powder charge -would the pressure be the same or diferent in each of the cartridges?

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    Quote Originally Posted by buffdog View Post

    {1} does anyone really think that a similar animal hit in the same place by a 9.3x57 at 1900+ fps is going to have a 230 to 286 grain bullet bounce off it?


    {2} If your hunting conditions are the cedar swamps or the dark timber or bush, you would be well to see a hundred yards.
    Buffdog, I agree with most of your post, but the answer to #1 above is "No". The problem of course obviously isn't bouncing off but rather penetrating without expansion. I have seen this myself on game {deer} and have friends who have and it is a real problem, or can be, with too-stoutly constructed bullets particularly on side shots into the lungs. A simple hole punched by a 6.5 or even 9.3 can leave an animal on its feet for a fairly long time, an animal leaving a very poor blood trail and one that may go down far away and never be recovered. I believe that is a real concern for stout bullets started at sub-2000 fps.

    Answer to "2" follows that reasoning and Ratherbe's explanation of his hunting sounds similar to the conditions you describe. I don't think it is nitpicking to have to chase down critters in thick brush that might have been hit well but are leaving no blood trail due to a thru and thru shot that leaves only a hole a little less than 3/8 diameter. Under such conditions where dogs are illegal for recovery, a deer/elk or moose that goes 300 yards may very well be left for the coyotes. Impact velocity does matter of course, especially when heavy, "hard" bullets are shot.

    I really do not think this is much of a concern if barrels are shortened a couple inches, but when 7 or 8 inches get lopped off, the velocity reduction becomes unknown and might be significant {velocity reductions are not always consistent per inch of reduction}. I got 86 fps reduction from 22-inch to 17-inch with a 160 grain Hornady load when I chopped one of my 6.5x55's. Not too bad and of no real concern with that soft bullet. In fact, in that case I think performance is improved. TOTALLY different cartridge and start velocities than the 9.3x57, tho, obviously.

    But a bullet hovering on the edge of expansion in the first place might turn in really erratic results with a significant reduction in barrel length. For a look at some really weird results when expansion limits are just barely reached, see my post on the "296 Grain Hornady".

    I think the 285 Prvi would be a good place to start for a barrel-lopping load but on a short bbl gun I'd personally do alot of testing before I shot game with it. I don't need short bbl to do that. Just some downloads in search of the lower level of expansion. Maybe a project for winter. I have lots of jugs...

    I'm not fighting, here, just concerned that there may be some reading this who think that just because the 9.3x57 shoots a "big" bullet, it will stop game fast regardless of the bullet used, expansion, etc.
    Last edited by 9.3x57; 11-16-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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  16. #16

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    While I am new to the 9,3x57-I well familiar with the 6.5x55 on coastal blacktails-over 30 one shot kills,and nothing went more than 20 yards-some a lot less.Most shots were well under 100 yards-the longest maybe 200.Two black bears, one hit on the point of the shoulder was down and out-not dead but not able to move.The other took one jump.All this was with some surplus Century ammunition,made in Czechoslovakia if I remember correctly that I bought the last of for $10 a box.Needless to say,I am impressed with the swede workmanship[haven't seen anything as good on any other milsurp]an the 6.5x55 caliber-and am hoping to duplicate the experiance with the 9,3x57 when I go moose hunting.All I need now is a good hunting load for my 286 gr privipartizans

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    I have a mannlicher stocked carbine I made with a 20" barrel. Never chronoed the loads but everything I shoot with it dies. Works for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by z1r View Post
    I have a mannlicher stocked carbine I made with a 20" barrel. Never chronoed the loads but everything I shoot with it dies. Works for me.
    Assuming 9.3x57. Have you got some pic's? Love to see them.

    What action?
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  19. #19
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    Yes, 9.3x57. The original Full length stock was nothing more than a sported Swede 96 stock that I used in order to get this rig shooting. Servicable but not fashionable. I am currently restocking.

    Here it is on the bottom after the barrel was shortened.



    Here is the Fajen stock I recently inletted it into. The Monte Carlo will have to come off and the overall dimensions will need to be slimmed up considerably but so far it is shaping up nicely and weighs a scant 6 lbs.
    Last edited by z1r; 11-17-2008 at 10:54 PM.

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    zlr:

    Did you pull the barrel in order to recrown it?

    My g-smith normally pulls the barrel, chucks it in a lathe and then turns a crown on it.

    Reason I ask is the question is, my gunsmith has made many many sporters from96's and 38's and says the Swede barrels are VERY tough to remove from the actions. He has warned that there is a higher chance of cracking a Swede action than many others. That was a consideration of mine in chopping mine.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by 9.3x57; 11-18-2008 at 09:18 AM.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  21. #21

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    got to admit-that mannlicher stock is VERY attractive...How are they for accuracy?-I seem to remember a chap in the gun store saying they were inherintly less accurate than a free floated barrel-but I have no idea if that was an accurate assumption or not.Another question-is the fact the barrels are so well attached to the action contribute to their accuracy?
    Last edited by ratherbefishing; 11-18-2008 at 03:13 PM.

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    Ratherbefishing,

    The powder choice is determined by the case pressure and capacity, bore diameter and pipe lenght. Loading two similar cartridges like the 9.3X57 and the 8X57 with the same powder charge will NOT give the same results pressure wise. Because of the surfaces involved, when you increase the bullet diameter you will decrease the force (pressure) needed to start moving it, but this will also bring the velocity down.

    Think of a McDonald straw that you stuffed with a ball of paper; the ball is big but it's easy to blow it out of the straw; then try it with a WD-40 straw, you might find that blowing the small amount of paper you've been able to enter in it will pop your eyeballs out of the orbits before it even moved.
    Coagula / Solve

    Baribal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baribal

  23. #23

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    thanks-that makes it clear if the caliber is diferant-as in 8 mm and 9,3mm.What happens when you have the same caliber[9.3] but one is 9,3x57-and the other is 9,3x62-will the same bullet and the same amount of powder result in the same pressure for each?

  24. #24
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    Because of it's bigger content, the X62 will be able to handle slightly slower burning powders.

    You better stay with published loads and do not try to extrapolate without having the right tools to do so.

    Because I do load for these three calibers (8X57JS, 9.3X57 and 9.3X62) I can tell you the following;

    First, only the 8X57 JS and the 9.3X62 have close enough MAP to be compared.

    Second, the 8X57 JS and the 9.3X62 will work fine with about the same powders (let's say IMR4064, RL15) while the 9.7X57 will be better served by using H335 - IMR3031, wich are burning faster.

    BTW, as per Pettson said, the short barreled rifles are better served with faster burning powders for caliber. My wife's 1600 Std, 20 1/2" barrel 30-06 shoots way better when I use RL15 or Varget than when I use say W760. The blast, the flash and the kick is much less, tto.
    Last edited by Baribal; 11-18-2008 at 07:28 PM.
    Coagula / Solve

    Baribal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baribal

  25. #25

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    so far,I've only used IMR 4064,46 gr with the 270 gr Speers[they shot fine, no indication of pressure,good thump though]and the next batch 47 gr of IMR4064 with the 286 gr PriviPartizan...haven;t had a chance to shoot those yet.From what I gather here and in my Husky 96, I probably shouldn't try to exceed that load,and hopefully if thats OK,I probably will just stick with that and not change it.I've got some IMR 4895,and H3350 but haven't tried it either.I also have a bunch of cast bullets,and hope to try those out as well[half plain,half with gas checks]and after that I'll try loading for my 6.5x55
    Last edited by ratherbefishing; 11-18-2008 at 10:47 PM.

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    ratherbefishing -please re-read LeeSpeed's second post. He pretty much says it all. - the one about comparrison to the .35 Rem.

    I like a bit more speed, BUT- I'v eshot 2 moose with my wife's .375 Winchester M94- 220gr.FN bullets starting at 1,940fps. Both moose were almost 100 yards way when hit. One went 1 1/2 steps at an attempted dead run. The other went 4 slow steps and collapsed.

    Now, the short 9.3x57 will do over 2,000fps with a 286gr. bullet - what more do you need? The 232gr. Norma with handloads, should do almost 2,400fps and will handle about anything this side of both ponds.
    Daryl

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratherbefishing View Post
    so far,I've only used IMR 4064,46 gr with the 270 gr Speers[they shot fine, no indication of pressure,good thump though]and the next batch 47 gr of IMR4064 with the 286 gr PriviPartizan...haven;t had a chance to shoot those yet.From what I gather here and in my Husky 96, I probably shouldn't try to exceed that load,and hopefully if thats OK,I probably will just stick with that and not change it.I've got some IMR 4895,and H3350 but haven't tried it either.I also have a bunch of cast bullets,and hope to try those out as well[half plain,half with gas checks]and after that I'll try loading for my 6.5x55
    I haven't used 4064 or IMR4895 in my M46 Husky(model94Mauser, not 96-apparently) 9.3x57, however I have used H4895, Varget and BLC2 with the 270gr.Speers, 286gr. Privis & 323gr. Norma. The 286gr. run just over 2,200fps, 270's at 2,300fps & 232gr. at 2,450fps. - all in RP 8x58 brass) They are all accurate. A Husky '98 action will allow significant increases in velocties over a Husky M46 action so with proper handloads, you should be able to about duplicate my speeds in a 20" barreled M98 action.
    As for cast bullets - GREAT!- but first slug the bore to obtain it's size. Your cast bullets must be at least groove diameter & better yeat, .001" to .002" larger than the groove diameter. Your chamber neck may not allow chambering the case with a proper bullet seated if the bore is a large one, like mine is.
    Last edited by Daryl S; 11-19-2008 at 02:20 PM.
    Daryl

  28. #28

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    I'll be very happy with a 286 gr Privipartizan at 2000 fps-which I think I should be close to with 47 gr of IMR 4064,If what I gather here is correct.

    No-I certainly DON'T want to push it to the limit,and if I can get reasonable accuracy from that load,I'll stick with it.I have some Swift bullets in 9,3 as well -but I don;'t know if 2000 fps is enough for proper expansion,which the soft PP's seems to be ideally suited to for that velocity.

    Am I correct that 1600-1800 fps is about right for cast with gas checks?

  29. #29
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    Leespeed.

    I've found Swedes can be tight and judging by the number of twisted 96 receivers a guy is TRYING to sell on Gunbroker I'd say I'm not the only one that thinks so. However, I've never twisted one. I've pulled apart some really tight 98's too. As far as I'm concerned its all about the proper equipment and technique. I think those twisted 96's were the result of haste and improperly fitted tooling.

    I took the barrel off to recrown in a lathe. I also removed the front sight and reinstalled it on the shortened barrel.

  30. #30
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    Thanks, ZLR. Much like my g-smith says. He's been doing this stuff since 1962 and got in on the first batch of Swedes, and still goes at 'em! BTW, he says the worst offender in the barrel-pull area he's encountered in the P-14 and M-1917 Enfields. He normally chucks the barrel in a lathe and turns a "doughnut" off the barrel up against the receiver. Ruins the barrel of course but this is on rebarreled guns.

    The point here, especially for fellows who might go to a younger gunsmith who doesn't have a lot of experience with milsurps and Swedes especially is to be careful. As you say, knowledge and the right equipment matters but in the absense of one or both a ruined gun could be the result.

    Back to the ballistics of barrel-lopping:

    Here are a couple examples of barrel chopping of my own 6.5x55 rifle:

    140 grain bullet:

    22" bbl = 2735 fps
    17" bbl = 2597 fps
    Difference = 138 fps
    Cost per inch = 27.6 fps

    160 grain bullet:

    22" bbl = 2439 fps
    17" bbl = 2353 fps
    Difference = 86
    Cost per inch = 17.2 fps

    As you see, the bullet mentioned in the previous post did not lose much. The other lost more almost twice as much. My point in those posts is that estimating what a barrel will or will not lose is fine, but chronographing before and after will tell the tale and naturally, once chopped it ain't gettin' put back on!

    Remember, these guns started with 22" barrels. Going from a 24" tube to a 16 or 17 for example, could result in pretty substantial losses. And each inch of barrel does not generate the same amount of loss. This varies and as the barrel gets shorter the cutting gets closer and closer to the mass of powder being burned

    I know the discussion is about 20" bbl guns. Twenty inches seems pretty safe for most bullets, I would think. But I've thought a 16 or 17 inch 9.3x57 a la a 9x56 or 9.5x57 Mannlicher Schönauer would be a really unique and useful tool. As stated, bullets can easily be modified to produce adequate expansion, but if a guy didn't want to go thru all that he might be in trouble, maybe, unless he picked the right bullet.

    I'm working on a 9.3x62 carbine deal right now, but alas, it isn't Scandi enough for print here...
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

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    Just came across an article comparing the velocties between a 24" .375 Ruger and the Hawkeye Ruger that has a 20" barrel.
    : With some powders, the difference was over 100fps - but the trend was generally with the lighter bullets which is to be expected.
    : With the heavier bullets and medium burn rate powders, the difference was less than 100 fps.
    : Since the Ruger has a lower expansion ratio (case holds more in ratio to the bore) than the 9.3x57, the differences will be greater for the .375 than the 9.3x57.

    The old rule of 25fps per inch is probably quite close in lost speed, especially since the normal 9.3x57 has a longer than 24" barrel.

    I've long held that a 'good' barrel length for hunting rifles is 22" and thus shortened my M96 Swede 6.5 to that length - dandy rifle it is. On the other hand, I like the looks of the long slim barrel on my M46 so it will stay. Too, my little Mauser .375/06 IMP with it's 26" barrel will also stay long as well. I don't need the length as it is about the same as a 9.3x62 for capacity and would produce excellent ballistics if shortened. I like the velocties it produces from the 26" barrel as they are quite exciting. Who can argue with Interbonds travelling 2,470fps or 270 Spire Points at 2,680fps?
    Daryl

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