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jeepcreep927 08-17-2008 09:02 PM

Best Barrel Length
Does anyone know of a table for optimum barrel length by caliber? Specifically looking for .222 Remington (yeah I know, .222, it's the nostalgia) with 45-50 grain bullets. I plan to use IMR 3031 and maybe H 322, mid range to close to max charges. Not trying to be lazy, but I don't quit have a complete understanding of burn rates yet to figure it out on my own. From what I have read I am thinking 26". Thanks for any input.

cpttango30 08-18-2008 12:49 PM

I believe it is somewhere between 22 and 26". I personaly think that barrel quality and the quality of work in matting the action and the barrel are going to cause you to have worse or better accuracy than barrel length. Length is only going to give you speed. I would go with a 24" Keriger barrel with a 9 twist but you could really get away with a 12 twist if you want to stay with 50gr and below as the 12 twist will work up to 60gr bullets.

Nostalgia heck the 222 rem is one of the most enharently accurate cartridges out there. I ranke if just below the ppc and BR offerings. My brother has one and it will shoot 1/4" groups anyday all day. The thing I like about it is it doesn't heat the barrel up as fast as some of these other 22cf cartridges.

I would stick with the lighter bullets as well 40 to 50gr. That cartridge and the Hornady 40gr V-max would make a very affective 250 to 300 yard varmint getter.

for powder I think IMR 4895 is a better fit over 3031 because because it is a shorter cut. I would also look at Vitha Vioury powders. They may cost a little more than Hodgdon or allient but boy oh boy do they perform. I have soem I use for my 223 VV N133 and I was getting max load velocities out of a middle weight load of powder. very accurate powder as well. I would really give N130 and N133 a good look. Accurate 2015 and 2230 are good powders as well. Allient Reloader 7 and reloader 10x are good as well. There are others out there as well but I have not used them like Ramshot powders.

Try looking at the barrel manufactures web sights. Their they can tell you a lot about barrels.

jeepcreep927 08-18-2008 02:22 PM

Thanks for your help. I was looking to 3031 as that's what I use for .308 which is the only other caliber I currently load for. Just wanted to keep some commonality with powder but I will definitely look into your suggestions.

I would prefer a shorter barrel (within reason) as this is being built on a T/C Encore rifle frame. Even a 26" on the break action is going to save me a lot in OAL. I know the design is not as accurate as a bolt gun so I am willing to accept MOA if that's the best I can do, but I think I can do better than that. I have a 14" Contender with a cheaper 6x scope and with factory ammo I can do MOA, maybe a shade under, off the bench. I suspect the longer barrel on the Encore rifle would help out there both because of the length and stability of the rifle platform. I do not need crazy velocity etiher. Most of my shots, even "all', will be well within 250 yards. I agree 100% on quality barrels. I have a Reminton LTR in .308 and with handloads (110 gr. V MAX over 45 grains of 3031) I am getting three shot groups within a penny size hole,but haven't measured them. I only lose 100 fps. with my 20" barrel compared to my buddies 24" tube, and his is not as accurate.

As far as the .222 goes, I always feel like I have to defend my choice. If I recall it dominated benchrest for the better part of a decade until the specilaized BR cartridges cameout. I have read in passing, but have not been able to confirm, that it still holds the record for smallest group. I wish the cartridge was more popular since comapred to the .223, I think it wins hands down. Nothing you shoot with a .22 caliber is going to notice 2-300 fps, and I have seen it to be more accurate than the .223. If someone needs to fire a 62+ grain bullet, it's time to get a 6mm.

Plus, I remember watching my dad and grandfather zapping woodchucks and crows when I was a kid with their .222's, and being amazed they could hit them when I could barely see them.

Thanks again for your info.

cpttango30 08-19-2008 06:06 AM

Don't kid yourself on acuracy in a break action. I think you are right on the smallest group the last time I looked at the NBRSA records the 5 shot 100 yard group has been standing since 1958 during which the 222 was king of the benchrest world. People who tout the 223 as better than the 222 have never shoot a 222 in a decent rifle.

A gunsmith once told me that 26" barrels are only good for one thing poll vaulting over a fence. I would go with a 22 to 24" barrel. My brothers Sako L461 has a 22" barrel and will out shoot just about anything we ever had in the cabinets.

I would never feel undergunned going after varmints with a 222 loaded with 40 or 50gr bullets.

fystan 08-19-2008 11:07 AM Taskes....

17fireball 08-22-2008 02:27 AM

I have one in a old 788 rem 24" barrel. shoots very well, the load I use is 20.5gr H4198 about 3150ft/sec. will get under 3in groups at 300yds, but is most effective to about 250yds. try using Hornady 50gr sx bullets, they are designed to fragment rapidly at 222 velocities and they group very well.

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