Barrel Length

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George C

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What is the advantage of barrel length? I see barrels at 24" 28" 32" what is the advantage of one over the other.
 

54ball

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Well,
I have ...
32"
36"
28"
42"
42"
42"
42"
44"
44"
46"

The longer barrels will crack like a high power and have more velocity. Mainly they have a longer sight plane. Straight barreled guns tend to "hang" steady on the target....at least for a moment.
 

Phil Coffins

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Black powder needs the length to burn completely. The short barrel like 20 or 22 inches is cute but has lots of short comings in muzzle loaders. The old timers sorted out how long a barrel needed to be and as powder got better the barrel got shorter. Looking at late guns and into the black powder cartridge rifles 30-32 inches became the normal length for full sized rifles. Carbines had short barrels but shot pistol size loads.
 

hanshi

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Advantage? Well, longer sight plane and "usually" a slow and nonlinear velocity increase. Actually, by the time one gets to 30", there's "normally" less increase due to extra length.

I currently own:
25"
32"
33"
36"
38"

Use to have a 42" and would like another that long or longer.
 

Spikebuck

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I think the biggest advantage is the long sight plane. Many of us are getting older and have to move that rear sight forward and with a longer barrel, you still have a lot of length between front and rear sight, even with the rear sight way up by the balance point.

Next advantage on my list is that they just look COOL! :grin:

And a nice long swamped barrel does not have to be relatively heavy. My Hawken with a 34" straight octagon barrel is still one to two pounds heavier than my 42" and two 44" swamped barreled early colonial rifles.

Disadvantage I see is if you are hunting out of an enclosed blind, especially a pop-up type blind not made to contain something that long.
 

Stumpkiller

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I can see the front sigh and the target . . . almost simultaneously . . . with my 44" barrel rifle. ;-)

And I can see to load with my Verilux lenses.
 

Rifleman1776

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There is not much prettier than a fullstock muzzle gun with a 42" barrel. :grin: That is a huge advantage.
But, as others have pointed out, for shooting around 30" to 32" maxxes out the potential for black powder. But the longer the barrel the better the sighting plane.
My wife used to shoot an H&A underhammer Buggy Rifle in .45 cal.. Fergit how long/short is was, probably in the 22" range, but when it went off, especially at a covered firing range, it sounded like the Big Bertha cannon.
 

coloradoclyde

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Stlnifr said:
What is the advantage of barrel length? I see barrels at 24" 28" 32" what is the advantage of one over the other.
Longer barrels tend to hold out better, sight better, have higher velocity and are safer and easier to load (unless you are a midget).

They also look cooler... :grin:
 

mooman76

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I agree with all said. The shorter barrels a preferred by some for hunting in the brush. I prefer to stick with the longer barrels myself but do have a few short ones.
 

coloradoclyde

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I actually like a longer barrel for heavy brush....I can use it to push briars out of the way...And a longer barrel has never encumbered my movements...
Shorter barrels work better in confined areas like vehicles, horses, ATVs, hunting stands etc....
 

Wes/Tex

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You're getting closer! :wink: I'd recommend you keep your eye on the classified section here or the gun auction sites that have muzzleloading sections. Lyman's GPR & Trade Rifle, Traditions Hawken or T/C Hawken or Renegade are good serviceable guns that can be had at good deals if you put in a bit of effort checking.

As a couple of the others, I prefer a long barrel, a 46" in my case, that has never proved to be a problem in the woods...in a car or pickup can be another story! :haha:
 
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Zonie

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Which barrel length to choose depends a lot on the shooter.

If they are the strong type the longer barrel guns will not be a problem.

If they are not the strong type or they are "desk jockey's" who seldom use their arm strength to lift or carry heavy things, the shorter barrel guns will be easier for them to shoot offhand.
 
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