The 6.5mm Creedmoor is one of the most popular rifle calibers on the market today, and for good reason. It offers excellent accuracy and ballistics at a reasonable price point. One question that many people have when deciding what to purchase is barrel length.
The Creedmoor is a centerfire rifle cartridge designed for long-range precision shooting. When the round was originally introduced, it had a 27″ barrel and no muzzle brake – which means that recoil would be substantial.
Table of Contents
The right barrel length will depend on what you plan to use the rifle for. If you are going to be hunting, a shorter barrel is ideal because it aids in accuracy and maneuverability around brushy terrain. For target shooting or long distance competitions, a longer barrel may work best as it provides more velocity and stability over greater distances. And while some people prefer flash suppressors, others find that they can decrease muzzle rise during rapid fire by using an open-ended design instead of one with internal baffles like those found on traditional designs.
Most people find that a barrel length between 24 and 26 inches works best for most situations. The shorter the barrel, the more maneuverable it will be but at the cost of velocity. Longer barrels are less effective when used in dense brushy terrain because they can snag on overhanging limbs or branches.
In this article we’ll talk about different factors that affect your choice of barrel length for 6.5 creedmoor rifles!
What Is Meant By Barrel?
The barrel is the tube that extends from the rear of a rifle and houses its bore. A gun’s caliber size measures how big in diameter or width it is, as well as how long it is. For example, a .223 Remington has an outer diameter of about 0.224 inches while a 30-06 Springfield – which uses bullets with diameters measuring approximately 0.312 inches – has an outer diameter of about 0.473 inches!
What Factors Affect Barrel Length?
Barrel length is the distance from the chamber to a predetermined point on the gun. This can be measured between two points, such as when you simply want to measure end-to-end or it can be measured from an arbitrary reference point.
Following are the factors that affect the barrel length.
- Velocity loss
- Weight saving
- Recoil Reduction
The difference in velocity loss between 30” and 24” barrels for the Creedmoor is minimal. A 30-inch barrel will produce an average of 2790 feet per second, while a 24-inch barrel produces 2700 feet per second. Velocity loss can be greater or lesser depending on how much powder you load in your cartridge, how heavy the bullet is, and what type of pressure regime you are shooting under (high/low).
The weight savings from a shorter barrel are more significant than the velocity loss. A 30-inch barrel weighs about 11 pounds, whereas a 24-inch will weigh between eight and nine pounds. This difference may not sound like much but when you carry your rifle around all day it can make for an appreciable amount of fatigue relief.
As barrels get longer they produce greater muzzle brake, which reduces recoil on both ends of the spectrum (low recoil rounds as well as high powered ones). Both 17” and 16″ barrels have significantly less felt recoil than even 20” lengths do due to their effectiveness at reducing some of that energy before it reaches your shoulder. Longer barrels also typically require less powder to produce the same velocity as shorter ones.
As a result, 24-inch barrels will reduce felt recoil and muzzle rise significantly more than 17” or 16″ lengths do. The trade off is that they are heavier but if you weigh your rifle before deciding on length then it should be an easy decision in favor of longer barrel options.
There are many debates about whether long barrels lead to greater accuracy results for any given cartridge. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may not only be less variability from shot to shot with these longer barrels, but also better overall performance through tight groups at distances up to 300 yards.
Types of Barrel Length For a Creedmoor:
Following are the types of barrel length for a creedmoor.
- 24 Inch
- 16.75 Inch
- 18 Inch
A 24-inch barrel is usually best when shooting at 100 yards. A 24″ would be better if you’re typically limited by wind and looking to shoot at longer distances of 400+ yards where the bullet will have less speed from recoil recovery but more accuracy with smaller deviations in trajectory as it’s already slower.
The 16.75″ length would be more appropriate if you’re primarily looking to hunt or shoot out to 300 yards as the bullet will have increased velocity and better long range accuracy with less wind drift due to the shorter barrel. A 16.75″ is typical for hunting and 300-yard shooting due to the increased velocity.
18 Inch Barrel:
lot of people prefer 18” barrels when they’re shooting alone in more open spaces where their shots aren’t challenged by someone else also shooting on the other side of them. The shorter your rifle is, the easier it will be to carry long distances. It is accurate out to 200 yards with less wind drift over any distance. It creates less muzzle blast which can cause dizziness or concussions in close range shooting environments.
What's the Best Barrel Length for a Creedmoor?
A 24-inch barrel is usually best when shooting at 100 yards. The 16.75″ length would be more appropriate if you’re primarily looking to hunt or shoot out to 300 yards as the bullet will have increased velocity and better long range accuracy with less wind drift due to the shorter barrel.
- Gotical 6.5 Creedmoor Red Laser Bore Sighter, Boresighter Anodized Red Battery Included Cartridge Bore Sight
- Sighting in a rifle should be a relatively quick and easy process and the Gotic 6.5 Creedmoor bore sight makes that happen for you
What To Know Before Buying A Barrel?
- Consider the shooting distance.
- Understand how recoil will have an effect on accuracy at long distances and consider barrel length for your needs.
- Know which type of cartridge you’re using, especially if it’s a larger caliber round or magnum
A longer barrel extends the sight radius, which makes for more accurate shots. Longer barrels also have an increased rate of fire and lower recoil because the bullet is only traveling in one direction (down the barrel) instead of being pushed every time it’s fired.
In theory, shorter barrels are more accurate. Tolerances are more difficult to hold over longer distances. Shorter barrels also are relatively stiffer for the same profile, and so the harmonics are easier to work with. Once you get past 100yd benchrest, barrel lengths start creeping up.
Heavy barrels are more accurate because the extra weight reduces recoil. Heavy barrels have a third effect that will inherently increase the accuracy of the rifle (and the shooter), and that is less recoil and less muzzle jump.
As a general rule, an inch less barrel will cost a bullet between 25 and 50 fps velocity. This varies depending on powder volume and the burning rate of that powder. The more powder and the slower it’s burning rate, the more barrel volume needed to burn it.
Choose Barrel Length Wisely:
It may take some time and research before you finally find your perfect barrel length but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all of your options or become discouraged when others disagree with what you have chosen for yourself. Keep an open mind and trust your gut.
Pick the barrel length wisely for you because it will ultimately determine how comfortable shooting is, whether or not you are able to reach long distances with accuracy, and if recoil needs a break!