Optimum Barrel Length For The .22 Rimfire
Q: I read your review of the CZ457 Premium and have a couple of questions: This rifle has a 24" barrel, but the Jaguar model has a 28" barrel. What is the optimum length for a .22 LR? The new M98 Mauser rifle appears to have undergone several changes with barrels only 22", weight 8lbs for standard and magnum chamberings. Have you done a review of the Mauser M12 I know you did one of the M18, but haven't seen one on the M12. I am particularly taken with the laminated thumbhole style M12 MAX.
A: Maximum velocity of the .22 LR is reached in about 16" of barrel length and will remain constant or decrease slightly as the bullet travels farther in the bore. One would conclude therefore, that 16" is the optimum barrel length for the .22LR. However, a rifle with a stubby 16" barrel may be poorly balanced, hence most rifles have 20, 22 or 24" barrels. The CZ 457 Jaguar seems to have an unusually long 28" barrel. To date I have not reviewed one of the new Mauser 98 rifles, but am expecting one to turn up at any time. I examined this rifle at the Wild Deer Show at Bendigo recently and O.S.A promised me one to play with. I tested the Mauser M12 in February 2014 and the write-up would have appeared later that year. I am looking forward to getting the M98. I've always been a great fan of the modern M98 action.