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Discussion Starter #1
Other than the .5 lbs, 2 more rounds in the magazine and $10 in price, is there a signifigant performance difference between a 16" and 20" barrel in a .357 lever action carbine?

I envision it as a survival firearm used for light hunting and self-defense.
 

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also for more precise shots the longer sight radius will help.
 

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Are you trying to:

#1. Invest in something that is easy to stow and a better weapon than your revolver while using the same ammunition?

#2. Squeeze every last bit of performance out of the .357 magnum?

I'd get whichever one was cheaper hehe... but seriously I'd want the 16" if it was me.
 

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i would go with the 16inch i cant imagine you gain much with the 20" and might even start losing some fps with some loads
 

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20" for all of the reasons stated, unless 4" makes a good deal of difference in where you will be handling the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Euc: Pretty much #1

I'll be using heavy bullets for the carbine.
Anybody have any experience shooting 158/170/180 grain out of a 4" revolver?

Would 158gr jacketed soft point be a good compromise for both?
 

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I pretty much shoot whatever in that caliber and don't really have a preference, but do keep in mind that for a long time guns with fixed sights were sighted in with 158 grain loads if that makes any difference in your situation. So I guess it depends on your revolver.

If nothing else, there's always adjustable sights.

I do know that a heavy .38 Special load in such a rifle is relatively quiet and has no felt recoil to speak of.
 

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As Euc said, most of the older revolvers were sighted for 158gr, and all but my 642 fall into that catagory. That's the weight I try to stick with in my K frames as I have heard of forcing cone wear when using the 125gr magnum loads.
 

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I load for my revo .357's and use same in 16" Win 94.

158 cast SWC's with gas check. Not quite max loads - 14 grains N-110 used - but they give good results and out of lever, very adequate. I doubt the slight extra FPS really matters too much here, tho with my 94' Marlin in .44 mag - do feel that exploits the round a shade better.
 
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