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Short Barrel 308 #5418072 05/01/20 09:27 AM
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Warlord Offline OP
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Hi all. I’m looking at picking up a 308 with a 16.5” heavy barrel. The rifle will be mostly a range toy with occasional hunting. I know I’ll have less velocity than a longer barrel but I was wondering if there are other reasons not to go short? I only have 400yds max that I can shoot and the woods around here can get very thick so I was thinking the shorty would be a great idea. I assume with less velocity I’ll have more drop out to 400 but maybe I can load some faster powders to try to reduce the disadvantage in speed. Thoughts?


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418089 05/01/20 09:52 AM
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hatt Offline
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Faster powders aren't going to help you. Slower powders are going to give you the most velocity in any reasonable barrel length. I don't really see the advantage of really short barrels on range toys or hunting rifles. 19-20 inch barrels are still pretty compact and don't give up much velocity in .308. If you just want a 16 inch .308 there's nothing wrong with it. It's plenty capable of doing what you want.

Last edited by hatt; 05/01/20 09:56 AM.

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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418094 05/01/20 09:58 AM
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JohnnyJohnson Offline
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Had a short barrel like you're talking about in a Remington 600. Never again huge flame out of the barrel with every shot. Rebarrelled with a longer barrel and now its a much more enjoyable gun with a whole lot less muzzle blast.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418100 05/01/20 10:08 AM
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stockrex Offline
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I have AKs in 16 inch barrels and ARs in 18

one word, LOUD,

I have a thunderbeast silencer for the AR, the AKs are sporterized so I have to live with the flame throwers.

I would suggest an AR from PSA.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418110 05/01/20 10:17 AM
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Cujet Online Content
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I always liked the overall performance of the 20 inch AR10 style 308. I have an LR308 in 24 inch heavy barrel and it's too long, too nose heavy for anything other than bench work.

However, I've really come to like the KelTec RFB 308 in 24. It's a very well balanced gun. If you can get over the unusual ejection system (that has no real downside for my type of use) I think it's worth considering.

[Linked Image from palmettostatearmory.com]

The 18 inch version is super short:

[Linked Image from grabagun.com]

Both are well armored guns by the cheek weld area.

Last edited by Cujet; 05/01/20 10:19 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418126 05/01/20 10:31 AM
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ironman_gq Offline
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Not at those ranges, the loss of velocity only becomes an issue if your bullet is dropping below supersonic before it gets to the target. You will have quite a bit more muzzle flash so you might want to look into low flash powders

Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: ironman_gq] #5418135 05/01/20 10:34 AM
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JohnnyJohnson Offline
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Originally Posted by ironman_gq
Not at those ranges, the loss of velocity only becomes an issue if your bullet is dropping below supersonic before it gets to the target. You will have quite a bit more muzzle flash so you might want to look into low flash powders


Even with an 18" barrel low flash powder myth is going to buy you very little. Been there done that.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418177 05/01/20 11:40 AM
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stockrex Offline
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FYI:
I watched a youtube vid of a guy in Tx shooting 1000 yards with a 16 inch 308, he was ringing the steel target.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: stockrex] #5418200 05/01/20 11:58 AM
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hatt Offline
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Originally Posted by stockrex
FYI:
I watched a youtube vid of a guy in Tx shooting 1000 yards with a 16 inch 308, he was ringing the steel target.

He would make more hits with a 20 inch.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418320 05/01/20 02:16 PM
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Ah good call on the muzzle blast. I hadn’t considered that. Might make range days a bit less comfortable. 20 inches seems to be a good compromise.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418385 05/01/20 03:08 PM
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Driz Offline
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Originally Posted by Warlord
Ah good call on the muzzle blast. I hadn’t considered that. Might make range days a bit less comfortable. 20 inches seems to be a good compromise.



I wouldn’t get excited about the difference in muzzle blast. You’ll be wearing ear muffs anyways. It’s more a personal choice thing than anything meaningful. It’s probably a good idea to use the heaviest bullet you can if it’s brushy where you’re hunting.

Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418793 05/01/20 10:09 PM
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44.2 IMR 4064 under 168 gr may get you 2540-2560 fps with 16-16.5" barrel in an AR10 if you can get that high without pressure issues. 43.0-43.2 XBR may be worth looking at also.

Are you talking gas or bolt?

Last edited by claluja; 05/01/20 10:13 PM.

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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418835 05/01/20 11:40 PM
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16" is plenty. Manage muzzle signature with a can. Enjoy.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418923 05/02/20 07:05 AM
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Warlord Offline OP
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I should have mentioned I’ll be looking at a bolt action. We can’t really run suppressors up here but muzzle brakes are ok. I had a specific gun in mind that a local shop recently took in trade but I’m thinking I’ll hold out for a bit longer barrel. None of the ranges are open now anyways.


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Re: Short Barrel 308 [Re: Warlord] #5418931 05/02/20 07:43 AM
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Funny how many people assumed an AR style. They've really taken off. For $700 you can have a 308 (or 6.5) that will shoot 1 moa. But they are a little heavy. I've considered a 16 just for better weight balance.

You can get whatever you want, short barrel, long barrel, you will still have bullet drop at long range. The distance at which the bullet drops below supersonic (transonic?) is where it will get fuzzy.

Shorter barrels tend to be more accurate than long barrels. That is an indisputable fact.
Long barrels better for velocity.

Still, I would prefer 20" in a bolt gun minimum and 16 in a large frame AR.

Small frame AR? No limit....🤗

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