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Coyote/varmint hunting barrel length question

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by amnesiac503, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. amnesiac503

    amnesiac503 Portland Member 2016 Volunteer

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    So I think for my first AR I am going to pick up one of these bad boys from DPMS, specifically the DPMS Predator bull 20. They are a little heavier than I had hoped but I suppose that wont matter too much since I am going to put a bipod on it right away. My question is what barrel length would you guys suggest. I was thinking 20" is the best way to go due to better mobility than the 24" but was curious what you guys thought about the 24" versions. I'm pretty new to this whole thing and don't know a lot about this stuff, slowly learning. I'm heading to the gun show here in Portland and am hoping I can find one of these or perhaps a Rock River Predator Pursuit. Cheers!
     
  2. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    A 24" bull would make a nice bench gun, but I wouldn't want to pack it anywhere
     
  3. amnesiac503

    amnesiac503 Portland Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Yeah after doing some more reading I'm wondering if maybe I should just go with a 16". From what I have read the difference in accuracy between the 20" and the 16" isn't huge, especially since I plan on running a free floating handguard. Would you guys advise against a 16" for this type of shooting, I'm thinking the extra mobility and lower weight might be nice.
     
  4. Shooter98

    Shooter98 McMinnville, Or. Member

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    I use 2 different guns for dogs. I have a savage 24" heavy barrel and an dpms ar with 18" varmint barrel. Both work well, but will probably switch the 24" barrel out for a 26". I don't worry too much about the weight since most the time when calling dogs you sit stationary and call them to you.
     
  5. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    For your purpose I would go with the 20 inch.. much better velocity over the 16 inch
     
  6. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    Just depends how far you want to carry it and how far in distance you want to shoot. For overall use a 16 is fine especially for the close in shots you will have more often than the long ones....
     
  7. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My AR purchase was 3 years research. Wanted it for exactly what you want it for. (Portable handy coyote gun with decent accuracy). DPMS AP4 was the final choice. Thought I might "upgrade" to a heavier barrelled upper if necessary for accuracy. Never will do that. 1.5" groups out of the box with econo-grade factory ammo and iron sights. Leupold, Timney, and careful handloads have it at .65-.75" groups now. Beyond my dreams, and ripped the skepticism about AR accuracy right out of me.
     
  8. johnboy

    johnboy Hillsboro Member

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    The AR is a perfect coyote rifle.....accuracy is better than you need.......When I call, most are within 100 so even 2" is fine.....but we like the 1/2" whenever we can get it....
     
  9. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    I'm calling them in and shooting with a Bushmaster Varminter, 24" barrel. So far, no complaints. The 20" might be a little easier to use on a second running shot.
     
  10. yotehunter

    yotehunter north west Active Member

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    16 you will want the lighter barrel while walking and hiking. you don't even need a bull barrel you can use Hbar. I have a 16" Hbar i use everywhere for dogs. I have a 20" bull AR and 24" bull flutted AR and I use those for varmints like ground squirrels. I also have several bolt action with bull barrels and use those for just varmints as well. Trust me the lighter the better!!!
     
  11. Twodogs

    Twodogs portland Or Active Member

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    I like a 20" H-bar type barrel best for .223,My 6.8 has a 16" SPR barrel on it great coyote rifle.
     
  12. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    I too have a Bushmaster, a 16" match with a few goodies I've added and it's a joy to carry, even all day and capible of 300+ yard shots no prob. I also have a DPMS 20 match bull with more goodies on it , set up more for bench and long range stuff, it has target grips bipod adj magpul stock, trigger ect, not so nice to carry. I've never weighed it but it's for sure 13-15lbs+ both have 6x24s on them, and I'm pleased with both. I've got a ton of money in the DPMS, but man it shoots, but a bit of a bear to carry . They also blew my mis-givings away about AR platforms, there really nice now days, especally in a match grade with a good trigger. I've made sucessful 500 yard shots on yoties with no issues. I guess it all depends what you want to spend. And if you reload you can always play with loads to find that "saweeeeet load" for your particular gun even with the shorter bbl. I've got and older Ruger m-77 target 308 with some mods, mostly trigger and bedding work, bi pod target type stock huge scope and an aluminum adjustible butt plate, it out shoots both the AR's at 2/3 the price,BUT it's as heavy as a sherman tank, for sure in the 20lb range!!! It needs a dolly to haul it around with, but it shoots ,1/2moa groups or less on a good day. It is capible of <1/2moa easy I've shot many 1 hole 5rnd groups with it in my younger days. Old eyes ya know so I don't shoot as well as I used to, all my guns have GREAT BIG scopes on them now. In my opinion and experiance the 20" would be best for what you want, but remember ya got a 10lb gun to start and it will only get heavier the more ya add. scope +1.5, bipod +1.0 floatted handguard +.5 + what ever else you add. See where I'm going?
     
  13. jer fly

    jer fly cottage grove Member

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    All things being equal, barrel length doesn't determine accuracy. Barrel length does determine maximum velocity attainable. Two things to consider if your building a coyote specific platform, rate of twist in the barrel and the kind of hunting you will be doing. The 223 doesn't pack a lot of punch when you get out past 300 yards. extra barrel length can help get more velocity, but more effective is using a heavier bullet. I have a 1/9 twist 16'' M-4 barrel, free floated, and match trigger shooting 60 grain V-max bullets into 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. With a 1/8 or 1/7 twist barrel you can shoot 75 and 77 grain bullets that will greatly increase your effective range. My best advise, get a second upper. 24 inch for long shots and 16 inch for walking or calling.
     
  14. sprocket3

    sprocket3 Oregon - Wet Side Member

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    I think the RRA Predator is too heavy for hunting all day. Seems it was about 8 pounds or so, but it's been a while so i could be wrong. I would also try to get a plastic or carbon hand gaurd just to help keep your left hand from freezing when it's 19 out. I like the thin 20" barrels and build an upper with one that works great.
     
  15. twa2471

    twa2471 Vermont Active Member

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    On my Bushmaster that I carry around alot I added a piece of the , I call it "skateboard tape" It's a rubber type textured tape, not the "sandpaper" type, but the rubber type like you would see in a shower stall. It gives a cushion and helps keep the cold away pretty well without spending a ton on a new tube. It also makes it nice and grippy without any real weight and can be easly removed with no issues and it stays on well. It also protects the forearm from any tree branch, or fence post rest marks that normally happens with a aluminum forearm tube. I got mine in a 2"x30' roll and if I remember right it was only like $15 or so. I'm not sure about leaving it on a varnished stock as it will probibly leave a mark or lift the varnish, if left on long term, haven't tried it except for short term use, no issues. I have it on my Saiega 308 lower forearm and it has been there for 4 years and is still holding well and it has gone through all kinds of weather, hot and cold and still there. Try this out guys I've used it in several applications and I love it. I even tried it on a M-77 Ruger light Stainless bbl to hide the shine, and to my surprise it even seemed to tighten up the groups, it seemed to act like a damper, I actually got about 1/4 moa better groups with it on the light sporter barrel. Of course it it could have been a good day at the range, but I really think it helped. In the 2 years I've used it, both years I got better accy. It won't stay on a bbl if you heat it up super hot but for a light profile barrel deer rifle that you shoot a little it works very well.