Always a wanted a single six, thinking of getting myself one as an early Christmas gift. But don't know which barrel length to get. It needs to be a compromise...I want to be able to open carry it in a holster somewhat comfortably during camping or backpacking trips. But I would like to still have the option to occasionally use it for small game season. I'm split between the 4-5/8 and the 5-1/2. Thinking the 6.5 is way too big to ride in a holster comfortably.
Is there any significant difference as far as accuracy, ballistics, handling, and ease of carrying...or is it pretty much a wash between the two??
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December 3, 2012, 03:34 PM
I have the 5 1/2 and think it is an ideal compromise. I'm very happy with it.
December 3, 2012, 03:34 PM
Like most things in the gun gun world (and everything else in life I guess) it comes down to personal preference. I like the 4-5/8. That's my choice, but I also own the 5-1/2 and 6-1/2" versions (though I never shoot the longer version). Any of the barrel lengths will shoot more accurrately than I can see, and the only real advantage to the longer barrels is sight radius, which does help a lot of shooters with their accurracy. Again, for me, the shorter barrel carries betters, shoots as well, and I just like the look. :cool:
December 3, 2012, 04:14 PM
I like the longer sight radius of the 6.5" guns. The 9.5's are even easier to shoot, but are a bit unwieldy.
December 3, 2012, 04:17 PM
I prefer the 4 5/8 length barrel on all SAA style revolvers.
December 3, 2012, 04:24 PM
If you set a lot in a vehicle or set on the ground hunting, the shorter barrel won't ride up and poke you in the ribs as much as a 5 1/2" or longer.
Thats why most cops carried 4" instead of 6" revolvers for 75 years.
December 3, 2012, 06:23 PM
I've had 4 5/8, 5.5 and 6.5 versions. 4 5/8 is my favorite by far for all the features noted in these posts. Easy to handle, carry and easy to shoot.
My 4 5/8 SS is my favorite 22. Love the mag cyl!!
December 3, 2012, 06:42 PM
Thanks for all the input. Probably going to go with 4-5/8 based on suggestions.
December 3, 2012, 07:05 PM
Good discussion. I'll probably go with a 5.5 inch. I had a 10 inch 357 Magnum and found that waay too impractical. (Got it in a trade with a friend and its long gone.)
December 3, 2012, 09:26 PM
IMO: 7 1/2" is impractical, unless you are riding a horse.
Or 6' 7" tall like Marshal Dillon.
December 3, 2012, 11:22 PM
I have the 6.5 but and I like the longer sight radius for more accurate shots. But if I had to purchase again I would go with the 5.5 for sure.
December 4, 2012, 12:05 AM
Not on your list for good reasons but I really enjoy my 9.5". With magnums, my most accurate handgun. Unique and very fun.
I have them in every length they made. My 5 1/2" is stainless. It's the length I'd recommend to you, but get the blued version... The stainless version is remarkably heavier!
My personal favorite is the 9 1/2" barrel. It moves the Single Six into the realm of a rifle but it's not a easy to carry as are the other barrel lengths.
December 4, 2012, 03:39 AM
The 6.5 in a western rig like Triple K sits just fine when you use the leg tie. I have a Single Nine 6.5 that I wore while camping, for fun. It rode well, even when sitting. I suggest replacing the leather leg tie with paracord and a cord lock. It works really easy.
However my favorite single six is the Talo 3.9" birdshead. It holds the position of honor in a Blackhills rig in a crossdraw holster, while a 6.5 single six rides strong side low.
Crap, now I got to pull that rig out and play with it for awhile.
Just go out an buy them all.
December 4, 2012, 06:49 AM
I prefer the 4 5/8" barrel mainly for the convenience of carrying, how well the gun balances in my hand, and for the overall aesthetics of the design.
December 4, 2012, 09:47 AM
and the only real advantage to the longer barrels is sight radius, which does help a lot of shooters with their accurracy.
That depends upon the range of your target. If you are stretching out to 50 + yards, due to the increase in velocity the longer barrel make a large difference in how much hold over you need.
December 4, 2012, 12:44 PM
Recommend the 5.5" for best compromise between long distance shooting and ease of carry when driving. That's what I have and quite happy with it.
December 4, 2012, 12:58 PM
I'm weird, in case you guys haven't figured this out yet. I have over two dozen single actions and half of them have ejector length barrels. They are my favorite for both shooting and packing. I also find them the most aesthetically pleasing. I don't find the shorter barrel to be a detriment to my ability to hit. My least favorite is the 5½" length, even though I have three of them. For whatever reason, it just looks wrong on a fixed sight sixgun, not quite as bad on an adjustable sight sixgun but lovely on a topless Colt percussion gun or cartridge conversion.
However, I also love long barreled sixguns and the other half are 6½" (an odd bastard length) or longer. I love them, particularly the topless Colt's. In practice, I really don't find them much trouble at all to carry all day and for the last several years, I've carried them more than the short guns. Even the massive 66oz Dragoon carries just fine on the hip.