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Personally I like the four inch barrel on my Colt .357. :D See my avatar to the left. <--

If you want to carry a .357 for self defense then you don't want a real long barrel because they're too easy for an assailant to grab and too hard to get out of a holster quickly.
If you get a 2 inch barrel then the bullet will likely exit the gun before all of the powder is burned and you lose power, may as well shoot .38 special, although a .357 snubbie is loud and scary if you're in front of it!
If you're not going to use it for CCW then I would suggest a six inch barrel. Longer barrels typically yield better accuracy and more weight means less recoil.

Overall, my vote would be for a 4" like my gun, it just looks right and shoots great! :D
 

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You actually can not possibly get by with less than three revolvers....

a 2 to 3 inch small-frame for concealed carry

a 4 inch medium-frame for the nightstand, and for packing in the woods when you're not out seriously handgun hunting

a 6 inch minimum (7 or 8 is better) large-frame (preferably with a very large hole through the barrel) for handgun hunting

Better start shopping.
 

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i have to go with 4 inches too cuz all 1 or 2 inch snubbys do is just ring ur ears too much :roll:
 

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I adhere to wwb's philosophy as a jack of all trades is a master of none. For a general purpose knock around gun that is carried on an outside belt holster, the 4" would be my preference though I wouldn't pass up a 6" barreled gun if the purpose shaded more towards hunting. I've had both lengths and it is a horse apiece for this usage. If it is to be carried inside the waistband for personal defense, a 2.5"-3" barrel would be my first choice as the barrel doesn't dig into me as badly as a longer one. For hunting I would go with the 8"-9" lengths and carry the gun in a bandolier holster. This is a pretty handy carry method if you do not have to access the gun immediately and is the way I carry all my scoped and most other handguns when hunting.
 

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wwb said:
You actually can not possibly get by with less than three revolvers....

a 2 to 3 inch small-frame for concealed carry

a 4 inch medium-frame for the nightstand, and for packing in the woods when you're not out seriously handgun hunting

a 6 inch minimum (7 or 8 is better) large-frame (preferably with a very large hole through the barrel) for handgun hunting

Better start shopping.

I like your thinking. I've been telling myself I need a 6" .44mag. :D
 

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zombie said:
wwb said:
You actually can not possibly get by with less than three revolvers....

a 2 to 3 inch small-frame for concealed carry

a 4 inch medium-frame for the nightstand, and for packing in the woods when you're not out seriously handgun hunting

a 6 inch minimum (7 or 8 is better) large-frame (preferably with a very large hole through the barrel) for handgun hunting

Better start shopping.

I like your thinking. I've been telling myself I need a 6" .44mag. :D

+1.
4 incher is an all-around good choice, but, I've got 2" (.38 Spec.), 2-1/2", 4" (.357), and interchangeable barrels on my DW .44 mag. (DW has 4" and 8" bbls.) :)

Keith
 
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I have .357s with 6", 5", 4", 3", and 2.5" barrels. Love 'em all, but the best all round length (IMHO) is the 3". Long enough to be very accurate and great velocity, yet small enough to conceal and carry easily. It (S&W 66) also has night sights.
 

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I have three sizes now and want to add a 4" m19 to the 357 stable. My 8" DW is great for target and hunting, but a bit large. The Blackhawk is easy to pack and an excellent shooter. The J frame should be self explanatory.


 

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wwb said:
You actually can not possibly get by with less than three revolvers....

a 2 to 3 inch small-frame for concealed carry

a 4 inch medium-frame for the nightstand, and for packing in the woods when you're not out seriously handgun hunting

a 6 inch minimum (7 or 8 is better) large-frame (preferably with a very large hole through the barrel) for handgun hunting

Better start shopping.
Why limit yourself to just one of each? I kinda think it also has to do with caliber. For me, 6" is the shortest barrel I want on a 44mag, but the longest I'd want on a .357. And BTW, I never stop shopping.
 
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Handiest for me is 4.5", but for look's, longer sight plane,
and noise, I like 6" or 6.5" for punching paper. Go to your
local gun shop and handle some. I like seeing , and holding
a gun to get a feal for it. If you have any shooting range's
near you check them, they may rent guns to try. .
Anyway it helped me maybe it will help you.
GOOD LUCK. AND BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD.
 

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I have a Ruger Sp101 with a 17/8 barrel. this gun was bought in 1990 when they 1st came out. Soon after i took a dremel to the hammer spur. As it was iratating my stomach. Soon after this Ruger came out with a bobbed hammer version. But mine is SA and DA, Ruger only offered it in DA form. Aside from me buying this gun, for concealment purposes, i will say a 4'' .357 will be more versatle. Again a 6'' or more would be better for hunting. See where im going with this, one is never enough. :lol: Jack
 
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