44 Mag barrel length ?


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joneb
January 12, 2014, 08:51 PM
I have a Ruger Redhawk SS chambered in 44 magnum with a 7.5" barrel, I am considering having it shortened to 5".
Is this a bad idea ?
I welcome your comments.
Thanks,
joneb.

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back40
January 12, 2014, 09:02 PM
i tend to prefer the shorter barrels myself. unless you are using it for hunting (and even then), shortening to 5" won't cause any ill effects other than a little velocity loss. the actual amount is arguable, and generally specific to the barrel in question.

if you are looking for something a bit handier, i say go for it.

jmr40
January 12, 2014, 09:07 PM
Would depend on the cost of the conversion. I tend to prefer barrels 4-6" myself, but it might be cheaper to trade for a 5.5" version than modify.

joneb
January 12, 2014, 09:19 PM
it might be cheaper to trade for a 5.5" version than modify.
This gun is well timed and shoots well. I would rather stay with it as it was my Dad's gun. But the 7.5" barrel is annoying.

wyatte
January 12, 2014, 10:37 PM
Being a sentimental person myself, and where you mentioned this was your dad's gun, I would keep it and make the modifications. I think 5 inch would be a great length. I also had a 7 1/2 inch Redhawk at one time, but I just could not warm up to the long barrel. 6" is about as long as I want go now. I think you would be wise to keep this particular gun. wyatte

JJHACK
January 12, 2014, 11:03 PM
It's better all the way around.

CraigC
January 13, 2014, 12:43 AM
Chop the sucker and have a Weigand interchangeable front sight installed. Maybe slabside the barrel to cut a bit of weight, looks cool too.

codefour
January 13, 2014, 12:44 AM
Since it was your dads gun, I would leave it as is. Your dad bought a 7.5 inch for a reason. I would buy another .44 Mag.

I started with a 4 inch Redhawk. I love that gun.! But I learned I needed a longer barrel to hunt with. So I bought a 7.5 inch Blackhawk Bisley Hunter. I have a 5.5 inch a Redhawk on order if it ever comes available again.

You can't have enough .44 Mags..! It's my favorite handgun caliber.

gamestalker
January 13, 2014, 02:29 AM
Ya, I have one of those SRH with a 7-1/2" barrel. I wouldn't mind something a bit shorter, but I have had such great results while hunting with that set up, that I personally find it very difficult to want to change anything. But, if I had a sentimental attachment to it, beyond just liking it, I would very likely just have it modified to my liking.

GS

farm23
January 13, 2014, 09:04 AM
I kept my 7.5 and put a scope on it. Then I started buying shorter barrel 44's but not another 7.5.

tnelson31
January 13, 2014, 09:30 AM
I like the long sight radius hunting, I think it makes a difference.

el Godfather
January 13, 2014, 09:40 AM
Good thread
Actually, before chopping it perhaps one should ask what is the optimum length of barrel for .44 magnum? With chopping it you will lose some velocity and if not done exactly right accuracy will deteriorate as well. At what what barrel length you attain best combination of velocity, energy and accuracy, this is what you need to ask and may be some ballistics expert here can elaborate or answer. Personally, all technical data aside, 5-3/8" is good size.

CraigC
January 13, 2014, 11:19 AM
...what is the optimum length of barrel for .44 magnum?
About 18". ;)

joneb
January 13, 2014, 12:18 PM
Thanks for the comments so far :)
I tried calling Ruger but couldn't get through :( I want to check into having the 7.5" barrel replaced with a 5.5" one. Does this seem like a good option ?

David E
January 13, 2014, 01:42 PM
It's a very good option. Hope they have one.

CraigC
January 13, 2014, 08:41 PM
They don't do that any more.

joneb
January 13, 2014, 09:55 PM
They don't do that any more.
So Craig, would they sell me a 5.5" barrel ?

CraigC
January 13, 2014, 10:54 PM
Nope, Ruger doesn't sell parts like cylinders and barrels. Even if they did, you're money ahead to just shorten what you have.

el Godfather
January 13, 2014, 11:27 PM
About 18". ;)
What are levels of v and ftlb do we get with 18" compared to 19" and 17"?

CraigC
January 13, 2014, 11:30 PM
There are no absolutes. Variations between individual guns not withstanding, velocities 'tend' to 'usually' peak 'around' 18". That is, usually around 300-400fps faster than typical revolver velocities.

I don't concern myself with ft-lbs.

el Godfather
January 14, 2014, 03:33 PM
^I notice lot of people say that do not concern with ftlb. Why not? Is the amount energy applied on target import as much how fast projectile is moving?

Desertrat357
January 14, 2014, 04:42 PM
I have a 4" SS Redhawk in 44 Mag. I personally like the shorter bbl length. It gives me more then enough accuracy out to 20-25 yards. Ideal for hunting, probably not. But my main use is carrying as a side arm while out bumming around the desert and mountains. Just my two cents.

codefour
January 15, 2014, 12:28 AM
How many .44 Mags does CraigC own and what are the barrel lengths.?

I respect CraigC's opinion. He always responds with very intelligent, logical and reasonable responses. My point is, he has numerous .44 Mags. So why not more than one .44 Mag.? If it is a funds issue, I understand. I just see it as a sentimental thing.

I hunted and shot with my dads 7.5 inch Redhawk for years. I begged and borrowed it a lot. But if I inherited it, I could not modify it at all.

CraigC
January 15, 2014, 01:31 AM
Thanks! Five revolvers (4" - 7") and two rifles (both 20"). To me, velocity is not as much of a concern as sight radius. A good 4" sixgun is as short as I want one but it is no less effective on game than a 7". While a 200fps difference might look impressive on paper, critters don't read ballistics tables.


Why not?
Because energy is a poor gauge of a cartridge's effectiveness on living tissue. Especially when it comes to big bores. It is a number that places far too much importance on velocity, which is the most rapidly diminishing factor. It places less importance on weight and zero on diameter. Energy doesn't kill. Blood loss due to tissue damage is what kills.

Rattus58
January 15, 2014, 01:52 AM
About 18". ;)
Hahaha..... yep... and thats the reason I have a nice lever to go along with it....

joneb
January 15, 2014, 02:44 AM
But if I inherited it, I could not modify it at all.
I understand that, but I think my dad would want me to enjoy and put it to use and not leave it buried in the back of the safe. If I need a gun with a longer than 6" barrel, it might as well be a rifle.

MovedWest
January 15, 2014, 03:37 PM
This gun is well timed and shoots well.
Then I wouldn't chop it. Just think - you you're cutting 1.3 of the barrel off. If is screws up the way it shoots, you'll regret it forever.

Personally I'd opt to buy a new (to you) one with a shorter barrel. That way if you have problems, you have no emotional investment and can take it up with Ruger.

-MW

HankR
January 15, 2014, 05:29 PM
Five revolvers (4" - 7") and two rifles (both 20"). To me, velocity is not as much of a concern as sight radius. A good 4" sixgun is as short as I want one but it is no less effective on game than a 7".

Craig,

How are they to shoot? I would think muzzle blast would be an issue for the shorter guns? My .44 Mag is in .45 Colt, but so far I've only shot plinking (mid range, not "Ruger only") loads out of the 4" revolver.

Thanks,

verge
January 15, 2014, 06:02 PM
If you believe your dad would approve, do whatever you want with it.

My question is what are you going to use it for? Just plinking and shooting paper? Defensive carry? Hunting?

Do you reload or use factory ammunition?

While as other have mentioned the length isn't going to make a lot of difference, it can make more or less depending upon the powder and bullet weights being used.

SharpsDressedMan
January 15, 2014, 06:19 PM
A qualified gunsmith should not have that big of a problem to shorten your revolver barrel properly, with no loss in accuracy. The difference in handling will probably be dramatic, but you might try to HANDLE someone else's Redhawk with a 5.5" barrel. I do not see WHY Ruger would turn such a rebarrel job away, unless they simply did not stock the shorter barrel anymore. It would still be the same as a gun that they have produced.

red rick
January 15, 2014, 06:26 PM
I just bought a Ruger Redhawk with a 4.2" barrel . It carries well on the hip while sitting or walking , when hunting . I think it is the perfect backwoods companion length , not too long , not too short .

BSA1
January 15, 2014, 06:29 PM
Well I want my kids to use, shoot and enjoy my guns after I am dead so I have no objections to modifying to meet their needs best.

Chop the barrel and don't look back. Your Dad will be happy with the smile on your face when you are using and shooting it .

joneb
January 15, 2014, 11:36 PM
Then I wouldn't chop it. Just think - you you're cutting 1.3 of the barrel off
I am thinking 5.5" that would be two inches.
My question is what are you going to use it for? Just plinking and shooting paper? Defensive carry? Hunting?
Do you reload or use factory ammunition?
All of the above.
Yes I reload.
Well I want my kids to use, shoot and enjoy my guns after I am dead so I have no objections to modifying to meet their needs best.

Chop the barrel and don't look back. Your Dad will be happy with the smile on your face when you are using and shooting it .
:) This does take some thinkin, thanks folks.

Cee Zee
January 16, 2014, 02:58 PM
I have an 8.5" barrel on my S&W .44 mag and I like it that way. It is very accurate and it draws fast out of my cross draw holster. I carry it for defense against black bear mainly because there are a lot of them around my house. If I go outside at night you can bet I have it or a 12 ga. with Brenneke Black Magic slugs in it. When I go to my farm (lots of bear there too) I generally carry the Smith because I generally need both of my hands for whatever I'm doing.

I like the sight radius a lot. Short barrel revolvers always feel like I'm pointing and praying. I realize a person needs to be able to point shoot but with a bear I don't want to miss and if I get the chance to aim I'd just as soon have a better sight setup.

CraigC
January 16, 2014, 03:46 PM
I do not see WHY Ruger would turn such a rebarrel job away, unless they simply did not stock the shorter barrel anymore.
Liability. While not necessarily an issue with this particular case, it's an across the board policy. They do not do anything but return them to the original condition and configuration. Bummer because this has traditionally been the least expensive route.


I would think muzzle blast would be an issue for the shorter guns?
Not really. My favorite single action is a 4 5/8" and my favorite double action a 4" 629MG. Both do 2"@50yds and both are fun to shoot.

Queen_of_Thunder
January 16, 2014, 09:48 PM
Leave Dads gun alone and buy one that you want.

B!ngo
January 17, 2014, 10:25 PM
Economics notwithstanding I completely agree with Queen-O'-Thunder. It may be inappropriate to inject an opinion in the context of something so personal but it seems that if it was your fathers gun then just let it be and shoot it on special occasions. It's sentimental and financial value would be heightened by keeping it as-is.
And for more practical uses, I like 4-5 inch revolvers. A good compromise between portability, accuracy and recoil-based repeatability and misery :)
B

Leave Dads gun alone and buy one that you want.

41 Mag
January 18, 2014, 05:49 AM
To be honest, I hunt and carry the full lenght Redhawks just about every time I am in the country. I have them in 41, 44, and 45 Colt and I use them mainly for feral hogs. They will all reach out to ranges most have no business shooting and reliably put the smack down on any critter big enough to draw a fine bead on.

As for cutting back the barrels, personally I think they are fine where they are. But like anything else what you feel might be entirely different. I always carry cross draw fashion and have no problems with them getting in the way while I am driving or doing other chores around the farm. Again this is me.

When my pop passed I inherited his rifles and handguns. I personally have shot several of them since and enjoyed the time I spent afield remembering the times we spent together. I have had no want need or desire to change them up in any fashion. Again this is me. Since his passing I have purchased everything else I have wanted, and had it built or modified to the way I want it. I figured pop had a reason for picking out what he did, and now at 50yrs old I am still finding plenty of things that pop did or said which were right on the money. I very rarely questioned him in what he did or the reasoning behind it.

mavracer
January 18, 2014, 07:28 AM
I cut my 7 1/2" Redhawk down to just over 4" added a Weigand front base for interchangable blades and even did a round butt conversion on it. This should give you an idea how I'd vote.
http://rugerforum.net/projects/26879-7-5-redhawk-4-round-butt-project.html

CraigC
January 18, 2014, 11:17 AM
I think my dad would want me to enjoy and put it to use and not leave it buried in the back of the safe.
That's how I look at it. My parents always told me their gifts had no strings attached. Further, we don't typically customize and modify guns we don't care about. Quite the opposite. I had my Uberti 3rd Model Dragoon fitted with a Kirst gated cartridge conversion, dovetail front sight, action job and one-piece elk antler grips 'because' it was a gift from my wife on our first Christmas.

To me it's better that the sixgun live on as something more useful to YOU and ride in your holster than to let it sit on a shelf because you don't like its configuration. I look at it more as a tribute.

targetshooter22
January 22, 2014, 09:51 PM
Personally, I like the longer sight radius and (slightly) reduced felt recoil. Do you have access to any shorter barreled handguns you can try? Maybe shoot them at the distances you think you are likely to use the RH?

Either way, good luck and have fun!

back40
January 22, 2014, 10:00 PM
Liability. While not necessarily an issue with this particular case, it's an across the board policy. They do not do anything but return them to the original condition and configuration. Bummer because this has traditionally been the least expensive route.


the last time i contacted ruger about a rebarrel, the person i spoke with told me that so long as the barrel i wanted was in current production, that they would do it. at the time, however, general production was so consuming that they weren't doing any work other than warranty items. this was about a year ago.

bluetopper
January 22, 2014, 11:36 PM
Could you nearly buy another 44 Mag for what the barrel cut and crown and resight will cost?
It could be worse, your barrel could be 10" like mine.....

joneb
January 23, 2014, 10:51 PM
And thanks again for all of your responses :) This has been very helpful.
I can see this will take some more thought, once it's gone it's gone :uhoh:

hartcreek
January 24, 2014, 12:19 AM
Exactly site radius.......I have one with an 18 inch barrel and it hard to mis with it

joneb
January 24, 2014, 12:27 AM
.I have one with an 18 inch barrel and it hard to mis with it
I'd put a butt stock on that bad boy.

MovedWest
January 24, 2014, 08:00 PM
Quote:
Then I wouldn't chop it. Just think - you you're cutting 1.3 of the barrel off
I am thinking 5.5" that would be two inches.

Sorry, that was supposed to be one third. I think the board took out my forward slash and made it a period. :o

But agreed, once it's gone it's gone. Good luck with your decision!

-MW

IlikeSA
January 25, 2014, 09:14 AM
I wouldn't shorten it. If it is timed right and accurate, why chance losing the accuracy by shortening it? Since it is also sentimental, I would simply purchase a 5.5 inch barreled 44.

CraigC
January 25, 2014, 10:50 AM
If anything, it would be more accurate. Good gunsmiths typically cut a better crown and if necessary, a better forcing cone. I would not let this be a concern at all.

back40
January 25, 2014, 05:37 PM
i agree. provided the work is done right, losing accuracy wouldn't be a concern. how well you shoot the shorter sight radius is a different matter. i prefer the shorter barrels myself, and find my 3.75" super blackhawk very easy to shoot well.

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