Insert length vs accuracy. This was previously posted on the barrel liners and shotgun inserts page.
I have been asked a # of times about barrel length and accuracy.
So a week last Sunday (actually a while ago now) I did an informal study.
Using Chaszel 357 mag inserts of 6", 11", and 18" and S&B 158 Fmj cartridges.
I tried the 18" at 50 yds, (it was not the same one I did the previous review with). The results were at 3.015" for 3 shots, so I switched to 25 yds. I should mention that the 18" 357 magnum insert had been rechambered to 357 maximum (yes I know not an entirely fair comparison). This rechambering is not condoned by Chaszel and may have had an effect on accuracy because of the bullet jump, .....or not. (update; Chaszel is now offering a 357 max insert and we will be bringing some in)
Here are the results of a single 5 shot group with the S&B cartridges mentioned
18" barrel 1.890"
11" barrel 2.550"
6" barrel 2.040"
So with one go at it, I would say the results are inconclusive. Or we can jump to the conclusion that barrel length makes no difference.....
The 6" had a much larger muzzle flash indicating, as expected, that some of the powder was unburnt. I expect the longer barrels have more speed and therefore more energy, other than that there was not much difference with the cartridge/inserts/chambering tried.
Different cartridges or handloading may change everything. So, more work is required, oh darn, I guess I will have do some more shooting....
Bottom line, buy what you need/want. If you need portability go 6" if you need more energy, go 18". If you are going hunting for a deer size animal a 3" group at 50 yds is probably adequate. Not sure there is always the compromise 11" fairly easy to stow and more power than 6".
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