BARREL LENGTH COMPARISON
Handloader|December - January 2020
MIKE’S SHOOTIN’ SHACK
Mike Venturino

After settling on a good handload, a thought in almost every handloader’s mind is, “How will barrel length affect velocity?” Over the years I’ve seen many tests done on this question, with the most technical being when a rifle or handgun has its barrel shortened incrementally an inch at a time and chronographing done accordingly.

Recently, while sitting and admiring my modest collection of Colt SAAs, the realization struck that I had no less than four each of .44-40s and .45 Colts with different barrel lengths. And that gave me the inspiration to shoot each set of four single actions on the same day, under the same conditions with identical handloads. Naturally, this sort of informal “test” would prove nothing in the big picture, but it would satisfy my own curiosity.

The Colt SAA .45s to be used had 4¾-, 5½-, 7½- and 12-inch barrel lengths. The three shorter lengths were all of Third Generation production. The 12-inch barreled “Buntline” was of Second Generation. In the .44-40 group, the 3-, 4¾- and 7½-inch barrel lengths were again all Third Generation. The one with a 5½-inch barrel was a “mixmaster” consisting of a Second Generation frame and grip frame, a First Generation .44-40 barrel with a Third Generation .44-40 cylinder.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HANDLOADERView All

SHOOTERS WORLD AR-PLUS

PROPELLANT PROFILES

6 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

THE SAME OLD – OVER AND OVER

RELOADER’S PRESS

7 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

LOADS FOR THE 6MM GT

WILDCAT CARTRIDGES

5 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

LOADING THE .32 ACP

Not Easy, but Worth the Effort

9 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

Handloading Harder, Denser Shot

The Evolution of Tungsten Shot

10 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

IMPROVED COYOTE PELT LOADS

PRACTICAL HANDLOADING

5 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

CRIMPING THE .45 COLT

BULLETS & BRASS

6 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

CIMARRON UBERTI MODEL P ORIGINAL FINISH .45 COLT

FROM THE HIP

5 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

.22 RIMFIRE SHOT CARTRIDGE

CARTRIDGE BOARD

5 mins read
Handloader
February 2021

.22 CREEDMOOR EXCLUSIVE

The Ultimate Varmint Catridge?

8 mins read
Handloader
February 2021