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#7104759 - 03/08/18 08:28 AM 260 barrel length
Chunky Dunk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 1276
Loc: Rockport
I have recently acquired a used Rem 700 5R in 260. It has an aftermarket Criterion 5R barrel in it and will consistently shoot under .500" with factory ammo, and better with hand loads. The barrel is currently 26", and i would like to shorten up the barrel, to short as possible. For the experts, what is the shortest length barrel i can have and still retain enough velocity to be an effective hunting rifle?
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#7104773 - 03/08/18 08:38 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Brother in-law Online   content
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 28363
My 6.5 is 21.5 and does fine

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#7104774 - 03/08/18 08:38 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
603Country Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 6488
Loc: Central Texas
My 260 has a 20 inch barrel. I specifically wanted that length and am very pleased with it.

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#7104791 - 03/08/18 08:55 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 3441
What velocity do you want?

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#7104863 - 03/08/18 09:53 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: Lewisville, TX
I shot a 260 Rem in comps for years and lots of shooters did variety of barrels and barrel lengths. I started out with a 28" 140 VLD running 2840 fps, which was pretty fast (2950 with a 130 grain VLD). I set the barrel back after 2600 rounds to 23". My speed with the same ammo (same powder, powder lot, and bullets) ran 2740 fps. That's 20 fps per inch of barrel.

As you get shorter, shorter than 20"-22", the difference will be about 25 fps per inch. So, whatever your speed is now at 26", I'd use 20-25 fps per inch, to whatever barrel length you want. The shortest you can "legally" go is 16". An 18" barrel will run a 140 grain about 2600 fps, and I got it up to 2650-2700 but it didn't shoot as good. The Snipers Hide 260, 18" rifles we built years ago ran about there. We got them up to 2700 with some aggressive double base powders, but I'm not a fan of those temp sensitive powders. The 260 Rem is a great round, and I know it very well!
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#7104868 - 03/08/18 09:56 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: Chunky Dunk
For the experts, what is the shortest length barrel i can have and still retain enough velocity to be an effective hunting rifle?


To answer this question, that depends on what bullet you run. I'd probably shoot a 120-130 grain bullet to pick up some speed if you went short. A 130 grain Accubond, 129 grain LR AB (for better expansion at the lower speeds), 129 SST, would all be good. Keep shots to less than 300-400 yards, and the bullets should perform well.
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#7104874 - 03/08/18 10:00 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Gravytrain Online   content
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Registered: 01/06/11
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I like 22; handles almost like a 20, shoots almost like a 24.


Edited by Gravytrain (03/08/18 10:02 AM)

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#7104881 - 03/08/18 10:03 AM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
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Registered: 09/16/09
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Loc: Lewisville, TX
Here's some food for thought. If you push a 129 LR AB at 2700 fps in a 16"-18" barrel, your speeds won't fall below 2200 fps until 325 yards. After your bullet slows down below the 2200 fps mark, the expansion of the bullet is greatly minimized. So to keep the bullet more "effective" as a hunting bullet, I'd run a 129-130 grain bullet and keep shots closer than about 300 yards with that combo.

Range Velocity Energy
(yards) (ft/sec) (ft-lbs)
0 2700 2088
25 2659.9 2026.5
50 2620.2 1966.4
75 2580.7 1907.6
100 2541.5 1850.1
125 2502.7 1794
150 2464.2 1739.2
175 2426 1685.7
200 2388.1 1633.5
225 2350.6 1582.5
250 2313.3 1532.8
275 2276.5 1484.4
300 2240 1437.1
325 2203.8 1391.1
350 2168 1346.2
375 2132.5 1302.5
400 2097.5 1260.2
425 2062.9 1218.9
450 2028.6 1178.7
475 1994.5 1139.4
500 1960.7 1101.1
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#7106326 - 03/09/18 02:12 PM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Chunky Dunk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 1276
Loc: Rockport
Thanks for all the advice Chad and the others. Great food for thought. I will probably go to a 20" barrel, but i really appreciate all the comments from first hand experience.
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#7106365 - 03/09/18 02:54 PM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
FiremanJG Online   content
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 26056
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: Chunky Dunk
Thanks for all the advice Chad and the others. Great food for thought. I will probably go to a 20" barrel, but i really appreciate all the comments from first hand experience.


Not talking SBR. Here's how I look at it, 16" is a short barrel. 24" is the typical length I make my competition rifle, and my 22-250 barrel. (7 Rem Mag, 300 Win Mags get 26"+) So 20" is halfway between my "short" and my "standard length". I have one 20" rifle that always wears a suppressor(7mm-08). I am really pleased that I went that length. I bet you will be happy with it in a .260 Rem.
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#7106698 - 03/09/18 09:26 PM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Chunky Dunk]
howl Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 02/23/18
Posts: 33
Loc: Georgia
They get a might loud under 22". That is subjective, but my impression of one with under a nominal 22" barrel is they can have a surprising amount of muzzle blast.
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#7108304 - 03/11/18 07:51 PM Re: 260 barrel length [Re: Cleric]
VAFish Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 327
Loc: Fairfax, VA
Originally Posted By: Cleric
What velocity do you want?


And what distance do you plan on shooting?

I have a 20" barrel on a .308 and I think it makes a very handy rifle over a 24" barreled one. I doubt I will ever take a shot on a game animal over 300 yards with it and I don't think the 100 fps velocity I lose over a 24" barreled rifle matters to me. And while a 16" barrel might be a bit more handy in the thick stuff, it also has a lot more muzzle blast.

One thing to think about, you can always cut the barrel shorter but it's a lot harder to make it longer. If the gun is 26" now I'd cut it down to 22" or maybe 20" and see how I liked it. If I found it was too long have it cut again.
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