View Full Version : .357 Magnum and how barrel length affects it......
I have come to a dilemma; I'm currently deciding between a Ruger GP100 in either 4 inch, or 6 inch barrel length.
I am trying to determine the minimum barrel length required to get the full potential from the .357 Magnum cartridge. What would your recommendations be? This would be a range toy/SHTF Zombie killin' gun :supergrin:, so I am just wanting to get all I can out of what I buy. Is the difference between barrel lengths going to affect the muzzle energy and velocity to the point where it becomes a selling point for me? I.E., if the velocity and muzzle energy are only affected by 50-100 FPS or FT/LBS, then I see myself going for the 4-inch barrel, but if its a significant difference, the 6-inch is the way to go, I suppose. What other factors must I consider when deciding barrel length, when it comes to also keeping the caliber in mind?
yes, it will to all your questions, plus, accuracy...you will get the most out of 6" harder to conceal is the only drawback IMO...love my .357 mag
.38 2-6 inch, .357mag 4-8 inch, .357max 6-10 inch.
Ah, I see. 6-inch barrel preferred, but 4-inch barrel acceptable?
I think that since the Ruger GP100 won't be a CCW piece, and that I want the maximum performance I can get with .357, I'll go with the 6-inch GP100.
If they sell the 6-inch, I'll just get the 4-inch. At least I know I'm getting pretty darn good results even if I do have to go the 4-inch route.
My 140gr reloads lose about 75-100 fps going from my 6" Ruger Security Six to my 4". Using BlueDot powder, much less if I am using Unique.
Off a bench there is no change in accuracy only off hand due to my limitations not the gun.
My 4" gets out on trips, my 6" stays in the safe, and would have been sold a long time ago if not for the family factor.
Get the 4" in stainless and be happy, It will travel much better.
For hunting or for a range toy, you will probably prefer the 6" barrel. Compared to the 4" barrel you will get an increase in velocity (100 fps +/-). The 6" bbl will cut down on recoil and blast. It's more barrel heavy (the 4" GP has about perfect balance though) making it easier to hit with at range. All in all the 6" barrel is better in most ways except carry. Mine has a 4" barrel for that reason. Both are good. I think you will find the 6" GP a lot easier to shoot than the 4" with full power loads. Both will get the job done though.
357 vs 357 (http://intrencik.com/357vs357.pdf)
Sight radius is greatly enhanced with the 6"
Sight Radius - The distance between the front and rear elements of mechanical or “iron” sights. Theoretically, the longer the sight radius, the lower the potential for human optical error, hence the more accurate the system. This is true of open sights on longer barrelled rifles, which can have a long sight radius while still keeping the rear sight the proper distance from the shooter’s eye. If the rear sight is too close to the eye, it creates focus problems, potentially affecting aim ( unless it is an aperture or peep sight, which obviates the need for focusing ). For this reason bloop tubes (http://www.snipercountry.com/compendium/Comp_B.htm#BloopTube) are sometimes used on short-barrelled rifle to extend the sight radius.
I have maybe 7 357mags now, 2"-6". The 6" is the way to go for best performance vs protability. You'll lose upto 125fps between 4" & 6" bbls. That is quite a lot. I prefer the 4" guns for general range use & certainly carry, but hunting, 6" rules.
I prefer the 6 inch barrel for the .357 Magnum.
100 fps is quite a bit of difference!
If you have your choice between 357 mag vs. 38 spcl in a 2-inch revolver, if you like big calibers, why not choose 357 mag every time?
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