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Old July 3, 2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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6" revolver- too long for HD?


I am the proud owner of a new Ruger GP-100, 6 inch stainless. Practically still warm from the factory. I like it exceptionally well. It is very tight and seems to be quite accurate. Haven't had a chance to get it sighted in yet however, if it even needs it. Hits dead on at 30 yards regardless.

I bought this handgun mainly for range use and target shooting. However, I also am planning on using it as a home defense gun in the near future when I move. Would you consider the 6" barrel a pro or a con for a home defense revolver?

I sort of consider it a plus in some regards. Muzzle blast would be reduced especially with magnum loads (I plan on running .38 spl +Ps btw), and the muzzle heavy weight at least for me seems to keep muzzle jump down even with hot loads. I can very quickly and accurately empty the cylinder firing 158 grain .38 specials and even Federal 125 grain SJHP .357 magnums aren't much more difficult to control.

Often I hear people say a shorter handgun may be a better idea. I also VERY often hear of folks recommending 18.5-20" barrel pump shotguns for home defense duty as well. Mas Ayoob is a proponent of using handguns for home defense on the ground that they are far handier and more maneuverable than a shotgun. He advocates using a long gun only in planned areas where you can hunker down more or less, and not moving through the house with such a large weapon. I tend to agree.

So what are your thought on a 6" barreled home defense revolver? Would I have been better off to go with a shorter barrel or will the 6" tube be just fine or even advantageous?
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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I think a six inch is perfectly fine for HD, just too long for concealed carry or even open carry for that matter if seated and driving. For use just in the house? Certainly.
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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I think a 6" is fine for HD as well....not that a 4" isn't ok as well...but for all the reasons you listed...the 6" works fine.

Like the other response....I wouldn't carry a 6" in a concealed carry holster...but its ok for a woods gun...backpacking, etc....and HD.

None of this stuff is a black and white - yes or depends on what you shoot the best, what fits your hands the best, etc.../ just like I stay with 158gr JHP in .357 mag vs the option you chose....doesn't make one of us wrong ....
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:34 PM   #4
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How can a 6" revolver be too long and an 18" barreled 12 gauge be ok?

No gun is too long to defend your home with. The early settlers did it with long barreled muzzleloaders, most with barrels from 38 to 48 inches long.

It's not the gun,,,,,,it's the man that does the job.
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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The disadvantage of a long barrel for a defensive handgun is that, should you get into a struggle for the gun, the longer barrel gives you opponent more leverage to take the gun away from you. That being said, you have to weigh that disadvantage against the advantages of higher velocity, reduced recoil, and longer sight radius.

Personally, I think that a 6" or longer barrel handgun is a fine choice for HD if your HD plan amounts to barricading yourself into a location and waiting for the cavalry to arrive. If, however, you have to move about to retrieve your children or something of that nature, then a 4" or shorter barrel would probably be preferable.
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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Train, train, and oh yea, train! While training, use two hands, strong hand only, and weak hand only. Standing, sitting, kneeding, and prone. Shoot mostly Double Action, wet and dry.

My model 19 (Smith) became "SWEET" after about 800 rounds (your mileage my vary)

Store your Ruger with its speed loaders, and always use the speed loader to reload your gun....
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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My view is that the shorter barrels are more convenient for CC or hiding. In your home you wont be doing either so I think the 6" is actually better.
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Old July 3, 2013, 04:33 PM   #8
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I always though that if your enemy grabs the barrel of your revolver squeezing the trigger will take care of that. A Dan Wesson with 6"barrel is one
of my home defense guns.
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Old July 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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I use my GP-100 6" for just about everything, open carry, concealed carry, Home Defense, Target shooting, load testing, paper weight, club, intimidator......

Yeah just about everything, it just depends on your personal preference and dedication to the weapon.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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Bring her in tight when rounding a corner and you'll be fine.

My 6 incher is my all time favorite handgun.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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6" guns are the best all round except for concealed carry.
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Old July 4, 2013, 03:55 AM   #12
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Wow thank everyone for the replies. I too am feeling confident I didn't make the wrong choice on getting too big a gun for HD.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:30 AM   #13
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A 6" barrel is perfect for home defense. Not great for concealed carry but otherwise a 6" barrel does everything else well.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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You're fine for home defense. After a while, you'll probably have some other choices available to you. Firearms seem to reproduce once you enjoy them.

I would still load it with 38spl+P's for home defense.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:49 AM   #15
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Nothing wrong with a 6" barrel for that purpose, or virtually anything but concealed carry.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:13 AM   #16
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4" vs a 6" barrel revolver....

In my view, a 4" DA or DAO revolver would be ideal for home protection.
A 6" barrel stainless GP100 would be fine as long as you train or practice with it.
In a real lethal force event or home protection incident, you may need to fire one handed or hold a subject at gunpoint until any LE officers arrive.
I was looking at a great Charter Arms Bulldog .44spl revolver(DA Only) at a local Gander Mountain retail location last week. That stainless .44spl with a CT lasergrip would be great for home protection.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:59 AM   #17
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I use a 6" GP-100 stainless for all home defense open carry on my property, and nightstand duty. But I also train those situations with it also.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:55 PM   #18
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6" is just fine for HD, as long as you train with it! I carried one in a Bianchi shoulder holster for quite a while. Never had a problem with it. Train with it as much as possible. Know what you can and can not do with it.
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Old July 5, 2013, 12:13 PM   #19
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Wow thanks for sharing your thoughts on this guys, I think this could be useful for people searching for the same question. I really LOVE my GP-100. Just ordered a pair of the original factory rubber/rosewood grips from e-bay the other day. I don't dig the Hogue finger grooves, it all feels okay till my pinky falls on the last groove. It doesn't feel natural to me. I've heard the original smooth Ruger grips are much better for different hand shapes.

These replies rock guys thanks a lot!
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Old July 5, 2013, 02:05 PM   #20
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My bedside gun is a 5" 625. I don't think it's too long and another inch wouldn't make that much difference. YMMV!

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Old July 5, 2013, 07:39 PM   #21
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People use rifles and shot guns all the time. No reason a 6" gun would be a bad choice. Plus not only do you get 6 shots but the long barrel is also a good club.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:16 PM   #22
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I like 6" revolvers. Longer sight radius.
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:47 AM   #23
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>>How can a 6" revolver be too long and an 18" barreled 12 gauge be ok?<<

I was just thinking the same thing!
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Old July 6, 2013, 09:04 AM   #24
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Re: 6" revolver- too long for HD?

The difference between a 6" revolver and an 18.5" shotgun is that when using the shotgun the shooter uses his (or her) support hand further down the gun. You are not comparing apples to apples when you ask why is it okay for a long gun barrel to be long and not for a handgun barrel to be.

That being said, I will echo the sentiments of others. Your GP100 will work just fine.

And OP, the reason people recommend the 18.5" barrel shotguns for HD is because that is legally as short of a barrel as a shotgun may have without being considered a SBS (short barreled shotgun) at which point it would be an NFA item and be subject to more restrictions.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:20 PM   #25
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I consider 6" to be ideal for a HD revolver. No reason to suffer the problems of short barrels when concealment on your person is not a priority.
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