Bullets, barrels, and twist rates . . .

Team B2B Precision

Bullets, barrels, and twist rates . . . as we all know, there have been tremendous advancements in bullet design. Ballistic co-efficient can be described as a bullet’s ability to cut through the air, as in low drag, and the least possible disruption of flight.

Now, many rifles are a bit slow to keep pace with the bullet manufacturers’ advancements, still coming from the factory with old school twist rates that are more appropriate for strictly hunting purposes. The new bullets all require faster twist rates to stabilize their usually longer for caliber profiles.

A favorite resource for us is Berger Bullet’s twist rate stability calculator. Once you select the chambering for your new gun, or if you are just trying out different bullets, it is imperative that you know your twist rate and choose your bullets accordingly.

We also strongly recommend that you know your muzzle velocity so you can determine velocities out as far as you intend to shoot. This way, you can enter the velocity at a specific down range yardage and check stability along the bullet’s path.

No matter which bullets you choose, Berger’s reloading manual is a must-read that will bring the reloader up front and center of the latest tools, techniques, and understanding of the modern handload.

So . . . a hunting rifle and its barrel can mostly be described as a rifle that has a lighter contoured barrel (smaller diameter). The purpose of that is mostly weight related and results in a barrel that heats up rather quickly, as in just a few shots before a normal group starts to open up. Not always, but pretty much . . . so as you can imagine, that’s not going to work well for any type of event that requires lots of shooting.

Now . . . the rifle you plan to use for recreational shooting, like long range games of small game shoots/big game shoots and everything in between, including tactical events, would literally destroy a light barrel. So this is where the heavier barrels dominate. The shooter can take many more shots between cool down periods with no significant loss of accuracy.

For the shooter just getting started, there are many good choices of rifles with a bit heavier barrels that will allow you to play the games. If you know what to look for, you can buy a rifle that allows for very easy barrel replacement in the event you shoot out the original barrel, or just decide to upgrade to a custom match grade barrel that should certainly be an improvement over the factory barrel.

You have the option to either determine the very best factory ammo for your chosen rifle, or embark on the reloading adventure. Reloading should provide the very best results, but there are some very good high quality custom ammo makers out there.

So now we know the barrel is paramount to precision shooting. It is also advisable to install a muzzle brake or suppressor on that barrel, regardless of the caliber, to help maintain the target in the sight picture throughout the shot process so the shooter can spot his/her own shots. This is most helpful for follow up shots as many shoots require more than one shot per target.

Then we have triggers . . . an adjustable trigger is perhaps one of the most personal items on a rifle, as there are many choices and shooters often have very different ideas as to what constitutes the “best for them” feel. One guy.s favorite is the next guy’s most disliked.

I will say for anyone looking at new rifles, it’s hard to overlook a 6.5 Creedmoor or similar cartridge. For many, the 6mm rifles are an absolute pleasant alternative to 6.5mm with no significant drop in performance. There are several 6 and 6.5 chamberings to choose from and they are all good ones.

When its time to hunt, if you have a spot where you can overlook a field or clear cut with a minimal hike packing your long-range rifle, by all means, use it for your hunt. Just be aware, a typical deer rifle is in the 8 to 9lb range decked out and your LR rig is likely to be 12 to 15lbs. My .243 as well as Joe’s fall into the barely sub 15lb zone. That makes for a serious hump, but if it’s short and you can see a big area, then you have your serious shooter at your side . . . more later, Russ @ Team B2B Precision