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Colt-Ruger Single Action Revolvers: Preferred Barrel Length?

N320AWN320AW Senior MemberPosts: 648 Senior Member
I purchased my first single action revolver (Ruger BH 41 magnum) when I was 18 years old. Ever since then I have preferred the 4 3/4" inch barrels on these guns. I like it because these barrels reduce weight and just seem more handy from a holster than the 5 1/2" or 7 1/2 inchers.

I'm a bit curious about you guys on the barrel length on the SAA's. In most of the Western movies I have watched for more than 50 years, the 5 1/2" seems to be illustrated the most.

What say you fellows as a preferred barrel length and why?


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,464 Senior Member
    General Field Carry: 4.62"

    Hunting: 6.5"
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,126 Senior Member
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 7,370 Senior Member
    I've got some of each:

    7.5 inch for hunting/ target work kinda clumbsy out of a holster. Chambered in 45 colt.

    5.5 for field work and legal hunting length in current state chambered in 44 special

    My field companion and trusted ally in 4.63 chambered in 45 colt.

    My all time favorite is the 4 3/4, out of a holster quick and points like a dream.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    For carry.


    For hunting, a little of both.


    For targets.

    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,118 Senior Member
    All are .45 Colt...

    What Elk Creek says...

    My Birdshead is my all around totin' and Sunday Go To Meetin gun...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I like 4 3/4.
    My first handgun was a three screw 6" 357.
    When I got my first DA it took me a while before I discovered that the base pin was also an extractor.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • gatorgator Senior Member Posts: 1,746 Senior Member

    As with most here I have several with different bbl lengths...

    The birds head is my favorite to pack.

    Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    i prefer the 4.75 or 4.4 depending on whats what. More or less the barrel cut at the end of the ejector shroud.

    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,484 Senior Member
    1 single six at 5.5"
    2 .357 vaqureos at 4 5/8"

    Longer is more accurate, shorter is quicker. I'm thinking CPJs wife will attest to the second one.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,986 Senior Member
    I like more the looks of the 4.5; fortunately it was the length I got when one of the locally ultra-scarce Blackhawks (No market for them; everybody's looking for defensive, not recreational guns. Also calibers over .38 Special are VERY restricted and "grandfathered") popped up:

    I carry that one as sidearm when hunting/hiking; pretty much the same story with my Single Six, since after 10 years of looking for one, this 6.5 "Old Model" fell in my hands:

    Great for plinking & hunting, but after testing a friend's 4.5 and see it can do the same thing as mine (Was shooting assorted poppers with bulk ammo at ranges from 15 to 40 yards and got the same results with both), would swap it for another "Old Model" one if those would be available here (Or a stainless steel "New Model").

    Had a 5.5 Arminius 1873 clone for a while and although reliable and accurate, never quite liked the barrel length; gone when I got the Blackhawk.
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