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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    velocity vs barrel length in GP100

    I'm new to handgunforum. Looks like a great site. That said, I'll jump right in:

    I'm considering getting a new .357. So far, I'm most attracted to the Ruger GP100. My next decision is do I go for the 4 inch or 6 inch barrel?

    I plan on using the revolver for target shooting/plinking, keeping in the elk hunting tent to ease my black bear concerns, maybe taking on a hike and, to a lesser extent, to have for home protection.

    I'm guessing accuracy will be a bit better with the 6 inch due to sight radius and slightly less recoil. The 4 inch would probably be much more likely to go along with me due to it's portable size.

    My big, unanswered question is: does anyone know how much velocity/energy is given up when I go from a 6 inch to a 4 inch in a .357? I hear .357 is on the low end for black bear protection so I don't want to give up too many ft-lbs.

    I appreciate any insight.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Arizona, baby!
    Interesting chronography results found here:

    You'll see that there is a lot of variation from gun to gun, and that some of the 4" guns even shot as fast as the 6" guns with the same loads. Thus, I'd not concern myself with ballistics much. I'd choose based on ease of shooting versus portability. For me, the handier, more portable 4" gun would win out in a wilderness gun, or one that may be used for home protection. Either is fine for casual target shooting.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - / Veteran OEF VIII

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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Memphis TN
    A number of years ago, I chronographed many of my handloads in .38 Spec., .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt. I clocked these in revolvers as near alike as possible, using a 4" and 6" barrel.

    There were some surprises in the endeavor, as some of my loads, especially in .357 Magnum, actually clocked higher in the 4" than in the 6" barrel. I don't have the data in front of me, but remember that loads concocted with Hercules (then) 2400 gave me this variation.

    But, as has been pointed out, don't get too hung up on bullet speed.

    Bob Wright

  4. #4
    Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Port St.John,FL.
    I am right in there with Bob and Mike and I would take the 4" for woods packing. With that GP-100 you can shoot anything out there for the .357rd. Practice with the round you like and old Blackie better beware if he messes with you. Just remember to keep it on your hip out there in bear country.

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