which caliber for all around use?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by hunter29180, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    while I would agree that the rifling may be the reason the Judges pattern opens up so quick..I still have to disagree that a 4 in and a 18 in or even a 30 in smoothbore would all pattern pretty much the same. it would have to be shown to me. so at this point we both have a diffrent opinion concerning this pictular situtation. No Problem!! this is what makes the world go around! maybe one day we can get together with a couple of single shots and extra barrels we dont mind destroying just to find out!! it would be a fun and interesting day for both of us!

    also basied on my Judge with 4 in barrel...there is a good bit of unburnt powder from the muzzel when fired..so maybe it takes a bit more than 2 or so inches to burn most of the powder? another item we could possibly explore?
  2. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    yeah, no worries! disagree or not, I'm just thankful that everyone has been civil and no hard feelings on this end for sure. ;) This is how we all learn, good healthy debate and different points to consider; none of us are right all the time.

    It would be fun to test out, may be worth taking a cheap single barrel and chopping it down inch by inch and shooting a box of shells on each length to get an accurate result.

    The book excerpt I posted does say they tested with normal/legal lengths so not sure what they consider the shortest 'normal' length. I'm assuming 18" but the 12 and 14" breaching 870's we have at work are legal (to a select few of course) also as they're military and LE weapons so who knows; the book never stated the shortest length tested so don't really know.

    I'd be curious to start with say, a 30" barrel and take it down 2" at a time until you hit about 18", then take it down inch by inch, all cylinder bore with the same exact shells.

    A good fresh grease board and a fixed camera on a tripod to take photos of each shot on the board, flip through them at the end to see what the pattern does as barrel is removed.

    maybe a used NEF shotgun or something, they're like $100? course you'd have to destroy the thing at the end as it would be illegal with a 1" barrel! :D
  3. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    That would be pretty interesting. I've read articles where people test FPS with a chronograph while cutting off a rifle's barrel length from 26" to 16".
  4. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    That is the way shotguns were made at one time. And that's when barrel length does become an issue. It is certainly true that chokes make a huge difference now.

    Rifled barrels like the Judge has also will greatly affect shot spread. You'll generally see a donut pattern that is much larger than a smooth bore pattern would be. That doesn't mean the Judge isn't an effective SD weapon BTW. A short range blast with a Judge using shot shells is going to hurt whoever it happens to hit. It is certainly going to leave a mark. ;) But let's not forget the .45 LC shells you can use in a Judge. To me that would be the choice of shells but I go with .45 ACP or .40 for SD myself.
  5. Albtraum

    Albtraum Well-Known Member

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    donut pattern meaning an empty center of no shot?
  6. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    ok since we have discussed shotguns and the effect diffrent length barrels have ..lets discuss rifles and diffrent length barrels! we usually feel a longer barrel helps accuracy in revolvers. so is a longer barrel better for rifles?

    is a longer barrel actually better for long range or not? what is the best length for long range accuracy? when does the length decrease accuracy? with longer barrels is a stronger powder charge needed? if so where does the powder required cause a dangerous problem because of the barrel length? ( do not try to make a magnum charge work in a non magnum setup!!)
  7. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    .22 LR, it was widely talked about at small bore matches, gains nothing for accuracy after about 17". Velocity, not sure but I believe there is very minimal if any gain past that.

    Other rifles, (and even handguns) I think it varies considerably by caliber but a longer barrel certainly promotes greater accuracy by several factors.

    -longer sight radius (which is independent of the actual topic here but worth mentioning)
    -more barrel to fully get the projectile spinning consistently to stabilize correctly upon exit
    -highest possible velocity and also most uniformity in velocity/pressure

    but at what point does it become too long, or a detriment? let's use .308 and .223 for examples as they are among the most common.

    testing has shown that after a certain point (barrel length), velocity and accuracy gains are very very minimal past a certain amount, say around 18". past that, your gains are small if any in many calibers.

    16" in .223/5.56 is a good length and gains past that are very minimal. I would say 18" would be a good 'minimum max needed length' for .308

    time to start digging through my book and the internet...
  8. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  9. WTHines

    WTHines Member

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    Just ran across this post and have to put in my two cents worth..especially on one subject mentioned in the post. As for "all around" caliber, the 308 hands down. It can be loaded to perform at any of the mentioned distances and one single shot placed well will driop any and all the aforementioned animals. My ONLY caveat is the statement of "1500 to 2000 yard shots" All I can say is WOW! Please learn to HUNT not jsut go out and kill something for the fun of shooting it. Relatively few people in this world can accurately place a kill shot at 2000 yards. In over 55 years of hunting I can count on one hand the number of shots taken at over 300 yards at any anilmal including elk and moose. Pronghorn probably being the most notable exception and those were the over 200 yard shots. BTW, Ruger Number 1A is my choice of hunting weapon and in 308 is a magnificent gun! 20 inch barrel
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  10. Paul Curtis

    Paul Curtis New Member

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    No one caliber is "best" for all around usage, some will provide "overkill" and others, even at reasonable ranges may prove to be marginal at best. I think you might want to revisit this post with the "ammunition availability" and/or reloading components availability factored in, in light of the current wave of political hysteria in D.C. following the Newtown CT tragedy-

    I have been evaluating another varmint rifle, and am closing in on the old .220 Swift and the later .22-250. I have ruled out the .223 because it is also a military issue round and recent surges in ammo sales have made the 7.62x39mm and also the 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) possible candidates for the scarce option.

    The time tested 30-06 is my first choice, the .308 Win. is also excellent, but as it is a military round (M-14) and the military no longer uses the 1903, the M-1 Garand or the BAR as in the past, I feel safer with the 30-06. I have 4 dependable and accurate rifles in that caliber, two are scoped-- a pre-1964 std. grade Model 70 and also a pre-1964 Featherweight Model 70- two are not- a 1903 NM Springfield and a post Korean War Garand (International Harvester) . I have over 2000 "loose" rounds and about 800 in the Garand enbloc clips--

    I am surprised that neither the .270 Winchester or the 7mm Rem magnum were not mentioned- neither are Military issue, and availability might be better than the .308 in light of current scenarios. The SKS and AK-47 based 7.62x39 rounds are more suited to 400 yards or less, and shooting a large game animal with such a load is not a clean kill situation in most cases.

    I would rule out the Weatherby Magnums, way over priced and the recoil factor is an issue. Also the .300 Win Mag, the .338 Win Mag, the .358Win Mag, and the old .348 Win (proprietary to the fine M71 lever rifle)--

    If I could choose 4 Bolt centerfire rifles from my battery to encompass varmint, game and also the aforementioned SHFT Akron-Im (Savage (rifles) Have Fine Triggers) which I have found to be true, by the way--they would be thus-- Varmint- My Pre-64 M70 .243 scoped, My Pre-64 std. grade M70 30-06 scoped, and both the Garand and the 1903 NM Springfield. If Elk, Moose, Black and Grizzly Bear are going to be included the hunting picture, then I would drop the Springfield 30-06 and take my Mauser square bridge .416 Rigby with express sights unscoped.

    Just one man's opinion.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  11. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

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    You have never hunted or shot a gun have you? When you do and have a serious question try again.
  12. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    Well played, sir! LMAO!
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