I have one with a 7 1/2 inch barrel.
.38 special and .38 colt cowboy loads or full charge BP loads are what this gun is meant for. No modern +p hot stuff or full metal jackets. Use what it is supposed to eat, and it's a great little gun. By the by, a modern .38 colt is the same as a .38 special, it is just about a 1/4 inch shorter. Original .38 colt cartridges were loaded with a heel based bullet like a .22. The bullet was bigger (.375) than the modern bullets (.357)