4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

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4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Iplayfarmer » 30 Jul 2015 18

I'm fixing to buy a Ruger Blackhawk revolver to accompany my Rossi R92, and I was hoping for some input from the forum...

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 4.5" barrel vs. a 6.5" barrel. Is the 6.5" really that much more accurate? Is the 4.5" barrel that much easier to use?

What would you recommend I get and why?
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Zippidydoodah » 31 Jul 2015 01

6.5" longer sight plane and a little more velocity(50 fps) vs the shorter length, both equally accurate. It's personal what feels best in your hand.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby P89DC » 31 Jul 2015 04

If I'm shooting 357mag or44mag, 4 5/8" is plenty long even with full-house load. Shorter barrels balance better and the reason for the longer barrel is lost on me.
44mag and 357mag are my choices for rifle/revolver cartridges.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby mr surveyor » 31 Jul 2015 13

Just my opinion, but if the revolver is specifically picked as a "back-up" (period specific) for the Model 92 and not intended to be the primary hunting firearm, I would take the 4-5/8" barrel. As was already said, the shorter barrel doesn't really give up a considerable amount of velocity, it does give up sight radius that could make longer range shots less than desirable. There are those that could make humane kill shots with the short barrel, but I know that I'm not one. To me, the shorter barrel does have a better feel and balance and no doubt would be much more comfortable for carry "in the field". Personally I'm not a big single action fan as I carry a handgun mainly for protection, and with my hands thumbing the hammer in a timely manner would be difficult, and follow up shots would be impossible under any type of stress.

That being said, I have had the urge to buy a 4-5/8" Black Hawk in .44 spl .... maybe Bisley would be easier to thumb the hammer.

sorry for the useless input, I'm just dodging work on my birthday :lol:



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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Archer » 31 Jul 2015 15

w
What jd said. Short barrel points better, handles better, balances better, carries better. Long barrel has better long range alignment.
I love the Bisley over the plow handle.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Moon Tree » 31 Jul 2015 18

I have a Blackhawk .357 SS with a 6.5" barrel. I love it. I bought it primarily as a hunting weapon, secondarily as a "carry around the farm" piece. I shoot the it well out to 25 yards--2.5" grouping. I shoot it better than I did .44 mag with a 4 1/2" barrel.

It carries well in a western when I'm on the tractor or just walking around. When I'm hunting I usually have a rifle with me and the Blackhawk is a "target of opportunity" firearm. On those outings I like a shoulder holster better. The shoulder holster work better in a tree stand and I'm not bumping the revolver with the rifle while I'm walking.

I have a similar problem. I'm planning on getting a Blackhawk in a .45 colt in the next couple of months. Ruger offers a 5 1/2" barrel and a 7 1/2" barrel. If they offered a 6 1/2" barrel, I'd be all over it. Like you, I'm torn. The 7 1/2" might be awkward just carrying around on the farm, but it might allow me to stretch my hunting distance to 50 yards, with practice. The 5 1/2 barrel would be easier to carry, but how well will I shoot the short barre. And, I could use my current holsters with the shorter barrel, without spending a couple hundred more dollars.

What I'm going to do, is wait until I can handle them before making a decision.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Archer » 01 Aug 2015 01

Out to 15-20 yards or so the difference between 3 to 5 inches in the 1911s doesn't seem to make a lot of difference. (Maybe hitting NECCO wafers or tobacco tags gets a bit harder with the shorty guns but it can be done. Palm or apple sized targets tend to get DRT.)
Same thing for double action revolvers 4 to 6 inches seem to work well at those ranges.

Pushing out to 30-50 yards or so the longer barrels do better. (Racquet and Tennis balls anyone?)

Trying for the 100 yard shots (fun shots) the longer barrels are more or less a requirement. (We tended to make the targets a bit bigger for the old 1911 Colt we felt pretty good if we could hit milk jugs with regularity. The newer guns with the larger front sights are hard to hold a fine bead at longer range. The wide front sights and the superelevation of the sight with regards to the target tends to cover up what you are shooting at AND a lot of the area around it. )

Then there are the differences in comfort and caliber. Most folks are more comfortable with .357 Mag than .44 Mag and maybe more comfortable with .38s than the .357. Part of it is hand size vs. grip size. Part of it is anticipation of recoil. I can't count the number of folks who've told me they just couldn't shoot a .45 ACP because it was too much gun without even trying it. I can't count the number of young ladies I've seen pick up a 1911 and get scary accurate groups out of it because they didn't know they were supposed to be afraid of it.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Iplayfarmer » 01 Aug 2015 23

Thanks for the replies. This gives me a lot to think about. It sounds like the next step is to handle the two sizes and see how they feel.

I'll be shooting primarily targets, but I will carry the pistol in the back country for defense against the four legged type of attacker. I want to be accurate, and I want to be fast. It sounds like I can't have both with one gun.

I was initially leaning toward the 6.5" barrel, but the info in this thread is making me seriously consider the shorter version.
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby Archer » 02 Aug 2015 02

You could probably make either work very well but the key is probably practice practice practice!
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Re: 4.5 inch or 6.5 inch?

Postby P89DC » 02 Aug 2015 09

Archer wrote:w
What jd said. Short barrel points better, handles better, balances better, carries better. Long barrel has better long range alignment.
I love the Bisley over the plow handle.

Me too:
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Last edited by P89DC on 02 Aug 2015 09, edited 1 time in total.
44mag and 357mag are my choices for rifle/revolver cartridges.
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