Which Barrel Length?

gerhard1

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Which barrel length is best for overall carry? I mean with revolvers. My preference, confirmed after almost fifty years of carrying guns is for the 4". I find that it is the best overall length for me. Having carried all lengths from 2" to 6", in various brands and frame sizes, Colt, S&W, and Ruger, I find that I can conceal many full-sized fighting revolvers very effectively and comfortably, but the 4" seems to me to be the best and most practical barrel length. It is short enough to conceal well and it still has enough of a sight radius to point well. There is also a slight increase in bullet velocity as well, but for me, the prime advantage over the 2" is the greater sight radius.

For me then, the 4" barrel is best, but differing views are encouraged and welcomed.
 

$ure$h0t

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I carry a 5" tactical HC. 45 for daily open carry
(just too much pistol to stick in my pants 😏)
🤣 🤣

My smaller s&w gets used for concealed(. 40)
 

Perplexed

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I’d guess it would depend on the size of the frame, the caliber, and the preferred mode of carry. I’m not a revolver guy though, as only the S&W Night Guard series sit well and point naturally in my hand, and that N frame with even a 2.5” barrel is a bit large for my preferred pocket carry pistol ;)
 

RickN

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CC, 3 to 4 inch unless I am using a shoulder rig, then I prefer 5 to 6 inch. Open carry is 5 to 6 inch.
 

diggler1833

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I think a lot of it has to do with cartridge choice. A 2" .357 magnum isn't going to get the velocity needed to make up for using the more powerful cartridge. Not only do you get twice the muzzle blast, but you also run the risk of suboptimal bullet performance as many ammo manufacturers load .357 with the intention of it being used in a 4-6" barrel.

.38SPL in a 2" barrel can be a poor performer too, depending on bullet selection. Actually, the velocity/energy numbers are always going to be pretty dismal for the .38 in a 2" barrel...but you're trading lethality for portability/concealability. I'm not bagging on snub noses, I occasionally carry a 1.875" S&W 637 myself when I'm really having to conceal a firearm. I just know my limitations as Dirty Harry once said.

I think 3" is kind of the sweet spot, but one still has to be aware that the chance of the bullet not performing as intended is still greater here than in a longer barrel.

I have several 4" revolvers, and I occasionally carry those, but it is OWB under heavy clothing or open carry. By the time you get to a 4" barrel, it is getting substantially more difficult to keep it from printing.

Never tried CC in a shoulder rig, so I’ll leave that one alone.
 

SoonerP226

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I used to carry a 2" Model 25 round-butt in the gun pocket of my jacket, and I've been known to carry a 2" .38 wheelgun in my pocket, so I'd have to go with 2".
 

gerhard1

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I think a lot of it has to do with cartridge choice. A 2" .357 magnum isn't going to get the velocity needed to make up for using the more powerful cartridge. Not only do you get twice the muzzle blast, but you also run the risk of suboptimal bullet performance as many ammo manufacturers load .357 with the intention of it being used in a 4-6" barrel.

.38SPL in a 2" barrel can be a poor performer too, depending on bullet selection. Actually, the velocity/energy numbers are always going to be pretty dismal for the .38 in a 2" barrel...but you're trading lethality for portability/concealability. I'm not bagging on snub noses, I occasionally carry a 1.875" S&W 637 myself when I'm really having to conceal a firearm. I just know my limitations as Dirty Harry once said.

I think 3" is kind of the sweet spot, but one still has to be aware that the chance of the bullet not performing as intended is still greater here than in a longer barrel.

I have several 4" revolvers, and I occasionally carry those, but it is OWB under heavy clothing or open carry. By the time you get to a 4" barrel, it is getting substantially more difficult to keep it from printing.

Never tried CC in a shoulder rig, so I’ll leave that one alone.
What does barrel length have to do with printing?

I have a 4" K-frame (see my avatar) and it doesn't print. I carry N-frames and they don't print. One time many moons ago, my gunsmith in Seattle had a sales clerk and when I went into the shop, he would try to spot my gun. One time I carried a 6" M-29 IWB and he didn't spot it. "Okay, Gary," he said, "where is it?"

He was shocked and somewhat amused when I lifted my shirt revealing the gun.

My point here is that printing is a result of frame size, clothing, and body type, not barrel length.
 

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