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Short Barrel and Long Range (Read 2736 times)
dbm
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Short Barrel and Long Range
Nov 13th, 2011 at 11:17am
 
I recently came accross an interesting but brief contemporary account of trials of a short barrelled Remington rifle at long range in 1877. The experiments were by Leonard Geiger.

I've posted the note on my blog at: Short Barrel and Long Range.

David
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Green_Frog
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #1 - Nov 14th, 2011 at 5:41pm
 
What goes around comes around.  In the latter years of his shooting career, the late great Charlie Dell held strong opinions favoring short stiff barrels for offhand rifles.  His last actively campaigned gun was a Peregrine with a fat barrel that was only about 24" long if that.  He continued the short theme by chambering it with his version of the .32-357 and about 200 gr bullets.  He did quite well with the concept!

Froggie
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boats
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #2 - Nov 14th, 2011 at 8:56pm
 
1877 they were working with the NRA rule which if memory serves was 10 lb rifle.   New Long range cartridge rifles weigh a lot more up to 15 lbs and have barrels in the 30-32 inch range.

I suspect reason we still see longer barrels is the increased sight radius gives a sharper front sight, most of the guys that shoot long range are old, old as I am and I need all the space I can get eye to front sight.

If sight radius was taken out of the equation like on a scope sighted gun no doubt in my mind short fat barrel would give better results.

Boats
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singleshot
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #3 - Nov 14th, 2011 at 11:08pm
 
Froggie, try 22" on the Dell Peregrine!
 
Willis
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dbm
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #4 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 1:49am
 
boats wrote on Nov 14th, 2011 at 8:56pm:
I suspect reason we still see longer barrels is the increased sight radius ....

Back in the 1870s the back position was popular for long range shooting. There's probably some advantage here in a long barrel and avoiding putting a bullet through your foot! Smiley

David
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joeb33050
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #5 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 5:30am
 
April 1977 American Rifleman "Factors of Sighting Error" by L. F. Moore. I worked over this article and included it in the book. Distance from eye to target " vs. 5 shot group diameter " was as follows:
50-.125
40-.125
35-.125
30-.150
25-.200
20-.300
15-.475
10-.925
It would be a VERY short barrel on a ss rifle where eye to front sight was less than 25". It appears barrel length doesn't vary accuracy much, for any reasonable range of lengths.
joe b.





boats wrote on Nov 14th, 2011 at 8:56pm:
1877 they were working with the NRA rule which if memory serves was 10 lb rifle.   New Long range cartridge rifles weigh a lot more up to 15 lbs and have barrels in the 30-32 inch range.

I suspect reason we still see longer barrels is the increased sight radius gives a sharper front sight, most of the guys that shoot long range are old, old as I am and I need all the space I can get eye to front sight.

If sight radius was taken out of the equation like on a scope sighted gun no doubt in my mind short fat barrel would give better results.

Boats

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boats
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #6 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 6:28am
 
Joe the mechanical effect of shorter sight radius is minimal.  Human effect, can your eye focus the front sight, is considerable with older eyes. 

While there are exceptions most older shooters have trouble with iron front sights on short barrels.  Over the course match rifle shooters frequently use long extensions putting the front sight forward of the muzzle. My Pistol cartridge CLA rifle 22 inch barrel rear sight on the receiver working under post or bead front sight rule is much more difficult to resolve than my 28 inch CPA with rear on the tang.

Boats
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screwloosetc
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #7 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 10:15am
 
I would say barrel length would be critical to the propellant used and caliber. Modern smokeless powder ctgs. are very efecient in the short stiff barrels. I do not think that is true of the black powder ctgs. A scope eliminates sight radius issues.
Tom
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joeb33050
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #8 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 10:52am
 
Boats;
I'm old and have poor eyesight and have absolutely no trouble using aperture front sights.
I have seen the OTC guys using post front sights, and wondered why.
An aperture front sight is so superior to a post or bead front sight that I do not understand why anyone would use post or bead.
The cited test does not include aperture rear and front sights.
Aperture rear and post front sights have group size as shown:
M1 .625" and up to
M760  .700"
A 1X telescope is .500"
I'd guess that aperture front and rear sights, on paper targets, would be <.500.
Sum: Yes, oldies have focus trouble with post or bead; why would anyone use them?
joe b.


boats wrote on Nov 15th, 2011 at 6:28am:
Joe the mechanical effect of shorter sight radius is minimal.  Human effect, can your eye focus the front sight, is considerable with older eyes. 

While there are exceptions most older shooters have trouble with iron front sights on short barrels.  Over the course match rifle shooters frequently use long extensions putting the front sight forward of the muzzle. My Pistol cartridge CLA rifle 22 inch barrel rear sight on the receiver working under post or bead front sight rule is much more difficult to resolve than my 28 inch CPA with rear on the tang.

Boats

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boats
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #9 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 11:25am
 
Joe

Post are used when match rules require them or there is some advantage.  Cowboy Lever Action NRA rule is post or bead.  Service rifle over the course same thing post only. Bullseye targets even apertures further away makes for a sharper front sight.  You can center a fuzzy front arpeture but nice sharp one and fuzzy  bullseye will produce better scores. And a Bullseye target arpeture sight front and rear is always the best choice

BPCR Silhouette it's a toss up both are allowed.  Arpetures can center some of the Critters, Chickens mostly but many use pinheads in order to pick a spot on the Animal instead of centering it with Arp's. I did not believe in the pin head but have gone to it and am shooting better scores at the expense of more eyestrain. Being able to pick exactly were you want to place the shot on Pigs and Rams is an advantage.

Sounds silly but State champion Trap Shooter told me he picks exactly were on the flying clay he wants to place his shot collum. He gets fewer misses when he is specific about shot placement. Silhouette is exactly the same, shoot at the whole animal you will miss more often.

Boats

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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #10 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 11:31am
 
A few years ago I attended a longrange muzzle-loader match. One of the better shooters was using a Switch-barrel copy of a Bilinghurst underhammer. The set had 4 barrels and he was using the .45 cal barrel with about a 550 grain bullet. Also in attendance was barrel maker Ron Snover. After each shot Snover would Rag on the guy to let him make a "Proper long barrel" for 1000 yard work because "you can't possibly do good work with that little short barrel." Finally after the eighth shot Ron asked the spotter how he was doing. The spotter turns to Ron and says" If he misses the next two I think he can still win the match. We didn't hear a peep from Ron for the rest of the day. 

40 Rod
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westerner
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #11 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 1:32pm
 
My 28" barreled Hepburn gets heckled.  It's only a 38/55 so doesnt get used for LR. 

         Joe.   Smiley
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boats
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #12 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 2:50pm
 
You have to separate human performance from mechanical performance. Mechanical no disadvantage to short barrels. Might even be some advantage in position matches due less barrel time.

Add the Human factor long barrels win most iron sight position matches.

Boats
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #13 - Nov 15th, 2011 at 7:59pm
 
The geometry effect of sight radius is also important. The longer between the finer the resolution becomes on your sights. Pistol radius is harder to resolve vs rifle radius. Similar but different to increasing block spacing of a unertl (if that makes sense)
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joeb33050
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Re: Short Barrel and Long Range
Reply #14 - Nov 16th, 2011 at 5:01am
 
The point of the cite in mine above is that there is a non-linear relationship between sighting error and distance-between-sights; and that after ~ 24", barrel length contributes almost nothing to reducing sighting error.
I've been looking through aperture iron sights on my rifles, trying to see the focusing problem/effect that boats speaks of. I can't find it, so far.
joe b.


bnice wrote on Nov 15th, 2011 at 7:59pm:
The geometry effect of sight radius is also important. The longer between the finer the resolution becomes on your sights. Pistol radius is harder to resolve vs rifle radius. Similar but different to increasing block spacing of a unertl (if that makes sense)

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