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Old July 4, 2013, 10:41 AM   #1
Cosmodragoon
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Ideal barrel length for .45 Colt?

I see that the .45 Ruger Redhawk is now produced only in a 4" barrel. The first time I saw a 4" Redhawk, I thought it was an aesthetically odd fit for this beefy revolver. I suppose that makes it easier to carry around but it's still a brick.



Since I don't have much experience with .45 Colt, is four inches a good ballistic pairing? What barrel lengths do you use for this caliber? What would you prefer?

Thanks.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:49 AM   #2
Nathan
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I like 4 - 7.5" because of ballistics, handling and accuracy.

I have a 5.5" Ruger SA. It is easy for me to hit with out to 50 yards, but 75 is reaching. I used to shoot a 10.5" 44 mag and killed a deer at 125 yds, so a lot is in the barrel length and sights.

To me, 5.5" is a great packing/hunting length. With practice, my 100 yard shooting should get better!

If it was more of a pure hunting gun, I would like 7.5" better.

If more of a SD Bear stopper, I think 4" would be ideal as 4" is about as long as you can sit in a car with in a normal holster.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:11 AM   #3
black mamba
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Depending on the frame size, 4-5" is ideal for me. In a large frame like the Redhawk, I would prefer a 4.75-5" barrel. The 4" works well on the smaller Taurus and S&W revolvers, while the Ruger SA 4-5/8" is beautiful.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:27 AM   #4
AL45
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I have a Ruger Blackhawk with a 4 5/8 barrel and I like the way it balances.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:35 AM   #5
Dragline45
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Just FYI, you will be hard pressed to find a 4" barreled Redhawk in .45 Colt. For some reason Ruger does not make alot of them, I mean barely any at all. I cant understand why they put it on their website when they are almost impossible to find.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:38 AM   #6
newfrontier45
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Gunsmiths have made quite a bit of money shortening Redhawks to 4", it was nice to see Ruger offer it for a change. It's a good length, if not, you can always find a used 5.5".
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:53 AM   #7
WIL TERRY
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LET'S SEE....;I use 4", 4 3/4", 5", 5 1/2", 6", 7 1/2", and 8 5/8" 45COLT revolvers. THEY ALL WORK just fine thank you very much. NO, I do not have any favorites in BBL lengths nor calibers as they all can do what they can do and no more.
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Old July 4, 2013, 12:35 PM   #8
rclark
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There is no 'Ideal' barrel length for .45 Colt. There is one that is ideal for 'me' which is 5 1/2" and of course must be a blued single action revolver. Simple enough . Pick the one that fits what you are going to use it for. I like the 3 1/2" for CC . I like 7 1/2" for a hunting gun. 5 1/2" works for a general/every day use gun. Again ... That is 'me'. Other guys feel the same way with the 4 5/8" barrelled revolvers. Your call .
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Old July 4, 2013, 05:29 PM   #9
rep1954
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I sure am enjoying the 8" barrel on my Uberti 1858 Remington New Army with it's 45 Colt cartridge conversion. I'm thinking a 5 1/2" one would be nice to have also.
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Old July 4, 2013, 06:37 PM   #10
redrick
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My 45 Uberti is a 5.5". I like that length with a cowboy 45.

My next handgun is going to be 4.2" Redhawk 44mag. I am going to carry it with me while hunting.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:11 PM   #11
GeauxTide
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Had a 7.5" Blackhawk and gave it to my youngest. My 5.5" Bisleys in 45 and 44Spl are my favorites.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:48 PM   #12
horselips
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I guess ideal barrel length would depend on the purpose of the weapon. One bought for hunting or target shooting should have a long barrel, one bought for cowboy action somewhat shorter, and one for personal defense shorter yet. I love my Colt New Service Target in .45 Colt with its 7.5" barrel, but I would also like a Ruger Alaskan in .454/.45Colt. That 2 1/2" barrel and adjustable sights makes for a very appealing package, especially in a gun built to handle far higher pressures than a .45Colt would ordinarily develop.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:52 AM   #13
vba
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My favorite barrel length for the New Vaquero is 4 5/8". The gun just handles so well for me and I seem to be able to get on target quicker than longer barrel lengths. I used to own a 7.5" New Model Blackhawk but ended up preferring the shorter length.

Ballistically, the longer tube will do better but as in everything there are compromises.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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I agree with all the foregoing, depends on what for. I have a 4" redhawk (45 Colt) as a hunting sidearm, a 3.75" New Vaquero for CCW.

I used to have a 7.5" revolver that I bought for hunting, but I couldn't shoot very far with it, and I couldn't get it into action quick enough to think of it as a bear defense pistol either, so I went back to 4" sidearm and back to toting a rifle.

For sheer looks, I like the 4.75" Colt SAA. It's next on my list.
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Old July 5, 2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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For carrying I prefer the 4-inch barrel in the New Service, but I can live with the 5.5 inch. Same with the single-action I prefer to carry the 4.75 but can get along quite well with the 5.5 inch. Once in the hand 7.5 inch beats them all. Longer than 7.5 inches and I prefer to forget the sixgun and just go with a carbine. In terms of performance on target the slow 45 Colt loses little in the short barrel.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:05 PM   #16
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I cut my 7-1/2" Bisley down to 6", much happier.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:26 AM   #17
Slopemeno
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I had my Bisley shortened from 7.5" to 5.5".
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Old July 6, 2013, 02:08 AM   #18
stevelyn
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Quote:
I see that the .45 Ruger Redhawk is now produced only in a 4" barrel. The first time I saw a 4" Redhawk, I thought it was an aesthetically odd fit for this beefy revolver. I suppose that makes it easier to carry around but it's still a brick.
I have one and it's ideal for tent and sleeping bag security. I think I would prefer to have a 5" to 5.5" barrel on it to increase sight radius and versatility a bit in the event I have an opportunity to take a whack at a moose or caribou beyond 50yrds and a rifle is out of reach.

It is a bit of a brick, but I can live with it as I can run 32K psi loads in it and not worry about it.

The best way I've found to carry it is in a Diamond D Guides Choice chest holster. It keeps it handy and out of the way on a wheeler, snowmachine or while fishing (especially wading) or doing light work. I can carry it inside or outside my outer clothing. Just make sure you take it off or push it to the side if you are eating tacos.


http://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/Chest_Holsters.php
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:57 AM   #19
newfrontier45
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Quote:
It is a bit of a brick, but I can live with it as I can run 32K psi loads in it and not worry about it.
You can run 50,000psi loads through it and not worry about it.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:52 AM   #20
Colt46
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5" give or take

I like my guns for carrying in the outdoors. The Colt 4 3/4" and Ruger 4 5/8" work best for me.
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Old July 7, 2013, 08:50 PM   #21
stevelyn
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Quote:
You can run 50,000psi loads through it and not worry about it.
Yeah, I read the Brian Pearce reply to a letter in Handloader, but I don't advertise it too much. Besides, a 330gr cast bullet fueled by 21 grains of Lil'Gun is getting near the upper edge of what's comfortable for me to hang onto during a range session.
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Old July 7, 2013, 09:39 PM   #22
Sarge
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I like 4 3/4" for single actions and 4" for double actions.
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Old July 7, 2013, 10:11 PM   #23
SaxonPig
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It is very popular to hot rod the 45 Colt and these guys like the longer barrels to wring every last FPS from their hot loads. I think the 45 Colt is fine at normal velocities for its intended purposes and I don't know why S&W even made their guns in this caliber with barrels longer than 4".


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Old July 14, 2013, 08:29 AM   #24
smee78
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I perfer 4-5 1/2 for handguns/general purpose use, If I cant get it done with one of thoes then I need a rifle. Now yes I dow own a Ruger Redhawk 7 1/2, I mainly shoot it with a scope. If CCWing then the 2-3 1/2 works out great.
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Old July 14, 2013, 08:55 AM   #25
Ibmikey
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I had my S&W barrel shortened to 5" and it made all the difference in handling yet maintained it's accuracy. For me it fit all my revolver needs for carry, target and hunting but the main point is the ease of getting on the target quickly coupled with a decent sight radius.
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