4" or 6" barrel? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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4" or 6" barrel?

I'm about to buy a .357 revolver. What I'd like to do is maybe add a scope to it and I see you can add one to either. Is there a bigger advantage to a 6" barrel over the 4" in terms of handling and accuracy?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:04 AM
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With open sights a 6 inch as an advantage because it has a longer sighting plane than the 4 inch. With a scope I doubt there is a noticeable advantage with the 6 inch, and it will be heavier to carry.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:08 AM
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With a 6", you're 2" closer to the target.

Longer barrel = longer sight radius = better accuracy for most people.
Longer barrel = moderate increase in velocity ( +/- 50-75 FPS)

Shorter barrel = easier carry, sitting, concealment, etc...
Shorter barrel = quicker handling

Asthetics = personal opinion.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks I'm looking at either a Ruger GP 100 or a Blackhawk. Not sure if I want the "cowboy" look on the Blackhawk. I can mount a scope on the 4.2" GP100 if I choose?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:38 AM
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I have a 6 inch stainless GP100 and it is a fine piece for sure.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:51 AM
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Depending on the scope, putting a scope on a 4" barrel will leave the ocular lens very close to the muzzle and possibly subject it to muzzle blast damage. If the revolver is going to be scoped anyway, I can't think of any advantage of a 4" over a 6".
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Bought a Ruger GP100 4.2" barrel. I tried a 6" barrel and it seem too heavy in my hand.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 06:11 PM
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I don't know if you are going to hunt, or just shoot your new handgun. If you are going to hunt, I would make sure you take some hearing protection. Shooting ANY magnum handgun with only a 4 inch barrel can be punishing and damage your hearing. I made the mistake ONCE of firing my 6 inch .357 without hearing protection and my ears rang for a while. That is why I want every inch of barrel that I can get from a magnum handgun. 2 inches may not seem like much, but that is 2 inches further from your ears for that muzzle blast. Best of luck and enjoy that new piece.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 07:09 PM
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Assuming, since you are thinking of scoping, the gun may be used for hunting.


I like a longer barrel over a shorter barrel. Just balances out, steadies and settles in better for me. I have a 4" S&W .44 Mag that is a wonderful gun. Wouldn't wanna have to hunt with it. Have a Taurus .357 Mag with a 6" barrel that is NUTZ for accurate. Balances superbly. IMHO, the .357 Mag is on the light side to hunt with unless that's all ya got...….and even then...…. But it's great fun to shoot. Have a pair of 6" .401 Power Mags......one scoped, one not. Extremely good shooters. And have an open sighted 7 1/2" Ruger SBH .44 Mag. Probably the nicest one of the bunch as a pure hunting handgun. Maybe only the scoped .401 surpasses it.


I'd opt for a 6" over a 4" gun EVERY time.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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I probably won't hunt with it. I like my long guns too much (Tikka .243, Ruger M77 30.06, Tikka 7 MMag).

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