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There is a chart floating around giving velocity loss per inch based on beginning velocity range. For example, for calibers on the 2,000 - 2 , 500 fps range, they say velocity loss is only 10 fps per inch. The higher the starting velocity, the greater the speed loss per inch of barrel cut off.
 

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Found that chart I was talking about.

For rifles with a muzzle velocity in the _____________ range, change in velocity for each 1" change in barrel length is _________
......................................................1000-2000 fps............................................................................................... 5 fps.
......................................................2001-2500 fps.............................................................................................. 10 fps.
......................................................2501-3000 fps.............................................................................................. 20 fps.
......................................................3001-3500 fps.............................................................................................. 30 fps.

No idea where it came from, who came up with the numbers or how accurate it is but, speaking in generalities, it's not a bad chart. Logic says that at some point in barrel length you would reach a point of diminishing returns but at what that length is, I have no idea. I would also think that factors like powder burn rate, bullet diameter/length/surface area contacting the bore etc. would be an important factor but I suppose it is an "all else being equal" chart. That is, if the Hornady LE's give a velocity in your gun of 2,150fps and you cut it down from 20" to 16 inches, expected velocity loss with THE SAME BULLET would be calculated as a 4" loss. 4"(10 fps/inch)= 40fps and that isn't even worth worrying about. I'd be interested in data from anyone who has actually done such a conversion and made comparisons with a chrono before and after.
 
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