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Does revolver barrel length determine recoil same ammo

penguin1penguin1 Member Posts: 146 ✭✭
edited June 2019 in Ask the Experts
Does a 6 inch barrel recoil less than a 4 inch barrel for the same model gun and ammo? If so, why?


  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The simplest explanation is weight - reduce bbl length and reduce weight - increasing recoil...

    That's not the answer your looking for however.

  • rufesnowrufesnow Member Posts: 250 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    IMHO, Yes. Weight of the 2" longer barrel, mitigates recoil. As compared to 4" barrel. Also longer barrel reduces the effect of muzzle blast. This of course is dependent on cartridge and loading. Noticeable on a 44 mag. Inconsequential on 22 LR.
  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,704 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The answer is "maybe." It depends on the momentum balance. While a gun with a longer barrel weighs more than the same gun with a shorter tube thus tending toward lower recoil, the longer barrel usually increases the velocity of the bullet being ejected. If the load being fired burns inefficiently in a short barrel, but efficiently in a longer one giving a lot more velocity, the longer tube gun just may have a higher recoil.
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,277 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    .45acp with 6" recoil. Same gun with 12", no recoil.

  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    Rather than take my word for it, I would suggest a simple experiment-

    Go find a Dan Wesson mdl 15 357 that has several barrels. It takes about 60 seconds to swap barrels. Try the same loads in a 2 inch, 6 inch and 10 inch. The longer barrel WILL give you a higher bullet speed, but it is offset by the increased weight of the longer barrel.

    I deer hunt with a DW using 185 gr hard cast solids over a case full of 2400. In a 4 inch S&W K frame it is painful. From A DW with the heavy 10 inch vent rib barrel, it is MUCH milder.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I find the short barrels are much more snappy on the wrist. I think it is due to the change in the center of mass, than the few ounces of weight that caused the change in the center of mass.
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,255 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    short barrels are more snappy because of shorter slide, = shorter recoil spring, = shorter slide travel.

    with a longer barrel, the small increase in velocity isn't enough to overcome the increase in slide mass. so yes it has more velocity but it has even more weight. pretty much a win-win situation except for trying to stuff it under your armpit or everyone would be using full size pistols.

    then there's the issue of 4" vs 6". with any of the common semiauto calibers (380ACP, 9mm, 40SW, 45ACP, 357SIG) they have smaller case volume than 10mm and Magnum revolver cartridges. therefore they run out of gas after 5" or so. so when you get to 6", like before you are getting more slide mass, but you did not have much if any increase in velocity (like 12 ft/s or whatever) so you got everything to decrease recoil and nothing to increase recoil.

    4" to 5" has a difference.
    5" to 6" has a larger difference than 4" to 5".
    4" to 6" has the most difference. of course.

    unless you are Bill DeShivs and you have nothing but revolvers! ;)
  • Bill DeShivsBill DeShivs Member Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    Mine don't have slides...
  • mrmike08075mrmike08075 Member Posts: 11,826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Point of or center of balance can influence muzzle flip and wrist snap or twist...

    I have fired at least 100 small pocket pistols or derringer or pepper boxes - from the original Rollin White through to today...

    Many of the diminutive and short / light pistols even in seemingly innocuous chamberings like .25 rimfire or .32 rimfire will literally try to spin or rotate around in your hand and seem difficult to control or keep hold of...

    But those are overall balance and weight issues - combining small size and limited contact surface...

    But I think that such small pistols should be considered separately from the general question you have presented...

  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    yes a longer barrel effects recoil, overall weight is a factor.
    just because you could doesn't mean you should
This discussion has been closed.