Half inch?

Half inch?

This is a discussion on Half inch? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; All, Iíve decided that my next purchase (after a quality safe) will be a revolver. I have no experience with round guns, but I somehow ...

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Thread: Half inch?

  1. #1
    Member Array dauff's Avatar
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    Half inch?

    All,

    Iíve decided that my next purchase (after a quality safe) will be a revolver. I have no experience with round guns, but I somehow feel that as a red-blooded American shooter, I should own a revolver. The gun will mostly be for paper punching on the range, but will also accompany me on hiking and camping trips. The Ruger GP-100 and S&W 686 both offer 3 inch and 4 inch barrel lengths and I would not feel bad about buying any of these as my first revolver.

    I also see that S&W offers a 2.5 inch barrel for the 686, but why? Is there any practical difference between the 2.5 and 3 inch barrels? (Keep the ".5 inch" reply to your self wise guys ).

    As I said, I have no experience with revolvers, but common sense tells me Ė

    Velocity loss in half an inch of barrel is probably minimal.
    Perceived recoil difference between 2 more ounces? Again, probably minimal.
    Maybe the variety of holsters for the different size barrels?
    The price is the same.
    Is personal preference the only difference?

    Thanks,
    Dauff


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    A handgun that size, don't worry about any velocity differences.
    I would think carrying comfort is the biggest determining factor in deciding the two.
    So yeah, personal preference.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Not much difference

    I have two S&W model 66 revolvers - one with 2.5 inch barrel and one with 3 inch barrel. They are almost equal in every respect, and the half inch of barrel length doesn't make much difference. But the 3 inch in these out of production guns is less commonly found and has sort of a cult following, and it is worth more.

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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of Ruger's wheelguns myself, simply because they're so well built. I wouldn't mind a Smith & Wesson either though, but they're a little on the expensive side for me. The Ruger GP100 will most likely be my next handgun purchase.
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  5. #5
    Member Array ldp4570's Avatar
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    The difference isn't so much as to velocity as to other areas of the 3" barrel. With the 3" you will have a little more sighting plane, longer extractor, and somewhat better balance. As was said before there is a cult following on 3" revolvers in all the main frame sizes, J, K, L, N.
    Here are a few pic's.













  6. #6
    jfl
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    The 3" looks so much better, IMHO.
    Then like other said, better balance, longer sight radius and if I remember correctly, the velocity difference is not insignificant.
    My wife wanted the S&W .357 Scandium in 3" and it was hard to find but it sure is a good looking gun. But the other option was a 1"7/8 barrel and that's too short in my book.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    The 3" gives you a little longer sight radius in case you gotta make a 25 yard shot or longer IMHO,plus the ejector rod is longer
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    I have two S&W model 66 revolvers - one with 2.5 inch barrel and one with 3 inch barrel. They are almost equal in every respect, and the half inch of barrel length doesn't make much difference. But the 3 inch in these out of production guns is less commonly found and has sort of a cult following, and it is worth more.

    I have a Mod 65, with 3'' heavy barrel. Good carry weapon.
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    Member Array ldp4570's Avatar
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    SatCong, Those 3" K-frames are the best. Mines a 64-4.

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldp4570 View Post
    SatCong, Those 3" K-frames are the best. Mines a 64-4.
    I got a 65-3.
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  11. #11
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    For what you want to use it for.

    "The gun will mostly be for paper punching on the range, but will also accompany me on hiking and camping trips."

    I'd pick a 4" Barrel - Stainless - and S&W.
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  12. #12
    Member Array dauff's Avatar
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    You see, this is why I go to this site. You guys are a wealth of knowledge.

    Better balance, longer extractor, longer sight radius, these are all things that could affect my shooting. The 2.5 inch S&W 686 was never really in the running, I was just curious about the difference.

    I lean towards buying a 4 inch model for the range time it will see. Then again, a 3 inch would be smaller, lighter, and easier to carry while hiking. I even kicked around the idea of an alloy frame. The local gun store has a S&W 520 (4 inch, alloy frame) that has been on the shelf for quite a while (maybe I should make a low ball offer), but I’m not sure a light weight alloy frame is right for my first revolver.

    By the way Pogo2, those model 66s are beautiful. I thought about a revolver of that size (specifically the 3 inch SP-101) as well. The small size would be even better for the hiking, but keeping in practice with it would be a lot more painful, especially with the full house .357 loads.

    Thanks to all for the info and advice.

    Dauff

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Cool

    Man, that 64-4 sure is a nice looking revolver. I think I'd like to have one.

    Now why did I have to look at that picture?


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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Knuckledrager's Avatar
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    I see the #1 benefit of the longer tube being the full length ejector rod.
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  15. #15
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    I'd stay with the slightly heavier Stainless since you'll probably use the firearm far more at the range than you will ever actually use it hiking or as a camp gun.

    The slight added weight makes the gun much more pleasureful to shoot and it's really not any more difficult to carry.

    I'd go with a lightweight alloy only if you absolutely need to shave Ounces off of what you are packing out.
    Also your shot to shot recovery time will be quicker should you need to quickly empty a cylinder into "something not nice" on either two or 4 legs.
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