Barrel Twist

The information below will help you select the best barrel twist for your specific needs, providing of course there are multiple choices. If you’ll be shooting one bullet weight, choose a twist from the chart just fast enough to stabilize it. Too fast a twist simply overspins the bullet and may result in reduced accuracy. On the other hand, a twist too slow for any bullet will likely produce instability, keyholing and rotten accuracy. So if you’re going to be using several bullet weights, be sure to select a twist that will stabilize the heaviest one, since lighter bullets will also be stabilized.

By way of explanation, the numbers in the "Twist" column indicate how far the bullet must travel through the bore to make one full revolution. This is determined by the rate of rotation of the rifling. For example, a 9"-twist barrel spins the bullet one full turn when it passes 9 inches through the bore. In a 16"-twist barrel, the bullet makes one revolution in 16 inches. So at the same bullet velocity, the 9" twist is faster (spins the bullet faster) than the 16" twist. Consequently, as the chart reflects in the .224 CF section, the 9" twist is necessary for stabilizing heavier bullet weights.

Again looking at the .224 CF section, if you’re planning to shoot 55-grain bullets, the 14" twist is ideal. This twist is also the best choice for 52- and 53-grain match bullets driven at moderate velocities. But if you’re also contemplating shooting a 60-grainer, go with the 12" twist, since it will stabilize all the bullets you’ll be using. As you can see from the 15" and 16" twists, higher velocities also spin the bullet faster and may enable a slower-than-recommended twist to stabilize a marginally overweight bullet. However, this is tricky stuff best left to those who are highly experienced in operating at the ragged edge of stability and sanity.

The basic principles just outlined apply to all the calibers below. But, if you have questions or need a recommendation, let us know.

Caliber Twist

.172 9" For bullets heavier than 30 gr.
10" For bullets up to 30 gr.

.204/20 12" For all bullets.

.222 RF 14"* Twist for pistol barrels
16" Standard twist for rifle barrels
17"* Special twist for rifle barrels

.224 CF 8" For bullets heavier than 70 gr.
9" For bullets up to 70 gr.
12" For bullets up to 63 gr.
14" For bullets up to 55 gr.
15"* For bullets up to 55 gr. driven 4,100 fps or more
16"* For bullets up to 55 gr. driven 4,300 fps or more

6mm/.243 8" Special for VLD bullets over 100 gr.
10" For bullets up to 120 gr. and VLD under 100 gr.
12" For bullets up to 85 gr.
13"* For bullets up to 75 gr.
14"* For bullets up to 70 gr.
15"* Special for bullets up to 70 gr.

.257 9" For bullets heavier than 100 gr.
10" For bullets up to 100 gr.
12" For bullets up to 90 gr.
13"* For bullets up to 80 gr.
14"* For bullets up to 70 gr.

6.5mm/.264 8" For bullets heavier than 130 gr.
9" For bullets up to 130 gr.

.270 10" For all bullets

7mm/.284 9" For bullets heavier than 140 gr.
11" For bullets up to 140 gr.

.307 13"* Special size and twist

.308 8" For bullets heavier than 220gr.
10" For bullets up to 220 gr.
12" For bullets up to 170 gr.
14"* For bullets up to 168 gr.
15"* For bullets up to 150 gr.

7.65mm/.311 10" For all bullets

8mm/.323 10" For all bullets

.338 10" For all bullets

9mm/.355 14" For low-velocity wadcutters
16" For all other bullets

.38/.357 14" For low-velocity wadcutters
18" For all other bullets

.358 14" For all bullets

.375 12" For all bullets

10mm/.400 16" For all bullets

.411 14" For all bullets

.416 14" For all bullets

.44 20" For all bullets
16" For low velocity wadcutters

.451 16" For all bullets

.458 14" For all bullets

What size barrel will serve you best? The information below will give you an idea of the size and weight of every Shilen barrel contour. Dimension "C" is the muzzle diameter at dimension "F", which is our suggested finish barrel length.

 

Dimensions (inches)

Contour #

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

Weight at G Length

1 Featherweight

1.200

.700

.550

2.5

6

20

22

2 lbs. 10oz.
2 Lightweight

1.200

.765

.575

2.5

6

24

26

3 lbs.
3 oz..
3 Sporter

1.200

.815

.625

2.5

6

24

26

3 lbs.
8 oz.
4 Magnum Sporter

1.200

.860

.650

3.0

6

26

28

4 lbs.
2 oz.
5 Lightweight Varmint

1.200

.910

.700

3.0

6

26

28

4 lbs.
8 oz.
5-1/2 Medium Weight Varmint

1.200

.960

.750

3.0

6

26

28

5 lbs.
6 Lightweight Target*

1.250

--

.750

3.0

--

26

28

6 lbs.
7LV Light Varmint**

1.250

--

.840

3.0

--

26

28

6 lbs.
12 oz.
7S Standard Varmint*

1.250

--

.890

4.0

--

26

28

7 lbs.
1 oz.
7HV Heavy Varmint**

1.250

--

.940

5.0

--

26

28

7 lbs.
8 oz.
8 Heavy Bull Barrel

1.200

--

1.000

3.0

--

26

28

7 lbs.
12 oz.
9 Rimfire Target*

1.125

--

.825

4.0

--

26

28

5 lbs.
12 oz.
10 Benchrest Special Straight cylinder, 30" long, any diameter from 1.300" to 1.450", 29" maximum finish length
11 Straight Barrel Any diameter up to 1.230"


* Straight taper
** Straight taper in special contour for Varmint Class of benchrest competition

Charlie Sisk | SISK RIFLES | 900 Truman Young Road Hawesville, Ky 42348 | (936) 258-4984