Does that mean a 2" snub nose .357 can be just as accurate as a 18" lever action rifle (in .357)?
Only to a certain extent.Barrel length does
Longer barrels support the round so it's more stable
Agreed. To that end, I once saw a test from a Ransom Rest on a 2" snub S&W 36 that put all 5 shots into a 2" circle at 25 yds. And that's factory ammo, so to say a snub can't be "accurate" is incorrect.Only to a certain extent.
Once the bullet has reached it's ideal speed, usually in the first few inches of the tube, it has reached it's optimum stability. After that, it doesn't matter if the bullet is in the barrel for another 2", 10", or 40"...at least until the friction drags the velocity back down into an unstable range again.
That was the test that I saw also. If you have doubts as to the accuracy of a snubie, then you should watch Jerry Michalek, or Bob Munden, shoot 8" ballons at 200 + yards!I believe I remember the article that 410 mentioned...or at least one like it. Late 70s or early 80s American Rifleman. Back when they had real tech articles and not random shill pieces for the latest gadgets.
I believe it was a long-barrel Virginian Dragoon .44Mag and they just gradually bobbed it into a snubnose while documenting velocity and accuracy from a Ransom Rest. Barrel length wasn't a real big factor until the barrel got really short.
Another thing you might see affecting accuracy is barrel harmonics. A load that falls into a 24" barrel's sweet spot might group worse if you chopped the same barrel to 20". But it might fall into another harmonic sweet spot when you reach 18" too. That is one of the real unpredictable parts of tuning a load.
As for barrel length...
On an iron-sighted gun you'll less accuracy as the sight plane gets shorter. The induced sighting error becomes greater if the sight radius shrinks but the range to target stays the same.
On an optical sighted gun that sighting error really doesn't factor in.
There are many variable that affect accuracy, so you can only make a barrel length comparison on accuracy if that is the only variable that changes. In other words, you can't compare a revolver against lever action rifle. Too many variables are being changed.Does that mean a 2" snub nose .357 can be just as accurate as a 18" lever action rifle (in .357)?
Inquirin minds are curious about these exeptions.all barrel length effects is velocity produced from the powder charge.
If there are sights fixed to the barrel then it will effect sight radius, which can effect accuracy, but its more of a shooters ability to obtain a fine sight picture than it is the inherent accuracy of the barrel its self.
shorter barrels are actually more stable then longer barrels and vibration effects them less because they are more ridged.
Comparing a .357 snubbie to a .357 levergun is an unfair comparison not because the barrel is longer. but because its possible to get a more stable rest on the rifle because there is a buttstock and a fore end. Clamped into a machine rest that simply cannot move accuracy between the 2" barrel and the 18" barrel would be negligible, with the snubby rounds hitting lower on the target due to velocity loss as a result of the short barrel.
Barrel length is a paramount consideration when setting a weapon up for long range. Obviously handguns should not be considered long range weapons because of their short barrels. And most of the cartridges chambered in handguns do not have the ballistic efficiency to reach out much beyond 200 yds with suitable accuracy.
As a general rule rifle barrels 22" and longer will effectively engage targets 500 yds and further.. Carbine barrels 20" and shorter should he held to ranges out to 500 yds. Again not for accuracy purposes, but for power. due to the lesser velocity of the shorter barrel.
There are certain exceptions to this generalization.
I shoot approx 300 rounds a week depending on weather and such. I am a certified NRA pistol instructor and have been carrying a firearm every day without fail for 30 years. I own over 50 different firearms and I know my guns pretty well. I have been shooting for 40+ years. I must say that your claim to shoot 1-1.5" groups at 25yds with the guns you listed is bunk. Sorry. You might want to rethink that one....hmm ... well, I have 4 pistols. An old top break .32 S&W cartridge US Revolver pistol - 3" barrel, my trusty .45 - 5" barrel, my .38 special revolver - 4" barrel and the little Italian .25 with a 2" barrel. At 25 yards I can fire any of these in a 1 to 1.5 inch group. My only rifle is my 30-30 Marlin lever action - at 50 yards without the scope I sent the very first 6 bullets I fired with it to the exact same spot. I was using a piece of wood as my target and I had trouble telling what bullet could of gone off the spot that I put on it with a marker pen. Every bullet was spot on with one of them having a very small deflection to the top left of the spot. I don't really count my shotgun when it comes to accuracy since the shot spreads over distance even at full choke.
Barrel length does affect stability in flight of the projectile over distance, but the ability of the person shooting it has far more effect. I dropped a dear last fall at about 250 yards with my Marlin 30-30 (wife and I still have meat to eat in the freezer) - granted, I do have a scope on it now. I quite likely could have made that same shot without the scope. However, I use the extra technology (the scope) so that my food won't have to suffer too much as it dies. At 250 yards it was a heart shot.
I was kinda thinking the same thing about one-hole groups from a 336 too...even if only at 50yds.I shoot approx 300 rounds a week depending on weather and such. I am a certified NRA pistol instructor and have been carrying a firearm every day without fail for 30 years. I own over 50 different firearms and I know my guns pretty well. I have been shooting for 40+ years. I must say that your claim to shoot 1-1.5" groups at 25yds with the guns you listed is bunk. Sorry. You might want to rethink that one....