Best Barrel Length for .22 ARC: Unlocking Precision and Performance

Posted by on Feb 29th 2024

Best Barrel Length for .22 ARC: Unlocking Precision and Performance

Originally posted here.

The .22 Advanced Rifle Cartridge (.22 ARC) has been making waves among enthusiasts for its remarkable accuracy and versatility.

But what is the optimal barrel length to maximize the potential of this innovative round?

Real-world testing suggests that the best barrel length for the .22 ARC is between 18 to 24 inches. A 20-inch barrel is the best all-around length to go with for multiple uses.

Let’s dive into the details to uncover the secrets behind the best barrel length for .22 ARC, whether you’re using it for hunting, competition, or plinking.

Best Barrel Length for .22 ARC
(Photo: Faxon Firearms)

The Role of Barrel Length

The barrel length of a rifle plays a pivotal role in the bullet’s velocity, accuracy, and overall performance.

A longer barrel can provide the bullet more time to accelerate, potentially increasing velocity and stabilizing the bullet for a straighter flight path.

On the other hand, a shorter barrel is easier to handle but might sacrifice some velocity and accuracy.

Finding the sweet spot for barrel length is crucial for optimizing the performance of the .22 ARC.

Ideal Barrel Length for 22 ARC

Based on insights from experts and real-world testing, the optimal barrel length for the .22 ARC is within the range of 18 to 22 inches.

This range offers a balanced compromise between velocity, accuracy, and handling.

Barrels within this length can efficiently stabilize the .22 ARC round, ensuring a flat trajectory and consistent performance at distances up to and beyond 300 yards.

Best Barrel Length for .22 ARC
(Photo: Faxon Firearms)

Velocity and Energy

The velocity of a bullet as it exits the barrel is a critical factor in long-range shooting. A higher velocity can reduce the bullet’s time in flight, making it less susceptible to wind drift and gravity, thus enhancing accuracy.

The .22 ARC benefits from a barrel length that allows the powder to fully combust, optimizing the bullet’s speed without causing excessive wear on the barrel or creating too much noise and muzzle blast.

  • 18 to 20 inches: Ideal for most shooting scenarios, this barrel length provides a good balance between velocity and manageability. It ensures sufficient velocity for the .22 ARC to perform effectively at ranges up to 300 yards, making it a versatile choice for both hunting and target shooting.
  • 21 to 22 inches: Barrels in this length maximize the .22 ARC’s velocity, pushing its performance envelope further. This increased velocity translates into a flatter trajectory and higher energy on impact, beneficial for long-range precision shooting and varmint hunting at extended distances.

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy in shooting is not just about hitting the target but hitting it consistently. The precision of the .22 ARC is influenced by how well the barrel stabilizes the bullet, a factor directly affected by barrel length.

  • Barrel Harmonics: Every barrel vibrates when a shot is fired, and these vibrations can affect the bullet’s path. The right barrel length can minimize these effects, enhancing shot-to-shot consistency. The 18 to 22-inch range tends to offer a good balance, reducing harmonic vibrations and improving accuracy.
  • Twist Rate: The twist rate of the barrel must match the bullet’s weight and velocity to stabilize the bullet properly. The optimal barrel lengths for the .22 ARC are often paired with twist rates that ensure the bullet remains stable throughout its flight, enhancing accuracy.

Shooting Objectives

  • Target Shooting and Competitions: If precision and accuracy over long distances are your primary goals, opting for a barrel length in the 21 to 22-inch range may be ideal. This length maximizes the .22 ARC’s ballistic potential, providing the flat trajectory and high velocity needed for hitting distant targets.
  • Hunting and Field Use: For hunters who value mobility and versatility, a barrel length between 18 to 20 inches offers a great balance. This range provides enough velocity for ethical shots at medium ranges while ensuring the rifle remains manageable in various terrains.
best barrel length for 22 arc
(Photo: Faxon Firearms)

22 ARC Barrel Options From Faxon Firearms

Faxon Firearms offers three distinct barrel options for the AR-15 in the 22 ARC category, each designed to cater to different shooter needs and preferences.

The first is a 24″ Heavy Fluted barrel, ideal for those seeking precision and reduced weight.

The second option is a 20″ Flame Fluted barrel, which offers a balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Faxon 20″, Flame Fluted, 22 ARC, Rifle-Length, 416R, Nitride, 5R, Nickel Teflon Extension, 1/7 Twist

Lastly, the 16″ Gunner barrel is designed for maneuverability and ease of carry, making it suitable for dynamic shooting environments.

Each barrel features a 1/7 twist rate, rifle-length gas system, and is manufactured from 416R stainless steel with a nitride finish for durability.

22 ARC Barrel Specs

  • Barrel Material: 416-R Stainless
  • Barrel Type: Button Rifled
  • Barrel Caliber: 22 ARC
  • Barrel Twist: 1:7
  • Barrel Profile: Flame Fluted
  • Barrel Gas System: Rifle
  • Inside Finish: Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Nitride
  • Muzzle Thread: 1/2×28
  • Barrel Extension: M4
  • Magnetic Particle Inspected!
  • 11-degree Target Crown
  • Uses 6.5 Grendel bolt/BCG


Choosing the right barrel length for your .22 ARC rifle depends on your shooting needs and preferences.

Whether you’re aiming for an ethical kill on your next hunt or striving for unmatched precision at long ranges, there’s a barrel length that’s just right for you.

Remember, the best barrel length is one that complements your shooting style while unlocking the full potential of the .22 ARC cartridge.