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Old October 1, 2005, 09:42 PM   #1
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Muzzle blast/flash

On various gun forums I've seen alot of guys mention they prefer a semiauto to a revolver for house gun or car gun because of the much greater muzzle blast & flash from the wheelgun.

Is this lessened by a longer barrel? Does it depend on caliber?

I always hear a .357 snub is awful this way. What about a .38 J-frame snub? Or a .357 in a longer barrel, say 3" or 4" does that help at all?

I can't help but think if I really need to shoot a BG from inside my car or inside my home, the noise and flash isn't going to be the first thing on my mind.
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Old October 1, 2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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In case you miss you can burn the hell out of em!
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Old October 2, 2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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You're right about the "...not first thing on my mind" part, but there is after-the-fact regret...if another format could've done the job just as well or better. Yes to the extra barrel length in terms of remedy, whether .357 or .38, but the former seems to be a bigger issue. Others can speak better than I as to how "what load?" comes into play here as well. But, in a .357 I would go no less than a 3" ruger SP101 or Smith J frame--in .357--for CC...though that might be slightly bulkier than you want. Other than that there's the .38 "Dick" (Colt Detective Special no longer made), which I believe variously was between 1-3/4-2 and 3" (someone else chime in here) or more modern Smith J's that will perform about the same duty, though with one fewer round.
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Old October 2, 2005, 11:15 AM   #4
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So I guess the biggest factor in report and flash is caliber and then would come gun type (revolver or semiauto) and then barrel length?

So would a .357 in a 4" still be pretty nasty indoors? I bet it would. But better than the same in a snubnose. And I'd think a .38 snub is better than a .357 out of just about anything just due to the lower pressures in the .38 Spl.

I was thinking of a GP100 3 or 4 inch as a do-it-all handgun, but with .357s it may not be the best house gun/car gun. I guess the option is to use .38 +P loads for this.

Which leads me back to thinking semiautos may be the best for house gun & car gun duty, with their reduced muzzle flash and report.
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Old October 3, 2005, 08:11 AM   #5
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I worked a case in Detroit once were a lady shot at her cheating mechanic husband with a snub nose 357, she missed him but the muzzle blast set his oil soaked clothes on fire. He was seriously burned with second and third degree burns. I didn't know whether to arrest her for assault with a deadly weapon or arson.
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Old October 3, 2005, 09:22 AM   #6
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I used to think my 3" .357 had muzzle flash, then I Bought my .44 mag.......357 is like a freaking .22 now, lol.
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Old October 3, 2005, 10:28 AM   #7
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The other thing about revolvers (most anyway) is that there is noticable flash to the sides due to the gasses that escae between the cylinder and the barrel. This, obviously, doesn't occur with any (normally operating ) autoloader. I was amazed the first time I shot my 686 at dusk ... it throws a lot of light off to the sides with full house rounds. On the other hand, I once shot a "lights out" IDPA match with my 1911, and I seem to recall that I needed my flashlight mainly to move to the next station and engage the first target ... as long as I kept shooting, there was plenty of light to get through that particular station ... but most of it was focused forward

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Old October 3, 2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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It’s the calibre...

With my .44mag 6.5in I can see a fireball in broad daylight and that’s when I’m shooting the gun (not the same as watching someone else shoot)…

I tried shooting 9mm without hearing protection twice; the second time I forgot how bad the first time was . Never again…

Any gun fired indoor without hearing protection is going to loud, even a .22...I’m not much conserved about muzzle flash 'cause it won't rally hurt you, but if you shoot a .357 mag indoors and miss you won’t be too eager to shoot it again. It’s just not pleasant!
"I feel the Beretta is a great character, it's so strong and elegant. The other guns look dumb to me." - John Woo
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Old October 3, 2005, 02:14 PM   #9
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Gun type, auto or revolver, has little to do with it, beyond some occasional side flash with a revolver. It depends much more on the load used.
Many ammo makers now produce loads with flash-retardant powders that reduce the flash greatly. Look for one.
I have a ported 3-inch GP .357 that can light up the night, or barely spark, depending on the ammo used. You don't have to drop down to .38s in it.
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Old October 3, 2005, 03:01 PM   #10
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Having too much muzzle flash usually means the caliber is a little too much for the barrel length, or the round is loaded a little too hot. The same .357mag round in a 3in barrel will have alot more muzzle flash than in a 6in barrel. It will also be somewhat less powerfull due to lower velocity.
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