CZ 457 Jaguar - a longster, for sure.

Optimum Barrel Length For The .22 Rimfire

Ruger American Compact with 18-inch barrel
Ruger American Compact with 18-inch barrel

Q: I read your review of the CZ 457 Premium and have a couple of questions: This rifle has a 24″ barrel, but the Jaguar model has a 28″ barrel. What is the optimum length for a .22 LR?

The new M98 Mauser rifle appears to have undergone several changes with barrels only 22″, weight 8lb for standard and magnum chamberings. Have you done a review of the Mauser M12?

I know you did one of the M18, but haven’t seen one on the M12. I am particularly taken with the laminated thumbhole style M12 MAX.
Roger Real

A: Maximum velocity of the .22 LR is reached in about 16″ of barrel length and will remain constant or decrease slightly as the bullet travels farther in the bore.

One would conclude, therefore, that 16″ is the optimum barrel length for the .22LR. However, a rifle with a stubby 16″ barrel may be poorly balanced, hence most rifles have 20, 22 or 24″ barrels.

The CZ 457 Jaguar seems to have an unusually long 28″ barrel.

I have reviewed one of the new Mauser 98 rifles, which you can read here. I’ve always been a great fan of the modern M98 action.

I tested the Mauser M12 in Sporting Shooter magazine in 2014.

CZ 457 Jaguar - a longster, for sure.
CZ 457 Jaguar – a longster, for sure.




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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.