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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:06 PM
Nick B Nick B is offline
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Default Why No Love For The 8 3/8'' ?

Is it just me that has noticed that there seems to be not much love for the 8 3/8" barrels ? Anyway the local dealer has a like new w/box 686 no dash with the 8 3/8" barrel and the factory wood grips are still on it . . I've never had a Smith with length barrel but it looks like it would make a dandy range gun. What would be a fair price on this ?
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:28 PM
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This is one like you describe that I sold a couple of years ago for $550. I doubt they have gone down in value.



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Old 11-07-2011, 09:33 PM
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No idea on price, but it's a rifle, isn't it!?

Mike
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:34 PM
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I don't LOVE them, however I do own three 48, 29, 27 with the long snoot, so apparently I LIKE them...............................kind of.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
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This is one like you describe that I sold a couple of years ago for $550. I doubt they have gone down in value.



f.t.
Yep, looks just like that .
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:46 AM
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Handle it first to see if you like a full lug 8 3/8". I have 8 3/8" K and N frames and love the way they balance. I have a 6" 17-6 full lug I am not as crazy about. YMMV. The long tubes I have are all tack drivers, it is fun to use the 29 on the 200 yard range at my club.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:12 PM
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Most people don't care for them and they usually have a lower collector value. I don't like them either mainly because I have no use for one. It's a demand thing.
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:42 PM
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i have the 686 and a colt python both with 83/8'' bbls and a ruger single six with a 91/2'' bbl. i guess it's something different than the common 4'' and 6''ers. they are easier to shoot
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:55 PM
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I have three, one just like the one fat tom sold. I bought it 5-6 years ago for 400 dollars, and it's probably worth around 550 now, I would guess.

In my view they do make 'dandy range guns'; they're very accurate, dampen recoil somewhat with the extra weight out front, and take full advantage of slow-burning powders for highest velocity loads(if that is what one wants). I use my 686 8-3/8 for hunting groundhogs, and if I were still a deer hunter I'd use my 629 Classic DX 8-3/8 for that.

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:16 PM
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I really love the look, feel, accuracy and velocity gain of the 8 3/8 inch barrel S&W revolvers.

But for me anyway they are just too much of a good thing. I am afraid if I did have one I wouldn't carry it all the time like I do my 629-6 5" barrel just because of the extra weight of the 8 3/8 barrel and the trouble I would have getting that much barrel out of the belt holster in a hurry. I know you can always opt for the shoulder holster with a 8 3/8 barrel but for me I usually am carring a backpack with shoulder straps and the belt holster is the best option for me.

Still love the 8 3/8 barrel but just don't own one. ( Yet )

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:23 PM
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I used to own an 8 3/8" Model 17-3 and I foolishly sold it one day when a guy offered me a lot more money than I had paid for it. I remember it fondly. I'm not the world's best shot but that gun made me look reasonably competent. At 25 yards offhand I could easily produce 2-3" groups. I've never been able to do that with another handgun.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:14 PM
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I have had both a 8 3/8" barrel in a 27 and a 29. They are a specialty gun. Better for hunting and silhouette shooting, but for packing on the belt for defense or whatever they are slow, uncomfortable, and not practable.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:41 PM
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My 27 has a long barrel and it's the best shooter I have.
Though on anything smaller then N frame it could feel front heavy.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:53 PM
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A couple of years ago my elder son took possession of my 29-2 - 8 3/8. Allegedly to add a scope to assist my aging eyes in maximizing it's potential. I suspect I'll never get it back. Before the kidnapping I managed to drop a mouflon sheep at about 170yds. with it and several whitetails at 75 yds. and less, with iron sights.
He did alert me to a model 17 - 83/8 in a pawn shop and it follwed me home. It will do minute of paperplate all day at 100 yds. Some fun to shoot it is...gopher killin' little devil it is.....the wife has a pre 17 6inch that is a tackdriver as well.....

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Old 11-08-2011, 05:10 PM
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I would love to see some ballistics on a .357 magnum fire out of a 8.375" barrel. It has to be a hard hitting handgun. I have a Ruger Single Six 9.5"
I know it's not in the same league but the muzzle energy is well over 200 ft/lbs shooting CCI maxi-mag +Vs.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:27 PM
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Just too muzzle heavy for me to shoot off hand with.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:00 PM
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My first 29 was an 8 3/8" that was magnaported. Bought it used when I was 21 and shot quite a few deer with it. A few years later, picked up a scoped contender in 7X30 waters and having a long barreled 44 just didn't make sense. The contender was going to take care of anything 50 - 200 yards. The open sighted 44 is carried for something that walked in underneath the treestand or a circumstance needing quick reaction and acquisition. Typically 50 yards or less.

Sold the 8 3/8" and picked up a 6.5" 629 classic. Settled on a bianci crossdraw and never looked back. It's a lot easier to carry and less awkward than the 8 3/8". The 6.5" still goes with me even when carrying my 308. Never know when a nice buck is going to pop up in front of the 4 wheeler and stop/stare at you. That 44 still comes in handy when a deer sneaks in to 20 yards without you seeing it, or pops up while you are answering a call to nature. Takes some practice shooting from a "squatting" position though.. 8-)
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:31 PM
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In my mind, when you get up to 8-10" barrels on a handgun, you are getting into rifle territory. I would rather grab my short barreled rifle which would be much more accurate in my hands. I do think they look cool but, they feel strange in my hands. 6 1/2" would be the max barrel length for me personally.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Carry View Post
I would love to see some ballistics on a .357 magnum fire out of a 8.375" barrel. It has to be a hard hitting handgun. I have a Ruger Single Six 9.5"
I know it's not in the same league but the muzzle energy is well over 200 ft/lbs shooting CCI maxi-mag +Vs.
My 8 3/8" 686 will push a 158gr cast SWC at 1400fps over a nice charge of AA9. 2" is as well as I can hold it at 25 yards, what it might do from the bench I have no idea.

Depending on the dealer anywhere between $550 and $675 would be a go for me if It looked like that one and in the box.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stumper View Post
Just too muzzle heavy for me to shoot off hand with.
Clint didn't seem to have any trouble . ;-)
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:32 PM
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I am long waisted and short legged. They don't fit me comfortably in a holster. 7 1/2" Rugers and Colts don't either.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:48 PM
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29-4 8 3/8"


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Old 11-10-2011, 12:13 AM
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I have 5 Smiths with the 8 3/8 inch barrels. A 617, a model 14, A model 57, A model 686 and a model 629. I guess you could say I really like them. In Canada they are not real easy to find and one like the one pictured would easly go for 750 to 850.

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:18 PM
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Default 8 3/8" !!

As far as current value, I just paid $850 for this pristine, stainless 8 3/8" 686 in a Gun Broker online auction, and I would have gladly paid more if I had to. Smith & Wesson doesn't make a 686 with this barrel length anymore, and it seems everyone and their sister has a 6" or smaller revolver.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:26 PM
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If you are a patient investor, it's often good to buy what is out of favor and avoid the currently hot products.

Right now we are in a phase where everyone likes short barrels.

So it might be a good time to invest in a few 8 3/8 smiths.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:00 PM
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I own several long tubes, both S&W's and Dan Wessons out to 10" on the DW's and love them. Not a CC piece for sure, but for hunting and shooting 50,100 yards and beyond at the range nothing like them. I have some shorter barrels as well but do much better with the long barrels. That being said I am a big guy with big hands and the weight out front is not an issue for me. Always enjoy setting up some clay targets at 100 yards at the range and popping them, makes believers out of the 4" springs and tupperware guys. Have taken deer at 125 +yards with the scoped .44 mag Dan Wesson. I am a shooter not a collector so the resale value down the road is not a concern.Made the mistake of selling a nice DW 15" .357 years ago, regretted it ever since but was in a pinch for cash, we have all been there on that deal.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:06 PM
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This 17-4 is quite accurate and a hoot to shoot. I guess I like them, but I don't usually love inanimate objects.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:09 PM
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The FL 8 3/8” barrels are very different handling than S&W’s traditional 8 3/8” barrels. The traditional 8 3/8” barrels are a delight to fire one handed. The FL 8 3/8” barrels are way too snout heavy for one handed use. They’re fine for two hands but the 8 3/8” barrel length, as opposed to say 8 ” or 8 ”, originally came about to meet the 10” maximum sight radius allowed in one handed bullseye matches. The rules were changed to allow optical sights which now dominate bullseye matches. Even for those of us who still shoot bullseye with 8 3/8” revolvers new production 8 3/8” S&Ws became worthless when the geniuses in S&W’s marketing decided all revolvers would sell better looking Pythonish.

The niches for FL 8 3/8” barrels appear to be the silhouette matches fired at 200 meters with iron sights where the barrel is rested across your leg, a few hunting applications and casual range use. Various action matches have displaced silhouette at most clubs and snubs and CCW handguns are the current collecting fad.


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Clint didn't seem to have any trouble . ;-)
Clint Eastwood pretended to fire a 6 1/2” 29-2, and it wasn‘t FL. It is in the NRA National Firearms Museum.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
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This 17-4 is quite accurate and a hoot to shoot. I guess I like them, but I don't usually love inanimate objects.
In the case of your 17-4 this statement may be prosecutable child neglect!
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:22 PM
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For me, too long, too heavy, unbalanced and not useful for anything I want to do.

The 8 3/8 inch N frame is a different story entirely, at least in the traditional (not full) lug category. Balance is much better, full ballistics possible, and they are elegant looking.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:31 PM
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still trying to decide on the long bbl issue. only have 9 at this point and one long python. being mostly shooter and only partly collector, this current climate about not liking the longer bbls. makes for a good buying opportunity if one is so inclined.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
I have had both a 8 3/8" barrel in a 27 and a 29. They are a specialty gun. Better for hunting and silhouette shooting, but for packing on the belt for defense or whatever they are slow, uncomfortable, and not practable.

This pretty much sums it up. All of my dedicated hunting/range revolvers have barrels of 6'' or more. I have others that are more easily carried and shot within confined spaces.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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I like the the 4" for carry and the 8 3/8" for target shooting.Really didn't think I'd like the longer barrel,but changed the way I was thinking.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:59 PM
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I picked up a ruger super Blackhawk in 44mag with the 10 1/2" barrel used. I plan on scoping it to hunt with unless I'm deadly accurate with it with no scope. Now as my N Frames with the 6" & 6 1/2" collection rounds out, I have two left to get, I'm eyeing the 8 3/8" barrels next. I seen the model 17-2 And the 38 special with the 8 3/8" barrels I need to add to my wish list too. Remember I'm a noobie to s&w guns but have owned Colts & mainly rugers for all of my gun owning life. My point is never ever holding a s&w nor ever shooting one the design and balance is like no other handgun I have shot before. Just shooting my.New s&w model 58 has me hooked on s&w n frame revolvers. Well all s&w revolvers. I wish I knew more about the different models and frame sizes in the 357mag's. But I am hooked on the n frames for now. I also have some k frames in 38 special too. But I don't understand why so many shooters miss getting the 8 3/8" barrels?
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:44 PM
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Had a Dan Wesson 357 Magnum Revolver with an 8 Inch Barrel in my younger days, it was a great long range gun. Used to have fun on the range with it when ammo was cheap! A little heavy and awkward, and can not carry those monsters. ... Gave it to my son a long time ago, he rarely uses it, it is now just a safe queen!
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
I have had both a 8 3/8" barrel in a 27 and a 29. They are a specialty gun. Better for hunting and silhouette shooting, but for packing on the belt for defense or whatever they are slow, uncomfortable, and not practable.
ETA: Dang, I don't mind these old threads, but I wish i'd check the dates better before getting all excited!

Since hunting, IHMSA, and long range target shooting are some of my favorite activities, I have a fondness for some of the 8 3/8" offerings. My favorite in the handling department are the ones with the full underlug. Many find them nose heavy, but it dampens stray movements and makes the thing less "twitchy" when shooting standing, which is SOP for me. Currently without an L-frame with that barrel length, but have a spare barrel with the adjustable front sight in waiting!

A most excellent small game revolver:



Best "balanced" N-frame for long range that I've found:


It has cosmetic issues and some odd pitting in the bore that preclude much cast bullet use (which made quite reasonably priced!), but it was the best feeling revolver again of the several .44s shot at 50 yards yesterday.

Last edited by jaymoore; 06-15-2013 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:41 PM
Dixiejack Dixiejack is offline
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I have a Model 17 full lug with an 8 3/8" bbl. that I really like. Picked up a Model 17 full lug 8 3/8" bbl. at a gun show. Brand new. Had planned on swapping it out on one of my Model 17's 4", that was 2 years ago. Then I found my 17 with the 8 3/8" so the barrel got tuck away. Thought several times about selling it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:57 PM
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Everyone needs at least an example or two of the 8 3/8-inch barreled Smith & Wesson revolver for range/hunting duty. I went through a phase where I really was enthused over the long-barreled tribe of Smith & Wesson revolvers. It started with a yen for an 8 3/8-inch Model 14 K-38. I just had to have a .38 Special revolver with a long barrel. Came into a dab of money and bought a new one, bringing home a matching long barreled Model 17 the shop also had in the case. Figured I'd try the .22 and then likely trade it away. It's become the most fired firearm I've ever owned. A little later I acquired a Model 29 with 8 3/8-inch barrel and then a Model 27 with the same barrel length.

The Model 27 later went away when I determined it had a "slow" barrel that consistently gave less velocity than a similar 6-inch Model 27 I also had. The other three are still here and still in use. I had the Model 29 out a few days ago for a late afternoon range trip and greatly enjoyed it's accuracy and power.

Model 14


Model 17


Model 29
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:36 PM
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I LOVE my long tube 29.

HIckcock45 on you tube does a great video with one at a LONG distance! They are GREAT shooters.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:44 PM
kilroy2721 kilroy2721 is offline
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Don't worry what anyone else thinks. If you like it then go for it. As for me, anything longer than 5" barrel, might as well carry a rifle.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DR505 View Post


This 17-4 is quite accurate and a hoot to shoot. I guess I like them, but I don't usually love inanimate objects.
Actually DR505, Smith and Wessons, some Colts, and Brownings are known to have a personality, and they are quite lovable, but then I am a Baptist Preacher, don't go to business meeting without your Stag Handled Super 38 Guvment in a Galco, forward cant... Billy

Oh, and I always talked to our old 172, especially when things go a little dicey!
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick B View Post
Is it just me that has noticed that there seems to be not much love for the 8 3/8" barrels ? Anyway the local dealer has a like new w/box 686 no dash with the 8 3/8" barrel and the factory wood grips are still on it . . I've never had a Smith with length barrel but it looks like it would make a dandy range gun. What would be a fair price on this ? Thanks, Nick
Do you have to pay the $200 tax for a short barreled rifel if you have one of those?
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:08 AM
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At the range after the shoot is over at 25yds I like to stretch it out to 100 yards using the handguns just to see how much Kentucky windage is needed to make accurate pin point shots. Using my Czech cz 85DB in 9mm luger it takes 3' of Kentucky windage. With my ruger redhawk in 44 mag with a 7.5" barrel it's dead on. Now my point is the 8 3/8" barrel should be a tad more accurate. If you can see it you can hit it.

I often wonder why the big three gun manufacturers never offered a longer barrel in a decades hunting version? With a 12" or 15" barrel? I would like to have the advantage in accuracy if a record deer is out that far.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:59 AM
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Here's a pair of Model 14's a -3 and a -4, so I guess I like them well enough. Both are "tack drivers" if I do my part.

De Oppresso Liber

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Old 06-16-2013, 08:10 AM
GM4spd GM4spd is offline
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I like getting the most velocity from a 22--- so long barrel
it is! If I need a defensive weapon that is shorter,long
live the 1911. Pete





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Old 06-16-2013, 10:33 AM
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I used to think that was a long barrel, until I picked this up.

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Old 06-16-2013, 01:42 PM
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I think this is we're most shooters and collectors miss the boat by limiting themselves to one style of gun, one caliber and barrel length. In the past I never looked past the surplus military guns. I wanted guns with some real battlefield history behind them. Real warriors sort of speak. Now I'm looking at the modern turn of the century handguns and up to the present day. I believe if your limited your missing out. You have to have at least one 8 3/8" barrel and at least a revolver in 41 mag too.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:56 PM
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Plenty of love here. Sight radius is everything with open sights.
Used mine for hunting and silhouette back in the days there was a class for open sighted revolvers. Purchased this trio new back in the day:

Liked them so much for so long that, when this one came along, I couldn't resist:
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:17 AM
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In general, too long to be short and too short to be long.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:35 AM
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Default 8 3/8"

My first 29 which I purchased in 75 was an 8 3/8".....I wanted a 6.5, but back then, they were impossible to find due to the "Dirty Harry" craze.....I shot metallic sil. with that 29 for years and that 8 3/8" tube could really wring the most out of my 240 gr JHP's over 22 gr of 2400.....that gun/load combo simply hammered everything I put it on, all the way out to 200 yds.....I still have it, it is my " go to" handgun every year when I harvest big bodied corn/bean fed hoosier deer, and when I venture down South to hunt hogs.
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357 magnum, 617, 629, 686, colt, crossdraw, model 14, model 17, model 57, model 686, ruger, scope, silhouette

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