I am going to buy a ruger redhawk in .454 but I can't decide wich barrel length to go with. I know the 7 inch would be easier to carry but will I loose accuracy speed and energy over the 9 inch barrel? Help!
Accuracy is anybody's guess. Theoritically a short barrel is stiffer, and possibly more accurate, but I doubt if the great majority of us could tell the difference with a handgun. That's theoretical accuracy, not to be confused with what happens when you put a shooter in the mix.
The slightly shorter sight radius of the 7" barrel might cost you just a bit of real-world accuracy..... but then again, some people's eyes work better with a shorter sight radius.
Velocity drop for two inches of barrel length, probably 50-70fps. Not a big deal (my opinion).
As you can see, I don't have a strong opinion. My 7.5" Blackhawks and Super Blackhawks work well for me. I might consider a .480 SRH, if Ruger would just shorten the barrel to 5" or so, to make it lighter.
I did a lot of reading before my purchase of the redhawk, and from my stand point it wont make to much difference. Some say it is just too much to shoot, and enjoy. So I find the barrel length wont mater too much. I went with the .45 colt.
But, I like the longer barrels.
I gave my daughter a 10" SBH .44 that has taken lots of venison. Of all the handguns I have hunted with, that one is the sweetest shooting hit the spot meat gun I had. She got a caribou with it and astonished the locals who took her hunting.
Yeah, it's harder to pack than my 5 1/2" RH, but I have never achieved the results that I got with the other. I think there are certain guns you can forget, and guns you don't; the 10" is a carbine without a stock. You might hate it, but if you have time to try it out, it might be your cup of tea.
I have the RH because I want a double action available in case brer bear starts to give thanks in my presence.
I've had a 10 1/2 super blackhawk and a 9 1/2 super redhawk, both in 44 magunm.
As to length on a redhawk if I was to buy another it would depend on what I wanted to do with it. There is no doubt that the longer sight radius's make accurate shooting easier, I'm not saying the gun is more accurate just getting the accuracy out is easier.
If I had any plans what so ever to pack it I would get the 7 1/2 shoot it a bunch and never look back.
I had the same dilema of deciding which barrel length to get and finally decided on the 9.5" For a longer barrel, I couldn't get over how well balanced it felt, and with the larger frame, the longer barrel really didn't look quite like some of the pistols with 8+" barrels.
The other reason, for me personally, was the 9.5" barrel gives you 5'6 more ounces of weight helping a little bith with the recoil, and contrary to one writer, the 2" barrel can give you up to 140 fps more velocity.
I also have a Super Redhawk 44 Mag. with the 7.5" barrel, so in all honesty, it did give me something a little different.
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