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Finding Twist Rate

tape172Knowing the twist rate of your rifle helps with bullet selection and maximizes accuracy. Finding the rate involves a few simple tools common to all shooting benches and a couple of minutes. It’s time well spent.marking72

This is one of the few times that it is acceptable to use a cleaning rod from the muzzle end of a rifle. Be careful to pull the patched rod straight back, minimizing its contact with the crown. Wet a patch with a light oil, or solvent if it needs a quick bit of cleaning. The patch needs to be tight enough to pick up the rifling and allow the rod to turn as it mimics a bullet. timingup72Push the patch far enough down the bore to cover the most likely twist lengths. In modern centerfire rifles, something past 16 inches should be enough. In muzzleloaders, with their much slower twists, it may be necessary to have 28-30 inches of barrel to measure in order to get a good reading.360rev73 Once the rod is in place, mark where it enters the barrel with a piece of masking tape. With that mark in place, mark the handle and the non-rotating collet with a sharpie pen. This will show when you have completed one full rotation within the barrel, matching the bullets travel and twist.   2ndtape72Now slowly and smoothly pull the rod out of the bore. The collet should turn with the rod as the handle remains stationary. When the lines match, mark the rod again with another piece of tape.  To find your rifle’s twist rate, simply measure between the two pieces of tape.

This rifle's twist rate is 1 in 14 inches

This rifle’s twist rate is 1 in 14 inches