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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching the forum, Google, and YouTube, and no one seems to agree on how to measure the barrel length on a revolver, so I’m posting this question.

How do you measure barrel length on a revolver. I’ve seen three answers to this, so by looking at my photo below, which is the proper way to measure barrel length?

A. From the end of the barrel to the front of the cylinder.

B. From the end of the barrel to the face of the forcing cone.

C. From the end of the barrel to the frame.

 

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I think B is the correct answer.

Do I win??? :D
 

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That would be a 6.5" barrel.....A

Edit to clarify, All Ruger revolvers are measured from the face of the cylinder. Can't speak for other revolvers.
 

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My vote is for A as it's where the projectile first enters the barrel from the cylinder
 

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"B" is the correct answer. You're measuing the barrel So it's from the muzzle to the face of the forcing cone where the barrel ends. Measure to the face of the cylinder is meauring longer than the actual barrel length.
 

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"B" is the correct answer. You're measuing the barrel So it's from the muzzle to the face of the forcing cone where the barrel ends. Measure to the face of the cylinder is meauring longer than the actual barrel length.

Pull out one of your Rugers with a known barrel length. The only way you will get the known length is to measure it to the face of the cylinder. Ruger measures their barrels to face of the cylinder.

I'm not saying the barrel isn't shorter. I'm saying if you buy a Ruger revolver with a factory specified 5.5" barrel it is measured from the face of the cylinder to the muzzle.
 

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Pull out one of your Rugers with a known barrel length. The only way you will get the known length is to measure it to the face of the cylinder. Ruger measures their barrels to face of the cylinder.

I'm not saying the barrel isn't shorter. I'm saying if you buy a Ruger revolver with a factory specified 5.5" barrel it is measured from the face of the cylinder to the muzzle.
This is the first I ever heard of measuing it that way. There really isn't much difference either way you measure it.
 

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BATF established an official way to measure revolver barrel lengths, which has been the traditional method since revolvers were invented. The answer is "A" and applies to all SA and DA revolvers. FYI, pistols are measured differently .... from the muzzle to the breach face.
 

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BATF established an official way to measure revolver barrel lengths, which has been the traditional method since revolvers were invented. The answer is "A" and applies to all SA and DA revolvers. FYI, pistols are measured differently .... from the muzzle to the breach face.
So, if "A" is the correct answer (which I'm not saying it isn't), then the specified length of the barrel is actually the entire length of the barrel + the space between the cylinder face and the breach.

This was probably figured out by the same bunch that seem to think that a magazine that only holds 10 or less rounds is somehow less dangerous that one that holds over 10. :confused:
 

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Barrel Length? Revolver versus Semi-Auto

This is an interesting question... one that I posed to the shopkeepers at a couple of LGS. BUT, my main question was aimed at comparing the barrel lengths of semi-autos to revolvers.

For example (without getting too technical), take a semi-auto with a 3" barrel and a round that lets say is 1" long and is chambered. Does that mean that the stated 3" barrel on the semi-auto is actually only 2" in real terms?

Or when comparing barrel lengths, is the 2" snubbie approximately equal in "real" barrel length with the 3" semi-auto since its round is chambered in the cylinder versus the first third of the 3" semi-auto barrel?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BATF established an official way to measure revolver barrel lengths, which has been the traditional method since revolvers were invented. The answer is "A" and applies to all SA and DA revolvers. FYI, pistols are measured differently .... from the muzzle to the breach face.
From reading the answers here and looking at the Ruger site, I see my Single Six in .17 HMR only comes in a 6.5" barrel. The only way I can get 6.5" is to measure from the muzzle to the front of the cylinder, so it looks like “A” is the correct answer.

Correct that there isn’t much difference between “A” and “B”, so one could get the correct length by measuring B and rounding up to the nearest half inch. There is only 0.005 thousands of an inch gap between the front of the cylinder and the forcing cone. I just measured that with some feeler gauges.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For example (without getting too technical), take a semi-auto with a 3" barrel and a round that lets say is 1" long and is chambered. Does that mean that the stated 3" barrel on the semi-auto is actually only 2" in real terms?
Bullets have Nothing to do with barrel length.
 

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Bullets have Nothing to do with barrel length.
I think his point was to measure velocity/force. So yes, it doesn't matter, but in terms of the length of time pressure is building and powder is burning (vs. being wasted) before the bullet exits the muzzle I would say he is correct. However, at the end of the day if you take measured stats from ammo manuf. or chrono your own shots, bullet length, revolver vs. auto, etc would not matter at all. You would simply buy whatever ammo offered the highest stats for the given barrel length in which the ammo was tested.
 

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Bullets have Nothing to do with barrel length.
No, my point is this... in a revolver, the round is chambered in the cylinder, and when shot, the bullet travels the whole length of the barrel.

But, in a semi-auto, the round is chambered in the barrel, and when shot, the bullet travels less than the whole length of the barrel.

Therefore, when talking barrel lengths, a 3" barrel in a revolver is not the same as a 3" barrel in a semi-auto... the relative distance the bullet travels once it leaves the cartridge is very different!
 

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This is an interesting question... one that I posed to the shopkeepers at a couple of LGS. BUT, my main question was aimed at comparing the barrel lengths of semi-autos to revolvers.

For example (without getting too technical), take a semi-auto with a 3" barrel and a round that lets say is 1" long and is chambered. Does that mean that the stated 3" barrel on the semi-auto is actually only 2" in real terms?

Or when comparing barrel lengths, is the 2" snubbie approximately equal in "real" barrel length with the 3" semi-auto since its round is chambered in the cylinder versus the first third of the 3" semi-auto barrel?
Correct.

Looking at it from the bullet's viewpoint.

I am sitting here minding my own business stuck in the end of this 1" long brass cylinder with a bunch of powder under my butt. All of a sudden smoke and fire and I am propelled 2" through a rifled tube and come out into the sunlight with a bang.

Same story (with your specified firearms (3" barrel automatic and 2" barrel revolver). 2" of bullet travel from ignition to muzzle (assuming the auto has essentially no freebore and the revolver's cylinder is just barely long enough to contain the cartridge).

Lost Sheep
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This sounds like a totally different subject, and really doesn’t come into play when all one wants to know is how to measure the length of a barrel, or how a manufacture designs a barrel. My original question was about how to measure the length of a barrel of a revolver. It had nothing to do with semi-auto barrels or where the round sits in relation to the barrel.

Out of curiosity, Glock says the G17 barrel is 4.49 inches long. I broke mine down and measured it. That measurement includes chamber and the feed ramp. Mmmm
 
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