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Why 8 3/8" for S&Ws?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jimfern, Apr 2, 2010.

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  1. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    I am curious why S&W settled on 8 3/8" for the barrels on some of their revolvers. I'm sure there was a reason they picked it. Google was not helping out on this one. Thanks for any information you can provide on this one.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Because at the time, NRA Bullseye competition had a 12"? limit on how far apart the front & rear sights could be placed.

    So, the 8 3/8" barrel, plus the length of the N & K frame was as long as they could be and still be legal for NRA Bullseye competition use.
    Still, that measurement comes up a little less then 11 1/2" from muzzle to rear sight lief so they could have been a little longer.

    There is also some speculation 8 3/8" was as long as the barrel rifling equipment they had at that time could make barrels.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
  3. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    Thank you Sir.
     
  4. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The original longest barrel S&W offered was 8 & 3/4" (pre-war 357 Magnums) but then the rules changed to limit sight radius or someone pointed out to S&W that 8 & 3/4" was too long for compliance and the shorter length was adopted.
     
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Similarly, it is rather odd that the six-inch barrels are actually 5 7/8" and two-inch barrels are actually 1 7/8". What is the reasoning behind that?
     
  6. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Why?

    It's to emulate caliber nomenclature where the caliber designation generally doesn't have much to do with the actual caliber. Such as the 44 Magnum actually being close to a 42 caliber.
     
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