I've seen lots of details about the twist of a rifle barrel. 1:7 1:9 1:11 What is that stuff?
Well I knew it was about how much twist the lands and groove in a barrel have. I guessed it was how many inches before one groove spun all the way around the interior diameter. So 1:7 is a tight spiral, spinning the bullet 360 degrees in 7 inches, and 1:20 is more liesurely. And I have known for a long long time that this bullet spin from a rifled barrel is what helps the round 'fly' straighter.
But I saw in some things I read that people care about how much their barrel has, and will change out a barrel to a twist ratio they prefer and they feel is superior. So I had to research to be sure this wasn't yet ANOTHER thing I needed to worry my little brain over.
Chuck Hawks was one of the first sites on the list when I googled 'rifle twist' and quickly told me all I need to know. Wikipedia wasn't shabby at enlightening me, neither.
From Mr. Hawks I learned that the smaller the ration, 1:7 say, and faster the spin, the more pressure builds up and the tougher a bullet jacket has to be. Pointy Spitzer bullets need faster twist. So do heavy bullets. Fast bullets don't need so much. And, most importantly, rifle makers have devoted a lot of Brain Juice to the subject to find the ideal twist rate and have been noodling this subject for longer than I ever will and I need never worry about it. Custom barrels that have deviated widely from the accepted consensus rate are best avoided, generally. Monkeying with it is asking for trouble, or it's for a VERY peculiar/specific-to-some-load someone wanted to fire, and THAT is asking for trouble on a rifle that I want to use.
When I become an Olympic quality rifle match Grand Champion type, THEN I might worry about twist rates for a rifle I need to win the 10,000 yard bullseye shoot. But then again I might not. Until then... Relax.
I should have known not to concern myself in reading Jeff Cooper's writings on details of his big-game hunting rifle Baby, and the development of the Scout rifle.
Chuck Hawks lists the common twist rates of various calibers here.
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