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Barrel Length on Revolvers

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For CAS, what is the best barrel length. By best, I mean the optimal combination of sight picture, gun handling, and recoil characteristics.

 

<SNIP>

what would you want today?

Which is better: a blonde, a redhead or a brunette?

 

SC

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Which is better: a blonde, a redhead or a brunette?

 

SC

 

Redhead.

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An article in Guns of the West showed how velocity increased in the .45 Colt from 650, 680, 775 fps in the same Ruger Vaquero style gun with 4.75", 5.5" and 7.5" barrels. That mean more recoil with the longer barrel. But the longer barrel is more muzzle heavy, so the recoil is lees flip and more push.

With that said, I prefer my 1851 conversions with 7.5" barrels over my Rugers with 4.75" barrels in the same caliber.

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I started shooting Piettas GWII in 357 with 5 1/2 barrels.

I swicthed to Ub Cattleman in 44/40 fitted with 1860 grips with 7 1/2 barrels to shoot in Frontier Cartridge

I'm back now to Ub Cattleman in 38 with 4 3/4 barrels.

All guns have job actions & light springs

I manage to have a power factor close to 75/80 whatever might be the ammo or the gun

Target acquisition is better with the 7 1/2

Weight balance is much better with the 4 3/4

Nothing to say about the 5 1/2

I do prefer the 4 3/4!

Jef

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Personal preference; mine is for 5 to 5.5 inches.

Ohio deer legal handgun minimum barrel length is 5 inches and I reserve the right to take my SASS revolver afield.

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An article in Guns of the West showed how velocity increased in the .45 Colt from 650, 680, 775 fps in the same Ruger Vaquero style gun with 4.75", 5.5" and 7.5" barrels. That mean more recoil with the longer barrel. But the longer barrel is more muzzle heavy, so the recoil is lees flip and more push.

With that said, I prefer my 1851 conversions with 7.5" barrels over my Rugers with 4.75" barrels in the same caliber.

I'm not sure I agree with that premise about recoil. It is demonstrable that longer barrels produce higher velocity than shorter barrels,

until the powder is consumed and then the bullet may actually slow due to increased friction with less force behind it.

 

That's why a .22 rifle round seems to be optimal in a barrel of around 20 - 24 inches, and a 36 inch barrel wouldn't make it go faster yet.

 

We have to keep in mind that the longer barreled gun has more mass resisting the recoil impulse of the gasses as they are expanding,

so it is equally reasonable that the bigger gun will feel like it has less recoil; the extra ounces of metal negate the effects of the additional

velocity imparted to the bullet, so the force (F=ma) calculations might well show that it is not that different, if not actually in favor of the

bigger gun.

 

 

All that said, I prefer a long barreled gun and a short barreled gun, for the game.

Alfonso%2527s%2520Paladin%2520wtih%2520%

 

I've used two short guns, and two long guns, and find no meaningful difference to me and my outcome! At times when I feel the

desire to lighten up I use an older El Paso Saddlery Shootist rig with two short guns, or I might use their Cheyenne rig with two

7.5" guns, but my most commonly used and favorite rig of all is the Alfonso's Paladin rig with a short holster for a cross draw Colt.

 

That's the one above - I love it and have used it for some 5-6 years now, It just brings the fantasy alive in this game.

 

I find the 7.5" gun easier to hold steady and accurately sight with for a precision shot, as the balance and the sight picture

make it much easier for me to shoot with. On the other hand, the short guns draws and points quicker, even if only fractions of

a second. When I trail hike I sometimes carry my short Colt, especially if I'm going way back country.

 

I've never settled on the 5.5" gun, it always looks like it can't make up it's mind . . . .

 

YMMV,

 

Shadow Catcher

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