16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

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Bill in Oregon
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16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#1 Post by Bill in Oregon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:59 am

Given a decent peep sight, how accurate are your short-barrelled lever guns at 100 yards or so?

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#2 Post by GunnyMack » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:37 am

In theory shorter barrels are more stiff so they should be more accurate...should be.
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#3 Post by Bill in Oregon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:45 am

Agree, Gunny, but sometimes practical accuracy trumps theoretical accuracy, especially when there is a nut like me behind the butt! :lol:

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#4 Post by Griff » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:16 am

My little Winchester 94, 16" Trapper (30-30), is minute of 6" steel plate accurate @ 300 yards. It ain't as accurate as my bull barreled 26" octagon mdl 94... but exceedingly well within my expectations! My 17" mdl 1894 Marlin in 45 Colt holds the tightest SD & group @ 50 yards of all 6 of 45 Colt guns with barrels of 17, 18-½, 20, & 24-¼"! Not as accurate as the 1885 in that caliber tho'...
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#5 Post by OldWin » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:55 pm

They are plenty accurate, just a little more difficult to shoot. There is a slight rearward weight bias with the shorter barrel that makes them a little tougher to steady down. And the aforementioned sight radius is short.
All that being said, with a good front sight (post, not some crappy bead), a good peep, and a little practice, offhand 100yd accuracy won't be too much different from a 20" carbine.
By definition, these are short range rigs made for quick use and easy portability.
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#6 Post by BlaineG » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:02 pm

In my not-so-expert opinion it depends on what you're going to use it for. If you're determined to get the smallest group, get a longer barrel. My 16" AE 94 30wcf is death on pop cans at 100 yards.
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#7 Post by Bill in Oregon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:16 pm

Thanks, fellas. 8)

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#8 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:14 pm

.

IDK...……. :roll:

I don't much shoot my leverguns for groups (just zeroing shots) - I usually set up some 10" paper plates at random distances on my gun club's 100yd range.

I then take fast shots at the plates, as if I suddenly happened on game.

If da boolit hole is inside the plate, I'm GTG; if it's in the center, I'm ecstatic... :mrgreen:

Both my 16" Rossi M-92's ( a .357 & a .45 Colt) usually made me ecstatic, as long as I did my part.


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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#9 Post by Nath » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:40 pm

My first 94 are in .30 was awesome. Sub 2"@100.
My last one (tang safety) was pants ( or shorts).
It was only down to lock up though so 16" are fine in my book but they don't hang there like a longer barrel will when off hand shooting. Nice trigger job soon fixes that mind.

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#10 Post by AJMD429 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:52 pm

Pete44ru wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:14 pm
I don't much shoot my leverguns for groups (just zeroing shots) - I usually set up some 10" paper plates at random distances on my gun club's 100yd range.

I then take fast shots at the plates, as if I suddenly happened on game.

If da boolit hole is inside the plate, I'm GTG; if it's in the center, I'm ecstatic... :mrgreen:

Both my 16" Rossi M-92's ( a .357 & a .45 Colt) usually made me ecstatic, as long as I did my part.
Petty much same here.

If I were going to shoot a competitive match off the bench, I would probably take one of my longer barrel guns, even though I don't have any evidence to prove their more accurate. On the other hand, if it is shooting pop cans are paper plates I'm going to take the shorter one, because it's more fun to shoot, and it's likely the one I would have with me in the woods or other places where I might need to shoot quickly and reflexively.

Although I initially test out all my rifles that can be scope mounted using a 32x scope, just to see their potential accuracy, with my lever guns it's pretty consistent:

16" - equipped with Marbles Bullseye rear and Foresight fiber optic front. Harder to sight in but FAST and accurate enough for hunting or protection.

20" - equipped with Williams FP without rear aperture installed. Easier to adjust if I change loads, and very accurate.

24" - equipped with Lyman Globe fronts and Taurus tang sights on rear ($50 or so clone of Marbles and work great if you can find them). Middle in terms of easiness to sight in, but really precise. A bit more fragile. Way cool in terms of nostalgia.... :D
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#11 Post by Sixgun » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:47 pm

The reason for a longer barrel is weight, sight radius, ability to have a longer magazine tube, looks, complete powder burn for more velocity which is probably the primary reason.

Lots of reasons for short barrels too...you guys know them.

The target shooters will get a 30" barrel and after a couple of thousand rounds, they chop off the chamber end and rechamber as the rifling is not hurt and only becomes smoother. When they get down to 24 or 26" they trash it and start new.

One of my AR's that I compete with has a 16" barrel. Last week I was shooting another AR I have that has an 11" barrel. With 77 Sierra Matchkings it will shoot right along with the longer barrels. Last group of the day was 1.4" at 200 meters.

The same day I was shooting an 8" barreled AR in 300 B.O.....this is a new to me gun and after 40-50 rds of playing I shot for group. 1 and 1/8" at 100 meters. After some more scope work, I repeatedly hit the 385 meter turkey easily with this 8" 300 B.O.

By the way, short barrels will operate the same as to grouping in all actions...within reason of caliber and powder burn rate.

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#12 Post by Bill in Oregon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:49 pm

Pete, so you liked that Rossi 16-incher in .45 Colt, eh? Thinking it can do about the most useful work this side of the .454s.

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#13 Post by ollogger » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:49 pm

Bill, for me with a receiver sight it makes no difference if the barrel is any where from 16 to 26 inches I get the same groups
and as I get older they get worse if I shoot at paper? have 2 trappers now 30-30 AE trapper that wares a 3 x scope & that
was the answer for me to get small groups, the other is a 45 in a Henry which is a very nice gun & shoots as well as I can see
most of my shooting is with cast bullets & banging steel, the day I cant hit a 16 inch plate of steel at a 100 yards or more is the day I will have a bunch of guns for sale

I shoot the 130 speer in the 94 AE great bullet

Brad

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#14 Post by 6pt-sika » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:02 pm

I had a Marlin 1894P , 1894CP , 1894SSLTD in 45 and a 336Y all were 16 1/2” . I shot the P and CP a lot with cast bullets from the bench and both shot as well as any long barreled lever . The 336Y was the same with cast bullets and showed a likeness for WIN factory 150 and 170 Silvertips . The 45 I didn’t shoot as much but it seemed satisfied with cast handloads mostly Lee 200 and 250 plain base .
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#15 Post by 2ndovc » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:16 pm

Sixteen inch barreled Mini Thirty. The target was only 25 yds, but I'd just got the scope sighted in. My Marlin CST / .357 and LTDIII / .45-70 ( though its 18") will do the same thing.
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#16 Post by Pete44ru » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:14 pm

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:49 pm
Pete, so you liked that Rossi 16-incher in .45 Colt, eh? Thinking it can do about the most useful work this side of the .454s.
I found it more than adequate, Bill - moreso after I pulled the bolt-top safety and installed a rear bbl sight dovetail slot filler blank I made, and a Skinner LoPro in a plug I made to fit the safety hole (before Steve/Kiowa started to make his bolt peep available).

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#17 Post by Bill in Oregon » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:56 am

Thanks Pete. I have used Steve's sight on a couple of Rossis including this mare's leg. Great sight.

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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#18 Post by marlinman93 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:01 am

If two guns with iron sights have a 16" barrel and a 24" barrel, the longer barrel wont be any more accurate; but the person shooting it will likely be more accurate. The longer sighting radius just makes shooting accurately a lot easier.
But if both were scoped and all else equal, (except barrel length) I'd expect the guns to shoot very close to each other.
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Re: 16-inch barrelled leverguns: How accurate?

#19 Post by FWiedner » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:06 pm

marlinman93 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:01 am
If two guns with iron sights have a 16" barrel and a 24" barrel, the longer barrel wont be any more accurate; but the person shooting it will likely be more accurate. The longer sighting radius just makes shooting accurately a lot easier.
But if both were scoped and all else equal, (except barrel length) I'd expect the guns to shoot very close to each other.
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