Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

Author Topic: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length  (Read 5005 times)

Nightcrawler

  • WTA Secretary of Defense
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5030
  • That's what SHE said!

  • Offline
Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« on: July 05, 2012, 11:01:15 PM »
I find it appalling that I'm 31 years old and have not owned a single-action revolver.  I intend to remedy this this year if at all possible.  The gun will likely be a Ruger Super Blackhawk, since .44 Magnum is my caliber.

So which barrel length?  Only two are in the running for me.  4-5/8" and 5-1/2".





The barrel length difference is less than an inch, yet it's perplexing me.

Normally I like 5" barrels on large frame revolvers.  And I generally have thought that 5.5" looks best on a single action revolver, especially an adjustable sight model.  So easy peazy, right? 

Not so fast.  My new primary handgun will soon, very likely, be a 4.2" Ruger Redhawk.  The 4" is hard enough to find.  I like the balance and handling.  I've not been able to find a 5.5" anywhere to try it out.

A 4" large-frame revolver adds a touch of versatility in holster selection and concealability.  I can, and have, many times, concealed a 5" barrel revolver, but the Ruger is somewhat heavier than the N-Frame and it will be more of a chore.  Not that I'm going to conceal the .44 too much anymore, but it's always a possibility.

The single-action will be my backup for the double action.  It will get carried occasionally, used, shot, brought with me on trips into the desert.  I want them to have the same barrel length, I think, but I'm not sure.

So what's your favorite barrel length on a single action revolver?  This is a great chance to post pics if you have them.  Do you have different preferences for heavy Rugers vs. true Single Action Army clones?

Cheers.  Many pictures please.
UtahMOLON LABE

Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Part-Time Novelist


Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

strangelittleman

  • Small, Dark and Handsome
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2299

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 11:12:39 PM »
5.5 across the board. No question, light, handy-easy packing, yet great "pointability"/good sight radius for anything coyote-sized out to 100m, easy.
North CarolinaSemper Gumby.....Always Flexible.

JesseL

  • Gun Mangler
  • WTA Staff
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 11711

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 11:18:20 PM »
I really like the 4-5/8". For me it packs and points better than the 5.5.

As for Ruger vs more faithful SAA clones, being able to load all 6 chambers is nice and I like that opening the loading gate drops the cylinder stop instead of having to put it on half-cock. Other bonuses include coil springs and a frame that can handle virtually any .44 mag load sold.

On the other hand, it is a bit annoying that my Blackhawk likes to index right between chambers when loading. I hear that can be fixed with some aftermarket parts.

My 4-5/8" Blackhawk in .41 Mag:

Arizona

Nightcrawler

  • WTA Secretary of Defense
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5030
  • That's what SHE said!

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 12:39:12 AM »
Quote
On the other hand, it is a bit annoying that my Blackhawk likes to index right between chambers when loading. I hear that can be fixed with some aftermarket parts.

The New Vaqueros have fixed this to some extent, I think.  I have heard they click when the chambers are aligned with the loading gate.  In the regular Blackhawks I guess if you hear the click you've already missed it.

I've seen parts called "reverse indexing pawl" and "free spin cylinder" and all that.  I don't know what any of it means.  Hopefully an experienced Ruger SA shooter can filled me in.

Looking at you, Norseman.  :D
UtahMOLON LABE

Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Part-Time Novelist

mwcoleburn

  • Owner, Operator, Gun Pusher
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2579
    • Coleburn Armory

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 02:20:19 AM »
I'm going with the 4 5/8ths as well. Just has a little more of that gunslinger vibe
WashingtonColeburn Armory
www.coleburnarmory.net

Grant

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 6282

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 08:04:31 AM »
    For your instance: Either would be good.   I personally would recomend the 5.5",for me, the 4 5/8" is just a wee short.   

   Truthfully, I like the 6.5" barrel.   But I ain't trying to conceal that one ;) Long enough sight radius they're really easy to shoot accurate, but not the long 7.5" which seems to be the point that barrels just get too danged long.
Montana"I’d say the worst part of all this is the feeling of betrayal,           but I’m betting the part where they break in here and beat us to death might be worse.”

schapm

  • Hardass McAwesome
  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1025

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 08:53:50 AM »
I have always liked the look of the 4 5/8" barrels. Before I even read your question I was thinking 4 5/8" just based on the thread title.
Indiana


Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

HiVelSword

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3786
  • Sweeten' the ride

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 09:21:25 AM »
Another vote for 4 and 5/8th's. Blued Blackhawks are so damned sexy.
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

Deathrider1579

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1511

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »
This will probably get rocks thrown at me but I don't like single action revolvers, its probably because they are almost all of the Colt SAA type and I find the pattern horrific. But I love me some double action goodness.

I think you want the 4" just based on your explanation of things. It honestly looks better and has more versatility and sacrifices nothing.
"If we don't fight as radicals for our liberty, eventually we will have none."-sqlbullet
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity." -Yeats

HiVelSword

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3786
  • Sweeten' the ride

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 09:23:47 AM »
This brings me to a question.

Ruger made the first 6-shot .454 and in a DA no less. So why the hell haven't they made an SA .454 yet?

Did they get a chunk of cease and desist money from Magnum Research or something?
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

HiVelSword

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 3786
  • Sweeten' the ride

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 09:24:21 AM »
This will probably get rocks thrown at me but I don't like single action revolvers, its probably because they are almost all of the Colt SAA type and I find the pattern horrific. But I love me some double action goodness.

I think you want the 4" just based on your explanation of things. It honestly looks better and has more versatility and sacrifices nothing.

*looks for a suitable rock*
To all those killed by a 9mm, "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!" -HVS

"You see, Doctor, God didn't kill that little girl. Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night he didn't seem to mind. From then on I knew... God doesn't make the world this way. We do." Rorschach-Watchmen

Doug Wojtowicz

  • Clown prince
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 7938
  • Fly like the wind!

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 10:33:02 AM »
After a shooting spree, they want to take the guns away from everyone who didn't do it.

-William Burroughs

GaBoy45

  • WTA LEO
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 856

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 11:10:10 AM »
From factory offerings, 4 5/8" is the best handling to me. It balances really well and clears leather fast. Now that being said, if you do choose to go custom later on, 5" is the best to me. Not to long and not too short. But for a factory go 4 5/8". I did and I love it.
“It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

coyotesfan97

  • WTA LEO
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2727
  • Life's Short Bite Hard!

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 06:32:38 PM »
Another vote for 4 5/8.  My Birdshead Vaquero has that barrel length.  I like it.
ArizonaThe bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.  Thucydides 471BC

"Hey!  Let's be careful out there." Sgt Phil Esterhaus played by Michael Conrad


Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.

JesseL

  • Gun Mangler
  • WTA Staff
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 11711

  • Online
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2012, 06:52:16 PM »
This will probably get rocks thrown at me but I don't like single action revolvers, its probably because they are almost all of the Colt SAA type and I find the pattern horrific. But I love me some double action goodness.


Well how do you feel about the 1875 Remington?



S&W Schofield?



Merwin, Hulbert & Co?




Arizona

Ken Brock

  • Knifemaker
  • WTA LEO
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 198
    • Brock Blades

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2012, 10:32:15 PM »
If I had it to do all over again, I'd get a Ruger Bisley and have it cut to 6 inches (they only come in 7 1/2)

the Bisley grip is much more comfortable to me. I had one in .44 magnum and the longest kill I had with it was 125 yards
South Carolina

coelacanth

  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 12:38:01 AM »
I like the 4 5/8 barrel on my .45 Colt Blackhawk.  It balances well and points very naturally for me.  If I had to hit a running rabbit with a handgun that is the one I would pick.  That said, Ken Brock's point is well taken especially with heavy loads.  The Ruger Bisley grip is a good one for handling stout recoil. 
"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." 

            Robert A. Heinlein , "Friday"

hi-power

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 276

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 09:36:58 PM »
i grew up with a .357 new model in 4 5/8 (bicentennial model) and i liked it well enough, but for my own i decided on the 5.5, mostly for looks/aesthetic balance. the big blackhawk frame feels like it needs a bit more barrel to balance it, and ~5in barrels look dead sexy on almost every revolver.

so when i found this .357 Bisley for decent price i jumped on it



now that i have some experience with the 5.5 i still like it, but i can see the benefit of a 4 5/8 on a gun that will see a lot of belt use.

i doubt my advice is worth two cents, but you get it anyway:

given all the other differences i'm not sure there is a lot of point to matching barrel lengths between a single and a double action. i would get the blackhawk you want to play with and the redhawk you want to work with

THE NORSEMAN

  • To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them. - Richard Henry Lee
  • Staff Member Emeritus
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 4907

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2012, 11:17:51 PM »
NC- The whole reverse index and free spin kits are not needed unless you are going to compete, or have a few hundred bucks you don't care too much about.  Just learn how to run the gun.  I do the whole thing one handed(lefty).  Easy-peasy and fairly quick.  Larry's seen me do it.  Just takes practice.

As for the exact gun?  A 5.5" with the bisley grip and hammer spur.  You know, like the one I have...........

Edit:  Wait, you said SBH, so a vaquero's out?  I prefer the vaquero in 44 over the SBH.  It handles and balances much nicer.  And the bisley version is very easy to run one handed if needed with that low hammer spur.
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty...
The right of self defense is the first law of nature.

goatroper

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1039

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2012, 12:42:58 AM »
i grew up with a .357 new model in 4 5/8 (bicentennial model) and i liked it well enough, but for my own i decided on the 5.5, mostly for looks/aesthetic balance. the big blackhawk frame feels like it needs a bit more barrel to balance it, and ~5in barrels look dead sexy on almost every revolver.

so when i found this .357 Bisley for decent price i jumped on it



now that i have some experience with the 5.5 i still like it, but i can see the benefit of a 4 5/8 on a gun that will see a lot of belt use.

i doubt my advice is worth two cents, but you get it anyway:

given all the other differences i'm not sure there is a lot of point to matching barrel lengths between a single and a double action. i would get the blackhawk you want to play with and the redhawk you want to work with


Good is just good.  I love single actions (and am poor in such at the moment), and the Bisley grip is perfect for big paws like mine.  And them single-action Rugers will run as long as you can.
VirginiaGoatroper

goatroper

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1039

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2012, 12:54:08 AM »
Good is just good.  I love single actions (and am poor in such at the moment), and the Bisley grip is perfect for big paws like mine.  And them single-action Rugers will run as long as you can.


Sorry, meant to add: go with what feels and works right.  They're all good.
VirginiaGoatroper

Nightcrawler

  • WTA Secretary of Defense
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 5030
  • That's what SHE said!

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 01:40:50 AM »
Make no mistake, gang, whatever single action I get WILL be a working gun.  I don't own any range toys, save my .22.  It will get carried in lieu of my double action.  Not often, but really, a big .44 isn't going to be my EDC anymore.  Especially since the Ruger, even in 4" format, outweighs my 5" 629 classic.  Outside of getting a quality (i.e., expensive) shoulder rig, it's not going to be something I pack all that often.  My EDC will be a .38 or .357 snub, on a belt or in the pocket.

The 4-5/8ths inch makes sense in that it's handier.  A 5+ inch barrel gun is an awkward draw from a high ride belt holster, and while I can conceal it, what I am getting out of that extra inch of barrel?  Weight.  Which is good and bad in a .44 Magnum, depending on how you look at it.

I typically prefer 5" or so barrels in big revolvers, though.  I wanted a 5.5" Redhawk initially, and may still end up with one in lieu of the 4" if I can find a good deal on one.  So mainly it comes down to preference and cosmetics.  I've never shot a Redhawk or a Blackhawk, so I don't know how they handle.
UtahMOLON LABE

Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Part-Time Novelist

goatroper

  • Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1039

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2012, 02:02:40 AM »
Make no mistake, gang, whatever single action I get WILL be a working gun.  I don't own any range toys, save my .22.  It will get carried in lieu of my double action.  Not often, but really, a big .44 isn't going to be my EDC anymore.  Especially since the Ruger, even in 4" format, outweighs my 5" 629 classic.  Outside of getting a quality (i.e., expensive) shoulder rig, it's not going to be something I pack all that often.  My EDC will be a .38 or .357 snub, on a belt or in the pocket.

The 4-5/8ths inch makes sense in that it's handier.  A 5+ inch barrel gun is an awkward draw from a high ride belt holster, and while I can conceal it, what I am getting out of that extra inch of barrel?  Weight.  Which is good and bad in a .44 Magnum, depending on how you look at it.

I typically prefer 5" or so barrels in big revolvers, though.  I wanted a 5.5" Redhawk initially, and may still end up with one in lieu of the 4" if I can find a good deal on one.  So mainly it comes down to preference and cosmetics.  I've never shot a Redhawk or a Blackhawk, so I don't know how they handle.

All good points.  I kinda forgot the direction of your original post.  My only experience with the short Redhawk is my current 4.2-incher, and it's been nothing but good.  Mine is the version that comes with the Hogue rubber monogrip, and with that recoil is not really too much of an issue.  With that short barrel, using fairly hot magnums, the concussion is a bit of a shock at first, but that could work to your advantage in a defensive situation.  As I responded to Evil One, I don't think I'd have that much of a problem concealing the 4.2 with my bulk for most of 3 seasons, with proper holster, and that's an added plus.  Ruger's big revolvers are built so solid you'd really have to try pretty hard to break one -- very big plus.

My only experience with the 4-5/8 single action is with a cheap Uberti in .357, so doesn't really apply, but it's as accurate as any revolver I've got.  And I've been coveting a couple in .44 and .41 my local dealer has, should my Gun Fund ever permit.  (It's been abused lately, trying to baby it.)  I actually kinda prefer a good single action for woods carry, although that could just be personal preference.  They are hell-for-strong, and eat hot loads with no problem.
VirginiaGoatroper

GeorgeHill

  • Co-Founder
  • WTA Staff
  • Senior Contributor
  • *****
  • Posts: 19717
  • The Ogre
    • MadOgre.com

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2012, 01:34:30 PM »
I love that 4 inch length... I really do.
UtahCo-Founder of WeTheArmed.com
The Ogre from MadOgre.com.

Vires et Honestas
Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.
http://www.madogre.com/

GaBoy45

  • WTA LEO
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 856

  • Offline
Re: Single Action Revolver Barrel Length
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2012, 03:55:56 PM »
Nightcrawler - One of our LGS has a 4" Stainless steel Blackhawk in 44 Mag on gunbroker for a good price. Check out the seller Howards pawn on Gunbroker.
“It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men


Help support WeTheArmed.com by visiting our sponsors.