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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.

http://www.shilen.com/index.html

http://www.pac-nor.com/

http://www.riflebarrels.com/

http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/
 

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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.
 
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