Barrel shortening

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Barrel shortening

Post by zobster » 26 Sep 2018, 9:09 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm toying with the idea of shortening the barrel on my 223 and 17, sick of smacking the barrel against the door frame every time I move it in or out to take a shot.

To those of you who have had the chop, did it affect your accuracy?
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by duncan61 » 26 Sep 2018, 9:49 pm

My Howa .243 is 22 inch barrel so is My Ruger .222 and they are easy to get in and out the window so I feel your pain.If done correctly and recrowned I doubt you will notice any difference at 20-22 inch assuming they are 24 inch at the moment
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by zobster » 26 Sep 2018, 10:58 pm

duncan61 wrote:My Howa .243 is 22 inch barrel so is My Ruger .222 and they are easy to get in and out the window so I feel your pain.If done correctly and recrowned I doubt you will notice any difference at 20-22 inch assuming they are 24 inch at the moment


If legal, I want to chop them down to 18".
223 is a howa, 17 is a cz455, unsure of exact length, to me its "ding barrel every shot length"
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by duncan61 » 26 Sep 2018, 11:23 pm

If you reload us a faster powder to avoid muzzle flash.Your gunsmith should know the legal bits but I cant see a problem. Are you spotlighting foxes rabbits?
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by bigpete » 27 Sep 2018, 5:51 am

Yep,done it with several rifles. Just cut them off with a hacksaw. Even got one recrowned by a gunsmith. Wasted $100,coz it didn't make it shoot one bit better than it already was
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by bladeracer » 27 Sep 2018, 6:23 am

zobster wrote:Hi Guys,

I'm toying with the idea of shortening the barrel on my 223 and 17, sick of smacking the barrel against the door frame every time I move it in or out to take a shot.

To those of you who have had the chop, did it affect your accuracy?


I got told yesterday that if I knew anything about shooting I wouldn't own 22" barrels :-)
I haven't shortened one but it's pretty easy to do. If you can fit the action in a lathe that's the ideal, but a bit of time and careful use of a hacksaw and file can give as good a result.
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by marksman » 27 Sep 2018, 10:16 am

taken from the "secrets of the Houston ware house, lessons in extreme rifle accuracy"

Barrel: Shilen Select Match Grade 8-groove #7 contour barrel 21 ¾” long with target crown. (Virgil said no advice he learned was more valuable than this: a barrel MUST be 21 3/4” long for optimum accuracy. That precise length sets up a vibration pattern that duplicates well from shot to shot.)

:unknown:

what you need to remember is after you lop it off you cannot put it back :drinks:
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by duncan61 » 27 Sep 2018, 6:04 pm

Hitlers V3 gun had a 130 metre barrel.Thats a lot of rifling
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by straightshooter » 28 Sep 2018, 7:41 am

zobster wrote:Hi Guys,

I'm toying with the idea of shortening the barrel on my 223 and 17, sick of smacking the barrel against the door frame every time I move it in or out to take a shot.

To those of you who have had the chop, did it affect your accuracy?


Don't be worried by the naysayers or the out of context quoted factoids about accuracy.
You will only have a problem with accuracy if your barrel has some kind of defect at the point you decide to cut.
20" is a very handy length for 223 particularly if you use a powder like BM2. Not too much loss of velocity and not much increase in bark. 18" may be similar.
If the 17 is a rimfire then I wouldn't have any concerns about an 18" barrel.
In my case I have a 20" 223 where the original 26" blank was crooked in the last 6" and it is very 'handy' and is completely satisfactory.
I have a 17 Rem that has a fluted 22" heavy barrel but that is about as short a barrel in that caliber as I would care to go.
You should also do some tests to see if the stocks fit you for length of pull. Sometimes even 1/2" can make a big difference in handling qualities and balance if the LOP is too long for your physique. Too short LOP is easier to live with than too long LOP.
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by straightshooter » 28 Sep 2018, 7:55 am

bigpete wrote:Yep,done it with several rifles. Just cut them off with a hacksaw. Even got one recrowned by a gunsmith. Wasted $100,coz it didn't make it shoot one bit better than it already was

Actually you can do quite a neat and credible job with only simple hand tools.
After cutting simply file the end of the barrel square to the bore with a fine file.
It's preferable to use an adjustable square as a gauge to compensate for taper in barrel.
To break the sharp edge of the bore use a round headed brass screw, with a slot for a flat bladed screwdriver, and grinding paste with the threaded end in a hand drill. The head of the brass screw would need to be about 1.5 to 2 times the diameter of the bore. Stop when the crown is slightly recessed. You should see a 0.5mm to 1mm margin.
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by bigpete » 28 Sep 2018, 8:47 am

Yes,as I said,I know. The $100 was wasted on paying a gunsmith to crown the barrel after I chopped it. It shot half to three quarter inch groups before gunsmith,and the same after. So zero difference
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by SCJ429 » 28 Sep 2018, 11:02 am

If you are shooting 55 grain projectiles out of a 24 inch barrel, you will loose about 100 fps if you cut it back to 20 inch. As Marksman said you could see an improvement in accuracy out of the shorter stiffer barrel where the barrels sine wave is calmer.

As Bigpete said you could cut the barrel yourself and crown with a brass screw and some valve grinding paste. If it doesn't shoot take it to your gunsmith for recrowning.
Last edited by SCJ429 on 28 Sep 2018, 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by zobster » 28 Sep 2018, 1:58 pm

straightshooter wrote:20" is a very handy length for 223 particularly if you use a powder like BM2. Not too much loss of velocity and not much increase in bark. 18" may be similar.
If the 17 is a rimfire then I wouldn't have any concerns about an 18" barrel.
You should also do some tests to see if the stocks fit you for length of pull. Sometimes even 1/2" can make a big difference in handling qualities and balance if the LOP is too long for your physique. Too short LOP is easier to live with than too long LOP.


Straightshooter: I'm using BM8208 in the 223, slightly slower than BM2 I'm guessing. Unfortunately, length of pull is not adjustable, so I'll have to put up with what it already is. As long as I'm not hitting the door with the barrel all the time, I'm happy.

Thank you very much for all your input guys!! I'm most afraid of loosing accuracy, cos my targets are mainly at ~250m.

I think I will go ahead with the snip. Smith quoted me $80 for a simple snip and crown. That's what I'll do with the 17hmr.
Also smith said it's $120 for snip, crown, thread and cap. That's what I'll do with the 223 at a later date.
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by marksman » 29 Sep 2018, 10:56 am

the price is right, better than I can get my way from a smith
let us know how you go :thumbsup:
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by SCJ429 » 12 Jan 2019, 9:29 am

Did you get the snip?
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Re: Barrel shortening

Post by Sako308 » 14 Jan 2019, 2:54 pm

Chop it mate. I didn't own a rifle with a barrel longer than 20 inches until I finally rebarreled my 308, and it went to 24" as it was to be dedicated for target work.

Some great articles on the subject have been done by this bloke, it's worth the read!

https://rifleshooter.com/2015/12/223-re ... -6-inches/
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