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Thread: 7x57mm Mauser barrel length?

  1. #1
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    7x57mm Mauser barrel length?

    What's a good barrel length in order to get good performance out of 7x57mm Mauser?

    I'm thinking of it as an All-Around type hunting rifle using 140gr on Whitetail and 175gr on Moose.

    Preference would be for 20", but was wondering if it would be insufficient barrel length for the 175gr.
    Deus et Domus
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  2. #2
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    100 fps one way or the other only matters when you get down to the threshold of bullet expansion. 20" would do just fine.

  3. #3
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    My Chilean 1895 has an 18.75 in barrel. If that helps. Overall it is 37inches long, not bad to shoot with a slip on recoil pad otherwise the steel plate kinda hurts.
    When the going gets tough the tough get cyclic!
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  4. #4
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    Boy, that sure depends on the gun and the ammo IMHO. Let me tell y'all a little story that includes a profligate waste of smokeless powder and money.

    Once there was this mountain William who acquired, by much sweat and hard work, a Winchester M70 Featherweight in 7 Mauser having a 22" barrel. He was overjoyed with it, and shot it several times a week, so he soon found it financially necessary to reload ammunition. This turned out well, because not only could he shoot more for the same money, but he could tailor the ammo to the gun and improve his accuracy. He chose to reload ammo for this gun to higher velocities and pressures than factory ammo. He bedded the walnut stock, bought a semi-expensive mil-dot scope, and generally became familiar and comfortable with this rifle over a couple of years of successful deer hunting. He developed a "coyote and bobcat" load for it, which proved useful, and carried the rifle in his truck all the time.

    He read of the adventures of a certain W. D. M. Bell in Africa and dreamed at night of following elephants through tall grass. Friends and acquaintences boasted about their more powerful WhackenBoomenShooters, but our hero was not tempted. After all, his rifle would kill what he fired it at. What more does a mountain William need?

    Then a terrible thing happened. A good friend had a 30-30 stolen out of his truck when he went in a store for just a minute, and the mountain William started thinking, "What if that had been MY truck and some scumbag stole MY rifle?" and started doubting the wisdom of carrying his precious M70 around with him everywhere. So he started thinking about finding another truck gun.

    It would have to be a bolt rifle in 7x57, and cheap. Along came a fellow with two Spanish Mausers, and a trade was arranged for some unneeded stuff. Our boy fired them both, chose the one he believed was more accurate, and set about desecrating it into a truck gun. He modified the stock severely, mounted a laser into the forearm, mounted a Redfield peep sight, and had the good sense to have the Timney adjustable trigger and cock-on-opening kit installed and the barrel cut back to near-minimum and crowned by the best gunsmith in his county at the time. For weeks he worked on it, and then he stood back and admired the finished product. Finally, a truck gun that, although he had almost as much money (and way more sweat equity) in it than the M70, was so UGLY no one would ever steal it!

    Then he set himself to finding a load for it, which process led him to casting his own bullets and buying gas checks, among other things, and settled on a 162 grain lead load that while not blisteringly fast, was sufficiently accurate to meet his stringent standards. Now the ugly old gun rides around with him everywhere and the M70 sits in the gun cabinet (but comes out once in a while to play and be fondled).

    It's too late to save myself, but my advice to you would be: cut it off to 20" if that's what you want, then handload for accuracy. I'm certain you can develop a 175 gr load that suits you.

    If you're not interested in reloading, then I'd hesitate to cut down the barrel if you have a factory load that shoots well now.

    Parker

  5. #5
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    WHen I had a custom built a few years ago I had a 24" barrel screwed on and like it just fine. I shoot 139 gr. TSX's in handloads and 173 SPCE factory loads, I don't think a 20" would hurt very much, but I like the way the 24" holds when shooting off hand.
    Browningguy
    Houston, TX

  6. #6
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    IMHO, 22 to 24 inches would be ideal as far as wringing out as much velocity as possible from your rifle. It will also provide a longer sight radius if using open sights.

    I had to make this same decision years ago on a Swede in 6.5mm. Since I hand-load and wanted it to be as flat shooting as possible, I went with 24". It was the right decision for me.

  7. #7
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    I was thinking of a 20" barrel, Mannlicher stock, with peep sights, in 7x57mm.
    Deus et Domus
    Texas Secede!

    "Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." -- G.K. Chesterton

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