Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by WisBorn, Aug 28, 2022.
Smith & Wesson J, K, L, N, & X frames
Please include Colt, Ruger, Taurus, and other revolvers.
I've never bought a 4" revolver. I'm always thinking of concealed carry or target shooting. 4" seems to be more suited for open carry, I guess, and I've never really done that.
K/L - 2½" or 3" for carry. 4" for range.
N - 4"
X - No experience so no opinion other than 4" for aesthetics.
K-frame: 4-inch is very nice, good length for shooting and carry.
L-frame: got no use for an L-frame until they make a 10mm version
N-frame: 6.5 inch, Very shoot-able, spent years shooting USPSA with a 6.5 inch N-frame and I like the length better than the more popular 5-inch.
X-frame: no idea but long to help tame the recoil.
Im not a 4" fan either, except on the M15, where it looks perfect-
Otherwise, I agree, its 2-3" or 6"+ for me.
.357 mag---4in barrel
No interest in J,K,L or X frames.
I shot a 4" .500 X-Frame once.
Well, twice, actually- as in two rounds. That was enough for me.
I only have one 5.5” Blackhawk, and a custom-length Model 14-3 that I had made from the 8 3/8” gun that had the bulged barrel, but that size just feels right to me.
8 3/8, 6, 5, 4 inch K frames.
EDIT: I forgot... I did own a 4" J-frame model 63 for a short period... a right handy pistol. I'm still mad that I sold it.
I've owned 2 K-frames... a wonderful 1962 4" model 10, and a horrible 8 3/8" full lug 617 .22LR. If I was still shooting .38's, I'd still have that nice model 10. The 617, on the other hand, was a complete mismatch of a gun... I honestly don't know why I bought it, except I was still on my long barrel kick at the time. I wound up trading it for a Winchester 9422.
I've owned 1 L-frame, a retired Westerville, OH police gun... 4" .357MAG. For weight and size, I don't think there is a better configuration.
I've owned a few N-frames... including a 6" model 57, and 4"er 57 and 58. The 6" is reasonable enough, if you have a way to carry it... but the 4" beats the 6" hands down if you have to carry it. Although I've never handled one... I would opine that a 5" N-frame would be ideal, and a good trade-off between the two. I've also owned a 6.5" full-lug 657... the 1st Generation Classic Hunter. Indeed, a fantastic pistol, but at the same time, a LOT of pistol to carry. I had mine in an Original Dirty Harry shoulder holster from Cathey, which worked very well.
I've often wondered how well a 4" full-lug N-frame would work out, in something like .41 or .44MAG. Seems like that extry weight on the muzzle would help a bit... even if it was only a few ounces.
I had a 5” 629 for a while, it was about as nicely balanced an N frame as you could get. I stupidly sold it to pay for some utv upgrades a decade ago. I still kick myself for that one .
That 6.5" 657 Classic remains the One Pistol I Regret Selling all these years later. I sold it to buy my M1a Socom16. While I'm happy that I have my M1a, it would have happened anyway, eventually, without selling that pistol. I know what I was doing, though... my interest in long-barreled pistols was waning, after I started shooting that 4" 686 I had. Along with the 657, I sold a 7.5" Bisley in .45 Colt, and one other pistol I don't recall... probably my 6" 57. I just should have made an exception for that 657...
Depends on the application, 2 and 3 are good for fixed sight carry guns, 4&6 for target and hunting adjustable sights.
I have several K-frame, L-frame, and N-frame revolvers with 3" or shorter barrels. they shoot fine, but there just is not enough barrel.
I do not think I'd shoot an X-frame with anything shorter than the 8-3/8" barrel. I have a 460XVR.
I have 1-7/8", 3" and 4" barrel J-frames. 38 Special is about the most powerful cartridge I'll shoot in a J-frame. 22 LR and 32 S&WL are great to shoot in J-frames.
The same choices would apply to similar sized Ruger and Colt revolvers of which I have a few of each. A Ruger GP100 in 44 Special is the only short barrel revolver I have in the larger frames models of these makes.
But in general....
Small frame 3"-4" (sp101, bearcat/single 6)
Medium frame 4-5" (gp-100, small frame Blackhawk)
Large frame 5-8" (redhawk, super Blackhawk)
That's my favorite... revolver or auto. Even 2 of my 3 1911's are 4"...
Lots of them are awesome and fun.
N Frame: If it's going to have a heavy barrel and underlug, 5" shoots about as well as 6" and will balance better. My 625 is a favorite for that reason. Without a full underlug, 6" also feels good.
J Frame: 2" is the classic, starting to also like 3" with large grips as a belt gun
K Frame: 2" underrated carry piece, far easier to shoot than a j-frame
3" nice belt gun, nice for SD
4" not too big to wear on a belt, nice accuracy, classic for HD
6" + nice for hunting and/or target shooting
K - 2 1/2” unless it is a .22 then I like 6”
L - 3” or 5”
N - 3 1/2” or 6 1/2”
Ruger RedHawk - 4”
Ruger Blackhawk - 5.5”
K/L frame 4”
N frame 5”
All with enclosed half under lugs.
.357, 7 shot 5", 6 shot 4", 5 shot 3", all fine by me.
K frame 3"
L frame 4"
N frame 7"
X frame 8 3/8"
The problem is some of my favorites don't fit in the longer barrel as the frame size increases. My favorite 357 is a 686 3". My 415 Taurus 41mag is a K/L size with a 2 1/2". A K frame 22lr 4-6" would be nice!
With the beefier/heavier Ruger frame add an inch with the exception of the LCR. I would stick with 2".
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