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Taming muzzle flash
 Moderated by: Slingshot, Rockydog, klallen, DesertMarine, -6
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 Posted: Fri Jan 27th, 2017 02:30 PM
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leapingduck
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Joined: Tue Nov 22nd, 2016
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I am currently searching for a new rifle. I am leaning towards a Savage 11 in 243 because they offer a left handed model and everything I have heard about them is relatively positive. I am going to have the barrel threaded when it comes in, so I was thinking I would have it cut down to 16 inches at the same time. My only concern is muzzle flash since this is an overbore cartridge. While it isn't necessarily a deal breaker because I rarely shoot in the dark, I would like to try to minimize it as much as I can.

I have three questions.

1) Does anybody have experience with a shortened 243 barrel? If so what can I expect from a velocity/sound/flash perspective.

2) Is there even going to be more muzzle flash than normal?

3) Would finding faster burning powders than the norm help with the muzzle flash I thinking will be there.



 Posted: Fri Jan 27th, 2017 03:01 PM
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SeabeeChief
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leapingduck wrote: I am currently searching for a new rifle. I am leaning towards a Savage 11 in 243 because they offer a left handed model and everything I have heard about them is relatively positive. I am going to have the barrel threaded when it comes in, so I was thinking I would have it cut down to 16 inches at the same time. My only concern is muzzle flash since this is an overbore cartridge. While it isn't necessarily a deal breaker because I rarely shoot in the dark, I would like to try to minimize it as much as I can.

I have three questions.

1) Does anybody have experience with a shortened 243 barrel? If so what can I expect from a velocity/sound/flash perspective.

2) Is there even going to be more muzzle flash than normal?

3) Would finding faster burning powders than the norm help with the muzzle flash I thinking will be there.

I cant imagine having a barrel that short on a rifle but to each their own. I have a 7x57 with an 18" bbl and that is about as short as I would ever go. It is light and handy but I'm also losing velocity compared to a 20 0r 22 inch bbl.
I've seen short barrel 7mm-08 rifles with a muzzle flash that would light a city. :lol:

Funny you asked this because I was out 2 days ago testing loads in my 243AI using faster powders which would completely burn in the barrel. I was using Hornady 75 gr vmax bullets. Out of the 8 powders tested, I found 3 with good accuracy and velocity, IMR8208, Reloder 10X, and N-133, with 8208 most accurate.
My barrel is longer (24") but I do recall Quickload showing that some of the powders being 100% burnt within 16 - 18 inches of travel.

Hope this helps

Ken



 Posted: Fri Jan 27th, 2017 08:22 PM
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leapingduck
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Joined: Tue Nov 22nd, 2016
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Ya know, I can't say why I like my rifles short, but I just don't like having a 22+ inch barrel. 16 isn't completely set in stone, so if 18 inches is what I need to burn all my powder I will be perfectly happy with that too.

I've never used quickload. I didn't realize it would show you how long it took the powder to burn. Maybe that is something I should watch some videos on and possibly get for myself.

Hopefully I can find a powder that won't light up a city!:lol:



 Posted: Fri Jan 27th, 2017 08:38 PM
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rocirish
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Joined: Fri Jan 20th, 2017
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I have a 700 BDL with a 20 inch barrel. It is real light and easy to handle, so I wouldn't want anything shorter. If I remember right you loose 100-150 fps for every inch.

I started using IMR 4064 in 1963 when I worked up the first load. It has worked very well all these years and has gotten me a deer every year. 4064 is fairly fast and I have never noticed any mussel flash to speak of. Works for me.



 Posted: Fri Jan 27th, 2017 08:57 PM
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Paul Tummers



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I load for my .308W that has a 52cm barrel and WE hunt mainly in the dark, so I went to a faster powder, that had the advantage of less "stage-illumination" and cleaner burning as well, and, because the extruded kernels are smaller, my measure handles them better.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 28th, 2017 02:43 AM
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RobertMT
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243 with 16" barrel will have muzzle flash, you can reduce it's appearance with muzzle device. Faster powder will have less muzzle flash, less unburnt powder to burn outside barrel. Muzzle blast has more to due with pressure of gas as it leaves muzzle. The shorter the barrel, with same starting pressure, the higher the pressure remains, at exit. This can be effected somewhat by faster powder, that peaks sooner, but difference will be far less measureable. There are muzzle brakes, that propel the gas more forward, that reduces muzzle blast behind and to the side, somewhat, but are louder downrange and has larger visible muzzle flash.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 28th, 2017 03:12 AM
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president100
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Use of faster powder and a flash hider will both help.
But the load will likely require greater tuning to maintain accuracy, much more trial and error due to both variables IME.

I did a bunch of testing with a variety of flash suppressors and found that the ones that do the best flash suppression tend to affect the accuracy the most.
The Brownells 5 prong is the best of the ones I tried (better than $$ competitors "flash eliminator") for suppressing flash, so I reamed one to the internal dimensions of the one that affected accuracy the least and the flash got huge. :(
No free lunch as usual.

As for powders, Generally slower powders are easier to make accuracy loads with than faster ones IME, not sure why though.
Faster powders can be accurate but are more temperamental. :/



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 Posted: Sat Jan 28th, 2017 01:31 PM
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Mortis
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The only purpose of a flash hider or suppressor is to prevent the shooter from being blinded by the flash so he is able to take a quicker second shot. Their effectiveness is really only noticed in sub-light or dark conditions.

I built a few flash suppressors out of 6061-T6 Aluminum to lighten the weight of my AR platforms for my wife and are using them on 11.5 inch barrels to put the rifle back to legal length.

As has been mentioned, length of barrel will effect accuracy at range. So the question is what is the purpose of the rifle once it has been shortened?

My XM-177 in the photo will hit a 12" steel disk at 300 meters but MOA is a bit spread compared to an 18 or 20" barrel.

Accuracy at range is a consideration in reference to the reduced flash you are looking for.

Attachment: XM-177A.jpg (Downloaded 32 times)



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 Posted: Wed Feb 15th, 2017 08:00 PM
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BamaCartridgesmith
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My Dad has a Marlin .243 with an 18" barrel that we sometimes shoot out to 600 yds. I haven't noticed any more muzzle flash than my 22" Rossi single shot. My brother also has a single shot .243 with a 16" barrel. It is loud as a cannon and kicks harder than most other .243's, but I don't remember much muzzle flash from it either. I use H414 in both.



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