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Old May 28, 2008, 12:03 AM   #1
USCG_guy
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The Longest Barrel?

I had made a comment about a movie with a long-barrel revolver in it and how I said it was the longest I had ever seen.... well can someone tell me what is the longest barrel revolver to date? Just curious.

I mean the only one that comes to mind to me is the one in the Batman movie with Jack Nicholson, but I thought that was just a "hollywood" prop for the movie.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:11 AM   #2
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At least 12" for a "normal" handgun.
Taurus 980


The Encore has 15" barrels.

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Old May 28, 2008, 12:28 AM   #3
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Tke Joker's gun is a Hollywood prop

Under Federal law, rifles cannot have barrels less than 16". Also, pistols cannot have a barrel length over that. If it has (or was built to have) a buttstock and is has a barrel less than 16" it has to be registered with the BATFE.

Hangun makers, in order to avoid any legal hassles, commonly don't make barrels longer than 15", and 14" is more comomon for guns like the T/C Contender. "Standard" revolvers have been made with barrels in the 8" (8 3/8" for S&W), 10", and 12" (Buntline Specials). There may have been some 14" revolvers made, but I have never heard of any. Generally 8-8 1/2" is the longest commonly found, some 10" "Silhoutte" models have been made, and then the classic old west 12" Colt "Buntline" guns (and copies).

Movie Directors will often choose a very long barrel for the dramatic visual effect, ignoring the practical limitations very long barrels have when it comes to carrying (especially concealed) and when being used as "combat" weapons.

FYI, the Colt "Buntline Special" (a Colt SAA with a 12" barrel) was, according to legend, ordered by western writer Ned Buntline, as a gift for Wyatt Earp. Not for the accuracy possible with a long sight radius, or the extra power from a longer barrel, but because Earp had a habit of wacking obstinate cowboys (drunks, etc.) above the ear with his revolver, and Buntline figured a long barreled revolver would be a good tool for the task. It is not known for certain (at least I don't know) if Earp ever actually used the "Buntline Special", but it became part of western lore, and both Colt and other makers have offered guns in this configuration off and on ever since.

Ruger and S&W have made guns with 10" barrels, but most long barrel revolvers are in the 7.5 to 8.5 inch range. This is about the upper limit of practical portability for most folks, and more then many prefer.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:31 AM   #4
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I thought it was 18" not 16" for rifles...
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:45 AM   #5
zoomie
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18" for shotguns.

16" for rifles. That's why all the M4geries have the 14.5" barrel with the permanent flash hider to make the overall length > 16".
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Old May 28, 2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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Here is a picture of a Dan Wesson Model 715 with a 15" barrel.

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Old May 28, 2008, 11:21 AM   #7
ISC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Under Federal law, rifles cannot have barrels less than 16". Also, pistols cannot have a barrel length over that.
I never heard or saw that before. do you have a link or reference?
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Old May 28, 2008, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Under Federal law, rifles cannot have barrels less than 16". Also, pistols cannot have a barrel length over that.
First time I heard of this too. If you can provide links or references I'd appreciate it. I've alway been a fan of TC Contender and I have several pistol and rifle barrels. I've asked many knowledgeable individuals at the range about maximum barrel length for handgun configuration. I've been told numerous times and have seen the regulations mandating barrel length for rifles - no maximum length, but minimum is 16", and in some weird states an overall folded/retracted length of 30". If there is such a maximum length for handguns then I've been braking the rules and never been confronted by gamewardens and LEOs that has seen my handgun configuration. I've always installed carbined length barrels on top of my TC Pistol frame without a stock.
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Old May 28, 2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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I couldn't tell you where the rules are, but the 16" rule is my understanding as well...

I also have an extensive Contender collection, but never put carbine length barrels on actions with the handgun grips on them...

things get pretty "grey" with the Contenders I have a 16" vent rib .410 / 45 Colt barrel, that I put a thumb hole carbine stock on, & was originally told that it needed to be an 18" barrel ( for shotguns ) to wear the carbine stock, but was later told, that since the barrel is rifled, with a "straightening choke tube" for the shot cups, that it's actually a rifle barrel, not a shot gun barrel ( even though it can fire .410 shells ), & is legal at 16" with the carbine stock...

a call to Thompson Center could get you any answers you need on "specific" Contender legality...
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Old May 28, 2008, 05:57 PM   #10
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ok, no length limitations for a pistol and you can simply go to the BATF site to verify this for yourself.

and yes an contender or encore is a real gray area for the BATF since you can swap barrels and stocks in a minutes or so and is an industry "standard". I think the reason the BATF lets them get by with this gray area is that they are single shots that are almost a purely huntnig and target shooting gun and have a very very slight chance of being used by some thug in robbery or such.

of course with the encore and contender if you slap on a pistol barrel and then leave the rifle stock on you will need the $200 stamp and engrave the receiver withe the title etc.... For me, I personally have 2 contender frames and 2 encore frames with one setup in pistol and one in rifle config, so if the BATF every come knocking on my door they can't accuse me of having an unstamped SBR etc....

Also, for those with an ar be careful that you don't have an AR and also a spare short barrel in the same location (i.e. house). They (BATF) can nail you hard for violation of NFA laws. if you do have an AR and a spare "short barrel" laying around go get a AR pistol receiver (can just be a stripped AR pistol lower), otherwise get rid of the "short" barrel.
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Old May 28, 2008, 06:09 PM   #11
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Sorry, I am old(er) and some of my info is apparantly out of date

Things have indeed changed somewhat, and for the better! The Feds have apparantly given up on the maximum length for a pistol barrel! They have also eased up on the rules for stocked pistols. Apparently now, many of the previously illegal stocked pistols (Luger, etc.) fall into the C&R category and are allowed without special licenses.

Back in the old days, a stocked pistol (with a normal pistol length barrel) and a pistol with too long a barrel (over 16") was considered a "sawed off rifle" and had to be registered as such, or it was illegal. Many old Lugers had the stock attachment lug ground off, to keep their owners (who also owned the stock) out of jail. Today this is apparently no longer the case.

Also, check your state laws carefully. Some states have had an 18" minimum for rifles (with the exception of original factory made shorter barrels being allowed). New York was like this at one time. If it came from the factory with a 16" barrel (like the Winchester Trapper) it was ok, but if it was originally longer, you broke the law if it was shortened below 18". That kind of law is why for many years almost no sporting rifles were made with barrels shorter than 18.5 inches.

The laws are tricksy, and have changed a bit over the years. Good Luck.
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Old May 28, 2008, 06:22 PM   #12
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Dont know if these are real, but i did a thread awhile ago on the long barreled pistols used by "the colonel" (lee van cleef) in the clint eastwood westerns.
they looked to be more than 15" and had nice rifle stock attatchnments.
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Old May 28, 2008, 06:42 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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Never heard of a maximum barrel length for handguns.

There have been some number of 16"+ revolvers made so they would be legal with a shoulder stock, like the original (except shorter) Buntline Specials.
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Old May 28, 2008, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
and yes an contender or encore is a real gray area for the BATF since you can swap barrels and stocks in a minutes or so and is an industry "standard". I think the reason the BATF lets them get by with this gray area is that they are single shots that are almost a purely huntnig and target shooting gun and have a very very slight chance of being used by some thug in robbery or such.
Actually the BATF tried to prevent TC from selling their Contender Rifles, arguing that they would be SBRs. The case went before the Supreme Court in "United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co." It was a close one. A 5-4 decision.

Analysis of the Supreme Court Opinion in Thompson/Center Arms

Quote:
On June 8, 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Contender pistol and carbine kit are not a short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. ยง5845(a)(3). This means that a consumer may possess the pistol with its 10" barrel and may use the kit parts to make a rifle with the 21" barrel, as long as the shoulder stock is not assembled onto the receiver at the same time as the 10" barrel.

Justice Souter, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor, wrote the opinion of the Court. The Court stated the issue to be whether a short-barreled rifle is "made" by the aggregation of finished parts that can be readily assembled.

The government noted that a bicycle is still a bicycle even when unassembled. The Court rejects this analogy, because the Contender items can be assembled three different ways, and are intended to be assembled only two ways.
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Old June 2, 2008, 12:43 PM   #15
tplumeri
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Uberti makes a copy of a 1873 45 (or 357) buntline revolver with an 18" barrell. can also be had as a carbine.

pics on my thread; http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=296814
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