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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted to first start off and say that I have absolutely ZERO!!! hands on experience with revolvers of any kind and frame, but am doing a little bit of looking around and tons of research on them as I plan on looking into purchasing my first sometime in the near future. I've always had a liking for the short barreled, large frame revolvers that fall under the "snub-nosed" category, but after hours of looking into it and countless people talking about how useless it really is..

Why are .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and even LARGER being made into snub configurations if you lose so much potential velocity of what a Magnum cartridge is?
I can understand that lots of people would want a nice big cartridge like that as compared to 9mm, .40, .38 spl because it is larger, but also to be carried easier, hence the shorter barrel for concealment, but what is the actual purpose besides just being chambered in a larger caliber that actually brings a downfall to the user because of the shorter barrel giving less than ideal muzzle velocity?

I was particularly interested in both the S&W M66 and M69 in .357 Mag and .44 Mag respectively, and noticed that not only did they have 4.25" barrels but an additional configuration of 2 and 3/4" inch barrels.
But how much are you really losing in terms of numbers in ft/s when comparing a 2.75" barrel to say a 4.25" or 6" barrel and even higher?
And would it constitute these larger caliber revolvers place to be carried or even owned if they supposedly can't live up to the Magnum status as they claim it?

Like I said, no hands on experience or any personal testing done myself, only fired semi-autos in typical 9mm, etc. Mostly a bolt gun guy. Am I stupid?

They really are pretty pistols, if anything I just want one to own one.. screw it.
 

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You lose quite a bit on a 2.5 or 3 inch 357 compared to a 6 inch barrel, probably 250-300 fps or more depending on bullet weight and all, but you also lose 150-200fps on a 38 special going from 6" to 2.5" barrel. So say my 125gr magnum hits 1500 with a 6 inch, it may only hit 1150 in a shorter barrel, but the 38 special drops from 1100 (plusP) down to around 850 in a snub and last I checked, 1150 is still more than 850. besides, short barreled magnums are fun. I have a 2.25" SP101, a 2.5" 686, a 3" 686 and a 3" model 60
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You lose quite a bit on a 2.5 or 3 inch 357 compared to a 6 inch barrel, probably 250-300 fps or more depending on bullet weight and all, but you also lose 150-200fps on a 38 special going from 6" to 2.5" barrel. So say my 125gr magnum hits 1500 with a 6 inch, it may only hit 1150 in a shorter barrel, but the 38 special drops from 1100 (plusP) down to around 850 in a snub and last I checked, 1150 is still more than 850. besides, short barreled magnums are fun. I have a 2.25" SP101, a 2.5" 686, a 3" 686 and a 3" model 60
I can definitely see how they would be really fun, just curious as to if I was going to have made a poor choice for my first one and end up regretting it later. I was figuring on getting the .44 because of the .44 spl capability or even getting used to reduced magnum loads and having the choice of running full loads if I ever felt up to the challenge :)
Didn't know how much the actual difference in the barrels length would greatly differ, but as you described to me it still can be a pretty steep reduction in just a few inches for the .38 specials in comparison of the magnum. Wouldn't be the end of the world I figure to go ahead and own one any way, there's always room for one more!
 

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Yeah those snubbies are really not worth buying, better save them for someone else :)
2a4 (2).jpg
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1AA 686 (2).jpg
 

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Why are 3” .45s made? Why are short barrel 9mms made?

.357 is still faster out of a short barrel than .38. Faster is faster. You don’t have to load .357 if you don’t want to.

I disagree about a 3” being as easy to carry as a 2”, but we’re all different and that’s why there are so many different guns made.
 

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Short barrel large caliber magnum revolvers are made for recoil junkies, and to keep orthopedic surgeons in business.

The hand and wrist damage might be so great that they can't fix it by operating, but they get to give you regular steroid shots so you can stand the pain.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

One of the last people that should select a firearm is your spouse, "experienced" friend or a salesman in a gun store.

Each individual needs to get some experience in safety, marksmanship and shooting at a range before selection a self defense firearm.

The recoil of these small revolvers (and especially the ultra lightweight ones made of alloy or polymer) is punishing with a full magnum cartridge. In addition, it takes training and experience to control it, especially for follow through and shots after the first one.

Before you consider buying something, take a NRA Basic Pistol class. Many instructors even bring a variety of handguns for students to try during class. Otherwise, your option is to go to a range that rents a variety of handguns.

Why do they make them? Because they can, and there are people with the training and background to use them. Is it responsible to push one on a new shooter? Unlikely...
 

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I can’t imagine why anyone would buy one???

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Short barrel large caliber magnum revolvers are made for recoil junkies, and to keep orthopedic surgeons in business.

The hand and wrist damage might be so great that they can't fix it by operating, but they get to give you regular steroid shots so you can stand the pain.
Hmmm. Haven't had that problem in over 50 years of shooting mangnum handguns and rifles.
 

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I like them as much as anyone, but also feel that with todays ammo and bullet technology, the extra FPS and insane recoil is not worth it,

A snubby for it's intended purpose of self defense is gonna do it's job with a 38 +P or a 357 Mag.
44 special vs 44 mag same thing. Getting shot with either one is still getting shot!
 

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Why are 3” .45s made? Why are short barrel 9mms made?

.357 is still faster out of a short barrel than .38. Faster is faster. You don’t have to load .357 if you don’t want to.

I disagree about a 3” being as easy to carry as a 2”, but we’re all different and that’s why there are so many different guns made.
Faster is also louder with a lot of recoil to boot.
 

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Something to keep in mind is that the short barreled guns are mechanically as accurate as the long ones. They are more difficult to hit with due to the shorter radius between the front and back sights, which causes greater shooter error when firing.
That's why rifles are more accurate than handguns at distances.

I watched a guy fire a Model 10 snubby and hit a gong 200 yards away 5 out of 6 rounds. Of course he did it every day and knew exactly how much elevation he needed.
If he did his part the gun did too.
 
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