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Thread: 358 Norma barrel length

  1. #1
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default 358 Norma barrel length

    Recently had a good friend give me a Voere 308 Norma. I'm going to re-barrel it to 358 Norma, and was wondering on barrel length.
    My intial thought is to go with a 22" barrel, or maybe a 20, as it will be a Moose/Bison rifle, and its nice to have a short barrel in the woods.
    Will I be giving up too much velocity with a shorterr length?
    Thanks gents.
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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Try a 22" to start with. If you don't like it, you can always cut it back to 20", but a short barrel is pretty tough to stretch. Velocity loss, depending on many factors, powder, bullet weight, etc., may be as little as 40fps or as much as 100fps. You can't really give a solid figure until you actually shoot a given barrel with a given load.
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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I agree with gunbugs about going a bit longer originally and then trim as desired. In fact I might go 23-24 for starters and trim from there...

    I wouldn't worry too much about the velocity you'll lose in the .358 NM, but muzzle blast with that much powder will increase significantly from the shorter tube. Can't see much advantage from going shorter than a 21" tube on such a rifle, but that's just me.
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    I agree with 1Cor, but I like the aesthetics of long barrels, and would make it 26".
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  5. #5

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    My sadly departed original 358 came with a 24" barrel, and I think that kinda set my taste for magnums. One of my 375's came with a 26" barrel, and I quickly clipped that back to 20". It's sure handy to pack and gets the most use, but it's not nearly as much fun to shoot as my other one with a 24". I have a couple of 7mms and a 300, and have parted ways with a couple of 338s- all with 24" barrels. If and when I build another magnum right now, it most likely would have a 22" barrel for compromise between carry and shooting "feel." I'm indifferent about velocity losses or gains of around 100fps, which affects both my goals in reloading and my tastes in barrel length. But when it comes to affects of barrel length and weight handling and balance, then we're mining gold.

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    You know, this might be an opportunity to do a little experiment on the effect of reducing barrel length of a rifle.

    What if the barrel was installed at 26 inches, loads developed for it, and the velocities chronographed and recorded. The barrel could then be shortened, an inch or two at a time, and the velocities recorded at each step. It would at the least be interesting to see the results.

    If you did this, you could also see how the balance and handling of the rifle changes as the barrel gets shortened, as well as the recoil sensation with the increased muzzle blast. You might get to 23 inches and say, "That's it!" Or, at 22 you might be thinking, "Hmmm, another inch shorter won't hurt."

    I did this about twenty years ago with two Mark X 375 H&H rifles that we shortened from 24 to 20 inches in one step. The total loss was less than sixty fps, five shots out of each rifle before and after, same box of 300 gr factory ammo.

    Anyway, if you want to try this, my Oehler is available, and I have a box of 250 gr Hornadys I will contribute.

    Ted

  7. #7

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    I lost 100fps going from 24" down to 20",that being said I made my longest shot ever on a moose (305yds) with ease!

  8. #8

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    I have a 22" #4 contour on mine and would not ever want it any longer and only occasionally wish it was shorter. I hate long barrels though. 22" seems to be about right most of the time. I get all the velocity I need in the .358 Norma out of 22" and don't imagine 20" would loose a noticeable amount practically.

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    Hard to answer that.
    I have a ruger 77 mk II in 35 whalen it has a 22 inch brl. 250 gr. at 2600 fps with my handloads isn't bad, but my 338 win mag in same rifle but with a 24 inch brl. is not much fun to shoot, much more bark, now my 375 H&H has a 24 inch brl. mauser action it is not bad even my 260 gr. load at 3000 fps. My ruger 270 win. ultra light has 20 inch brl. and can bark a little too.
    All of these are tolerable the 270 with the short brl. is loader than the rest. If it were mine to use I would not go shorter than 22 inches and no longer than 26 inches.
    358 norma is a great choice hard to beat that one.

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    the .358 norma magnum is a reletively ineffecient cartridge, requiring a long barrel and lots of slow powder. if the dynamics are changed in reduced powder or shortened barrel whatever "magnum" power/velocity advantage will be lost. in fact the .35 whelen can easily duplicate norma ballistics up to the 220 gr bullet with considerably less powder.
    my husquvarna .358 magnum carries a 25" number 4 contour barrel, and with a fixed 4X scope is as handy a rifle as i own. with heavy loads and heavy bullets it is the magnum it was designed to be.
    my .02
    happy trails.
    jh

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    . in fact the .35 whelen can easily duplicate norma ballistics up to the 220 gr bullet with considerably less powder.
    I know there are no flies on the Whelen or even the .358 Win, but I don't consider the Norma to be really inefficient. I'm getting 2850 fps with a 225 gr. Accubond out of my 22" barrel and H-4895 and haven't even maxed the load. The closest load I saw in Whelen data only got that bullet to 2800 fps with a 24" barrel with a max charge of only 8 fewer grains of powder than I'm using. That's not THAT much more efficient is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    I know there are no flies on the Whelen or even the .358 Win, but I don't consider the Norma to be really inefficient. I'm getting 2850 fps with a 225 gr. Accubond out of my 22" barrel and H-4895 and haven't even maxed the load. The closest load I saw in Whelen data only got that bullet to 2800 fps with a 24" barrel with a max charge of only 8 fewer grains of powder than I'm using. That's not THAT much more efficient is it?
    hi evan; it wasn't my intention to debase the fine .358 norma...as i have been shooting one since 1967. first using norma 200gr and 250gr ammunition i quickly learned the economics of handloading ( LOL ). it is a fine flat shooting caliber, suitable for all types of game world wide and still fits a standard size action. it actually replicates the "undisputed king" the .375 winchester as a bear stopper. cartridges can be loaded up or down depending upon rifle action and inclination. my comment was intended to make comparisons with a common non-belted case ( .35 whelen ).
    it has been my general handloading experience where belted magnums are concearned, that they are seriously handicapped when either case capacity is compromised, or barrel length reduced. either of those factors push a "magnum"
    into the non "magnum" catagory.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    My custom 358 Norma will launch 225-grain A-Frames right at 3000 fps from a 26" barrel. The Whelen can't hang. Hell, neither the 338 Win. Mag. that I traded. I'm going to try some 200-grain TTSX for S&G's, just to see 3100 fps on the chronograph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    My custom 358 Norma will launch 225-grain A-Frames right at 3000 fps from a 26" barrel. The Whelen can't hang. Hell, neither the 338 Win. Mag. that I traded. I'm going to try some 200-grain TTSX for S&G's, just to see 3100 fps on the chronograph.
    The .358 NM will out throttle the .338 WM from the gate, but the better b.c. (lots of choices over .500) of the .338 bullets make it superior at ranges exceeding 300 yards. I'm about to rebarrel a .338 WM and am considering a .358 NM, but for LR purposes will probably just go vanilla with the .338 WM...
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    Magnum cartridges aren't about effeciency, they are about launching bigger bullets faster, and the 358N is good at that. I don't know how fast a 35Whelen will push a 250gr but my 358N gets 2880 from a 24" without pushing things. Effenciency is usually better with smaller cartridges. The 358Win is more effecient and the 35 Rem is more efficient with the 357mag still more effecient, but who cares. What's 10 grs of powder cost? 3 maybe 4 cents. I don't think the 358N is an ineffecient round although it is getting close to the maximum effecient use of powder space for a 35cal bullet. As you drop bullet dia. in that case size you lose effeciency. The 338 is less effecient, the 7mm mag less yet and the 264Win being really ineffecient. The 338Win will give better down range ballistics than the 358N using same weight bullets but it's easy to push heavier bullets to the same velocity as a 338 with the 358N. So it's mostly a choice of bullet weights and availability as to which would be a better choice. The 35Whelen is more effecient but it isn't a 358N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Magnum cartridges aren't about effeciency, they are about launching bigger bullets faster, and the 358N is good at that. I don't know how fast a 35Whelen will push a 250gr but my 358N gets 2880 from a 24" without pushing things. Effenciency is usually better with smaller cartridges. The 358Win is more effecient and the 35 Rem is more efficient with the 357mag still more effecient, but who cares. What's 10 grs of powder cost? 3 maybe 4 cents. I don't think the 358N is an ineffecient round although it is getting close to the maximum effecient use of powder space for a 35cal bullet. As you drop bullet dia. in that case size you lose effeciency. The 338 is less effecient, the 7mm mag less yet and the 264Win being really ineffecient. The 338Win will give better down range ballistics than the 358N using same weight bullets but it's easy to push heavier bullets to the same velocity as a 338 with the 358N. So it's mostly a choice of bullet weights and availability as to which would be a better choice. The 35Whelen is more effecient but it isn't a 358N.
    Not trying to step on any toes here but that was very well put.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Magnum cartridges aren't about effeciency, they are about launching bigger bullets faster, and the 358N is good at that. I don't know how fast a 35Whelen will push a 250gr but my 358N gets 2880 from a 24" without pushing things. Effenciency is usually better with smaller cartridges. The 358Win is more effecient and the 35 Rem is more efficient with the 357mag still more effecient, but who cares. What's 10 grs of powder cost? 3 maybe 4 cents. I don't think the 358N is an ineffecient round although it is getting close to the maximum effecient use of powder space for a 35cal bullet. As you drop bullet dia. in that case size you lose effeciency. The 338 is less effecient, the 7mm mag less yet and the 264Win being really ineffecient. The 338Win will give better down range ballistics than the 358N using same weight bullets but it's easy to push heavier bullets to the same velocity as a 338 with the 358N. So it's mostly a choice of bullet weights and availability as to which would be a better choice. The 35Whelen is more effecient but it isn't a 358N.
    your opinion noted as to case efficiency, but you miss the point. the author (yukoner) asked about a reduced barrel length of 20"-22" on his .358 norma magnum. reducing the .358 norma magnum to 20" will have the effect of reducing it's energy/velocity to the .35 whelen class. this isn't subjective, but is a law of ballistic physics. it can't be otherwise.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    jh,

    Not quite. My buddy Garry gets over 2800 with 250 Speers in his twenty-two inch Nine Norma. It is built on an 1903 Springfield, and he has used the same load of 4350 for at least thirty years. My 22" rifle, on an FN Mauser, got a tad less using 67.5 gr of IMR 4895 and magnum primers.

    That is still l long way in front of a 35 Whelen.

    That 4895 load, BTW, shoots very well in every 358 Norma I have tried it in, and I know I have loaded it in at least seven rifles since 1969.

    Ted

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    Actually a 20" 358Norma will still outclass a 20" 35Whelen by a bunch. The 35cal cartridges don't lose velocity per inch like the smaller cals. Cut to 22" I doubt the velocity loss would be 100fps from a 24".

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner Ted View Post
    jh,

    Not quite. My buddy Garry gets over 2800 with 250 Speers in his twenty-two inch Nine Norma. It is built on an 1903 Springfield, and he has used the same load of 4350 for at least thirty years. My 22" rifle, on an FN Mauser, got a tad less using 67.5 gr of IMR 4895 and magnum primers.

    That is still l long way in front of a 35 Whelen.

    That 4895 load, BTW, shoots very well in every 358 Norma I have tried it in, and I know I have loaded it in at least seven rifles since 1969.

    Ted
    My go to load is 68.5 gr of H-4895 with a 225 gr. Accubond and I'm getting 2850 fps out of my 22" barrel. What velocity are you getting with the 250's?

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