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Question on 6 inch revolver barrel accuracy

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ANATION, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. ANATION

    ANATION Member

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    Just curious how much easier it is to shoot a 6 inch revolver accurately compared to a shorter barrel, such as 3 inch or 4 inch. I understand that accuracy is relative so I was looking at 25 to 40 yards accuracy of at least 4 MOA.
     
  2. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    barrellength has very little if anything to do with mechanical accuracy. your eyes and sights and even the quality of the trigger plo accuracy in hand guns- as well as rifles
    ay bigger roles... yor abilites willplay a big part also... a 6 inch tends to be easier for most to shoot better due to a longer sight radius if using open sights... many factors contribute t
     
  3. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Longer sight radius helps with aiming.

    Depending on how powerful the load the extra weight can help with recoil.

    The trade off is harder to carry.
     
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  4. ANATION

    ANATION Member

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    I was looking at using open sights.
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Longer sight radius helps with practical accuracy

    For the range you mention there will be very little difference between a 6” barrel and a 4” barrel.
     
  6. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    E7AC4C7F-6B43-4F87-B0D4-C3388C379988.jpeg D89D441A-AF2F-4817-A155-550AA029FA96.jpeg AA1C17A8-4830-4132-98E6-FFB1E4F7AF80.jpeg I have a Colt Diamondback .22 with a 4" barrel and a 6" barrel. When shooting up to 25 yards, I prefer the 4" as it points well. But the 50, 75 and 100 yard targets the 6" barrel aims better. I feel more accurate with the 6" at those distances. However, my Colt wears the 4" barrel currently.
     
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  7. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    27.2%.

    Just kidding. There's no way to quantify it for you. I find a 6" noticeably easier to shoot vs. a 4". But an 8" vs a 6" has little difference as far as I can tell. To me the range makes no difference. The 6" is easier to shoot more accurately than the 4" at any range. If you actually measure groups.
     
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  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    So I have almost 14 years of shooting revolvers competitively in USPSA and IDPA competition, mostly USPSA. I have used four different revolvers in that competition. A 6.5-inch S&W 610, a 5-inch S&W 625, a 5-inch S&W 627 and a 4-inch S&W Model 10 Heavy Barrel. I always found the 6.5-inch 610 was the easiest to shoot accurately especially as ranges stretched out. It was not dramatically better than the shorter revolver but definitely noticeable as the longer sight radius and higher mass moment of inertia of that long full underlugged barrel combine to make the revolver more stable with a better sight radius. That said when shooting stages with lots of closer targets that allowed for fast moving transitions between targets that extra barrel length was also notable in making it not quiet as nimble as the shorter lighter guns especially the Model 10. At least from a practical-pistol competition point of view I think if I could build a custom revolver I would probably do a 6 - 6.5 barrel but would do a barrel profile that is lighter than a full underlug. The S&W 929 was made specifically for USPSA competition by the best revolver shooter to grace the sport (Jerry Miculek) and it has a 6.5 inch barrel with a tapered underlug to make it lighter weight but a long sight radius. YMMV

    8RQzGDHl.jpg
    S&W 610 6.5-inch
    qnmfgAWl.jpg
    S&W 625 5-inch
    r7RdpAul.jpg
    S&W 627 5-inch
    r7RdpAul.jpg
    S&W M10 4-inch
     
  9. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    My PPC revolvers are 6" heavy barreled revolvers weighing in at around 3 pounds and more. Most similar PPC revolvers will hold under 2" MOA at 50 yards shooting 148 grain HBLWC's.

    My action pistols are 4" Smith L frames for speed not precision!

    Smiles,
     
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  10. ANATION

    ANATION Member

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    Thanks for the info. Off the subject of barrel length but I am curious since you shoot competitively. What is the trigger pull of your revolvers in DA? Do competitors want as light a DA pull as possible?
     
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  11. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    More depends on the sights than on the barrel length, IMO. Some of my revolvers have sights that don't particular help to shoot them accurately.
     
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  12. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Some competitors do go for a super light a DA trigger. I personally never found that a super light DA trigger was worth the a effort. I would rather have a smooth heavy trigger than a light trigger that is not smooth. You still have to pull that trigger the full stroke and if you lighten the trigger return spring too much going for a light pull you have to wait for that trigger to return all the way forward after the shot. You can create a super light trigger that actually slows your splits down as your finger returns faster than the trigger. This can also lead to issues if you accidentally try to start pulling the trigger again before it's fully returned, causing potential malfunctions in mechanism. All my competition revolvers have a double action trigger pull of between 8.5 and 10 lbs.
     
  13. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    You're going to get the increased velocity from a 6" barrel over its 4" counterpart..which would be an important factor if you were hunting with it,
     
  14. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Since I have gotten older the longer sight radius really helps, therefore the longer barrel is better for me for better target shooting.
     
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  15. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    The sights will make much more difference than the barrel length. For example I have a S&W pre-10 with a 6” barrel and nickle finish. That shiny half moon sight on the front and low profile notch rear are ok in the right light and the gun will easily do less than 2” at 25 yards mechanically, but practically making it happen in an indoor range or anywhere with less than full daylight can be challenging.

    Compare that to something like my Enfield No.2 which has a cut down 2” barrel and much duller sights that are also very square in both front and rear outlines and that gun is both mechanically as accurate as the 6” S&W, and much easier to actually use in poor light or on smaller targets because of the specific shape of the sights and the finish they have.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I shoot my Ruger 4 inch better than a Taurus 6 inch I had.
     
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  17. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    I would have to agree that the longer barrel runs the bullet along more rifling, ergo, enhanced accuracy-as well as the longer sight radius.
     
  18. AzShooter1

    AzShooter1 Member

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    I prefer the 6 inch barrels for competition and bench shooting. That little extra sight radius helps me get the most accuracy out of my revolvers. I now shot with red dot sights but still want the 6 inch for more velocity. Running rounds over a chronograph the extra velocity from a low powered round helps.

    How light is my trigger? My 929 and 627s boast 4.5 pound triggers. It takes a lot of practice to get your finger moving forward enough to reset when shooting fast. I haven't shot single action in about 30 years but my s. a. would be about 2 pounds.
    DSC_9163.jpg
     
  19. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    In PPC competition, we all used 6” barrels for the Open class. We also used 6” barrels in the Distinguished class. They were the longest barrels that were legal in the competition. In Duty class, the 4” barrel was the maximum length allowed. For most of us, scores were about the same if not equal. Off duty classification was 3” maximum. Here, scores did change but that could be due to the difference in the action from the larger frames.


    Kevin
     
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  20. black mamba

    black mamba Member

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    It depends on how good your eyesight is. Good eyes with longer barrels equals less aiming error, but bad eyes with longer barrels equals more aiming error.
     
  21. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    In my view, the terms accuracy and precision get used interchangeably- when they are not.
    Would agree, barrel length usually aides velovity.
    However many other factors affect accuracy, including the shooter.
    Many of us may with aging eyes, may find the various metallic sights of a 4 inch barrel easier to shoot and shoot better than 6" or longer.
     
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