Tell me about barrel lengths on a .357 Magnum

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    1. #1
      Junior Member RadarContact's Avatar
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      Tell me about barrel lengths on a .357 Magnum

      I may buy a revolver for my next handgun. I was reading the other thread about favorite caliber. The .357/.38 weapons seemed to have won hands down over there, with .44 Mag I believe pulling in 2nd place.

      I like the specs of the .357 mag round, seems about as perfect a round as a handgun is going to see. That said...

      I like the look of the 2" stubby, but think that would be unpleasant to shoot. I don't like anything bigger, but will have to learn to like it. I have arthritis in my hands, but am still strong, so I can compensate. Killer recoil might irritate the condition though. (I shoot my FNX-9 200 rounds at a time with no problems.)

      Those who know, how much different is it shooting a 2", 3", and 4"? I don't think I'd own anything longer than that for CCW.

      What are good models to compare? Are any "legends" in the revolver world, sorta like a 1911 is in the auto world? See a lot of talk about S&W model 19s and Ruger 101s (?)

      Thanks!

    2. #2
      Member shaolin's Avatar
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      I have a Ruger GP100 .357 mag and it has a nice trigger pull and is very accurate. For the money I spent on it I feel I got a revolver that was built strong and will last a life time. That being said if I had more $ to put into a revolver then I would buy the S&W 686 with a 4 inch barrel \ I own a 2 inch barrel .357 and the recoil is a beast. A .357 can do a whole lot on the spectrum for a handgun in the lower 48.

    3. #3
      Member Overkill0084's Avatar
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      Aesthetics aside, what will be it's intended use?
      2" is great for concealed carry, but kinda crappy for much else. IMHO, 2" revolvers are to be endured, not enjoyed. Opinions vary of course.
      For a general purpose range gun, 4" & 6" seem to be the consensus. 4" being preferred if holster duty is going to be a factor. 5" is considered a great compromise, but they are fairly rare.
      From an accuracy stand point, the longer barrel and it's associated longer sight radius will make it easier to shoot well.
      Additionally, barrel length on a .357 matters for performance. The .357 Magnum makes much of it's performance because of slower burning powders. To get the most out of them longer barrels work better. With typical .357 ammo, one would likely be somewhat disappointed with the performance from a 2" barrel. All that powder is being wasted to make that ridiculous muzzle flash.

      As for legends? Check out Colt's Python and the S&W Model 27. Overlooked journeymen, hunt down a Ruger Security Six, a Dan Wesson or the original Colt Trooper.

    4. #4
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      Here is one .357 I carried for a time, a Model 586 S&W with 4" barrel:



      For concealment I put on a sport coat or a vest. I carried it loaded with Remington .357 Magnum 158 gr. SJHP.

      Later I went to this, a Model 19 .357 Magnum, but loaded with Federal .38 Special +P 158 gr. Nyclad SWCHP:



      Here are two of my Model 19s:



      One thing to remember about the short revolvers, the ejector throw is shorter also, making good sense to load it with the .38 Special for more positive extraction.

      Bob Wright

    5. #5
      Junior Member bigdiesel's Avatar
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      I have a Taurus total titanium 617 frame .357 2" ported barrel. I am not sure about shooting it with arthritis but I can shoot it all day one handed. The grip on this thing is great. It absorbs most of the shock and the ported barrel also helps. This is the one and only revolver I have ever had and will never sell it so my input is limited but I would recommend this gun to anyone looking for a light(about 20 ounces loaded), easy to shoot weapon. I keep it loaded in the house with +p 129 grain JHP 38 special. I almost forgot....it is a seven shot.

    6. #6
      Senior Member niadhf's Avatar
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      I love my Taurus 605. The 2". I have a 3" also, but am looking to turn that into a six shot 3" revolver. I could use that for IDPA and still carry, albeit OWB with that, and share rounds with the 605. For me, the best thing for recoil is a grip that covers the blackstrap also. Tends to make the grip for my hand better (not move) and are usually rubber (recoil absorbing).
      For me, a 4" is to big for a CCW. But that is just me.
      I am eyeing a Ruger Security Six right now. Now I the Taurus or Kel tec P11 would sell.....

    7. #7
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      GREAT GUNS listed above, I was a dedicated revolver CCW for its unsurpassed reliability. The Taurus would be the only above mentioned gun I would have reservations about purchasing. Even though with respect to Taurus, I have owned a few cheapies in my time that were flawless, like my charter arms 4 inch 44 spl stainless bulldog. I pocket carried that 5 shot bulldog at least 10 years..
      One thing I learned when making a gun purchase, do not try and save 200$ for a gun that you will own a long time, sometimes forever. After some time passes after the purchase,, you will not even notice the 200$ more you spent. BUT you will still notice and own that gun.

    8. #8
      Member Easy_CZ's Avatar
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      For a CC wheelgun, it's hard to beat a snubbie like the LCR 357. It's accurate at SD distances, has a good trigger and the recoil is not too bad. If you're looking for better performance, I'd look at the Ruger GP-100 357, Colt Troopers and the S&W 686s with 4-inch barrels. They won't conceal as easily, but they will give the magnum superior performance and less felt recoil compared to the 2-inch snubs.

    9. #9
      Senior Member paratrooper's Avatar
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      The vast majority of all my revolvers, are S&W's with barrels ranging from 2.5" to 8 3/8". The calibers range from .22LR to .44mag.

      The 4" bbl. seems to be the most popular for overall use.

    10. #10
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      I have 2 Ruger sp101s. Built like a tank!!!!!! 357 is wuite managable but much much better with hogue rubber grips. Much much better!!!

      2-3 inch doesnt seam to matter more the grip itself. 2 in my CCW and the 3 my woods gun and backup CCW.

    11. #11
      rex
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      I had one of those 605s I found cheap.I was surprised how nice a little gun it was.My only gripe was the cheap rubber grips wollered out from the recoil.I traded it before I put wood grips on it and should have kept it.I don't miss it like the Dan Wesson pistol pack but it was a good little gun for a Taurus.

    12. #12
      Member high pockets's Avatar
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      I had a S&W 686 with 6" barrel. Sweet shooter, tack driver, used to shoot it in Bullseye & bowling pin matches. That being said, it was too big for daily carrying. I traded it for MY FNX-9, and don't regret it. I also have a Ruger SP101 with 2-1/4" barrel. As stated above, it is much milder with .38Spl loads, and I have heard from many people that the Hogue grips tame the.357 recoil dramatically. I think you would be well served with either, but the 686, being a larger frame, would have less recoil, but a little more difficult to conceal.

    13. #13
      rex
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      Hehe,that 6" is heavy eh?The 8" was a bear to hold long without the muzzle dipping on you.I had a 4" 586 first run I regret parting with but got an even better Dan Wesson 15 pistol pack.The trigger stack was funky but I could still rocknroll in combat matches.I seriously miss that one,especially seeing what the're going for now.

    14. #14
      Supporting Member rfawcs's Avatar
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      Lots of good advice. I would ask again - what are you mainly going to do with it? For target shooting, a 6-inch barrel will be capable of better accuracy for most people because of the longer sight radius, but they're heavier. A 4-inch barrel is a good all-around compromise. A 2-inch barrel is obviously more compact but has increased muzzle blast and felt recoil.

      The only pistol my wife shoots is my 4-inch Python with .38 Special rounds.

    15. #15
      Junior Member buddy_boy's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RadarContact View Post
      I may buy a revolver for my next handgun. I was reading the other thread about favorite caliber. The .357/.38 weapons seemed to have won hands down over there, with .44 Mag I believe pulling in 2nd place.

      I like the specs of the .357 mag round, seems about as perfect a round as a handgun is going to see. That said...

      I like the look of the 2" stubby, but think that would be unpleasant to shoot. I don't like anything bigger, but will have to learn to like it. I have arthritis in my hands, but am still strong, so I can compensate. Killer recoil might irritate the condition though. (I shoot my FNX-9 200 rounds at a time with no problems.)

      Those who know, how much different is it shooting a 2", 3", and 4"? I don't think I'd own anything longer than that for CCW.

      What are good models to compare? Are any "legends" in the revolver world, sorta like a 1911 is in the auto world? See a lot of talk about S&W model 19s and Ruger 101s (?)

      Thanks!


      If you're looking for CC, look into a 3" barrell. You'd keep the accuracy for the most part, won't stick you in the hip, and still have pretty good punch off the velocity. $0.02

    16. #16
      Junior Member RadarContact's Avatar
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      A lot of good info to ponder! Thanks to all.

    17. #17
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      Stick with a 4" barrel. Anything less is useless for shooting 357mag loads. If you can afford it, go with an older four inch Colt Python. S&W 19 is nice for carry, 586 is even better for fullhouse loads. Good Luck!

    18. #18
      Senior Member paratrooper's Avatar
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      In regards to Taurus, if you buy one, it will not appreciate in value as the years go by. The most it will ever be worth, will be the day you bought it new.

      I know some don't care about resale or value in the years to come. But for me, I like the idea of being able to get my money back, if not more, should I decide to sell in the future. With Colt and S&W, it's almost a given. With Ruger, it's a 50/50 chance, depending on the model.

      Just some food for thought!

    19. #19
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      Lcr

    20. #20
      Member Vodoun da Vinci's Avatar
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      I'm a lover of .357 magnum in all types of revolvers except snubbies. 4" barrels for me and I have a 6" Dan Wesson with Hogue grips that is very saucy with full house 158 grain bullets. The short barreled guns have *huge* muzzle blast and kick like a mule making follow ups difficult for me. I also have a S & W model 19 with 4" barrel and Hogue grips that is an absolute tack driver with .38 special loads and very comfy to shoot with fast follow ups.

      VooDoo

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