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6" vs. 8" barrel

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Don Lu, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Don Lu

    Don Lu Well-Known Member

    Im going to get a taurus 608 .357 mag....its very hard to find them but when I do find them it is only the 8" barrels that are available...this gun would be, what i have leard referred to as a BBQ gun and a gun to take to the range. It would not be a SD gun unless SHTF. I initially wanted a 6" but am considering the 8" since they seem to be the only on available (I dont want a 4" or any other gun as of yet) are there any benifits for this purpose of a 6" over an 8" ??? thanks !
  2. Don Lu

    Don Lu Well-Known Member

    anyone ?? lol
  3. Confederate

    Confederate Well-Known Member

    An 8-inch .357 is simply too much, in my book. The longer the barrel, the faster the bullet and the better the sight radius. The down sides are that they're difficult to carry in the field, they're difficult to balance and to bring to bear on the target. Not too many people want to lug an 8-incher out for hunting and it's a poor trail gun. If you're only going to shoot it at a range, fine, but that front sight will be moving all over the place until you master the balance.

    Six inches is the most I'd use on a .357 and my decided preference is 4 inches. An enterprising gun company should try marketing a 5-incher. I think it would sell itself.
  4. GunNut

    GunNut Well-Known Member

    6" .357mag revolvers seem to balance a lot better to me than the 8" guns.

    I'm pretty sure there was a special run of the S&W 686's in half lug 5" barrels a couple of years back. That really would be a sweet gun for the range.

    For woods carry and full size self defense/CCW, I really prefer the 3-4" guns.

  5. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    The 3 barrel lengths listed for the 608 on the Taurus website are:

    6 1/2"
    8 3/8"

    Of these, I would avoid the 8"+ version like the plague, for the reasons stated previously. This thing is a ridiculously bloated, pig of a gun. I think shooting it would get really old really fast!

    Get the 6.5" if you must, but I would also personnally stay away from this one as well. The only 608 I would consider is the 4". I handled a blued model once, and it balanced fairly well in my hand, though not as good as my 4" 686. I owned a Taurus 66 6" with the full underlug barrel for a brief time. Good gun, but after a while I began to dislike the way it balanced. It was waaaaay too barrel heavy and it proved difficult to make rapid, accurate shots. I also found that 6" of barrel made for a rather bulky night stand gun.

    In fact, I don't like full lug barrels in anything longer than 4". 4" or less, I like both full, half, and no lug barrels. In a 6" gun, I'd keep my eyes open for some sort of used S&W K Frame. I saw a gorgeous 6" S&W 14-4 recently, and it felt GREAT in my hands, really nice balance. I say used because S&W no longer makes a 6" half lug barrel, .357 Mag :fire:. Morons. As an aside, I wish they'd offer the L Frame 620 (half lug) in a 6" version instead of just the 4". A 5" half lug 686 would be nice to as suggested, but I think they are fairly rare.

    Anyway, I think you would find a 6" K balances a lot better and will be more fun to shoot than a big, bloated 608 6.5" Perhaps you could find a range that rents one?
  6. timothy75

    timothy75 Well-Known Member

    Depending on how much use you put it to 8 inchers can be quite cool I think. Just tell everyone you wanted the original length.
  7. Don Lu

    Don Lu Well-Known Member

    I actually like the 608 b/c it is a "hand cannon" the size doesnt bother me at all, (it actually is the reason i like it) it wont be a SD gun, it will be just to show and take to the range but i do understand the comment made about it being hard to hold the 8" steady to to the balance..that is something i will consider strongly. I do have a crush on wheel guns and plan to get either a ruger sp101 or gp100 for SD so that area is covered. The 608 would just be for fun.
  8. shooting on a shoestring

    shooting on a shoestring Well-Known Member

    More to love/hate

    I have a 7.5" Blackhawk in .45 Colt. I bought it and love it for 2 reasons. The long barrel gives maximum sight radius - great for leisurely pounding lead into far away places, and to get high velocity without having to use maxium pressures - more room/time to accelerate the bullet.

    Down sides are, I often get leading in the last couple of inches b/c with some bullets and loads the lube gets used up to quick to make it to the end, and secondly, as I CCW I can only conceal it with a Ford Pickup.

    I do enjoy shooting long barreled revolvers much more than snubbies. Long barrels are for recreation. Snubbies are for business.

    Play loud.
  9. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    Quite a few people carry 7" to 9" revolvers in the field hunting. Ruger sells tons of BHs, RHs, and SRHs in 7 1/2" to 9 1/2" in large calibers. Most scoped revolvers have the longer barrels.
    As just a range gun the long barrel poses no problem unless the balance bothers you. As a BBQ gun it would look good in a nice shoulder holster.
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for the Taurus, but I have an 8 3/8" Model 57 Smith that is quite nice to shoot and it does balance nicely. Carrying it in a holster is more problematic than a 6", but I have a nice leather bandoleer rig that carrys it quite nicely. I'd handle the longer barreled one and make up your mind when you actually get to see it.

    By the way, my hunting revolver has a 9.5" tube (480 SRH) w/2x scope and it is heavy.
  11. Don Lu

    Don Lu Well-Known Member


    I'd like to try it out or something simular but the range i go to doesnt rent anything longer than a 6" except they do have a 10" s&w 500 ( I think)...but that is a whole nother ballgame.
  12. Colt46

    Colt46 Well-Known Member

    6" should be fine

    If I was doing some really long range(for handgun anyway) shooting the extra velocity and sight radiusfrom the 8" would make it an easy choice. For everything else the 6" will make your life easier.
  13. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    I shoot the long barrels in .44, .357, and .22. The only one that's a little unwieldy is the .22, because of the full underlug. The 8 3/8" is nice for target shooting, which what you said you wanted it for.
  14. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Do you like muzzle-heavy guns?

    Some people like a lighter barrel, some like heavier. It's a question of personal shooting style, to me.

    In the 357 caliber, not all factory rounds will be able to take advantage of the long tube. Some can though, esp. the heavier hunting loads of 180 and 200 grains. They tend to run on slower burning powder and have been clocked at some crazy speeds out of carbines...the Buffalo Bore 158gr JSP has been documented doing over 2,100fps from an 18" barrel, so you can bet it'll get more performance out of an 8" tube versus 6".

    It should be possible to make a kydex holster that only covers the last 2" of barrel at the muzzle and "grabs" the trigger guard and frame topstrap from behind. You'd pull the gun about 3" or so out and then swing it sideways from a crossdraw rig. Rain protection would be poor of course but as a fast option in dry conditions it would rock. It would need heavy grade kydex though, something up around .093" or even .125" grade to be tough enough. I only have .060 around for experimentation right now, and that won't do.

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