How Barrel Length Affects Velocity

How Barrel Length Affects Velocity

When you pull the trigger of your firearm, the bullet starts its journey through the barrel, but it's not just a simple "pop and fly" scenario.

As the firing pin strikes the primer, this ignites the propellant. This causes pressure inside the barrel to build, propelling the bullet forward. Now, if your firearm sports a longer barrel, the bullet stays inside it longer. Even though the bullet only remains for a few microseconds, more time allows for a more thorough combustion of the propellant, which increases your bullet’s velocity when it finally exits the muzzle.

A longer barrel is not necessarily more accurate than a shorter barrel, since all a longer barrel does is allow more time for the powder to burn, but it does produce a faster bullet. A stiffer barrel allows a rifle to be more consistent, so the longer the barrel is, the thicker and heavier the material should be, since consistency is key to accuracy.

However, there's a sweet spot. If your barrel is too long, the combustion might finish before the bullet reaches the end, causing drag and slowing it down. So, longer isn't always better.

Now, there are other variables that affect your velocity, such as your rifling, the weapon itself, the type of ammunition you’re using and other seemingly minor things. Even a tiny difference in barrel length as low as 2 inches can mess with your bullet's flight path. This is why you re-zero your optic every time you mount it on another rifle. This ensures that your scope is perfectly tuned to that specific gun's performance.

Thankfully, digital riflescopes like the Sightmark Wraith series come packed with the ability to create different weapon profiles. This means you can set up different reticles, reticle colors, and have points of aim for every rifle or caliber you own.

For example, let’s say you have your trusty AR-15 with a 16-inch barrel. You've zeroed it in perfectly, and you've got your reticle set just the way you like it. You decide you need something with a longer range, so you switch gears to your Remington 700 with a 20-inch barrel. No sweat! Just switch over to a different weapon profile on your Wraith scope, and change your settings, and voilà – you’re able to switch between reticles, reticle colors, and points of aim between however many rifles you have.

But it doesn't stop there. Maybe you've got a collection of rifles in different calibers – no problem for a Wraith. Each caliber can have its own custom profile, ensuring that your scope is always perfectly matched to your weapon of choice.

So, whether you're shooting .223 Remington out of your AR-15 or .308 Winchester out of your bolt-action, the Wraith allows you to have profiles for every setup. This technology ensures that every shot is spot-on, no matter which rifle you're using.

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