View Poll Results: Which barrel length has the best combo of accuracy and balance?

Voters
37. You may not vote on this poll
  • 3 Inch

    0 0%
  • 4 Inch

    12 32.43%
  • 5 Inch

    24 64.86%
  • 6 Inch

    1 2.70%
  • 7 Inch

    0 0%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 33

Thread: Barrel Length

  1. #1
    JONSCH's Avatar
    JONSCH is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    65

    Barrel Length

    which barrel length (not for carry) would you consider the best balance of accuracy and balance/holding comfort?

  2. Ads
  3. #2
    James NM's Avatar
    James NM is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,091
    Gonna depend on which gun you're talking about.

    A small frame pistol will balance better with a shorter barrel. A large frame pistol will balance better with a longer barrel. For example, a Keltec P3AT balances nicely with a 2 3/4" barrel, and a 1911 balances nicely with a 5" barrel. However, if you put a 5" barrel on the Keltec and the 2 3/4" barrel on the 1911, the balance is not so nice anymore.

    Since you discounted carry, the main reason to go with a longer barrel in a handgun is velocity, and thus power.

    The perceived accuracy improvement actually comes from the longer sight picture, not the barrel length.
    Last edited by James NM; 07-10-2008 at 07:13 PM.

  4. #3
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    About 24", with the .30-'06 cartridge loaded to about 3,000fps. and a 165-grain, boat-tail bullet.
    Oh—you were asking about pistols! Sorry.

    Barrel length itself is not the most important issue in accurate pistol shooting. Sight radius is.
    ...And a steady hand, and a smooth trigger press, and superb breath control, and a bunch of other, non-pistol factors.
    You'd be surprised at what kind of accurate long-range shooting a short-barreled pistol can do...in the right hands, that is.

  5. #4
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1,251
    Quote Originally Posted by James NM View Post
    Since you discounted carry, the main reason to go with a longer barrel in a handgun is velocity, and thus power.

    The perceived accuracy improvement actually comes from the longer sight picture, not the barrel length.

    As has been covered before on this forum, poor horse, Velocity gained by additional barrel length is inconsequential as you only get about 20-30fps per inch of additional barrel length.

    Also, accuracy improvement actually does come from a longer barrel in the sense that you cannot really have a longer sight radius unless the pistol is longer as a whole. I've never seen a 7" sight radius on a 2.5" barrelled pistol. The longer the barrel, the longer the sight radius.

    I also think that accuracy comes much more from how tight the gun locks up and shooter skill and comfort with the gun. I've had shorter pistols I shoot better than longer pistols even at longer ranges. Either way, buy a pistol that fits what you need it to do, for instance if you are looking for a range gun for precision shooting/bullseye, I'd say get something longer, if you are looking for something to conceal well, the obvious choice is something a bit smaller.

    Zhur

  6. #5
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Coastal Bend, TX
    Posts
    2,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Barrel length itself is not the most important issue in accurate pistol shooting. Sight radius is.
    I've read this a lot, and I wonder why no one has yet developed a rear sight that slides out toward the shooter, giving the shooter an extra few inches, and a longer sight radius ...

    Hmmm ....

    Anyone know a good patent attorney?

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  7. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    Answers for zhurdan and Wandering Man:
    1) Olympic-competition .22 Short pistols are, or used to be, arranged with their magazines up in front of their trigger guards, à la Mauser. This gave a much longer sight radius than their barrel length (restricted by regulation) would otherwise allow. Short barrel, long sight radius.
    2) In NRA pistol competition, it used to be common to see front sights cantilevered out in front of a pistol's muzzle by a couple of inches. I don't know if this is still done.
    3) Having a slide-out front (or rear) sight, to increase sight radius at will, leads to lots of other complications, not least of which is a difficult-to-suppress tendency to wiggle. I bet you'd lose more than you'd gain. Besides, for most shooters, the small increase in sight radius would be overcome by their (relatively) poor technique.
    Practice makes lots of sense, but gadgetry won't make up for lack of practice. "There is no miracle cure that will absolve you from having to practice, if you want to be a superior shot." —Michael Harries

  8. #7
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arizona, baby!
    Posts
    5,081
    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    I've read this a lot, and I wonder why no one has yet developed a rear sight that slides out toward the shooter, giving the shooter an extra few inches, and a longer sight radius ..
    It's been done in reverse: http://www.calzaretta.com/scans/52-s.jpg and http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/Vie...?Item=99596844. This used to be somewhat common on pistols used in NRA 2700-type pistol matches.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 07-11-2008 at 04:33 PM.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  9. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    Mike;
    Yeah, that's what I was writing about.
    But it's a fixed extension, not retractable. Wandering Man wants to invent one that'll give it to you both ways.

  10. #9
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1,251
    @ Steve

    I do recall seeing one of those competition .22LR's at one point but never looked into them when the owner told me how much it cost. I couldn't justify a .22LR for my needs at the price point he mentioned. Pretty neat looking gun though. As I recall (it's been about 8 years) it was a Russian design. Good point though, I wouldn't have recalled it had you not said something.

    Zhur

  11. #10
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arizona, baby!
    Posts
    5,081
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Mike;
    Yeah, that's what I was writing about.
    But it's a fixed extension, not retractable. Wandering Man wants to invent one that'll give it to you both ways.
    Not sure when such a device would be practical.

    A defense gun doesn't need a long sight radius, since shots are almost invariably at very close range. Heck, some people even argue that a defense gun doesn't need sights at all.

    There's no reason not have a long barrel on a hunting gun, which gives you both increased sight radius AND a velocity edge.

    Competition guns almost uniformly wear optics now, and even those that don't wouldn't need a retractable extension, since competition guns by their nature just go from shooting bag/box to the firing line and back.

    Maybe I am missing something...?
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  12. #11
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    ...Maybe I am missing something...?
    Yup. Go back and read the previous posts, Mike.
    On second thought, don't. It's not all that important.

  13. #12
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arizona, baby!
    Posts
    5,081
    Hmmmm. Okay. I read the posts again. I still don't see how a retractable sight extension would be practical on a defense, hunting or competition gun.

    Possibly I am being unintentionally dense, which is hardly a rare condition with me. Help me out here.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  14. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    The point I think you're missing, Mike, is that it wouldn't be practical at all.
    (I'll quote myself: "Having a slide-out front (or rear) sight, to increase sight radius at will, leads to lots of other complications, not least of which is a difficult-to-suppress tendency [for it] to wiggle. I bet you'd lose more than you'd gain. Besides, for most shooters, the small increase in sight radius would be overcome by their (relatively) poor technique.")
    That's why I wrote that it wasn't really necessary for you to review the previous posts.
    I think that the subject has been demolished to everyone's satisfaction.

  15. #14
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Coastal Bend, TX
    Posts
    2,121


    Hijack over?

    Sorry Jonsch.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  16. #15
    hberttmank's Avatar
    hberttmank is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    626
    For all around use but mostly just the range, I prefer the 5 inch on autos and revolvers. It is the best compromise of balance, ease of carrying, and accuracy to me. For a gun dedicated to hunting I like a longer barrel and for CCW a shorter one.

  17. #16
    JONSCH's Avatar
    JONSCH is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    65
    i realize there is a thread for expert vs elite on the Heckler koch page...but im still really wondering how much difference the extra inch of barrel length makes. Ive only shot the expert. someone said theres no point of them making the elite because theres no difference between it and the expert accuracy but those guys at HK arent stupid of course there is a difference. but how much.

  18. #17
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    4,906
    Quote Originally Posted by JONSCH View Post
    ...but im still really wondering how much difference the extra inch of barrel length makes...
    In the hands of the normal, average shooter, one inch of barrel or sight radius means very little. It probably makes no difference at all.

  19. #18
    JONSCH's Avatar
    JONSCH is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    65
    so the elite is made only for professionals?

  20. #19
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Port St.John,FL.
    Posts
    6,741
    A pro makes the difference no matter the gun. I see it at the range all the time. It's the old Indian not the Arrow deal.

  21. #20
    Teuthis is offline Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    442

    Sights

    I think having some kind of sight path at one's disposal is better than none for self defense. But minimal sights are quite enough, even out to ten yards or so. Point shooting is eye/hand coordination and does not even use the sights.

    What you are talking about is for target shooting and that has already been done, as we have read. And who would have time and presence of mind to pull out the sights before engaging an active foe? Just something else to go wrong.

  22. #21
    Don357's Avatar
    Don357 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Semmes AL
    Posts
    176

    Perfect Balance

    It really depends on the type of gun. Some auto's achieve the "perfect balance" with a 4" barrel, such as a Sig, or a metal frame 4000, 5000, or 6000 model S&W, some with a 5" barrel such as a 1911 or a CZ75, Some revolver's do it with a 2" to 4", or even a 6" or 8" depending on the grip. Actually, "perfect balance" is a matter of personal preference.

  23. #22
    JONSCH's Avatar
    JONSCH is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    65
    Because if "the one inch doesnt make a difference" between the HK expert and elite, why not just get the regular USP. Its just one inch shorter then the expert. "just one inch", right??

  24. #23
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1,251
    Quote Originally Posted by JONSCH View Post
    Its just one inch shorter then the expert. "just one inch", right??
    That's the ticket!

    Honestly, it comes down to shooting whatever gun you buy, alot. Sight radius, gizmo's, barrel length, trigger pull, bullet weight... all that stuff, sure it plays a roll, but every time I pick up a different gun, I have to shoot it just a little bit different. So, why not buy what you want, that will fit the purpose of what you want it for, and shoot the piss out of it until you get good. That's what I'd suggest. If you ever need help deciding if smaller barrels can be accurate or not, google Bob Munden.

    Zhur

  25. #24
    JONSCH's Avatar
    JONSCH is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    65
    gun makers produce longer barrels/sights just to fufill someones barrel fetish, and not because they have the capability to be more accurate. They should only make 3 inch barrels because a great shooter can do just as well with a 3 inch barrel as they can with a longer one.
    ----->>>This is what I gather.

  26. #25
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    1,251
    You are missing the point.

    Shooters are just as common as oxygen molecules. They differ in so many ways that it is unfathomable.

    Task specific shooters will pick the tool that gives them the best advantage. The HK Elite has much more going for it than the basic 3" revolver. If you can afford to pay for a spendy auto, then go for it if you think it will benefit your mission.... mission meaning anything from mall ninja to top operator in Afghanistan. Pistols are just as selective as their users.

    Picking a barrel length based on others opinions is like choosing underpants from Victoria Secrets when all you want is good ball support. My point is, if you are looking for someone to give you the magic answer from their years of experience, then you need to put the time in just like they did to see what works best for you and what you need.

    If I were to come to a gun forum ( no offense intended) and ask what the best shooter is... it'd be like asking a Victoria Secrets model what she'd recommend. She is obviously going to recommend what works best for her, nothing more, nothing less.

    Shooting well is about shoot often, and with as many different platforms as possible.

    Rent some, try some, buy some.

    Pistols are a personal matter. For instance, Mike Barham might offer up a Glock, whereas I'd offer up a Kimber. I'd bet a case of beer that I could out shoot Mike with Kimbers, but he'd own me with a Glock. Doesn't mean that we are better or worse shooters, just what fits us. I shoot Glocks well too, but I shoot Kimbers better.

    I personally like my Victoria Secret underpants to be loose around the junk, but others might like it high and tight.

    Overall, I'd recommend trying before buying, that's all.

    Zhur

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Ads

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

6 inches barrel auto pistols
,
advantage of 5 inch barrel over 4 inch barrel in semiauto pistol
,

best pistol barrel length for target shooting

,
best revolver barrel length for balance
,
hk elite or expert which is best
,
how to measure semi auto pistol barrel length
,
is pistol barrel length better longer than shorter
,
revolver vs semi auto barrel length
,

semi auto barrel length

,

semi automatic pistols with barrel length 5 inches or longer

,
semi-automatic pistols with 5-inch or longer barrels
,
top recommended semiautomatic
Click on a term to search for related topics.