bull or thin barrel when hunting?
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bull or thin barrel when hunting?


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Old 10-23-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default bull or thin barrel when hunting?

what does everyone like? I hear you get get accuracy with a bull barrel but it get heavey to some to carry and does not heat up quick like a thin barrel so would you use a rifle with a heavy barrel or a thin one?.
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Old 10-23-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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I never did like bull barrels. The added weight of the barrel does have the benefit absorbing more recoil, but somtimes they can also make the firearm more barrel heavy and I find them kinda useless. That's just me of course since I don't do any bench rest shooting, long range shooting, or extreme marksmanship. I like to shoot using iron sights and the old fashion way; standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone .
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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For hunting, how could a sporter barrel heat up? How many rounds would you shoot? So much for the argument for the bull barrel and it staying cooler.

The only rifles I own that have heavy bull barrels are varmint rifles, where you'll be sitting and waiting, not walking and stalking. I really don't want or need the extra weight in that situation, and the sporter barrels are plenty accurate.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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I can't speak for everyone but when I hunt the goal is a successful first shot. If I have to shoot a second shot that is still not a big deal but I am not going to be slinging a rope of bullets upon my prey and that is when the heat dispersion of a bull barrel is supposed to be the pay off. I have a Winchester Model 70 in .243 with a sporter barrel and it is absolutely the most accurate rifle out of all the weapons I have ever used. I have been told that sporter barrels on quality weapons are "tuned" and will present a consistent vibration that leads to high accuracy when sighted correctly. Again, the only advantages of bull barrels are added weight to negate some recoil (though added weight is still added weight, more to pack in and out of the woods) and reduced influence on accuracy due to what's known as heat stringing. If I was going to post up and run a hundred rounds then bull barrel but if what I need is one well placed shot I'll take my Winny!
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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101,

For precision shooting I prefer the varmint/bull barrel from primarily a stationary position. An example would be out west prarie dog hunting at long range from a stationary location. However for hunting on the move they get extremely heavy and cumbersome. For instance, I have a RRA 20" Bull Barrel Varmint that is a tac driver. But choose to carry a lighter barreled competition varmint rifle when on the move. The one above is just too much. Actually, if you are varmint hunting you are normally not going to have to shoot enough rounds to heat a lighter barrel up to the point it looses accuracy. What I mean is usually it takes around 5 to 6+ rounds for the lighter barreled rifles to begin to loose accuracy due to heating up. And honestly varmint hunting usually is a one or two shot deal anyway.
If you are talking about a tactical rifle application and accuracy on a man sized target for example. It would never heat up to the point you would miss the target! When a barrel heats up and accuracy starts suffering you are usually talking about a shot spread of around 4-6 inches max at 100 yards which still would be good hits on an adversarial target. But if you are looking for a precision varmint or hunting rifle some of the predator and varmint models that are made are excellent if moving around. They are capable of sub MOA Groups at 100 yards on the bench. I also hunt coyotes in the woodland areas with my 16" RRA Elite CAR A-4 with and EOTech Model 512. Even though a tactical style rifle, it has a little heavier barrel than the skinny barrel AR Rifles. And is a 1 MOA Rifle at 100. Good luck on your choice! Just depends on what you want it for!

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Old 10-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #6
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Sniper pretty well addressed that.

Depends on what I am hunting. Deer? Remington 600, in .308. Weighs less than the dust in the air around it.

Prairie dogs/ groundhogs (woodchuck for you Yankees) I'll go with the bull barreled .220 Swift.

What the heck- I am gonna walk about 50 ft from where I parked. I am shooting prone, with a bipod. I am not going to have to track one down. Additional weight soaks up recoil, barrel mass soaks up heat.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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thanks for the replays
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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I don't know much about bull barrels,but it seems like the accuracy would be better than a regular barrel if you rested the barrel on something to take a shot.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:22 PM   #9
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Ninja,

What you said is to the point and brings up a very important issue.
The barrel of a rifle should never be rested on anything while shooting. Always the stock or stock supported by a bi-pod. The reason is when the rifle is fired the barrel actualy whips! Known as Barrel Harmonics. Anything that has contact with the barrel during firing will effect the whip or harmonics. That is why some rifles are free floated and glass bedded to eliminate contact of the barrel with various points of the stock while whipping during firing. In the case of the AR Rifle it is no different. If the rifle is zeroed and then while being rested on a light fastened to the barrel for example it will not likely impact on the target where it was with its original impact point. I have a philosophy! Anything that is added to the barrel or action of any rifle it must be re-zeroed or at least checked to verify it.

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Old 10-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #10
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sporter barrels for light weight, makes a rifle easier to carry all day long. plus this type of hunting, you're not target shooting and probably won't make but a few shots the entire trip. bull barrels mainly for stationary type shooting and also allows more shots to be taken due to the increased time it takes for the barrel to heat up. lots of varminters use this type of barrel also, but hunt more stationary than walking.
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