Opinions on barrel length

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  • Last Post 05 September 2018
Scearcy posted this 11 August 2018

Good morning gents. No data required here - just opinions. I have a Savage Model 12 FTR (I believe). I bought it really cheap and thought I could make some money. Well not so much so it should make a really good test bed for some of the theories being discussed here. For those of you not familiar with this model it has a 30" heavy barrel and the Savage target action. Think of it as sort of over the counter Palma or F class rifle.

Here is my question. It is really muzzle heavy with the 30" barrel. If fact it is so heavy that I don't believe I could shoot it in the CBA Heavy class at a match. I am going to shorten the barrel. My question is what is the optimum length?

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joeb33050 posted this 11 August 2018

LEAVE IT ALONE! If you reach the point where barrel length makes your groups larger, change the barrel.

See http://northlandshooterssupply.com/clearance/

Shilen for <$300, new Savage LV for $205.

We can find a Savage nut near you who'll change the barrel for close to nothing.

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OU812 posted this 11 August 2018

Leave it alone and have it re throated using taper reamer.  It would be very interesting to see what the  factory throat looks like (free bore diameter and length?). 

Longer barrel may require more lube grooves on bullet to hold more lube

What caliber? Is it a 308 Winchester with 1/12 twist? 

Gun may be able to compete Unrestricted class.

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Scearcy posted this 11 August 2018

308 Win I do believe it would be fine in Unrestricted. There was one entered in last years Nationals  and it did poorly which of course may not mean a thing.

 

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Scearcy posted this 11 August 2018

Here is  picture of the throat. the rifle has not had much use as I suspected.

1X12 twist

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frnkeore posted this 11 August 2018

I'm not opposed to shorting the barrel, to fit into Heavy class but, shoot it enough first, to know how accurate it is, as is.

If it will shoot with the Heavy guy's, then shorten it, to make weight. If it won't, you may as well leave it. There isn't much difference in scores, between Heavy and UNR so, you'll place about the same. Maybe higher with less shooters in that class. But, I would also throat it first, as OU812 suggests.

If it isn't competitive, here is what I'd do:

Shorten the chamber end, enough to change the caliber to 30BR. Make sure that the full 30BR throat will be cut and try to get a 1 deg, per side throat (2 deg included angle). That is what holds most of the records. The Egan, MX4-30 ARD bullet matches that angle, too. You can get copy's of it at Accurate Molds.

If the barrel is up to it, it will be competitive, assuming you set it up, with equal prep to the other Heavy's.

Frank

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pat i. posted this 11 August 2018

If I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing why is that land extending all the way to the chamber? Is it the same all the way around when you rotate the bore scope? If not I'd shorten it but from the back and have a new chamber cut. If so get someone to throat the thing right. But maybe I'm seeing something that isn't there.

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Scearcy posted this 11 August 2018

Pat i  

That is a land. You would have to ask Savage why. The picture below is 180 degrees. The end of the chamber is at the right side of the picture. I have two Remingtons like this (223s) that shoot jacketed just fine. I don't know whether to try 100 rounds or simply pull the barrel and rechamber right away.

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pat i. posted this 11 August 2018

The chamber was cut crooked. Might shoot like a house afire if done right. But I wouldn't hold out much hope the way it is.

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Scearcy posted this 11 August 2018

A couple of days ago there was a post (geargnasher I believe) talking about catching bullets. He observed that some of the bullets appeared to have been crushed more deeply into the rifling on one side than the other.

Are we looking at one possible cause? Will the cone shaped side of the throat force an oversized bullet toward the "no throat" side?

I apologize for this threat going sideways but this is more interesting than barrel length.

Jim

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pat i. posted this 11 August 2018

I'd think the land going back to the chamber neck would push the bullet over towards the throated side. Anyway not good no matter what. I've looked at a lot of throats with my bore scope and never saw one like yours. I'd get it fixed. What people should also notice is the rail road track barrels Savage uses. All I've looked at were just like yours but they shoot great. I'd go with a standard 308 chamber again. A Palma chamber would be nice but not cast bullet friendly. Plus it'll be a lot easier to sell in 308 with the standard throat than 30 BR with a long cast bullet throat.

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frnkeore posted this 11 August 2018

The other side of the coin, is that a short chamber can be made longer but, not the other way around.

Frank

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OU812 posted this 12 August 2018

Off center chamber? I thought only Remington did that...not Savage. Maybe buy a new properly inspected barrel? Would this be cheaper than rechambering.

Inspecting a new guns throat before buying can be difficult, because they test fire at the factory. The powder fouling can make thangs difficult to see without cleaning.

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OU812 posted this 12 August 2018

Full length resizing and turning the necks thinner will help center the bullet better AFTER rethroating using a taper reamer. You want the bullet to be pushed back and centered into rifling when chambered.

After cutting my throat using the .310 diameter .75 per side taper reamer.  Jacketed bullets could be seated to fit magazine well and still make contact with rifling. Sierra 168gr Jacketed shoots verywell in my rifle.

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rhbrink posted this 12 August 2018

Go get a good barrel and chamber up in 30 Br and sell the Savage barrel or keep it it isn't that hard to change Savage barrels in case you might want to sell the rifle sometime in the future.Even if you set the barrel back and re-chamber you are probably going to have a 50/50 chance that the savage barrel will shoot with the Custom Heavy Bench guys and just taking up space with the Unlimited guys. By the time you have spent the money to set back and re-chamber might as well spend that money on something that will be competitive. 

Your money and hair! Good Luck

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OU812 posted this 12 August 2018

"I have a Savage Model 12 FTR (I believe). I bought it really cheap and thought I could make some money."

This tells me you will probably swap or sell the rifle. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 12 August 2018

sadly, i think the chances of a factory savage .... or remmy, winchester, ruger ....   barrel ..... delivering nearly perfect bullets out of the barrel and giving 1/2 minute cast groups is more like 1 in 150  ....   and that is if we ever learn to allow those bullets to survive the trip ...

but closer to 1 in 2 for a factory barrel to give 1.5 moa cast groups ..   and remember :::  you only have to shoot better than the next best guy .... ( g ) ...

ken

 

 

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pat i. posted this 12 August 2018

My advice was based on the assumption of using the rifle as a test bed for the theories being discussed. If you're going to use the gun as a HVY or UNR class match rifle by all means put a good barrel on it. My curiosity would make me see how it shoots with jacketed before and after being rechambered. Another option is to send your pictures to Savage with a note and see if they'll give you a new barrel.

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Scearcy posted this 12 August 2018

You know Pat i, I like both of your suggestions. First a brief story: Many years ago I bought  Mossberg target 22 Lr. It did not shoot well. A friend said send it back to Mossberg. I responded that no one stands behind their products. He bought the rifle from me for a song, sent it back, and they sent him a brand new rifle. He never shot it but he showed it to me many times.

There is no way I can take that barrel off without shooting it. I am thinking both jacketed and cast. Why not? I will probably learn something.

Since this rifle has the target action, I believe the standard Savage thread size will not fit. Can anyone confirm that? 

Both of my normal gun smiths have had serious surgery this summer. One in particular will do a rechamber job very inexpensively as long as it is a standard chamber. He has gotten quite independent since his heart surgery, however. Go figure.

Jim

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Geargnasher posted this 12 August 2018

Jim, please shoot it some before you change anything. That is one of the worst examples I have ever seen of throat being off-center relative to the bore. Typically even the bad ones will have grooves cut out at the throat entrance, but yours appears to not have been touched by the reamer on one side.

Jacketed first to smooth up things, then cast. My prediction is 3 moa at best with cast bullets.

Regarding my comments about recovering bullets that did not group well and had longer engraving marks on one side than the other, in all cases those were fired from known-good chambers. I have not trapped or examined bullets fired from known-eccentric throats.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 12 August 2018

i bot a 40XBR 22 rimfire... factory stainless heavy barrel, mcmillen stock, jewell trigger  ... used, the owner said it shot real well.  it did shoot real well, for a squirrel rifle .. about 1 moa .....   the bullets showed off-center rifling... ie off-center chambering ....  so i set it back and rechambered it concentrically ... it then shot about half-minute.  ( later i put a douglas match barrel on it and it shot even better ( 52 winchester type reamer ) ...  naturally i sold it and it did exceedingly well for it's new owner. )

anyway, my vote is that concentric chambers shoot better .   the 40x comes from the remmy custom shop so i was "" surprised "" that the chamber was cut off-center.  

for trivia, the reason chambers are cut off center more than you would like .... is that the rifling is often not centered with the outside of the barrel ... the drill hole wanders around as it proceeds down the barrel  .... and since the barrel is held by essentially lathe jaws on it's outside during factory speed chambering  ...  the chamber reamer is occasionally plunged a little sideways into the curly hole.    precision gunsmiths spend a lot of time to position the hole concentric with the barrel at the throat when they cut a chamber ... not a simple thing , and makes for great debate amongst gunsmiths.

so, jim, .............. all we fans are awaiting your before-and-after report .

ken

 

 

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