Barrel Length .223 Remington

Discussion in 'Gun Project Questions & Gunsmithing' started by Nick Caprinolo, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

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    In another post in the Reloading section, I discussed a problem with a new barrel that developed a bulge about two inches from the muzzle. This is a new barrel with less that 100 rounds down the tube. I will contact the manufacturer on Monday but in the meantime, I am wondering what results I could expect if I were to shorten the barrel from 26 to 22 inches.

    Prior to this, I was still in the break-in process, so I was constantly cleaning it and after noticing the bulge during the cleaning process, I counted the holes in the target and it matched the rounds shot, so I am sure it was not a squib.

    Of course, I am hoping the manufacture will replace the barrel but I am sure I will have to bear the costs of chambering a new barrel. I will happily pay this charge if I get a new barrel.

    Another issue is that the primers are flattened and show craters. This can not be because of overcharge, as I am loading 23 grs of Varget, in new Lapua cases. This is two grs below maximum as listed in the Hodgdons book.

    Action is Remington 700 which has been trued. I am wondering if there could be a firing pin problem.
     
  2. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Silver $$ Contributor

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    Well, Service rifles use a 20" barrel to shoot XTC, no reason a bolt gun can't do it.

    Your particular lot of Varget could be on the hot side, causing the early pressure signs.
     
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  3. SBLH10

    SBLH10

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    cleaning patch left in barrel will cause a bulge every time. Some times even worse like split or complete blow up.

    Chet
     
  4. ballisticxlr

    ballisticxlr

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    You belled your barrel with an obstruction. Just because your powder charge is below book max doesn't mean your pressures aren't out in space. Jamming bullets into the lands or too deeply into the case is a great way of getting pressures to rocket skyward not to mention the oodles of other factors that can contribute to high pressures. Cutting the barrel down 4 inches won't have a dramatic effect on velocities, maybe 60-80fps if that. Depends on the load. Remington almost certainly will ask you to kindly pound sand. If you bought it from a custom shop, they may or may not feel generous about helping you out after you damaged your barrel. They're not going to be liable for your error though. Barrels meant to handle smokeless pressures don't bell without help.
     
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  5. NZ_Fclass

    NZ_Fclass

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    22in is fine for a 223. Most hunting guns and all AR's are shorter. I do wonder about your loads showing pressure, 23g is far to little for a 223. I use ADI (Australian) brass and load 24.8g for my match bolt action Savage. 26in barrel gives 2900 with 69g Nosler. Case capacity is well below Lapua. So tight bore? - jammed too far? Given the circumstance I would be looking at bore diameter - do you have a way to measure it? And also perhaps cerrosafe the chamber/throat? Something seem awry.
     
  6. ballisticxlr

    ballisticxlr

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    The bell is at the end of the barrel. That's obstruction.
     
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  7. natdscott

    natdscott P100, HM, DR, experienced beginner. Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you are bulging barrels, flattening primers, and seeing craters, mayyybbbbeeee you need to stop reloading and read up on why.

    Buy a good book to read by the fire before you blow your shit up.

    Tilt the powder can less, and a seating length tool from Sinclair seems like a good idea.
     
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  8. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    So if it's a new barrel that's 26" and your thinking of a new shorter barrel...
    Why don't you take the existing barrel to your gunsmith have him cut it back and re-crown?
    It'd sure save you some cash.
     
    tunered and Auburner like this.
  9. ballisticxlr

    ballisticxlr

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    Good advice ain't always what you want to hear. That's not disqualifying for it being good advice.
     
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  10. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

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    Bulging the barrel was evidently my fault. I accept that. Most likely caused by part of a patch left in the barrel. This rifle was designed to be a bench rest rifle and has a bull barrel with a .925 muzzle. it is not a Remington. I have omitted the manufacturer because I do not want to denigrate their good name. I have learned a lesson here and from now on, the last thing I do after cleaning a rifle will to run a nylon brush down the tube, which remove any hint of even lint being left in the barrel.

    As for my reloading, That is not the problem. Every reloader will experience cratered and flattened primers from time to time. My powder charge was intentionally below maximum load. I think we have established that the primer problem is most likely due to an enlarged firing pin hole. Nothing I could do given the charge load to cause this. If my reloading was at fault, why did I have the same problem with factory ammunition.

    I am meticulous in powder weight. I use an electronic powder scale and then weigh each charge with a balance scale that is dead on. No one is perfect but I know my reloading was not the fault. The brass is Lapua and I uniformed the primer pockets before loading,

    As I said earlier, I will contact the barrel maker and talk to them but will in no way will I try to coerce them into replacing it. If my Smith tells me the barrel is sound, I will have him shorten it. Otherwise I will be happy to purchase a new one from the same manufacturer.
     
  11. Albany Mountain

    Albany Mountain Silver $$ Contributor

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    Just have it cut down and proceed. If it doesn't shoot after cutting the barrel down and recrowning then replace the barrel. I had a similar situation and it shot fine after cutting and crowning.
     
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  12. Rob01

    Rob01

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    What he said. Cut it down. My bolt .223 has a 20" barrel on it and it shoots great. You will just lose a little velocity but not a big deal.
     
    Nick Caprinolo likes this.
  13. SBLH10

    SBLH10

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    You are not the first that has had a cleaning patch stick in the barrel. Have over the years seen quite a few white clouds at bench rest matches. My self included. Just have the barrel cut back and recrowned about a half inch or so behind the bulge and you will be fine. :):)
    Chet
     
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  14. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just want to give you guys a follow up on how I handled the barrel problem. Yesterday, I took the rifle to my gunsmith and after examining it, his opinion is to cut the barrel down to 22 inches. I did not contact the manufacturer as I knew the fault was mine.
     
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  15. MGYSGT

    MGYSGT Silver $$ Contributor

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    You won't be disappointed.
     
  16. tunered

    tunered

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    A magnum primer will help a large pin hole, a little.
     
  17. TC260

    TC260

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    That's a pretty heavy pipe you had on there, you may find you like it better at 22"
     
  18. Nick Caprinolo

    Nick Caprinolo Gold $$ Contributor

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    UPDATE

    Picked up my rifle from the smith on Wednesday and went to the range yesterday. I am way over the top in satisfaction with the way it shoots.

    I took three rounds to zero the scope and the first three shot group, was a very tight one hole group and the best one of the day. Rifle is much better balanced also. Moved the rifle down to one hundred yards and was shooting ragged one hole five shot groups, most of the time. I shot a variety of ammo, both commercial and hand loads. It seems to care little what goes down the tube, it still shoots well.
     
    LA50SHOOTER likes this.

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