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26in or 20in barrel.

2268 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  OscarWhiskey2
Hi im looking to purchase a new remington 700. My option are the SPS varmit in .308 or the SPS Tactical in .308. They are the same guns besides the barrel lengths and stocks. The stocks will be replaced anyway. I will be shooting under 500yds most of the time. Which do you guys prefer?
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SPS Tactical. That 20" barrel will get you out well beyond 500yds. My buddy who is visiting from Ft. Campbell, KY shoots his stock SPS Tactical .308 out to 800 meters all day long with no problems.

Personally, a 26" barrel would be a bit much for me. There is a rate of diminishing return for muzzle velocity vs. barrel length. 20-24" seems to be the sweet spot from the research I've done (with minimal to no testing done on my part) for accuracy vs. muzzle velocity vs. barrel length.

I'd stick w/ the SPS-T (which I also have). The only way I'd be getting a longer barrel on my gun is if it's a profile I want (M24/M40) in 24" length with 5R rifling.
A longer rifle barrel does not make a rifle more accurate from an internal ballistics standpoint. The quality of a barrel however does. What a longer barrel will give is more stability in a shooting position due to weight and fulcrum balance. A longer barrel will give higher velocities and that enables one to work up a load in a larger velocity range. Accuracy or "tighter groups" can be graphed in relation to velocity increases. This graph will look much like a sin wave and a node in the same place on each wave having tighter groups. (aka groups get bigger and smaller again with velocity increases)

Example .308 cal:

Shoots sub MOA groups at 2300 fps and again at 2425 fps and again at 2550 fps and again at 2675 fps and so on

The groups open up 1 MOA + at 2375 fps and 2500 fps and 2625 fps and so on.

Now this is just an example, every barrel differs and must be tested itself. What is happening here is, at certain velocities and pressures a barrel closely matches the harmonic from another velocity meaning the barrel itself is moving or flexing almost the same way as pressure and bullet influence it. Having a larger velocity range to work in, one can really fine tune accuracy. Now how many folks really do this load development other than bench rest guys? Take a 20" barrel at a known distance you can ring steel all day, use it for UKD shooting not so much.

The other factor that really does influence accuracy per say, is a bullets ballistic coefficient (BC). The faster one drives a bullet the higher the BC, when a manufacture publishes an optimum BC you will be hard pressed to actually achieve that number, some bullet manufacturer's do give a range of velocities and a BC number accordingly. For long range rifle marksmanship higher BC means less wind effect, and the wind, my friends, is the biggest variable compared to any others in this equation.

My custom .308 rifle will always be 25" from lug to muzzle.
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Thank you for the info!
If you are going to use it for hunting and will be toting it around then go with the 20 inch, But if you are using it from a stationary position where weight dosen't matter go with the 26 it never hurts to have a little extra.
Im not going to be doing any hunting. Just sitting at a table or on a bipod. I held the 26in barrel at work today and it feels so long(no ****). Still not sure which to go for.
If you not hunting go with the 26" I have never owned a tactical rifle so to speak that has had anything less than a 26" barrel I have own a rem 700P in 308 and my current is a savage model 12 with a 26" tube in 308. I just finished a shooting school in PA. where several students were useing 20" 308 and hitting steel out to 1000Y. Its not imposible I just prefer a longer barrel. I dont use mine for tactical shoots or matches or police work, so I think the speed gain over the weight of 6" of barrel weight is worth it.
Get a 24 and be right in the middle !!! I just bought one of these and the first 40 Rd's down the tube are pretty darn impressive !! I'll post some pic's & a range report in a while !!! Check them out !!! Remington - 700 SS 5R Milspec, .308
Im going with the 20in for now. The barrel will be replaced with a 24in once this once ****s the bed.
Im going with the 20in for now. The barrel will be replaced with a 24in once this once ****s the bed.
Sounds good !!! WOW you must be going to shoot ALOT,,to burn/wear out a BBL !!! Although I do plan on shooting my 5R alot !!!!! Keep us posted !
Factory .308 barrel with a long throat you're looking at 6000-8000 rounds. I had one that was bore scoped after 6000 rounds, surface was alligator scaled, chunks missing out of the lands and she would still hold sub MOA.
Have Fun!!!
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