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Have a few ruger flat tops in 44special and 1 in 45colt/45acp.
All have 4 5/8's or longer barrels.
I do reload.
Have a wiley clapp carry hawk on the way. Still a 4 5/8s barrel.

Kinda lusting after a 0475 Bisley convertible with a 3.75 barrel. Found one at a steep price. Lipsey said more are on the way.

Is the 45colt and 45acp useful in that 3.75 barrel? Performance wise?
 

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I’m not an expert, but in my mind it depends on what you’re doing with it. I certainly wouldn’t use it for a hunting gun, but I wouldn’t use a 4 5/8” for that either. If it’s a carry gun, I’d say it would be useful. I know I wouldn’t want to be in front of it.
 
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I have a pair of birdshead .45’s in that length. They carry nicely and shoot just fine. As for useful, as stated, not for hunting, but for carry and for fun they are very useful!
 

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Ballistically, you won't be at a big disadvantage with a really short barrel, velocity loss will be minimal.
It will be harder to shoot well with the short sight radius.
I'm not a fan of short barrels on big guns, they tend to look goofy and have poorer balance.
On a rather large revolver like the Blackhawks, I prefer a 5 1/2" barrel minimum.
Even a 4 5/8" looks stubby to me.

For that matter, I'm not a fan of Birdshead grips or shopkeeper models, but some like them.
As far as a short barreled Bisley, I think that would really look goofy having a stubby barrel on a long gripped big frame target revolver. Pretty out of proportion.
If I want a hideout gun I'll stick with my .45 ACP Shield.
But it's your money, and if it floats your boat …….
 

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Depends on what you mean by useful. You'll get more velocity loss in that short barrel with the 45 Colt than with the 45 ACP. Had one of those in a birdshead in 45 ACP and it was still very pleasant to shoot with standard 230 grain loads and I love shooting the 45 auto in my 3" 1911s. Also had one of those with that barrel length in a 44 mag and it was a handful to shoot, but still doable.
 

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Don't have a Ruger, but do have a 3 1/2" round butt Freedom Arms M97 (the small frame). It currently wears the 45 ACP auxiliary cylinder and is plenty accurate and really fun to shoot. With the .45 Colt cylinder and Ruger only loads it can get a bit snotty. I've shot it with 320gr Lee cast at a chronoed 1,150 fps -- like I said, snotty. I've shot it out to 100 yds offhand with the 45 acp cyl on a 8" wide by 14" tall steel plate with good results. Never tried it at more than 70 yds with the .45 Colt cyl. Also scoped it with a 2x Leupold for load testing and found it to be a handy little package fully capable of ringing the aforementioned 100 yard plate with regularity.

A couple of pictures:
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I say go for it.

Paul
 

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Depends on what you want it for. I like this one and it shoots great...Taurus Tracker T450 full titanium in 45 Colt.
144414
 

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I have a .44 Special Sheriff New Vaquero. Ding steel targets out to 50+ yards no problem open sights. But that isn't where this gun would be 'useful'. It's a belly gun in my opinion to be used for close quarters shooting, defensive shooting. Not hunting, not bulls-eye shooting. Most of the time mine sits in the safe. I have Bulldog .44 Special that serves as my CC (concealed carry) revolver which is much lighter and smaller than the Sheriff style SAs. I had bought the sheriff as a possible substitute for the Bulldog, but once you have one in hand ... it is obvious which one I'd use for CC. I bought the tank short barreled .44 Special GP-100 with the same thought in-mind... Again. Bulldog wins again for CC purpose. On the trail, I'd rather open carry a longer barreled revolver. At least a 4 5/8", most likely a 5 1/2" barrel. More ummph, better sight radius, and not quite as snappy recoil wise.

With that said.... Nothing wrong with getting a ~3in revolver just 'because' you want one! It will still make a good plinking, close range defense, easy packing fun revolver. Shoot, I have on order a Cimarron 5 1/2" Model P .45 Colt .... just because. :)
 

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You can always check out Ballistics By The Inch for a great comparison of various loads at different barrel lengths. Use that to help determine if the velocity loss from a 3" barrel is going to be an issue for what you intend to use the gun for.
 

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I like the looks of these short barrel SA. I keep thinking of getting one. I would not back away from using it for anything if it shoots good. One of these days opportunity will knock and one will go home with me.
 

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I have one of the large frame Vaquero Sheriff Models with the 3.75 inch barrel. I have fitted a 45 ACP cylinder and it seems to shoot both 45 ACP and 45 Colt medium loads about as fast as a 5.5 inch and certainly fast enough to do what I need to do with a revolver. A longer barrel would be better to maximize velocity of "Ruger Only" loads.
 

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When I cut this 44 down for a snubby carry gun it was pointed out to me it looked like a small chested gal with a big butt.



Performance wise,,,,,,, there is nothing wrong with a small chested gal with a big butt.
 

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My 3.75” S&W shoots .45 ACP just fine, velocity depends on the loads you use, +P is fine in the Ruger. As for the short sight radius, the supposed “lower accuracy” is bunk for ranges the revolver will be shot and is just the same BS which has been repeated over and over by folks who have never shot a short barreled .45. Actually, especially for older eyes, the sights being closer together makes a good sight picture easier to obtain. Fact.

I just don't get the statement “I would not use a short- barreled revolver to hunt”. Why not? Accuracy? Bunk for ranges under 50 yards, I’ve used my 4-5/8” BH on several Kodiak Island deer with great success. Power? Bunk, 800-900 fps is achievable with 230-250 grain FN bullets and they kill well. Too many armchair “hunter’s” opinions instead of actual experience.



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... I just don't get the statement “I would not use a short- barreled revolver to hunt”. Why not? ...
Maybe they live in a state with a longer minimum barrel length for hunting? Many states used to have those types of arbitrary restrictions.
 

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When I cut this 44 down for a snubby carry gun it was pointed out to me it looked like a small chested gal with a big butt.



Performance wise,,,,,,, there is nothing wrong with a small chested gal with a big butt.
If only that Vaquero had a Bull barrel of some nature (a Bisley hammer would be surely be sweet! I'd nearly insist on having two!
 

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The only drawback I've found problematic with short-barreled big caliber hand guns is the fire-breathing potential unless loads particular for short barreled guns are employed.
You sacrifice accuracy and potential by throwing all that flame outside the barrel versus tailoring combustion to the barrel length. There is also the excess leading & barrel leade erosion that occurs in those circumstance.
 
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