Which barrel length is better ?

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bear62041

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
10
I'm about to buy a Ruger New Model Blackhawk and not sure what barrel length to get, 4 5/8" or 5 1/2". The Ruger will be used for pleasure target shooting and hunting. I'm partial to the short barrel for looks, but I think the longer barrel will give higher velocity. What do you guys think ???
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
925
Location
Hamilton, Ohio USA
Barrel length is a personal thing. I prefer the 5½" barrel length. I have a Bisley Vaquero, a .44 Lipsey Special 5½", and a SS Bisley .45 Col/.45 ACP convertible 5½", all by choice. I can actually shoot them better due to longer sighting radius and they seem just a tad more comfortable to shoot.

Again, tho', it is more of a preference situation than a "one is better than the other" situation.

My choice came from actually using both lengths.

Ohio, where I live, also limits minimum barrel length to 5" for deer hunting, so that could be a consideration for some.

FWIW
Dale53
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,635
Location
Upstate SC
The velocity difference will be completely inconsequential. The shorter gun may carry a bit easier for you, but not a whole bunch. The little extra length of the 5.5" gives a nice little bit more sight radius.

In other words, take your pick. Practically speaking, it is a toss-up.
 

bear62041

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
10
Thanks for the come back guys. The point about the Game Dept limiting the barrel length is well taken, and I will have to research that. I'm still open to more suggestions.
 
Joined
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bear62041":8e1m9xud said:
Thanks for the come back guys. The point about the Game Dept limiting the barrel length is well taken, and I will have to research that. I'm still open to more suggestions.

There wont be too many more different suggestions.

A 4-5/8 is handier to carry, but a 5-1/2" may be very slightly easier to shoot. Go with your gut, and get the one that's calling you.

I've owned a bunch of Blackhawks and Super's, in all barrel lengths. Still do. And, every New Model I own, right now, in Blackhawk's, Super's, and Single Sixes, are 100% 4-5/8" That's the way I lean.

WAYNO.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
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9,090
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Ohio , U.S.A.
I feel the 5 1/2 inch is the better ,overall, all around compromise,and does 'balance' (feel) better to us,BUT as pointed out above its up to YOU and again, here in Ohio, we have to have the longer (at least 5 inch barrel) if to be used for hunting...............either is a fine choice
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
I like the 4 3/4" better....balances better in my hand, rides easier in my rear jeans pocket, and holsters far better in a hi ride tom threepersons holster on my belt...(ie it doesn't push up my waist belt into my ribs when sitting in a car, a deer stand or on the ground.) I can see no difference in the accuracy when compared with a 5 1/2"...and I've got both lengths. H--l, they look better too! Regards, Rodfac
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
It's highly subjective. Personally, I prefer the 4 5/8" (or 4¾" for Colt's) length over all others. I've never cared for the looks of a 5½" but I do like 7½" and 8" lengths.
 

Jayhawkhuntclub

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
1,241
Location
Kansas
Velocity is irrelevant. Personally, I shoot my 4 5/8" Rugers better than I do my 5.5". It's a no lose, but I'd go with the shorter barrel.
 

Tommy Kelly

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
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1,045
Location
MISSISSIPPI
My opinion is kind of one sided I have every cal. ruger makes in 4 5/8" and several that have the 7.5" I dont have a 5.5" to compare. But the 4 5/8" looks the best to me and I can hit better with the shorter bbl's than I can with the 7.5" ones. I also have a 3"44 mod 29 s&w and a ruger alaskan in 454 and a 4" 500S&W. I shoot the shorter ones better and have always liked the short bbl's. Most people say the longer sight radius is better but not for me. The closer the sights the better i shoot them. But like others have said buy what suits you. Also buying both is a good idea then you will know what length to buy the others in. Ruger single actions are addictive and you will need others soon also duplicates of the same gun are better than just 1.
 

Marc S

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
6
I purchased a 4 5/8 44 mag new last month. I am no pro- shooter but I can place 6 rounds in a 4" group at 50 yards with it. I took it deer hunting this year along with my 1894 Marlin. A buck jumped out of the woods at 35-40 yards away. I quickly pulled the ruger and got him through the heart. I am sure the 5.5" pistol is everything the 4 5/8 is, maybe it's more accurate. I guess my point is, don't let the short barrel fool you. It is very accurate.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
Location
Central Washington
your saying target and hunting ? i woulod get the longer barrel.
for a ranch work, riding, driving, hiking, cc, camping and by the bed i would get the 4 5/8. for targe and hunting i would acctually get the 7.5 but that would limit it to a very specialized purpose for me.

keep in mind that it is highly subjective. i would fondle both for awhile and see what feels right. i have seen many pick up a 4 5/8 and think it was the most ungangly, unbalanced gun ever made and thought the 5.5was great. i have also seen the opposite happen. i shoot and handle both about the same though i find i pick up on a target just slightly faster with the longer barrel.
 

Short Barrel

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
515
Location
MT
With only 7/8" difference in the length of the two guns,you really won't notice a difference in velocity,weight or accuracy.There will be a slight difference in packability and balance.

The most accurate gun I own is a 4" Redhawk.I also bought a 4",.44 Redhawk with a 7 1/2" barrel that was very accurate.It shot consistent 1" groups with about any ammo.I cut it's barrel off to 4",took it back to the range and it still shot 1" groups off the bench.

Buy the one you like.
 
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