PDA

View Full Version : What is the ideal length for a 357 for home defense?



CDR_Glock
01-25-12, 23:25
I have 4" barreled 357s. If I opt to target practice or carry, it does the job.

I saw a gun that I want. It has a 6" barrel. What advantages or differences will I get with a longer barrel? Improved accuracy? To what distance? Improved handling of recoil? For a wife?


iPad/Tapatalk

skyugo
01-26-12, 00:49
sight radius and velocity increase with barrel length. Not sure where this tops out, but i would suspect that a 6" barrel will give quite a bit (100fps?) higher velocity than 4" with 357. 357 seems to like a longer barrel.
keep in mind that a longer barrel will be a little slower out of a holster all else being equal.

DTHN2LGS
01-26-12, 14:43
I think the 4" barreled .357 would be better handling for your wife.

You'll need a different excuse to justify it to her. LOL

tpd223
01-26-12, 17:22
I prefer snubs myself, far less for an attacker to hang on to if things are close and ugly.

Handguns are for me, among other things, an answer the door and see who's there kind of gun.

Axcelea
01-26-12, 17:38
Is it going to be a bedside gun, something you carry concealed, or be in a pistol belt? If its being concealed such as pocket carry around the house then I would lean to a snubby for the ease of it but accuracy (not likely an issue for the most part) and power will lack. Pistol belt, night stand, safe, or what ever then I lean towards the longer barrels such as 6" but probably wouldn't go to much over that although even up in the 8" range is doable.

CDR_Glock
01-26-12, 18:26
I use Glocks to conceal.

The home defense gun is a Smith & Wesson 8 shot performance center 627 and 12 gauge semi auto shotgun.

This was intended for just targets at long distances. 75-100-150 yards.


Lifetime NRA Member

Axcelea
01-26-12, 19:39
In terms of velocity and energy it is to my understanding that certain loads like a lot of the 125 grain ones are pretty optimized for 4" so not to much difference going to the 6" where it is about 100fps depending on the exact load and gun but heavier rounds such as 158-180+ get a larger boost in velocity and consequent energy, either way you get more velocity and what it brings with it.

Outside of that as others have mentioned the sight radius will be greater making accurate aim easier, should be easier to control/lower recoil, less muzzle blast, etc. Should be the better option for hunting and target shooting, only real disadvantages in that regard is being a little more front heavy so might be harder for some to aim or carry for long.

okie john
01-26-12, 22:46
In my experience, you'll see an average change of 15-30 fps per inch of barrel with the same load.


Okie John

blasternank
01-26-12, 22:58
4" barrel would work great.

Alaskapopo
01-27-12, 03:07
I use Glocks to conceal.

The home defense gun is a Smith & Wesson 8 shot performance center 627 and 12 gauge semi auto shotgun.

This was intended for just targets at long distances. 75-100-150 yards.


Lifetime NRA Member

For the original question 4 inches is pretty standard for a fighting revolver.

Nothing wrong with a revolver however your better off using the Glock for both roles. You probably shoot it better, it holds more ammo and in a home defense situation your not likely to have a reload available so whats in the gun is all your going to have and 8 is not enough for me.
Pat

ed2brute
01-27-12, 19:35
I have 4" barreled 357s. If I opt to target practice or carry, it does the job.

I saw a gun that I want. It has a 6" barrel. What advantages or differences will I get with a longer barrel? Improved accuracy? To what distance? Improved handling of recoil? For a wife?


iPad/Tapatalk

The 6" barrel has a potential improved accuracy at distance due to the longer sight radius, but can you hold it off-hand close enough to notice a significant difference? Also, for home defense I'm betting you'll be pretty intimate with the offender so that's probably irrelevant. The longer barrel may not balance as well as a 4" barrel, depending on the specific model. Recoil characteristics is again model specific: a 4" S&W 586 is heavier than a 6" S&W 19, but the 6" has less noticeable muzzle-blast (and for some that is more offending than the recoil itself).

My wife strongly preferred a 6" S&W 19 over a 4" 586 due to its balance and weight, but a between a 6" and 4" S&W 19...the 4" is what she uses for a night-stand gun. It balances well for her, the shorter barrel is easier for her to wield, and the recoil characteristics aren't different enough for her to drive one significantly better than the other.

Straight Shooter
01-27-12, 23:33
My hammerless 3" Ruger SP101 .357 is my ideal HD/Carry gun.
With the excellent Comp II speedloaders and speedstrips, reloads are fast, too.

Jake'sDad
01-28-12, 02:31
.357, and ideal, for house defense?

No such thing.

Straight Shooter
01-28-12, 05:54
Thank you for your OPINION JakesDad!!:haha:

Nephrology
01-28-12, 08:20
For the original question 4 inches is pretty standard for a fighting revolver.

Nothing wrong with a revolver however your better off using the Glock for both roles. You probably shoot it better, it holds more ammo and in a home defense situation your not likely to have a reload available so whats in the gun is all your going to have and 8 is not enough for me.
Pat

I have to agree here. Keep things consistent. a Glock 17 or 22 would be a better pistol for this role. In addition to holding more ammunition you can also easily mount a weaponlight, which is a must on a home defense weapon IMO.

Crawls
01-28-12, 20:52
.357, and ideal, for house defense?

No such thing.

I'd agree. To answer the original question , though, the 357 will continue to accelerate in a barrel up to 16" or more (ballistics by the inch -- 357 Mag.)l (http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html) One of my shooting buddies shoots a beautiful old 6" L-frame revolver in 357. I love the gun but It is by far the loudest handgun on the firing line when we shoot. It is loud enough that I try not to shoot in the lane right next to him even if I double plug my hearing protection. It is also loud enough that I decided that there are better options to shoot in a HD situation than a 357 revolver. And this is from a guy that is looking to buy a 357 mag revolver sometime soon.
Cheers,

Abraxas
01-28-12, 21:05
Thank you for your OPINION JakesDad!!:haha:

Actually, he is right. Pistol calibers are NOT the best HD strictly speaking. Now it may be the best given a situation, but that is not what he was saying.

Univibe
01-28-12, 21:37
.357, and ideal, for house defense?

No such thing.

18" for a 12 gauge, or 14.5 for a M4 is ideal for home defense.

Axcelea
01-29-12, 12:17
What is with trying to put words in people's mouths? The question posed is what barrel length is best for a 357 mag in X circumstances, not even getting into whether or not 357 it is the best choice for home defense.

And to throw my $.02 in, strengthening the target to the point that it is never attacked is the best HD choice. :happy:

Goodnews
02-09-12, 08:34
I have a S&W 686 6 inch classic hunter that I want buried with me when I die. It is an amazing shooter. I have won two local competitions with it, and am confident to hit 5 inch clay targets propped up on a sand bank at 100 yds, offhand, 2 out of 6 shots, using low powered 38's.
I keep it oiled and in the safe. I have a Ruger SP101 .357 and a Colt .45 Officers on hand for any home or self defense possible needs.
The argument of better accuracy or control does not begin to take into account the adrenalin of a situation where it may actually be used. You will not hear the bang or feel the recoil, or even know when you have emptied the chamber/clip if it comes to that. It will be close quarters, and the extra barrel length will mean squat.
Just my opinion.
If you want to enjoy precision revolver shooting, a 6 or 8 inch barrel is the key. For home defense, 2, 3 or 4 inch is more than enough, and a lot easier to keep in a drawer or somewhere else readily available.

Kevin P
02-09-12, 10:19
I have 4" barreled 357s. If I opt to target practice or carry, it does the job.

I saw a gun that I want. It has a 6" barrel. What advantages or differences will I get with a longer barrel? Improved accuracy? To what distance? Improved handling of recoil? For a wife?


iPad/Tapatalk


Advantages with the longer barrel- I think sight radius is going to be really the only tangible benifit. With that being said I prefer a 4 inch barrel for size and it is faster to get on target then a 6 inch barrel. I think that a 4inch barrel on a L-frame is about the perfect balance. If you go with a N-frame a 5 inch barrel is a good balance as well.

I think a older 686 with a 4 inch barrel is one of the best all around revolvers.

Also I would recommend using 38 special loads for your wife. My wife shoots great with 38 specials through the 4 inch 686 as they are light and produce very little recoil. She is a little intimidated with 357mag. She is petite and the gun is big enough as it is and add a 357 mag cartridge into the occasion and she is not having it. So start off very mild and let her decide. I say this withought knowing your wife's skill level. I am just trying to give some advice from my personal experience. She could very well be a great shooter who has no problem with and handle a357.

Jake'sDad
02-09-12, 19:17
I think a 3 or 4 inch barrel is about optimum for a house gun. I wouldn't want to use one of my 6" guns in close quarters.

As Kevin suggested, .38 special makes far more sense for a home defense gun than .357. The potential small increase you might get with .357 loads, isn't worth the increased blast and recoil. This has been covered here many times with subject experts saying the same thing.

captbarty
02-12-12, 11:08
I'd agree with the snub comments: less for the opponent to grab. However, that contraindicates .357. A .357 will put out a ball of flame that may be amusing and surprise the opponent but the flash likely will blind you and keep you blind for a while in a night situation. Long enough for the opponent to gain an advantage - no guarantee you'll get him with that first shot and, he may have a baby-sitter with him. Another problem is the concussion - a .357 is LOUD - which can be disorienting.

That said, the advantages of a revolver are significant if you just leave it in a drawer and don't check it/cycle magazines/practice much. Just have to grab and pull the trigger. However, it's not going to be like in the movies and you shoot once and three people drop. While statistically most gunfights are over in 3.4 shots remember the definition of "most" and that statistically everyone in the US has one breast and one testicle.

I have Glocks. I also have revolvers b ut they are more relegated to collector or the aftermath of SHTF, so I can be Doc Holliday in the post apocalyptic world. A Glock is easier to handle with just a little training, hold more ammo - you won't necessarily have backup so YOU need it in your hand. The issues of spring fatigue are less, though I still recommend cycling mags periodically. Mine are .45acp but 9mm works fine in the house and has a slight advantage in the low-flash dept. though both are less than any .357. They are reliable.

If you must have a revolver, no more than 4" though a 2 3/4 can be for regular carry. Use .38s in them! Even if you get .357 for potential outside use, load with .38 in the house. Buffalo Bore ammunition has some special low flash powder loads.

Yes, it's a go to door gun. If you hear the doorframe crash or a window break, you want a 12ga. with the handgun backing you up (a handgun is for fighting your way back to your long gun).

Good luck.

PRACTICE! Look into the Laserlyte electronic target system. Not awfully expensive and can allow more angles.

CDR_Glock
02-13-12, 18:14
I have a lot of Calibers I'm confident of shooting. I just like the traditional man stopper.

It's just what I like to carry when I am at home. I wear it in a pancake holster.


Lifetime NRA Member

Alaskapopo
02-13-12, 19:15
I have a lot of Calibers I'm confident of shooting. I just like the traditional man stopper.

It's just what I like to carry when I am at home. I wear it in a pancake holster.


Lifetime NRA Member

There is no such thing as a man stopper in a pistol caliber not even the .357 mag.
Pat

Hizzie
02-14-12, 12:28
IMHO 5" is the ideal length for a working 357. Preferrably with a half lug barrel.

9mmhpfan
02-14-12, 23:42
A four inch barrel is a good general purpose weapon for you and your spouse to use. The 357 Magnum is a good round for all around self defense. That being said bullet placement is a key in any fight. 6 rounds with proper fire discpline ( do shoot unless you can idenfify the target) will see you thru. If you start spraying rounds all over the place like a scene from lethal weapon or die hard movie, then your in trouble. You will run out of ammo before you run out of fight and you may hit an innocent bystander with your stray rounds. At best you will damage your home with all those stray bullets. No one wants a home make over because they shot their water pipes to pieces or the have no power because they hit one of the lines in their walls.

CDR_Glock
02-15-12, 16:51
I have a 4" S&W 627 for home defense and the GP100 6" for plinking.


Lifetime NRA Member

Punisher1336
02-25-12, 21:59
To me a home defense gun is a night table gun for the things that go bump in the night. 6 inch is way too long. I prefer a 3 inch barrel length for night stand.

FotoTomas
03-24-12, 21:37
my all time favorite revolver after 40+ years of hand gunning is the S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum with a 4" barrel. The longer barrels, as mentioned by others, will give you better sight radius and a little more oomph out of the barrel. They also will help attenuate the recoil due to the slight extra weight.

For me the 6" tube is a bit more trouble than its worth for a nightstand gun. My HD handgun is for bumps in the night that I do NOT believe are bad guys. If I need to answer the door or check on the cat a revolver or pistol will go along. It will also get stuffed in a pocket if not needed and the longer barrel would be an issue.

I still have a model 19 in the house and it is loaded and available for use in a hidden location BUT the nightstand has a Glock 30 SF with a light and extended G21 magazine. Smaller than the S&W with more bullets on hand and easier to shoot. Next to the bed is a Remington 870 Police Magnum with extended magazine, side saddle, white light forearm and tritium front sight. The Bushmaster Carbine with 30 round magazine and whitelight mounted on the rail is in the closet as an option. Those are for when I believe bad guys are "IN" the house. Plan to hunker down, guard the safe room and call the cavalry.

kingsford
04-10-12, 08:21
I have a 686 with a 4" barrel. I shoot it very well. I feel comfortable using it for home defense or as a walk in the wood gun. Like other have said more velocity and longer site radius in the 6" barrel. either would work as a home defense gun. I think you happy with either. For home defense you either use what you have or get something that is specif to the roll. I can not tell you what to use for home defense, everyone has a pet gun for the roll. You know your house you know the strong point and weak point of the best places to defend your home.

CDR_Glock
04-11-12, 11:30
After a longer term use of my 3 revolvers, I prefer the 4" for defense. The 6" makes a great plinker.


Lifetime NRA Member
US Navy Veteran, CDR

mikegli
04-16-12, 20:43
I dont use it as such, but my 4" 586 would work just fine.

Denali
04-18-12, 23:21
I have 4" barreled 357s. If I opt to target practice or carry, it does the job.

I saw a gun that I want. It has a 6" barrel. What advantages or differences will I get with a longer barrel? Improved accuracy? To what distance? Improved handling of recoil? For a wife?


iPad/Tapatalk

A six inch barreled revolver is to big IMO, great for hunting, but the improved/longer sight radius will be moot in a home defense scenario. I agree with those that are listing the advantages of a Glock, or S&W M&P 9mm in this role. Nonetheless, a .357 is well up to the task of home defense, though if I was going to rely upon one for the job, it would very likely be loaded with a .38 spl 158 gr JHP, with the optimum barrel length being 3" to 4", though I am also sweet on the 2.5" K & L framed Smith's, and believe them to be quite capable...

lifewithoutparole
04-26-12, 20:37
I have a 686 S&W 4" 7 shot revolver. It is my HD go to gun. While I have an XDM 9MM for travel, the 357 is my HD choice simply because it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and I won't have to worry about a jam/magazine issue in the dark when things are bad. My money (and my life) ride on the 357 and I sleep very well at night with that decision.

Airbornerobocop
04-27-12, 10:53
The shooter - in this case, it sounds like your spouse who is not as an experienced shooter as you - must become familiar with whichever revolver she intends to shoot. I think that practice, comfort, accuracy and speed will trump any extra advantage in ballistics gained by 6" barrel. A well-designed and manufactured .357 round will perform just fine out of a 4" barrel. Experiment at range with different loads to find ones with which she shoots best.

hamour
04-29-12, 16:11
For a bed side gun I like the 6" bbl length, but I would sure feel fully protected with a 4" bbl revolver in 357 mag. I like the big N frames for bed side and car carry.

The wife throws them all to my side any way and takes my Colt Combat Elite in 45 ACP and CAR-15 for her bed side:(

Normally I have more than one stashed by the bed, they get lonely.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a178/HamourKiller/Handguns/DSC01791.jpg

CDR_Glock
07-14-12, 11:30
I have the following now:

S&W Performance Center 627 5"
S&W Pro Series 627 4"
Colt Python 4"
Colt Python 8"
Ruger GP100 6"
Ruger LCR 38
Taurus 605 357 Snubby

Having something light and easier to get onto target for home is best. 4-5" barrels are maximum ideal lengths for home.

Regarding target shooting, I have found excellent longer distance precision with 6-8" barrels.

Thanks.

jasonhgross
07-25-12, 13:27
Wait, if you are concealed carrying a glock, then wouldnt a glock for home defense make more sense. Given finite training budget and time, keeping things the same would make you a better shot with both HD and carry.

.45's and .38's
07-25-12, 14:14
If I had a barrel length choice for a bedside gun, it would be a 3" K frame...I miss my old 64-1 K frame DAO. was a nice police trade in