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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone either speak to the facts or point out a source where one can find clear info about the effects of barrel length on self-defense fire power? And I'm talking practicality, not technicality.

Everyone says a 2 inch snub can't get the most out of a high powered round - or even a standard round. I just read about a rifle whose barrel was so long it slowed down some specific bullet/pressure combination. As I recall, a 22 inch barrel gave a higher FPS than a 26 inch in this particular case. That basically gives us two extremes of a spectrum of efficiency.

Somewhere in between these extremes lie the practical matters of getting the job done. How much better, useful, power will a 5 inch .45 give me over a 3.5 or 4 inch? How much less will a 3 inch 9mm do than a 4 inch? Should I think about a 7 inch .38 instead of my 4 inch? Would the difference between a 4 inch and a 3.5 inch be enough to spend money for? Am I sacrificing too much if I get a compact instead of a mid-size?

Is there any difference even worth talking about? I don't know, but I'd like to.

JimL
 

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i think someone once said 2inch vs 6inch you lose about 1/3rd power from a .357.. but dont quote me on that.

im not really sure what % is lost, it would be nice to know.

i know some rounds have faster burning powder so i suspect 1/3rd is not the hard and fast rule.
 

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In Marshall and Sanow's book Stopping Power there is a chapter that covers this. Ch. 22 Short Barrel Wound Ballistics covers 380, 9mm, 40 and 45acp in barrel lengths from 2.75" to 5", depending on caliber. Multiple loads for each caliber are used for examples.

I'm not going to get into detail on this but generally the longer barrel gives you more FPS which increases the ability of the round to "stop" an attacker. This applies both to hand guns as well as long guns. For example, a 20" AR-15/M16 has a longer effective range than a 14.5" barreled M4-M4gery. This has been proven in the field.

Years back I read an article in some gun mag (no idea which one) where they took some semblance of barrel with an excessively long length and measured the velocity. They then cut some of the barrel off and did it again. They repeated this until there wasn't much left. I think they actually used a 32acp round for this. Yes, there was a point beyond which you lose velocity as your powder has completed its burn and you are now just adding drag to the bullet.

https://www.stoppingpower.net/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=14

Steelheart
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Steelheart said:
I'm not going to get into detail on this but generally the longer barrel gives you more FPS which increases the ability of the round to "stop" an attacker.
Steelheart
I think this has been pretty well accepted by pretty much everyone for a pretty long time. What isn't so clear is how much it effects us on a practical level at handgun lengths of different categories such as I mentioned.

No doubt an expensive book could deal at length with technicalities. I'm not so certain a lot of us could make ourselves read (or pay for) such a book and remember enough of it to make any conversion of it to a simple practical matter of "which gun." That's why we turn to experts, to short circuit the process without everyone having to retrace the same ground and buy the same books.

As I said, "I'm talking practicality, not technicality." Does anybody really know how much better one length is over another on a practical level - so as to use the information in deciding on a gun? Or, as I also said, will buying a compact gun instead of a medium one be too much of a sacrifice?

Or were you saying "no" to my other question? Is the subject worth asking about?

JimL
 

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JimL said:
Can anyone either speak to the facts or point out a source where one can find clear info about the effects of barrel length on self-defense fire power? And I'm talking practicality, not technicality.

Jim---you should know by now that practicality stems from technicality.
 

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I'm not going to get into detail on this but generally the longer barrel gives you more FPS which increases the ability of the round to "stop" an attacker. This applies both to hand guns as well as long guns.
Yeah Jim, i agree, most of us have heard this. ;D
I think this matters , but so does bullet type and shot placement.. ;)
Probally for most people, this might be interesting to know and ponder....
Most likley if we have to use a gun it will be pretty close up, so not to sure if the Fps is really going to matter...Dunno
For me i just hope i can hit what i aim at when the time comes.


I am kind of a realist when it comes to this stuff.. :)
I think most guns will do the job regardless of the lenght when it comes to 2 legged creatures..
now if i was out hunting "Bigfoot" i would probally think more on this..lol

Funshooter..
loved those sites.
I really like this statement by Chuck Hawks

My opinion is no better than anyone else's unless it correlates with reality.
Read the actual studies, not what others say about the studies, and decide for yourself.
He sounds like a guy just like us(maybe we should get him on the forum..lol)
Chuck Hawks is definitly sure of how he feels, for real world opinion it was pretty good.. :)

JimL..
did you read any of those, some of thats stuff was pretty good.. ;)
Here is the one i read first:
http://www.chuckhawks.com/beginners_stopping_power.htm

First thing he mentioned is what Steelheart said:
In Marshall and Sanow's book Stopping Power there is a chapter that covers this
Chuck Hawks..
[would be to read the books by Ed Sanow and Evan Marshall/b]


This article has alot of info...

http://www.internetarmory.com/handgun_defense.htm

Basic stuff,but made sense
I saved it to read and refer to later..
good stuff for newbies like me and others that come on here..
(For a minute i thought Qwiks had wrote it :D..lol )
This was a good post JimL..thanks
I learned some stuff already with very few replies..
Sounds like a topic that definitly will take some time to understand.
Guess we wait and see what others on here say..

Yikkess..what if Qwiks finds this post.. :eek:
"Can You Say Homework"
My head is starting to hurt just thinking about a reply from Qwiks..lol :rolleyes: :bang: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
dbsoundguy said:
JimL..
did you read any of those, some of thats stuff was pretty good.. ;)
Here is the one i read first:
I research this stuff constantly - for hours on end. I've read piles of the Chuck Hawks articles, including the ones posted in this thread. Some of the suggestions weren't even related to the topic. In one huge article suggested, the word "barrel" appeared only once - obliquely.

OK, maybe it's time for me to trigger a lock on this thread.

One thing to consider, though, is the known fact (missed by too many in the forum business) that in a place with this many people there are always considerable numbers of those who want to know whatever is being asked, but never get on line and post the question. This is a statistical reality.

I've been on a lot of forums and asked a lot of questions. To me a forum is an excellent place to get input from people who've "been there and done that." It's unfortunate that on many forums there are people who've been there a long time and heard the same questions - or not - who have settled back to a stock, "Buy this book," or an implied, "Get on the internet and look it up for yourself," if they don't like the question that was asked.

There are several problems with that approach.

1. It sounds an awful lot like those answers should end with, "and don't bother me."

2. It assumes that the person asking the question hasn't studied the matter at all.

3. It ignores the possibility that the person has been confused by something and needs a reality check from other people.

4. It ignores, in the case of papers, books, etc., the fact that some people can't remember a lot of details long enough to extract some reality other people have long ago absorbed and have on the tip of their tongues.

5. It ignores the other people who would like to know the answer as well.

6. It ignores the fact that the questioner may be hunting EXACTLY for other people's opinions as opposed to a pile of data.

7. It's just plain rude to say, in essence, no, you don't get the answer to that unless you do it my way.

Is an information sharing forum the place get all, "I'll teach you to fish, but I'll never give you a fish?"

Of course there obviously isn't anyone who does these things on Taurus Armed.net.

OK boys, bring on the padlock.

JimL
 

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Rather than just "bring on the padlock" as requested I'll give a free source to some of the answers that are being requested.

http://www.stoppingpower.net/

At the top of the page is a link to the forum. I'd have given the link directly but then I'd have logged in and am a week or so behind that forum. I'd rather be able to just see which threads are new (or been added to) than have to look at all the dates.

This is Evan Marshalls forum. There's everyone from new shooters to LE (local, state, federal and other countries LE) to local and national trainers of renown. Its a good place to read and learn from.

I chose not to go into detail in my above post as Evan doesn't want the info from his books given out for nothing. I chose to respect his wishes on that.

A tip on the Stopping Power forum. In the upper left corner is a list of rules. There is minimal to no fudge room on them. You will probably get a warning if you violate them from the staff there but someone being banned for being unable to follow the simple rules is somewhat common. The vast majority of members here should have no problems what so ever.

But the basics are still the same regardless of caliber. Run a good load (or in a pinch whatever you have available) and worry more about the quality of your hit. Or as dbsoundguy put it, whether or not you can get a hit (and I'm not arguing, I'm agreeing). Don't forget that the majority of shots fired by police (or the majority of our military for that matter) miss their intended target.

Steelheart
 

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Sorry JimL..did not mean this in a bad way..
your posts make me think sometimes and i always learn something on them... :D
 

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I once got into a heated discussion about snubnosed revolvers witha guy at a gun show. He was a firm believer that if your going to get snubnose you might as well get a .38 not a .357 is argument was that a in a .357 you won't burn all the powder before the bullet exits the barrel so you would lose all the percieved gain in velocity the shell provides. He somehow believed that the .38 does burn all it's powder at the end of 2 inches and you have in fact the same velocity as the .357 which didn't burn all the powder. He didn't take into account that there are now commercial loads for the .357 that are specifically tailored to a snubnose, nor did he account for the mystical ability the .38 shell has in burning all it's powder in a 2 inch barrel. I was going to get a .357 snub anyway since I wanted to shoot both out of it, but the argument was amusing.
 

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It all depends on powder burning rate, bullet weight, calib. etc. Same bullet will go different speeds same barrel with different powders because of the burn rate etc. That is why they have came out with the short barrel ammo. just for these guns. We need Quikdraw in here to give some homework.
 

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Ace he was stupid and did not ever reload I guess.
JimL lightin up some you'll live longer.
 

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One thing I can say from experiance is that we used to kill our own hogs and the few times a .22 revolver was used, more shots were needed to make the kill than when a .22 rifle was used. I'd guess the longer barrel gave that round a little more advantage.
 
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