Carry Revolver question

Carry Revolver question

This is a discussion on Carry Revolver question within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Want to stay with 45 acp. I like S&W's listed 45 acp revolver with 4" barrel. For personal carry I asked my dealer if I ...

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Thread: Carry Revolver question

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Carry Revolver question

    Want to stay with 45 acp.
    I like S&W's listed 45 acp revolver with 4" barrel.
    For personal carry I asked my dealer if I could get it with 2" barrel.
    He said yes but I'd lose accuracy.
    Question: just how much accuracy would I lose going 2"?
    How bout 2 & 1/2"?
    Comments welcomed.
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  2. #2
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    I guess it would depend on the distance you want to shoot it. No experience, but I'm guessing that in self defense range (out to 10 yards) your not going to see enough of as drop in accuracy to worry about.
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    Hmmm....my .38 with a 1 7/8" barrel is dead on, if I do my part. But gawd with a short sight radius it's tough to do my part if I'm shooting for aimed groups. Takes a lot of practice.

    My thoughts - if it's a carry, it's for personal defense, so even it is it "less accurate" it would still be plenty accurate for point shooting.

    I've always thought short barrels were not inaccurate; instead, the challenge is for the shooter to shoot accurately with a short sight radius.

    Maybe there's something about the .45, I don't know.

    I realize this post doesn't answer your question. But at least you got what you paid for.
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  4. #4
    Member Array Rem700's Avatar
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    Sight radius,

  5. #5
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    There won't be a measurable decrease in intrinsic accuracy, which could be demonstrated with a Ransom Rest and guns of differing barrel lengths. Practical accuracy - which involves the person behind the trigger - will probably suffer due to the reduced sight radius. Not enough to make a difference in a "social" encounter, though.
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  6. #6
    Member Array DIRTY HARRY's Avatar
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    Same here my CA Bulldog 44 spcl with the 21/2" BBL is dead on at 25 yds.? Anyone closer that ,? Will be burned to death by the flame that comes out of the BBL.?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    hello again, ArmyCop: you're really doing your homework prior to getting this gun. i hope everything turns out well for you.

    as to your question: my answer is, it depends. some people, not me, shoot 2" barrel revolvers very well. there was a post a few weeks ago which asked how folks shot their 2" barrel J-frames. some folks did very well. i don't. when i shoot my S&W 642, i usually finish my range session shooting some other gun, just to reassure myself that i still know how to shoot groups. most folks were better than i was, but still not great. only a few were really good with the two inchers.

    as i've mentioned to you, i have two S&W 625's. one has a 3" barrel and a tuned action. i can shoot this gun MUCH BETTER than my 2" J-frame. the other 625 is a 4" barreled Performance Center model. i can shoot this gun slightly better than it's brother, probably because of the longer sight radius. the trigger pulls are similar.

    why not see if you can rent and/or borrow a couple of similar revolvers with different barrel lengths, a 2" and 4", even a 3", if you can find one, and see how they compare, accuracy-wise, FOR YOU. personally, i like 3" revolvers for concealed carry. they're just harder to find.

    i'm 5'7", so the extra inch of the 4" revolver is noticeably harder for me to conceal and i have to pick my cover garment more carefully. if you're 6' or taller, you may not notice those extra two inches between 2" and 4".

    i think you need to explore this problem yourself and see what works for you. if you can't do this for some reason, then my recommendation would be to get the 4" barrel. if you ever do need to draw it for real, you want to have maximum confidence that you can hit what you're aiming at. IMO, the only advantage a 2" barrel gun has is greater ease of concealment. good luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    If you want a .45acp revolver for concealed carry you should look for a S&W 325 Night Guard. It is a scandium N frame, same size as the other S&W .45 revolvers but it weighs only 28oz empty making it much more comfortable for carry while it's still heavy enough to not beat you up when your shooting it. The other N-frame Night Guards are listed as having a 2.5" barrel but the 325 is listed as 2.75", that's because it has a shorter cylinder, the length of the barrel beyond the frame and the overall length is the same on all of them. Like the other NGs it has an XS Big Dot tritium front sight and C&S Extreme Duty fixed rear sight. The 325 can also be used with or without moonclips, though you have to poke the empties out with something if you don't use them, you can also use .45 Auto Rim and not worry about moonclips. It does have the internal lock but it's easily disabled so, IMO, they're not an issue.

    I have a 327NG, same gun except it's an 8 shot .357mag, and it's my favorite "field/woods/carry while I'm working outside" gun. I've had a little work done on mine, including bobbing the hammer, an action job, and making it DAO, the hammer spur would dig into my arm when carrying so I got rid of it. The action on my gun is excellent, smooth and light, making it very easy to shoot DAO. My gun is very accurate and I've read that the 325s are, too. Yes, it has a short sight radius but a good trigger really helps since you're not pulling the gun to one side or the other just trying to fire it.

    The only downside is that the Night Guard series has been discontinued so you might have to look around a bit to find one. I got my gun slightly used, with the box and stuff, plus a few boxes of ammo, a holster, and a couple of speed loaders for $600 so there are definitely deals to be had.

    This is a pic from the S&W site -


    This is my gun, like I said, same thing except .357mag-
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  9. #9
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    For concealed carry and close up personal self-defense a short barrel .45 acp revolver would be a nice choice.
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    I know you asked about revolvers and I am a revolver guy having carried and shot them for over 4 decades but when it came to getting a .45 carry gun I went with the new Springfield XDs. 6 rounds in a thin and light package is hard to beat and it is reliable. I actually went to the gun store to buy the S&W 625 they had just received in 4" but it was too big and heavy and I had pretty much had it with moon clips because without a tool I just end up bending them. I thought about special ordering a 2" version or having the barrel cut down but the cost was too much and it still would be a heavy gun but this time with a very short sight radius.

    In pursuit of a carry .45 I even bought the S&W Governor to shoot .45LC. Nice gun but it did not balance well in my hand and it was big and heavy. Even tried a short barrel SA. Same weight issue and still too big. I briefly tried the two small Colt 1911's; New Agent and Defender but a little heavy and not reliable enough to remove them from my carry gun list.

    I still carry a Ruger .357 LCR and Wiley Clapp Ruger GP100 but for .45 I now carry the XDs; in my pocket no less! On my belt it is a dream to carry and despite its size I was getting good accuracy out to 15 yards and recoil was not bad for its size. Sometimes the best revolver is a semi auto and this old timer may finally be seeing the light after many years of revolver shooting.

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyCop View Post
    S&W's listed 45 acp revolver ... with 2" barrel
    Depends on you and the specific gun.

    For me, I've shot a handful of large/smaller variants of the same pistol or revolver, over the years. Not ever a S&W .45 revolver, though. In my experience (limited though it has been in this regard), it seems to vary based on the overall balance and bore axis related to my hand and how that affects the dynamics. Some of the heavier and "better-bore-axis" guns I've fired seem to result in far less impact when the barrel is shortened, whereas the "average" gun seems to be affect my accuracy much more when I shoot the shorty model variant. Myself, generally, I've shot much less accurately once the weight changes significantly, assuming excellent accuracy with the "big brother" variant, though a few have bucked that trend.

    It'll depend on the specific gun, I'm betting, and whether that balance and bore axis matches your shooting style and abilities.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    carry a snub everyday, for me I draw an get on target really fast much better than with my glock which I keep on night stand with night sights an glock light. I use a Milt Sparks iwb summer special for my sp101 which is daily carry or Mod 60 love snubs for cc never feel under gunned one tip when at range I only reload from speed strips so it becomes second nature

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    I think a 2" 45 acp snubbie sounds about as cool as the wind.

    You're giving up a lot more on velocity, than accuracy. Even so, I want.

    I'm really not all that much worse on accuracy with a 1 7/8" barrel (you could interpret that two ways )
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    A .45 snubbie revolver should be fun.

    You really want fun, check into a .45mag or .454 Casull revolver. For example, the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, as compared to one of the Super Redhawk standards or the Redhawks. In snubbie format, it'll highlight your concerns to a "T," as compared to the 4-5" barreled cousins. Did with me, anyhow.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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