Handgun Barrels

Written by Linda Alexander
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It is a myth that longer handgun barrels are more accurate. Bullets become stabilized quickly while in the barrel, and shorter barreled guns can be very accurate, too. The advantage that longer barrels have is that they are steadier and offer you more stability when aiming at a target. Longer barrels are used most often in hunting and target shooting because of the greater distance between the front and rear sights, or sight radius.

Carrying and Handgun Barrels

The length of handgun barrels is also a matter of personal preference when it comes to carrying. Many people think that shorter barrels are easier to carry, but with the right holster, it is almost as convenient to carry a gun with a longer barrel. If you are carrying your handgun in an ankle holster, a shorter barrel would be more convenient.

Shorter barreled guns tend to have more recoil and a louder blast. The additional weight of long handgun barrels reduces recoil. Their additional weight might be a disadvantage from a carrying standpoint, however. Another advantage to shorter barrels is that opponents are less likely to wrestle them out of your hand, barrel first. Police generally prefer guns with about a 4-inch barrel for this very reason.

Velocity is subject to many variants, so the barrel of a gun may or may not have an effect on performance. Longer sight plains help shooters gain more accuracy and heavier guns are generally easier to hold steady. The difference between the energy produced by a 4-inch barrel versus a 6-inch barrel is minimal. It is not enough to significantly affect performance. It is simply a matter of personal preference when choosing gun barrel sizes.

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