Bullet Lengths

Bullet Length And Stability

Q: I’ve been gifted an early Remington Model 722 chambered in .244 Remington thats seen little use and looks like new. It is fitted with an old Bausch & Lomb Balvar 8 that still has crystal clear optics. I’ve been told the rifle will handle factory 6mm Remington ammo, but that the 1:12″ twist won’t handle bullets over one-inch in length, and it takes a muzzle velocity of over 3000fps to stabilize bullets of this length in the .244 barrel. If I use slow burning Re-22 will I be able to achieve 3000fps in my rifle? And will that velocity be enough to stabilize 100 and 105gn spitzer bullets?
Richard Winter

A: It’s not only the length of a bullet such as the 6mm 100gn bullet, but also the shape of the point which determines how the bullets will be stabilised in various rifling twists. For example, a round-nosed bullet weighing 100gn will usually work just fine in a 1:12″ twist barrel, while 90gn bullet with a long 8-calibre point would not be stabilised. The long, slim point shifts the centre of gravity to the rear, which makes this kind of bullet much harder to stabilise, regardless of what twist the barrel may have. I’m dubious about whether a 1:12 twist will even stabilise the Hornady 80gn GMX. Some real 6mm longsters like the Hornady 105gn V-Max won’t stabilise in a 1:10″ twist, which is why Remington gave their revamped 6mm a 1:9″ twist. If I were you I’d try a shorter bullet like Speers 80gn and 90gn spitzer soft- point in your gun.




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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.