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Since we now have many new model 357 rifles that are available this year with barrel lengths in 16 inch, 17 1/2, 18, 18 1/2, 20 and 24, and maybe there is one that I missed. The question that I have is that when you get into the 20 and 24 inch barrels are you actually losing velocity when compared to the shorter versions.
 

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I agree with Jack. After 16” you have all the barrel you need to burn the powder normally used to fuel .357 projectiles. My personal preference is 20” and under for handiness. Hank
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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You're pretty much maxed out at 20" with factory ammo depending on manufacturer

If you reload, you can get more with the 24".....depending on powder type and charge weight

Most all factory 357 magnum ammo is made with a handgun in mind

Magazine length of course differs with barrel length too
 

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Museum Piece
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As the ladies say, the longer the better.
Each caliber has a terminal volatility. Where at a point extra inches give little or no gain. I do not know what it is for 357 mag.
I can tell you for 30-06 as an example. The optimum length is 22 inches.
At 23 inches you get half the increase, at 24 inches a quarter the increase. At 26 inches like my barrel you get no increase.
5.56 is 20 inches, .308 is 22 inches. find what yours is and stay at it.

The other consideration is your magazine tube. My 30-30 with a 20 inch barrel fits 6 rounds. The 45/70 with a 22 inch barrel holds 7. (6 standard, 7 if you know how to shorten the follower). The 45/70 with a 26 inch barrel holds 10, but is so heavy you cant shoot it standing with out a stick.
 

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I have 16" on my winchester 94 and my Ruger 77. both are just fine. I do have a 21" barrel on my contender in 357 max. the 21" barrel on a contender is still a short carbine. 16" is just fine. the contender and ruger both have scopes. the winchester has a peep sight. All are more accurate than I am. I'm a big fan of the round. When added to a rifle is is just fine for all North American game. That said, the largest animal that I have shot with a 357 was a 250# wild boar that my dogs had cornered. 158 Gr cast SWC. by the way, that same round is devastating on ground squirrels. As to longer is better? That is up to the skill of the user and the magic. I have two 30-06s with 20" barrels and a 45-70 with a 19" barrel which are accurate and capable. No need for longer.
 

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Have a look at http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

The longer the barrel, the more velocity, but after about 10" or so the gain starts tapering down.

Disclaimer: I use a 20" for cowboy, but that's mostly due to the fact that I need a 10 shot mag. It's also got a nice big sight radius for getting a bead on steel quickly.
 

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You're pretty much maxed out at 20" with factory ammo depending on manufacturer

If you reload, you can get more with the 24".....depending on powder type and charge weight

Most all factory 357 magnum ammo is made with a handgun in mind

Magazine length of course differs with barrel length too
Some even max out before 20.

I'm with Jack. 16" works for me.
 

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Some actually slow down after 16. When the powder's burnt, it's all drag.
Not so. Quickload model for the Blue Dot loads I use in my S&W still show pressure above 1500 psi at 24 inches, and velocity still rising.

Even loads using fast powders like Unigue and Bullseye still show increasing velocity right to the exit.


Personally, I like carbine-length lever-guns, so 18" would suit me best.
 

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Since we now have many new model 357 rifles that are available this year with barrel lengths in 16 inch, 17 1/2, 18, 18 1/2, 20 and 24, and maybe there is one that I missed. The question that I have is that when you get into the 20 and 24 inch barrels are you actually losing velocity when compared to the shorter versions.
I would suggest a Lab radar chronograph if you want specific information in regards to average velocity towards specific rifles.

The " longer is better" rule of thumb does not apply, especially in the face of 357magnum.

Example : Same ammunition using a Marlin with 18in tube and a Winchester with 16in tube revealed that the Winchester actually produced a bit more in terms of muzzle velocity. ( The difference was trivial, but an actual fact.)

I have not put any 20in or longer tubes too the chrono, so cannot tell you any exact data.

11B
 

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I would suggest a Lab radar chronograph if you want specific information in regards to average velocity towards specific rifles.

The " longer is better" rule of thumb does not apply, especially in the face of 357magnum.

Example : Same ammunition using a Marlin with 18in tube and a Winchester with 16in tube revealed that the Winchester actually produced a bit more in terms of muzzle velocity. ( The difference was trivial, but an actual fact.)

I have not put any 20in or longer tubes too the chrono, so cannot tell you any exact data.

11B
I suspect that one is a candidate for the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Anyway it's two different rifles, different chambers, different rifling, ammunition temperature not controlled, etc., etc., etc.
 

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I suspect that one is a candidate for the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Anyway it's two different rifles, different chambers, different rifling, ammunition temperature not controlled, etc., etc., etc.
Both rifles fired on same day, back to back.

Avg velocity recorded using same ammunition from same box .

By far....the more " accurate" method for obtaining data is to actually obtain it from the specific rifle of choice. Either could be reproduced at any given time .

As another example: I have 2 rifles with the same bbl lengths and same manufacturer. Both are not exact in terms of muzzle velocity on avg when using same ammo from same box while both fired back to back on same day. ( Again.....the difference is so small to be considered trivial, but the facts is the facts.)

Having a lab radar chrono has been an eye opener to say the least and why I would suggest it to anyone who wishes to obtain real data on any given firearm in the actual area they intend to use it in.


11B
 
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