bull or thin barrel when hunting?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by lonewolf101, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. lonewolf101

    lonewolf101 New Member

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    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?.
     
  2. Firearms4ever

    Firearms4ever New Member

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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 ;).
     

  3. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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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.
     
  4. Werminator

    Werminator New Member

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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!
     
  5. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member

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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!

    03
     
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    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.
     
  7. lonewolf101

    lonewolf101 New Member

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    thanks for the replays
     
  8. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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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.
     
  9. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member

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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.

    03
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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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.
     
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 New Member

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    For a 1 shot cold barrel hunting rifle used on deer or larger game if it will place that first cold barrel round where you want it out to the distances you hunt thats all you need. Some of us want better but it sure is not needed most times.
     
  12. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh New Member

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    My Savage 110 Sierra lite 7mmRM has a heavily tapered barrel. Even if I'm walking to get to a spot to set up it makes it much easier. Sometimes it is not about the barrel, but the weight of the entire rig. Most of my bolt hunters are between 6 and 9 pounds w/ 23 and 24" barrels.
     
  13. mrm14

    mrm14 New Member

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    For my target rifle that has a barrel the diameter of a car axel it weighs over 17 lbs. For a brush gun rifle I have a rifle that weighs 6 1/2 lbs. Wouldn't want to carry a 17 + lb. rifle around unless I had to. So called bull barrels weigh 6 or so lbs. by themselves.
     
  14. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    I hunt with lever guns, relics, and milsurp rifles. None have bull barrels.

    At the range I always fire from the shoulder, with my left arm

    applying as much sling pressure as possible to improve

    accuracy and soak up muzzle jump and recoil. In the field,

    I don't have stands, sandbags,and triggering devices

    at hand.

    Not what to do, just what I do...
     
  15. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

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    I recently bought an AR that was to be mostly for coyote hunting ad I bought it with a 20" bull barrel. I can tell you now that for me that was the wrong move. It weighs in at over 11lbs w/10 round clip w/5 rounds in it. After I bought it had to have shoulder surgery on my strong side and was going to use the .223 for whitetail this year until my shoulder healed because of the light recoil. Well carrying 11lbs + for an all day hunt stinks. I'll be changing barrels just as soon as I can afford to do so. I guess a bull barrel would be good for stationary hunting where you don't have to walk far but that is about all, at least for me.
     
  16. dks7895

    dks7895 New Member

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    Sporters are for hunting, bulls are for benches. Just my opinion.
     
  17. natman

    natman New Member

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    Unless you are hunting prairie dog towns, almost every kind of rifle hunting I've ever done consists of a lot of walking in order to fire one shot. A bull barrel is just extra weight to lug around.
     
  18. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

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    I agree now but at the time of my purchase I wasn't thinking about having to carry it very far, mainly for setting up for coyotes off of old logging roads but since my shoulder surgery I need something with less recoil to deer hunt this year. I can't afford to buy another rifle right now so I'll just switch to a lighter barrel when the funds become avalible.
     
  19. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member

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    What he said.
     
  20. jbarnhart

    jbarnhart New Member

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    I agree 100%. Unless your hunting where you are fireing round after round sporter barrels are just as accurate. I had never bought a bull barrel rifle before and I actually got this AR through GunBroker so I did not get to feel it or I surely wouldn't have bought it. I sure learned an expensive lesson through this and unless I know something about what I'm buying, this is my first AR, I'll buy it over the counter.