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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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barrel length

how important is barrel length on a muzzleloader?. Although centerfire rifles seem to be close in length 22"- 26" there is a HUGE diffrence in muzzleloading rifles from 42" barrels to short little carbines..what length barrel is enough? i have a few smokepoles from 36" barrels down to a short little buckskinner carbine..they all seem to work fine...just curious
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 10:54 AM
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Re: barrel length

Barrel length does affect many things and velocity is just one thing. A longer barrel is heavier but easier to sight more accurately (I didn't say more accurate). It will get more velocity per grain of charge. I have both long and short barrels and like them all. I think a 28" 15/16" barrel is nice but a 1" barrel 28" long is starting to get a little heavy in a .50 caliber.

Check out this website for an idea on barrel lengths, velocity, projectiles. Most of the traditional stuff is under the More button on the right side of the Menu.

http://www.namlhunt.com/
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 11:10 AM
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Re: barrel length

Black powder burns more slowly than smokeless. The other variable not present with smokeless guns, is that muzzleloaders can be loaded with widely varying charges.

In a 50 caliber 28 inch barrel, you reach the point that not all the powder is consumed before the ball exits the muzzle around 85 to 90 grains. Pressures and velocities continue to increase with each additional 10 grains, but at lesser increases than the ten grain increments under that 90 grains point. So if you dump 120 grains in a 28 inch barrel, you never get 50% increase in velocity over an 80 grain load.

Longer barrels give additional bore length to consume powder permitting higher velocities with the same powder charge and add sight radius to help with aiming.

I see frequent posts about guys loading 130 grains in their short barreled guns trying to extend range or flatten trajectory. The fact is that such efforts do not add significant range or flatten trajectory that much. a portion of the additional powder is just burned up in muzzle flash.

I shoot a long rifle with a tapered barrel. It is 5ft over all, but weighs less than the average TC Hawken. while the extra length may be a hassle walking through the brush, it is lighter. If I were the type to load such heavy loads f powder, at least my gun would have the barrel length to get the extra oomph out of the powder. If you stick to 90 grains or less, the barrel length over 26 inches really doesn't matter much.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 11:52 AM
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Re: barrel length

Longer barrels will give more velocity, but as you can see in the link below, it is minimal.

http://www.ricebarrels.com/velocity%20test.html

I don't think they are any more accurate, but the longer sighting plane makes it seem like they are, at least with my old eyes.

Bill
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 12:27 PM
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Re: barrel length

all due respect to Rice, but an 80 grain charge is about played out in a 26 inch barrel.

The 80 grains was simply not over the point of diminishing returns for the barrel lengths tested. Had they gone to 100 grains the difference would have been far more dramatic between short and long barrels.

Not that I think 100 grains is necessary for PA deer.


The other amazing thing is that a chronograph at 15 ft doesn't tell the true story. [censored] launched at speeds above sound's velocity, tend to decelerate faster due to increased air piling up in front of the ball. As a result a huge percentage increase in powder or barrel length results in a minimal increase in velocity and energy at 100 yds. While you would thing there would be a big advantage to flatter trajectory and energy for range, the bonus effects exist mostly within 100 yds, not beyond 100yds.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 01:03 PM
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Re: barrel length

He was not trying to find the point of deminishing return but just showing how a reduction of barrel length effects velocity for a given powder charge.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 01:15 PM
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Re: barrel length

I like the "feel" of a long rifle. The balance, the way it swings and especially the longer sight plane.

These old eyes work a lot better with sights 36" apart that they do with sights 16" apart.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 02:19 PM
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Re: barrel length

If that is what he set out to do, then he failed to show how velocity changes dramatically with shorter barreels or heavier charges
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 02:49 PM
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Re: barrel length

Were you not looking at the same chart I am. looks like the vel droped to me?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 03:23 PM
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Re: barrel length

Quote:
Originally Posted by mossie
Check out this website for an idea on barrel lengths, velocity, projectiles. Most of the traditional stuff is under the More button on the right side of the Menu.

http://www.namlhunt.com/
that site is from bridges he is the biggest person against true muzzleloaders and only pushes for inlines where ever he can get states to change there laws to ban sidelocks .........bob

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