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brian33x51

16" vs 22" barrel?

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Since Ive already got a 16" x39 I went with the 22" 308. While I have no plans for optics if I do it would be a co-witness setup.

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I like the compactness of the 16" barrel .308, but also the 22" that is available for $400 is tempting. Still, if I hand load my ammunition, I should be able to find a faster burning powder that completes the burn cycle in the 16". Do you loose that much to velocity in the 16" over the 22"? In other words, is the 16" kind of defeating the larger capacity of the .308 (7.62 x 51) over the 7.62 x 39 ?

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I like the compactness of the 16" barrel .308, but also the 22" that is available for $400 is tempting. Still, if I hand load my ammunition, I should be able to find a faster burning powder that completes the burn cycle in the 16". Do you loose that much to velocity in the 16" over the 22"? In other words, is the 16" kind of defeating the larger capacity of the .308 (7.62 x 51) over the 7.62 x 39 ?

 

Enough to matter at long range though any compensation done for the 16" would help. It is also just as feasible to load for the longer 21" barrel also as most commercial is planned for 18" barrels if I recall correctly. So the difference may well be much more than the 150fps most list.

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Let's not split hairs and just cut and recrown it to 19" That's only 3 inches more than the 16" and 3 inches less than the 22". Plus, I believe they have done a study on chopping off the barrel in 1" increments and found that at 20 inches is where you start to see a loss of velocity. 19 inches should give me 2 full twists if the rate is at 1:9

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Let's not split hairs and just cut and recrown it to 19" That's only 3 inches more than the 16" and 3 inches less than the 22". Plus, I believe they have done a study on chopping off the barrel in 1" increments and found that at 20 inches is where you start to see a loss of velocity. 19 inches should give me 2 full twists if the rate is at 1:9

Why then do most sniper rilfes in .308 have longer than 20 inch barrels? An acquaintance of mine who was a SF sniper, and also happens to be a FFL07 (manufacturer) and credentialed master gunsmith, who makes custom sniper rilfes the past thirty years for the government and police, recommends, with his experience, at least a 22 inch barrel. Those in the know ought to know.

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This probably ain't a custom sniper rifle, the Saiga AK in .308.

Bolt action with handloads is more suited to cusom sniper rifles. Stabalize heavy bullets for longer distances. 100-300 probably won't make much difference.

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This probably ain't a custom sniper rifle, the Saiga AK in .308. Yes, it is, started as a Saiga .308 out of the box.

Bolt action with handloads is more suited to cusom sniper rifles. Stabalize heavy bullets for longer distances. 100-300 probably won't make much difference.

Negative. I have a custom Saiga .308, with free floated handguard and other features, that shoots one MOA by the aforementioned gunsmith. He also has a custom semiauto FN/FAL under evaluation at Fort Benning that will do half minute angle.

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I won't disagree with you, tritium. There are many, many custom rifles out there, and for a semi automatic to shoot under 1" at 100 yards is always there, given the right rifle, right loads, right setup. The Saiga is certainly capable of producing excellent groups. On the .223 section I posted pictures of my Saiga with a special hand load shooting a one hole group at 100 yards. Not the first time it has gotten great groups, but with this load was the first time I had it group in the same hole. I have targets around here with .5 and some at just 1.1" while working on hand loads with different powders for this rifle.

 

Most custom made sniper rifles, (NOT ALL) will have a 4150 chrome molly steel barrel that is rifles, and not chrome lined. The most common is 4140 steel, but Colt, and Bushmaster that I can think of, use the 4150 steel, which has a little more nickel in the mix, making it very tough. It's easier to produce a bolt action magazine fed rifle for shooting sub 1" groups at 200 yards or more, because of the nature of the way that you can have the bullet seated forward to "almost" touch the rifling so there is very little jump from the cartridge to the rifling, and that enhances accuracy a lot. Semi automatic rifles have some considerations for feed and length of cartridge for the magazine.

 

Not disputing you or the gunsmith. For absolute accuracy, 20 to 22 inches would be preferred. I am merely talking about trade offs with length of barrel and acceptable loss of performance out of the .308 Winchester. The major differences between the 7.62 x 39 and the 7.62 X 51 (aka .308) were 2 things 308 bullets vs .310 bullets, and cartridge overall length. There are a lot more choices in .308 than the Soviet X39 counterpart for hand loading bullets. A little more powder in the case and the efficiency of the design make for a little better rifle, and that is my opinion only.

 

I am just saying if the 16" 308 that are available are good, and you want something with just a wee bit more barrel length, you could take the 22" back down just a bit and have more velocity ( a small bit more) than the 16" can be loaded for.

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I won't disagree with you, tritium. There are many, many custom rifles out there, and for a semi automatic to shoot under 1" at 100 yards is always there, given the right rifle, right loads, right setup. The Saiga is certainly capable of producing excellent groups. On the .223 section I posted pictures of my Saiga with a special hand load shooting a one hole group at 100 yards. Not the first time it has gotten great groups, but with this load was the first time I had it group in the same hole. I have targets around here with .5 and some at just 1.1" while working on hand loads with different powders for this rifle.

 

Most custom made sniper rifles, (NOT ALL) will have a 4150 chrome molly steel barrel that is rifles, and not chrome lined. The most common is 4140 steel, but Colt, and Bushmaster that I can think of, use the 4150 steel, which has a little more nickel in the mix, making it very tough. It's easier to produce a bolt action magazine fed rifle for shooting sub 1" groups at 200 yards or more, because of the nature of the way that you can have the bullet seated forward to "almost" touch the rifling so there is very little jump from the cartridge to the rifling, and that enhances accuracy a lot. Semi automatic rifles have some considerations for feed and length of cartridge for the magazine.

 

Not disputing you or the gunsmith. For absolute accuracy, 20 to 22 inches would be preferred. I am merely talking about trade offs with length of barrel and acceptable loss of performance out of the .308 Winchester. The major differences between the 7.62 x 39 and the 7.62 X 51 (aka .308) were 2 things 308 bullets vs .310 bullets, and cartridge overall length. There are a lot more choices in .308 than the Soviet X39 counterpart for hand loading bullets. A little more powder in the case and the efficiency of the design make for a little better rifle, and that is my opinion only.

 

I am just saying if the 16" 308 that are available are good, and you want something with just a wee bit more barrel length, you could take the 22" back down just a bit and have more velocity ( a small bit more) than the 16" can be loaded for.

 

Okay--understand your point.

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Seeing the Saiga in a 16" configuration and also one in 22" at the prices we can buy them at really makes them a bargain firearms, considering against this for price: http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product...oducts_id/16358 Springfield .308 Winchester in a 16.25" barrel. Urban Camo!! LOL Right! Like carrying around one of these in the streets, and hallways, they won't see you coming. To me Urban camo is painted to look like Best Buy or McDonald's Golden Arches. In some areas of our "urban" pink might blend well.. LOL

 

I saw a rifle in a magazine the other day (camo rifle) that was done in a rattlesnake skin. Really striking (pun) The scales were something to behold. Took some time, masking and painting, but really looked like a work of art.

 

I you really want to find the all around best camo, 18% gray. My photography over the years has taught me that if I want a true light reading, I take it off the 18% gray card. Theoretically, the card represents all colors that we see in our environment, if they were blended together, would be somewhere around 18% gray.

 

Back on topic.... 22 is better for terminal ballistics, better (by a smidgen) in accuracy, better for utilization of burnable powders unless you reload, then all bets are off.

16 is better for close encounters of the worst kind. Urban warfare and heavy brush and jungle are good. You don't need 300 yards shots in a forest, but you do need maneuverability in that, and within room to room sweeps. 16" really shines in that regards, until it comes to firing at night, and without a flash suppressor, it really is a nice ball of fire to behold. July 4th every time you squeeze the trigger!

Edited by Darth AkSarBen

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I've been enlightened many times reading this thread, lots of good info. I myself have a 16" and to be honest I think the Saiga serves it purpose as a reliable moderately accurate rifle. I am currently lurking for one of those thumb hole saiga .308s, although no luck yet.

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Best thing about the Saiga is you dont have to settle for just one! I kind of like having a x39 16" and a 308 21".

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One consideration, specifically here in Michigan, is overall length IF you put a folding stock on it. Not quite the same as a collapsible stock. Michigan has this rule that it must be 30" overall length to be a rifle, else it is a short barreled rifle... OR a pistol. Guess you have to see what side of the fence you want to climb over to be right. This thread: http://www.perfectunion.com/vb/showthread....1346&page=2 happened to mention the legalities of an AK with a FACTORY folding stock getting confiscated. Looks like if you were to get the 22" barrel, you have a better chance of making that magical number if you put a side folder on it. I think it' BS though!!!

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Negative. I have a custom Saiga .308, with free floated handguard and other features, that shoots one MOA by the aforementioned gunsmith. He also has a custom semiauto FN/FAL under evaluation at Fort Benning that will do half minute angle.

 

OK I'm intrigued! Can we get the name of said gunsmith (maybe a website?). I've always wondered how you free float an AK. Can we get pics of all the dirty details? :super:

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Size counts!

Up to a point.

A 16" is a more manuverable platform in tight quarters ...hands down.

Simply bringing a shorter lighter gun to bear on target faster from a safe carry or sweep

without banging into something - just once - will make a believer of you.

Bringing a shorter (16") weapon to bear on multiple targets left to right/right to left and back again from cover

and/or concealment particularly from kneeling or prone position .... more belief.

This kind of echo's the "What are you going to use it for" arguement.

A 20"- 24" bbl - in similar condition to a 16" - depending on bullet design and weight, amount of powder and type will consistently outshoot -tighter patterns- at 100yds on out (andmaybe even at 50 yards I need to test that) particularly if you are using long barrel rounds in the shorter 16".

Most loading manuals kind of cheat for us but if you look at the charts it's kind of obvious. while most of us worry -at least a little bit- about hot loads with the consequent rise in chamber pressures we seldom pay attention to the additional 12 feet of muzzle flame and huge increase of powderburn and cylinder/forcing cone flash on a revolver.

We should! That barrel, forcing cone/cylinder flash is primarily unburnt powder...burning outside of the cylinder/barrel.

That enormous flash from the 16" isn't just because you are closer to the end of the barrel...

Vice versa... a round -bullet and powder- made to operate superbly in a 16" barrel may have issues in a 20" to 24" barrel. What happens when the powder is completelyconsumed at say...18 inches down the 24" barrel?

 

logic would dictate the bullet will be applying resistive force to the lands of the rifle without the advantage of additional powder burning and expanding for the remaining 6 inches.

There will still be a spin stabilized bullet moving down range but, not at optimum velocity which will severly alter the ballistics/accuracy of that round.

Short version "What are you going to use it for". :<)

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Negative. I have a custom Saiga .308, with free floated handguard and other features, that shoots one MOA by the aforementioned gunsmith. He also has a custom semiauto FN/FAL under evaluation at Fort Benning that will do half minute angle.

 

OK I'm intrigued! Can we get the name of said gunsmith (maybe a website?). I've always wondered how you free float an AK. Can we get pics of all the dirty details? :super:

Old thread with pix is here: http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?showto...mp;#entry262430

 

I'll PM the gunsmith to you as he's not a business member anywhere, and has not ever needed to advertise in over thirty years.

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Size counts!

Up to a point.

A 16" is a more manuverable platform in tight quarters ...hands down.

Simply bringing a shorter lighter gun to bear on target faster from a safe carry or sweep

without banging into something - just once - will make a believer of you.

Bringing a shorter (16") weapon to bear on multiple targets left to right/right to left and back again from cover

and/or concealment particularly from kneeling or prone position .... more belief.

This kind of echo's the "What are you going to use it for" arguement.

A 20"- 24" bbl - in similar condition to a 16" - depending on bullet design and weight, amount of powder and type will consistently outshoot -tighter patterns- at 100yds on out (andmaybe even at 50 yards I need to test that) particularly if you are using long barrel rounds in the shorter 16".

Most loading manuals kind of cheat for us but if you look at the charts it's kind of obvious. while most of us worry -at least a little bit- about hot loads with the consequent rise in chamber pressures we seldom pay attention to the additional 12 feet of muzzle flame and huge increase of powderburn and cylinder/forcing cone flash on a revolver.

We should! That barrel, forcing cone/cylinder flash is primarily unburnt powder...burning outside of the cylinder/barrel.

That enormous flash from the 16" isn't just because you are closer to the end of the barrel...

Vice versa... a round -bullet and powder- made to operate superbly in a 16" barrel may have issues in a 20" to 24" barrel. What happens when the powder is completelyconsumed at say...18 inches down the 24" barrel?

 

logic would dictate the bullet will be applying resistive force to the lands of the rifle without the advantage of additional powder burning and expanding for the remaining 6 inches.

There will still be a spin stabilized bullet moving down range but, not at optimum velocity which will severly alter the ballistics/accuracy of that round.

Short version "What are you going to use it for". :<)

 

I am seriously considering shortening the 308's 21" barrel to 18" and installing a threaded muzzle brake but no FSB. The Scout setup Im looking at wont use the fsb iron as it has its own. If later I decide to pin a FSB on I can but given what is available its got me questioning a lot of things I once thought absolute. I got to use one of the Bushnell Tactical red dots, the new one, and have to say I was impressed. Having its own backup sights didnt hurt things at all. Supposedly 18" is the ideal length on that round but Im sure its not that easy. Of course reloads would allow tuning if you will.

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I would buy the 22" Barrel and have a gunsmith on a lathe shorten it to 20",thread the end and install a muzzle brake or a flash hider.I think this configuration would give more options than a 16" barrel length.The muzzle brake would also add some rigidity to the end of the barrel.

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Thats what I have planned also just going to 19" instead. Last time I checked 18" or above cuts down on the flash depending on load, 16" can be real fire breathers.

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Hello Saiga folks! My first post here. I'm excited to now own my first IZHMASH rifle, a SAIGA .308 with the 16 inch barrel. No 22 inch variants were available in my area, only the shorty carbines. Now that I've seen pictures of the 22 inchers, I'm thinking I'd have still chosen the 16 inch. That's a lot of barrel sticking out there with that additional 6 inches. And I'm liking the whole maneuverability and CQB aspects of the 16 incher.

 

I do own a scoped 20 inch barrel .308 bolt-action, magazine-fed, Ishapore #2A SMLE Gibbs conversion carbine. It's sweet for longer range accuracy. It also has a flash-hider which will be something I will want to 'bolt-on or 'duck-it' on my new Saiga .308 rifle/flame-thrower! :lolol:

 

BTW, back in the day when prices were not insane, I owned an M1A, but had to sell it when I was needing cash. :cryss: But I gotta say, $1,900.00+ for an M1A SOCOMII .308 carbine?? No eFing way will I part with those kind of bucks when I can buy a basic Saiga .308 for a bit over $500!

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For me, I always prefer at least 18" of barrel or more. Why go short if you can Bullpup it and stay long, yet, sometimes, be shorter. I'm trying to build a BP stock that should be relatively (long barreled) Saiga Universal. My current Bullpuped S12 w/19" barrel is only 34" overall. And that's with a 1" slip on butt pad and Chaos Wave break.

 

Ah well, to each their own.

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An AK bullpup's greatest weakness is it's inability to be used left handed. If it can't be shot left handed, I wouldn't take it to a fight. So for me, a bullpup is only half as useful as a regular shotgun or rifle. Besides, I can always short-stock a standard AK in cramped quarters.

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i have heard rumors that the 16 inch is more accurate. i dont know why it would be but thats just what i have heard

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i have heard rumors that the 16 inch is more accurate. i dont know why it would be but thats just what i have heard

 

Well, originally I had in my Saiga a 22" inch barrel that was cut to 17". It sure didn't hurt the accuracy, I'm now getting better groups with shorter barrel. Don't know if it's because of better barrel crown or because of practice or whatever, though.

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16" is fine, only a small difference in accuracy if at all, that is in comparison with the version that's a little "long in the barrel" for my taste.

Edited by WTSherman

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i have heard rumors that the 16 inch is more accurate. i dont know why it would be but thats just what i have heard

 

Well, originally I had in my Saiga a 22" inch barrel that was cut to 17". It sure didn't hurt the accuracy, I'm now getting better groups with shorter barrel. Don't know if it's because of better barrel crown or because of practice or whatever, though.

 

 

did you do it yourself? i have the long barrel but it is just too long. looking to cut mine down but really dont want to screw my gun up. i moved the FCG myself so i at least have a little ability. any tips?

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i have heard rumors that the 16 inch is more accurate. i dont know why it would be but thats just what i have heard

 

Well, originally I had in my Saiga a 22" inch barrel that was cut to 17". It sure didn't hurt the accuracy, I'm now getting better groups with shorter barrel. Don't know if it's because of better barrel crown or because of practice or whatever, though.

 

 

did you do it yourself? i have the long barrel but it is just too long. looking to cut mine down but really dont want to screw my gun up. i moved the FCG myself so i at least have a little ability. any tips?

 

Nope, had gunsmith do the shortening. I wouldn't cut a rifle barrel without a lathe to make the muzzle all nice and square. I've shortened a .44 revolver barrel with hacksaw and file without ruining the accuracy but wouldn't do it to rifle.

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A cutoff saw set up properly should give you a nice squared off muzzle. You will, of course, need to put a good crown on there after cutting it down. A couple people here have used a hacksaw, but you'd have to be better with a hacksaw than I am...

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every time i look at this post i go a pull out my .308 then sit there debating on if i should cut the barrel or not. i have read through all the post and i didnt find any references to any hard numbers such as someone who has used a chronograph. it just seems to me that you cant get a full burn on a 16" barrel. does anyone know what length barrel standard .308 is loaded to?

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