Mike Irwin wrote:
A 7 3/8" barrel is NOT a factory length barrel, but it could be a simple mismeasurement and would relate to the 8 3/8" barrel that has been a factory staple for nearly 100 years.
Mike, I hate to dispute such an august authority as you, but I think the original barrels were introduce with the .357 Magnum around 1935. These were 8 3/4"
in length. However, they were later shortened to 8 3/8" when it was noted they exceeded the sight radius requirements set by the old United States Revovler Association, of Springfield, Mass.
P.S. I belonged to the USRA for a few years in the 'Fifties.