Extended Barrels and Accuracy

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by AZRonin, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. AZRonin

    AZRonin Guest

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    AS always Im a new member and as with all knew member I need a couple of questions answered that cant be found on the net(or Im not looking hard enough). Althought I havent bought my Steyr yet i have the basic idea ofwhat i want but the grey area for me is accuracy. Although most state that the steyr functions great at 25 yards Im more of a long range enthusiast. The first pistol I bought ,and I use the term pistol loosley, was a kel tec PLR-16. Great accuracy great realiabilty when feed clean ammo but it lacks the concealabilty of what a pistol was designed and intended for, but that brings me to my question

    Although I want improved accuracy I wanted to know how the extended barrels conflict with a concealbilty factor. A 5" barrel doesnt seem to make a whole lot of difference in size but Im considering the 6" and the 7.5" that OScommerce offers seems a bit over the top.

    Any advice, experience or some pics would be cool. Thanks
     
  2. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    In general a longer barrel on any firearm increases accuracy by three ways.

    1) longer sight radius (which is not the case with a longer pistol barrel as the sights don't change).
    2) more time spent in the rifling can better stabilize some calibers (not sure if this is the case with 9mm or .40)
    3) more time spent in the barrel exposes the bullet to the rapidly expanding gasses longer, thus increasing velocity (which usually flattens trajectory a bit).


    Now here's the problem, Steyr pistols (like most semi auto pistols) use a tilting barrel system, a longer barrel means the muzzle end of the barrel will move more during cycling, thus possibly reducing accuracy.


    I have one of the IGB Carbine kits on my M40 (16" barrel) and frankly I think its LESS accurate than with the pistol length barrel ... however the stock does make it more stable to shoot so the only way I'd notice this reduction in accuracy is if I put the thing in a ransom rest.

    My guess is that a 6" barrel is not likely to be noticeably more accurate than the stock one (but you will notice a slight increase in velocity so maybe its worth it for that).

    Now you get yourself a threaded 6" barrel, then you can hang a can on it and you may not be more accurate, but you'll be more quiet :)
     

  3. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I don't have a lot of long range experience myself (30 yards is as far as I can go at the local ranges), but Wulf reports no troubles shooting as far as 100 yards with his S9A1, let alone his M357A1. :shock: So long as you stay at 100 yards or closer, I sincerely doubt barrel length is going to do you a bit of good. Sight radius doesn't change just because you make the barrel longer, so I really don't think you're gaining much with, say half an inch to an inch length. Velocity will increase slightly, but at 100 yards, I suspect a ransom rest would yield the same size group.

    As far as carry goes, you will be hard pressed to find ANYONE outside of a rap video carrying anything with a barrel length greater than 5". Even a 5" 1911 is pretty long, but in my experience, weight and width of the weapon are more of an issue than sheer length. Honestly, I would advise sticking with the standard barrel for carry - the weapon system is already just about the perfect size/weight (IMHO), and you're just plain not going to gain enough of an advantage in any area to justify it. If you want more velocity, go 357SIG...

    Why are you interested in "long range" shooting, anyway? This is hardly a concern when it comes to carry... :? Are you looking to build a Steyr game gun? I could offer a slew of ideas and parts for you if you're looking to go that route.
     
  4. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    My experience regarding concealed carry is probably atypical, but I carried a Glock 17L (6" barrel) in a Milt Sparks MMX (ultra thin IWB holster) for almost 7 years. I could shoot it better than anything else because of the sight radius (not because of the barrel length). I replaced it with my current Steyr M9 because the other advantages of the Steyr (most notably the much better trigger) outweighed the sight radius advantage of the 17L.
     
  5. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    to theorize will only get us so far. we need someone to pony up the dough and test one of these long barrels out. then we'll know for sure.

    to my mind, the barrel tilting down during recoil won't be a problem accuracy wise. it will tilt at the exact same time and the exact same amount every shot... with-in reason.

    once you've figured out your hold point, grouping will likely still be better than the shooter.

    sight radius? forget about it!!! grab a red dot.

    wulf has said to be able to hit stuff at 100 yards with his 357.

    when i practiced and practiced... i cranked out a 10" 5 shot group at 50 yards. and feel the gun could do better.

    so it kinda depends on what your after.

    the steyr is designed to be a defensive handgun. putting 6 rounds in three targets in under 5 seconds including the draw is what it's all about to many of us here.

    if you're looking to shoot bottle caps off of fence posts at 50 yards... you'll likely run up against the limitations of a mass produced semi-automatic.

    either way... WHEN you get your steyr, post some pics with the range report. we like little tiny collections of holes!!!
     
  6. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hi Guys :)

    Thought I'd clarify the 100 yard shootin' with my S9-A1. I never shot at anything 100 yds away with it. <shrug> Just never occurred to me. :shock: I was dancin' soda cans at nearly 50 yds with it tho...115 gr JHP's, freehand, but I haven't ever tried shootin' atta target at anything more than 50 yds...not yet. <shrug> As for my M357-A1, from a bench rest, shootin' some 158 gr JHP's resized to 0.356" from a rest, I was hittin' a 3 lb coffee can very consistently, like more than 50% of the time, the misses were very close. If I wouldn't have happened to have had it along with me when I was sightin' in my new Tikka T3 (308 Win) at the time, it never woulda occurred to me to even try. You can imagine my surprise, at the time. And, with a bit more practice, it'd happen more often than not...from a rest. Off-hand, I really never tried. Kinda a short sight radius for such a distance, IMHO. The 357 SIG caliber is very flat shootin' tho and its built-in accuracy never ceases to amaze me. :shock: I don't doubt that the S9-A1 is capable of hittin' a 3 lb coffee can atta 100 yds with a lot of consistancy, and with some practice from a bench with some good loads, I'm sure such a feat could be "refined". I'm just not feelin' I should take the time to hit a 3 lb coffee can atta 100 yds with a 3.5" bbl'd 9MM. <shrug> IMHO, it would be a real challenge, w/o a very stabile platform. :shock: Anyway, I gotta Tikka T3 that pounds Carona bottle caps atta 100 yds...no questions asked. :twisted: Sorry to interrupt.

    Wulf <-- wonderin' if he could hitta 3 lb coffee can off-hand atta 100 yds with his S9-A1...and plannin' a go
     
  7. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    My mistake - it was the 50 yard soda can thing I was thinking of. :oops:

    Still - more info would be helpful in dispensing advice. What are you looking for, AZRonin? Which area would you like to focus on - competition, combat, or leisure shooting?
     
  8. AZRonin

    AZRonin Guest

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    Lets see if I can run down these questions

    1Q:Why are you interested in "long range" shooting?
    2Q:Which area would you like to focus on - competition, combat, or leisure shooting?


    1A:The basic idea behind this is to cover the useage area of a handgun as much as possible, pushing the limits of a certain type of firearm. Where as a rifle is accurate it is also very cumbersome so they made carbines with folding stocks and shorter barrels, basiclly the same difference

    2A: to sum this up I want to be able to cover these areas equally, where I want a gun that is extremly reliable(this is where my kel tec failed to impress me) I also want a gun that can hit its mark(hence my choice to get 357sig steyr then your atypical 45ACP) and as for leisure shooting I get to do that more often then some when budget allows because here in Arizona theres so much goverment land a couple miles in any direction and you can practice

    also as Bigtaco said the longer barrel increses velocity, and Im a penetraing sort of guy(and whatever jokes you can pull out of that) so over oenetration Im not worried about at this point


    P.S.
    I JUST now found the "M40 or S40A1 carry?" forum where Bigtaco answered a similar question, sorry about that but I still dig this little discussion
     
  9. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Will you use the gun for concealed carry?
     
  10. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    Sorry, but that isn't going to happen. If you try to tackle all areas, you will achieve a series of compromises at best. I think we're all pretty much telling you the same thing without just coming out and saying it, per se - a M(A1) will be more accurate than you out to any range you have any business shooting at. Your skill alone will determine what % of lead lands on target, and a longer barrel will almost certainly do nothing for you. You would be better off spending the few hundred bucks on practice ammo instead of a 1/2"-1" longer barrel, IMHO.

    For a target/range pistol, the Steyr is top notch - we will all attest to that. As a combat handgun, I believe the M-A1 is exceptional. As a carry piece, I believe it to be perfect (YMMV, of course). As a game/race gun, you have plenty of options and pently of our members use their Steyrs for this express purpose (IDPAsteyr, for one - there is a whole forum on competition shooting).

    But is the Steyr the ABSOLUTE best in any of these areas? Probably not (with maybe the exception of range plinker). IMHO, a "perfect" combat piece would probably be bigger - similar to the H&K Mk23. There are a plethora of guns better suited for game use - and you can expect to shell out 3-4x as much $$$ for almost all of them. But it sounds to me like you're not really sure what you are looking for, so you're hoping to find the perfect handgun. I guarantee you will not find the perfect gun - it doesn't exist - but I think most of us would agree that the Steyr is about as close as we can hope to get. 8)

    We still don't know what ranges you are wanting to be able to effectively engage? You just left that part open ended - care to buckle it down to some hard numbers?

    Regarding the increase in velocity, velocity does NOT necessarily equal penetration. Bullet design will determine what happens to a bullet at any velocity a pistol is capable of. Bullets have specific velocity windows in which they perform optimally - if you drive the bullet below or above these thresholds, you may get some really unexpected results. Many light, fast bullets will fragment too soon when pushed too fast and will fail to penetrate as deep as they were designed. Thus velocity may result in more shallow penetration. Terminal ballistics are weird like that. However, the net velocity gain from an extra inch or less on a barrel will almost certainly leave the bullet well within tolerances.
     
  11. AZRonin

    AZRonin Guest

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    understood that no gun can be exceptionle in all areas but you can acheive a little bit of a happy medium between them all because really all areas mentioned ,competition, combat and leisure shooting is really they old game of what to give up to fullfill the current needs and wants of the shooter, but I do belive (from yours and evryone heres input) the steyr can do that and argue where Im wrong. But on the barrel length issue so the 6'' barrel might not produce the results I want at least not enough to verify the cost of the barrel so you saved me 250+ but dammit when I can Im geting the 5" because its badass looking
    :wink:

    and to answer SELFDEFENSEs' question yeah it will be for CCW but its not top priority, it doesnt need to be hidden when Im wearing a wife beater thin just enough to be able to conceal under a second overshirt so I can wear a gun in public with out people looking at me like Im a gunnut.

    In case I havent made my situation clear Im just some yocal getting through colledge who is a "Gunenthusiest" who just so hppens to desire a steyr(which is a cool slogan I thought) but yeah this is really just big case of bordem but I am seriouse in the idea of it being for self defense
     
  12. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    If CCW or home defense is a consideration at all, then to my way of thinking, that should dominate your decisions (life, death, liability, and all that). Thus, I would stay with a standard service pistol (4" or so barrel, decent mag capacity of 12 to 16 rounds, and good concealment holster). Practice should focus on combat distances (3 to 30 feet, although most of us do a little longer-range practice as well), and get some training regarding the laws of self defense gun use and combat/self defense shooting techniques. Eschew the long barrel option and the other considerations can be met with a competent operator behind the trigger of any Steyr M/M-A1.
    Good luck.
     
  13. AZRonin

    AZRonin Guest

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    actually that is true for the most part if anyone ever watched American Shooter on tnt back in the day,this one guy pegged a balloon at a great distance with a snub nose revolver even though the distance(most of this data I dont remember) was far greater then expected for even a full size pistol to manage.