What barrel length? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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What barrel length?

Looking for a revolver to carry for deer hunting and also to carry as a sidearm when bear hunting, in addition to rifle also. Is a 6" barrel too cumbersome to carry versus a 4" barrel? Are the ballistics and accuracy factors as close with a 4" as a 6" barrel say in a .44 mag or a .357 mag? Any drawback to the recoil in a 4" .44mag versus a 6"?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 07:58 PM
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Re: What barrel length?

Usually the longer barrel makes the gun easier to shoot accurately at longer distances...
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 08:18 PM
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Re: What barrel length?

Longer bbl = higher velocity,better sight picture
Recoil in a 4" 44mag would be brutal I would think...this would be a better sidearm for protection than hunting IMHO
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 10:19 PM
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Re: What barrel length?

I split the difference and years ago bought a S&W Model 629 "Classic" 44 Magnum with a 5 inch barrel. Recoil is stout but not bad with the full lug barrel(It adds weight). I killed a 180 pound Wild Boar with it in 1994. Accuracy was fine and downed him with the factory open sights at 30 yards. S&W to my knowledge still makes the Classic 5". Give it a shot.......... no pun intended.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 06:25 PM
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Re: What barrel length?

Unfortunately, this decision boils down to preferences developed over time. Meaningful performance differences between a 4 and a 6 inch barrel with any given .357 or .44 at "protection" distances are about zero (within caliber).

Generally speaking, the shorter the barrel the easier to carry all day on the belt. Also, the shorter the barrel, the lighter it is, the more it barks.

I've been revolver hunting now for around 20 years. I started out with a S&W model 17 6 inch 22. Lately I either have with me my S&W 696 (3 inch .44 spl) or my S&W model 27 .357 with a 5 inch barrel. Like WildTigerTrout above, I've developed the opinion that 4-6 inch revolvers work best and that 5 inch full lug S&W's are the "perfect revolver" for both field & hunting use. But that is my pick, yours may vary. I have no use for 8 inch revolvers and nary a one has spent more than a year in my safe.

I have only one scoped revolver that hasn't seen the light of day for over three years now as I've gone to my open sighted S&W's exclusively. That's a Ruger Redhawk and I've been toying with the idea of selling it.

From the makeup of your email, I'm assuming you don't have much experience and have not fielded or hunted with handguns much?

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