Jump to content

Photo

Optimum barrel length for Ruger 10/22


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Goofycat

Goofycat

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 593 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Jazz drumming; sports cars (mainly Porsches) and sports car races (the historic stuff); varmint hunting; motorhome travel

Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:37 AM

I purchased a used Clark Special several months ago. It has the standard Clark goodies for accuracy improvement, plus a Clark 21 1/2-inch .910" diameter match barrel. Clark offers several barrel lengths, including an 18" and 16.25" version. I feel that 21" in this rather heavy barrel is really not necessary for accuracy. I read somewhere a couple of years ago that most .22 rimfire bullets reach maximum velocity before 21" is reached, but I forget which length. IIRC, it is 18" or somewhere below that figure.

It would be nice to have a stubby 16" barrel that Clark offers (they will modify the barrel for $50), but I don't know if the accuracy will fall off due to decreased velocity at that barrel length. Does anyone know what the commonly suggested optimum barrel length is for the .22LR? And, has anyone who has the short 16" length had any complaints? I have a smooth non-fluted barrel.

Thanks,

Barry

#2 MarinePMI

MarinePMI

    Tech/Guns Editor

  • Editor
  • 836 posts
  • Local time: 04:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 June 2008 - 04:25 PM

GC,

16" will be fine. IIRC 22.LR reaches max velocity at 12-14". I have a 16" GM barrel. Absolutely no complaints whatsoever about accuracy!
MarinePMI
"Despite our ever-changing, ever-indignant world with its growing ignorance of and indifference to the ways of the wild, I remain a predator, pitying those who revel in artificiality and sythentic success while regarding me and my kind as relics of a time and place no longer valued or understood. I stalk a real world of dark wood and tall grass stirred by a restless wind blowing across sunlit water and beneath star-strewn sky. And on those occasions when I choose to kill,....I do so by choice, quickly, and with the learned efficiency of a skilled hunter." -- M. R. James

#3 Shakey

Shakey

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 143 posts
  • Local time: 04:18 PM

Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:34 PM

Now there's the rub. You'll find more opinions on this topic than most. I've read that a .22LR reaches optimum powder burn at 18-20". Anything less and your powder hasn't had a chance to completely burn, anything much over 20-24" and you start slowing down. Google the topic and you'll get an idea of the diversity of opinions floating around out there. 18" seems to be the prevalent length sited in many discussions and articles. My guess is most shooters wouldn't notice a difference when using a barrel between 16-24" during a normal day at the range, or in the field popping small furry critters assuming the use of decent ammo out of a quality gun. Weight would be the only real noticeable difference. I'd be curious as to the average length of top end target barrels for the .22LR. That might tell you something.

#4 glenn asher

glenn asher

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 1,260 posts
  • Local time: 04:18 PM

Posted 08 June 2008 - 01:26 AM

There's a big difference in noise between the long barrels and short, though. As I get older, I like the noise less and less, so there's still a good reason to keep long barrels around. As I understand it, anything MORE than about 16" isn't needed for .22LR, but I do like to keep the noise away from my old ears.

There was a marked difference between my cousin's 24" Remington 550A, and my little Marlin 60, even with only 2" difference in barrel length. Shooting the same ammo, same box, his rifle was a lot quieter than mine, and scared the squirrels less, so he could get another shot if need be. I never needed another shot, I had a scope biggrincamo.gif dialed in right.

Nowadays, guys use subsonic ammo for the same effect, but all they needed was an old 550A, or a longer tube. Even now, I sure have studied on those CZ trainers with the 27" barrels, just because of my old ears.
Not ready for the White House to be a crack house....................

#5 AMMOe

AMMOe

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 1,887 posts
  • Local time: 04:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 June 2008 - 05:02 PM

Back to the original question: Accuracy will not fall off due to the velocity lost (or gained) by barrel length. I have a Savage Striker 22WMR that will shoot with most long barreled 22WMRs at 100 yards. I also have a Ruger MkI 22 semi auto handgun with a scope on it that will shoot 1/2 inch at 50 yards.

I have generally found that very long barrels with slow ammo are harder to shoot then the reverse, and give poorer practical accuracy. A 28" match barrel is very accurate in the hands of a skilled shooter using standard velocity match ammo. An inexperienced shooter would get poorer accuracy due to increased barrel time. ~AMMOe

#6 Goofycat

Goofycat

    Varminter

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • 593 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Jazz drumming; sports cars (mainly Porsches) and sports car races (the historic stuff); varmint hunting; motorhome travel

Posted 11 June 2008 - 05:55 AM

Thanks, guys. I forgot to ask about the legal length. I live in California, where there is a lot of anti-gun activity and many ignorant legislators who are too quick to jump on the AG bandwagon. IIRC, the maximum legal barrel length was 18"....but I am probably wrong on this one. I don't remember if that length applied to rimfire, centerfire or shotguns. Can you enlighten me on this point?

As far as increased noise goes, I use earplugs in my rimfires and centerfires, so noise is not a factor if, say, a shorter barrel were to be used. The biggest factor is weight of the gun. Chopping off 5" of barrel (from 21.5 to 16.5 inches) would make carrying the gun (I use it as a carry) would help. But, then again, does the extra weight of the 21" barrel help with any barrel-hop during shooting, or is it not a factor?

Also, does anyone have any pros or cons to report on a product called the Bolt-Buffer?

http://www.weaponkra...com/photo6.html




#7 MarinePMI

MarinePMI

    Tech/Guns Editor

  • Editor
  • 836 posts
  • Local time: 04:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 June 2008 - 06:45 AM

GC,

I recommend a bolt buffer for anyone who has a 10/22.

16" is the legal minimum for a barrel (Federal law) in any state (including CA).
MarinePMI
"Despite our ever-changing, ever-indignant world with its growing ignorance of and indifference to the ways of the wild, I remain a predator, pitying those who revel in artificiality and sythentic success while regarding me and my kind as relics of a time and place no longer valued or understood. I stalk a real world of dark wood and tall grass stirred by a restless wind blowing across sunlit water and beneath star-strewn sky. And on those occasions when I choose to kill,....I do so by choice, quickly, and with the learned efficiency of a skilled hunter." -- M. R. James

#8 Red

Red

    Sniper

  • Moderator
  • 13,221 posts
  • Local time: 06:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:20 PM

I put a weaponkraft bolt buffer on my magnum along with some other items he sells. The bolt buffer took away the clank, I like it, and he's a good guy to deal with.

Hey ISLAM - Come On The Peace Train!! - or be wiped out.


#9 HotRod9mm

HotRod9mm

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 10 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM

Posted 11 June 2008 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (Goofycat @ Jun 11 2008, 06:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
.....Also, does anyone have any pros or cons to report on a product called the Bolt-Buffer?...



I use bolt buffers in all my 10/22 & 10/17 builds to quiet the action. I have a couple of them from the link you posted. I would not try and order them from WeaponKraft. Reid has suffered major medical problems and is not taking any orders for the last several months. The one thing I don't care for with most buffers is the colors, I have a BC stock that the buffer shows and colors just suck on an all black, suppressed firearm. So I found a web site that sells black buffers and I sold all the others.


Bolt Buffers<----Link

#10 Tigger

Tigger

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 310 posts
  • Local time: 07:18 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Charlie Hunting &amp; HNADGUNS!!

Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:04 AM

Federal law states that rifle barrels must be 16" long, and the overal lenght of the rifles must be 26-1/4".

Federal law on shotguns is barrel lenght of 18" and over all lenght of 28-1/4".

It is also a good idea to check state laws. Especillly if you live in CA, NY, MD, most of the "communistic" style states.
NRA Life Member

Hunt with a Handgun!

#11 Goofycat

Goofycat

    Varminter

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • 593 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Jazz drumming; sports cars (mainly Porsches) and sports car races (the historic stuff); varmint hunting; motorhome travel

Posted 12 June 2008 - 07:07 AM

Thanks, again, guys. I will install a buffer, then think about sending the bbl back to Clark for the modification.

#12 Red

Red

    Sniper

  • Moderator
  • 13,221 posts
  • Local time: 06:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 June 2008 - 02:28 PM

Other than being too heavy, how does the thing shoot?

I have a Clark midweight on a 77/22...I love the thing, and toyed with the idea of doing something similar on a 10/22.

Hey ISLAM - Come On The Peace Train!! - or be wiped out.


#13 Goofycat

Goofycat

    Varminter

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • 593 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Jazz drumming; sports cars (mainly Porsches) and sports car races (the historic stuff); varmint hunting; motorhome travel

Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:54 AM

Red, the rifle shoots minute of angle with Winchester Power Points (X22RPP). The cartridges are made in Australia, are relatively cheap and relatively accurate for the price. Muzzle velocity on my Pact was around 1250 or maybe a little more. The bullets have kind of a false hollow point that really does nothing in the way of bullet expansion. I have no idea why Winchester designed the bullets this way, other than for looks. The bullets are large enough and are lethal enough to drop ground squirrels up to 130 yards (my longest shot). Comfortable shooting range is 50-75 yards with little or no wind.

The action is very smooth. Trigger pulls smooth as butter with no creep or over-travel. The workmanship appears to be extremely good, although you and I know that this means little unless the rifle shoots well. I have seen rifles that look like a piece of rusty pipe shoot circles around rifles costing as much as a car. Anyway, I feel Clark is the place to modify a rifle at a reasonable cost.

I purchased an AMT rifle about ten years ago for $1,000. It never worked right due to ejection problems, although its accuracy was second to none. If I were to keep the rifle, I would merely mate a new action (not an AMT) to the Hart barrel and would have another 10/22 for my wife, although the AMT is a bit heavy due to the .920 barrel diameter.
This rifle now just sits in my closet. The groups were almost hole in one at 50 yards with Eley match ammo. The rifle killed hundreds of ground squirrels. The Hart barrel has a polished recessed crown and is 18" long.

I don't understand how AMT could manufacture such a poorly made action. They no longer make the 10/22 because that portion of their business went defunct. The gunsmiths who ran that part of the operation were great guys and knew what they were doing. The problem was that they were given some actions from the parent company that were just junk and were told to build the rifles using junky actions. The screw-in barrels were just great, however, and with the McMillan custom stocks made easy work of getting nice groups out of the box.

I bought the Clark Special because it was such a bargain. The 3 x 9 Leupold scope, if purchased new, costs about $350--- over half the price of the rifle itself. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

Edited by Goofycat, 06 July 2008 - 04:21 AM.


#14 Red

Red

    Sniper

  • Moderator
  • 13,221 posts
  • Local time: 06:18 PM
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 July 2008 - 09:36 AM

QUOTE (HotRod9mm @ Jun 12 2008, 12:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Reid has suffered major medical problems and is not taking any orders for the last several months.


I'm sorry to hear that. He's been most congenial in my dealings with him.


I appreciate the report GC. If I get around to doing one, I imagine it'll be on a Ruger action because of cost. I'd probably go with another one of Clarks mid-weight barrels also. I'm gonna to keep an eye peeled for a local used 10-22 on the cheap.

Hey ISLAM - Come On The Peace Train!! - or be wiped out.


#15 repelmaster

repelmaster

    Varminter

  • Member
  • 21 posts
  • Local time: 03:18 PM

Posted 18 August 2008 - 07:05 PM

unless using hypervelocity ammo, most 22 ammo burns up well before 16 inches is reached. mostly between 12 and 14 inches.
so go ahead and buy a 16 inch bbl with confidence!!!! No that it will be louder, though.