Copyright: RonSpomerOutdoors

Short Action vs Long Action: A Comprehensive List of Calibers for Rifles

In the world of firearms and ammunition, the terms "short action" and "long action" refer to two different types of rifles. While both types of rifles are used for hunting and target shooting, they have distinct differences in their designs and capabilities.

A short action rifle is designed to fire cartridges that are shorter in length than those used in long action rifles. This means that the bolt in a short action rifle has a shorter distance to travel when cycling, which results in faster follow-up shots and a shorter overall length of the rifle. Short action rifles are typically chambered for cartridges such as the .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor.

On the other hand, a long action rifle is designed to fire cartridges that are longer in length than those used in short action rifles. This means that the bolt in a long action rifle has to travel a longer distance when cycling, which results in a slower follow-up shot and a longer overall length of the rifle. Long action rifles are typically chambered for cartridges such as the .30-06 Springfield, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum. 

POPULAR short ACTION 

17 Remington (short action)
204 Ruger (short action)
20 PPC (short action)
22 Hornet (short action)
218 Bee (short action)
221 Remington Fireball (short action)
222 Remington (short action)
223 Remington (short action)
222 Remington Magnum (short action)
22 PPC (short action)
219 Zipper (short action)
22 Bench Rest (BR) (short action)
224 Weatherby Magnum (short action)
22-250 Remington (short action)
220 Swift (short action)
6mm PPC (short action)
6mm BR (short action)
243 Winchester (short action)
308 Winchester  (short action)
6mm Remington (short action)
6.5 Creedmoor (short action)
6mm-284 Winchester (short action)
250 Savage (short action)
260 Remington (short action)
308 Winchester (short action)
6.8 Remington SPC (short action)
270 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) (short action)
7mm-08 (short action)
7mm Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum (SAUM)
30 M1 Carbine (short action)
30 BR (short action)
30-30 Winchester (short action)
300 Remington SAUM (short action)
300 WSM (short action)
308 Winchester (short action)
325 WSM (short action)
338 Federal (short action)
35 Remington (short action)
44-40 Winchester (short action)

POPULAR long ACTION 

240 Weatherby Magnum
6mm-284 Winchester
257 Roberts (long action)
25-06 Remington (long action)
55 Swedish Mauser  (long action)
6.5-06 A-Square (long action)
264 Winchester Magnum (long action)
270 Winchester (long action)
280 Remington (long action)
30-40 Krag (long action)
30-06 Springfield (long action)
303 British (long action)
8x57 Mauser (long action)
35 Whelen (long action)
350 Remington Magnum (long action)
 45-70 Government (long action)

Cartridge Caliber Case Length (in) Overall Length (in) Bullet Weight (gr) Muzzle Velocity (fps) Muzzle Energy (ft-lbs) Max Pressure (psi) Main Application
.308 Winchester .308 2.015 2.810 125-200 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,900 62,000 Hunting, target shooting
.30-06 Springfield .308 2.494 3.340 125-220 2,500-2,900 2,500-3,400 60,200 Hunting, target shooting
.223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO .224 1.760 2.260 40-77 2,700-3,300 1,100-1,300 55,000 Target shooting, varmint hunting
.270 Winchester .277 2.540 3.340 90-150 2,800-3,200 2,600-2,900 65,000 Hunting
7.62x54mmR .311 2.120 3.150 147-203 2,600-3,000 2,500-3,300 53,000 Hunting
.243 Winchester .243 1.920 2.710 55-105 2,900-3,500 1,800-2,000 60,000 Hunting, target shooting
.300 Winchester Magnum .308 2.620 3.340 150-220 2,900-3,100 3,400-4,400 64,000 Hunting
.22-250 Remington .224 1.850 2.390 35-64 3,200-3,800 1,500-1,800 65,000 Varmint hunting, target shooting
.338 Lapua Magnum .338 2.724 3.681 200-300 2,900-3,100 5,000-5,400 60,900 Long-range shooting, military
.375 H&H Magnum .375 2.850 3.600 235-350 2,500-2,900 4,000-5,000 62,000 African game hunting
.22 Long Rifle .224 0.613 1.000 20-40 1,000-1,300 100-150 24,000 Plinking, small game hunting
.243 Winchester Super Short Magnum .243 1.620 2.350 55-105 3,500-4,100 2,000-2,600 65,000 Hunting, target shooting
.416 Rigby .416 3.340 4.000 350-410 2,300-2,500 5,000-5,700 65,000 African dangerous game hunting
.260 Remington .264 2. 310 2.800-3,100 1,800-2,400 60,000 Hunting, target shooting
.257 Weatherby Magnum .257 2.545 3.295 87-120 3,500-3,800 3,200-3,700 65,000 Hunting
.22 Hornet .224 1.400 1.730 30-45 2,300-3,000 300-500 25,000 Plinking, varmint hunting
.308 Norma Magnum .308 2.580 3.340 150-220 2,900-3,100 3,800-4,800 65,000 Hunting
.300 Weatherby Magnum .308 2.825 3.560 150-220 3,100-3,400 4,500-5,500 62,000 Hunting
.223 WSSM .224 1.670 2.360 50-64 3,800-4,000 1,500-1,800 65,000 Target shooting, varmint hunting
.204 Ruger .204 1.850 2.260 24-40 3,900-4,200 1,200-1,400 50,000 Varmint hunting

Short action Vs long action: pros and cons

Size
Short action:
Pros - Typically smaller and more compact, making them easier to handle and maneuver in tight spaces.
Cons - Limitations on cartridge length may restrict the use of certain types of ammunition.

Long action:
Pros - Larger overall size allows for greater versatility in cartridge length and more options for ammunition.
Cons - May be heavier and bulkier, making them more cumbersome to handle in tight spaces.

Weight

Short action:
Pros - Typically lighter in weight than long action rifles, making them easier to carry for extended periods of time. Cons - Reduced weight may also lead to increased felt recoil and decreased accuracy.

Long action:
Pros - The added weight of long action rifles can help reduce felt recoil and improve accuracy.
Cons - The added weight may make them more difficult to carry over long distances.

Accuracy:

Short action:
Pros - Shorter overall length of the cartridge can allow for greater rigidity and accuracy.
Cons - Reduced powder capacity may limit the overall power and velocity of the bullet.

Long action:
Pros - Greater powder capacity can lead to higher velocities and increased accuracy at longer ranges.
Cons - Longer cartridges may lead to increased flex in the barrel, reducing accuracy.

Reloading time:

Short action:
Pros - Shorter cartridges can often be reloaded more quickly, making them ideal for hunting or competition shooting.
Cons - Reduced powder capacity may require more frequent reloading.

Long action:
Pros - Greater powder capacity may allow for fewer reloading stops during extended shooting sessions.
Cons - Longer cartridges may take longer to reload, especially in high-pressure situations.

Cycle time

Short action:
Pros - Shorter cartridges typically cycle more quickly, allowing for faster follow-up shots.
Cons - Reduced powder capacity may limit overall power and velocity.

Long action:
Pros - The greater powder capacity of long action cartridges may allow for greater power and velocity, making them ideal for long-range shooting.
Cons - The longer cartridge may lead to slower cycle times and slower follow-up shots

Ease of carry
Short action:
Pros - Short action rifles are typically lighter and more compact, making them easier to carry over long distances or in tight spaces.
Cons - The reduced weight may lead to increased felt recoil.

Long action:
Pros - The added weight of long action rifles may help reduce felt recoil and improve accuracy, making them easier to carry for extended periods.
Cons - The added weight may also make them more difficult to carry over long distances.

Cost

Short action:
Pros - Short action rifles are typically less expensive to produce, making them more affordable for budget-conscious shooters.
Cons - Short action cartridges may be more expensive due to their specialized nature.

Long action:
Pros - Longer action rifles may have a wider variety of cartridge options, making them more versatile and potentially more affordable in terms of ammunition costs.
Cons - The added weight and complexity of long action rifles may make them more expensive to produce.

Popularity
Short action:
Pros - Short action rifles are generally more popular among hunters and competition shooters due to their lighter weight and more compact size.
Cons - Short action cartridges may be less popular and may be harder to find.

Long action:
Pros - Longer action rifles are generally more popular among long-range shooters due to their increased power and accuracy.
Cons - Long action rifles may be heavier and bulkier, making them less practical for hunting or competition shooting.

Ease of find:
Short action:
Pros - Short action cartridges may be easier to find due to their popularity among hunters and competition shooters.
Cons - The reduced number of cartridge options may make them harder to find in

Copyright: BassPro

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