What’s the best handgun Barrel length?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by littlebob3, Jan 31, 2012.

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  1. littlebob3

    littlebob3 Member

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    I have a Sig 226 with a Barrel length of 4.4".
    I am thinking about buying a 226 X-5 or a 226 X-Six and was wondering witch would be the the best for indoor range shooting the 5” or 6” barrel.

    Would the 6” be more accuracy than the 5”?
    I will be shooting from 20 to 60 feet.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    LittleBob3
     
  2. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Depends on the application and what you can shoot accurately.....chris3
     
  3. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    The barrel length has very little to do with accuracy. Longer barrels usually come with a longer sight radius, which can make it easier to repeatedly aim for the same point.

    Other features of the guns in question will make far more difference than the barrel length alone.
     
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    A gun model with a 2" barrel will shoot just as precisely as the same model with an 8" barrel. But the abilty to actually shoot the 2" model is much more difficult than the 8" model for most people.

    I generally favor about a 4" barrel as being about optimal when considering the range of possibilites. But I favor a longer barrel if the firearm is used for hunting.
     
  5. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    The most accurate at 20-60 feet between 5" & 6" barrels?!? The 6" gives a tiny sight radius advantage, but past that...you're picking the fly "scat" out of the pepper. I'm not sure you could get any conclusive, empirical answers to that question out of a Ransom Rest, much less shooting off-hand. If you CAN shoot groups that tight, I'll happily pay money to watch your trigger-time. ;)
     
  6. Eric M

    Eric M Member

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    Barrel length affects muzzle velocity. This leads to slightly less drift and drop so groups may be tighter. Buy I'm not sure its going to be very noticeable for most people at those distances.
     
  7. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    Handgun accuracy is not fixed very much by barrel length, since technical limitations stop the handgun from reaching out to the distances necessary for such things to become significant. However, it is much easier to use a longer barreled handgun, because the sight radium is longer, and therefore, each minuscule motion of your hand has less effect on the point of aim, and you can more precisely tell what you are sighting at. However, the size makes them more uncomfortable to carry for long periods of time and harder to conceal, for all you CC guys out there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  8. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Member

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    I'm just as accurate with my 2 1/2" revolver as I am with a 5" 1911. My carry weapons vary from 3" to 4 1/4" and I am comfortable with any of those barrel lengths.

    It's more about your level of comfort with a particular firearm and it's barrel length. You are the one shooting it, not us. 'Sides that, I remember reading in more than one article and or book that barrel length doesn't matter. It's accuracy is derived from shooters control and mechanics.
     
  9. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Longer barrels give more velocity, less noise and less muzzle blast as well as a longer sight radius. The drawbacks are that they are harder to conceal and much easier for a bad guy to wrest it from your grasp if he gets hold of it. They are also hard to turn and point toward someone you are wrestling with. Yes, real gun fights often happen in this close.
     
  10. littlebob3

    littlebob3 Member

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    Many thanks to all for the great input!
     
  11. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Well, barrel length doesn't do all that much for accuracy past a certain point... You need it to be long enough to impart spin and stabilize the bullet and a long time ago it did take a longer barrel to pull that off. But for a modern auto, any of the popular lengths should suffice. I've seen a guy shoot a .40 compact HK very accurately out to 200m, and I've shot pistols at ranges like that myself.

    But I also have a G17 and a G17L, and though that 17L is a bit more tweaked than the 17 is, it is a whole lot more accurate. Just that bit longer sight radius really made a difference, and a longer barrel also gives you more velocity and that helps with ballistic variables. The faster and straighter you get the bullet to the target the easier it is to achieve accuracy. Just because the pistol technically can do it doesn't mean we always can, and all those little edges help.

    As for 5" or 6"... Well, I just shot my first IDPA match and the 17L I used isn't "legal" to use. So in this case, the G34 5.25" bbl. or whatever would have been better. But I got the pistol a while back and really wanted this particular one and don't regret it, so it really comes down to that. If you plan on shooting matches now or in the future, make sure it is "legal". If you plan on carrying it, you may find either one to be too long. So I'd get the 6" if no IDPA and carry isn't a concern.

    6" barreled autos give you an 8"+ sight radius and that extra bit of uumph which seems to be just about right with autos if you ask me. Any longer and they are just unwieldy.
     
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