Anschutz .22 Target Rifle with barrel extension (bloop tube)

Barrel length for a .22 Rimfire


Anschutz .22 Target Rifle with barrel extension (bloop tube)
Anschutz .22 Target Rifle with barrel extension (bloop tube)

Q: I’m puzzled about how barrel length relates to obtaining the best accuracy for the .22 rimfire. Your reply to a reader’s letter stated that a 457mm barrel gives the best accuracy with the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Why then, do so many target rifles have barrels 650mm in length? Is there a special reason for this?

Nigel Watts

A: Target rifle barrels are made longer for two reasons. A long barrel adds weight and balance. Two it offers a longer sight radius. Actually, some .22 rimfire barrels are longer than necessary for the cartridge. After a certain point which varies with each cartridge, some velocity is lost due to friction. As for accuracy, assuming the shooter doesn’t need the extra weight and longer sighting radius, it’s possible to shoot match winning scores with a short barrel, particularly a heavy one.

 

 

 


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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.

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