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
SHOOTERS WORLD AR-PLUS
THE SAME OLD – OVER AND OVER
LOADS FOR THE 6MM GT
LOADING THE .32 ACP
Not Easy, but Worth the Effort
Handloading Harder, Denser Shot
The Evolution of Tungsten Shot
IMPROVED COYOTE PELT LOADS
CRIMPING THE .45 COLT
BULLETS & BRASS
CIMARRON UBERTI MODEL P ORIGINAL FINISH .45 COLT
FROM THE HIP
.22 RIMFIRE SHOT CARTRIDGE
.22 CREEDMOOR EXCLUSIVE
The Ultimate Varmint Catridge?