The saying goes, “God made man, Samuel Colt made them equal.”
In 1847 Samuel Colt accepted an order for 1,000 revolvers from Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers.
But the lawman had specific requirements for the revolver. He wanted an improved version of the revolver that Colt had patented in 1836.
The revolver needed to hold six bullets and be easy to reload. And it had to be powerful enough to kill a man with a single shot.
Before 1847, handguns had not played a major role in the American West. Short barreled handguns were inaccurate.
For this reason, Samuel Colt’s first gun company went bankrupt.
But with the Mexican American War, and the Civil War, Colt was positioned to be a success. His revolvers were in demand and made him a rich man.
When he died in 1862 his fortune was $15 million. His wife took over the company and kept it running.
Not only was Colt good at making firearms, but he was a great marketer. He portrayed his revolver as an essential part of the American West.
He promoted his brand to all walks of life. He sold his weapons to the military, miners, settlers, cowboys, and lawmen.
And while Colt’s revolver was a historic invention, it was his groundbreaking manufacturing process that set him apart.
He was able to produce 10,000 identical copies of his revolver.
Instead of using skilled gunsmiths to build each firearm, Colt came up with precision molds for forging metal pieces.
The revolvers were then finished with special tools that would create exact replicates.
By 1856, the Colt Armory was able to produce 150 weapons per day. And the guns were made cheap enough that they could be afforded by average people.
This is one reason Colt revolvers became some of the most popular handguns in the world.
Now, when it comes to revolvers, many shooters debate whether a short or long barrel is better. So, here are a few things to consider to help you decide.
Benefits of a longer barrel:
For most shooters, a longer barrel can lead to better accuracy. The longer sight radius gives the shooter space to line up the shot.
A longer barrel will also increase the bullet’s velocity. This is because there is more time to propel the bullet before it leaves the barrel.
For example, a four-inch barrel gives you four inches to line up your shot, whereas a six-inch barrel gives you an additional two inches.
The extra two inches might not seem like a lot, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to accuracy.
Another advantage of a longer barrel is the added weight of the revolver. This can make a difference with accuracy because there is less recoil.
The lighter the gun, the greater the chance of recoil affecting your shots.
Finally, the longer the barrel, the more time a bullet has to get moving faster. Long barrels give the propellant more time to burn, which means the bullet goes further.
For each inch you give up on your barrel, you can expect the bullet to travel about 20 feet less per second. So, barrel length makes a difference in how far the bullet travels.
Benefits of a short barrel:
One of the biggest advantages of a short barrel revolver is that they are very small, so they are easy to carry concealed.
Plus, you can carry them in many different positions from your pocket to your ankle.
Another benefit of a short barrel is that you will be able to draw it quickly.
For example, if you are carrying the gun on your hip you will have less holster to clear when drawing. This means you will be quicker getting on target.
A revolver with a two-inch barrel is considerably smaller than a four or six-inch barrel. Because of the size difference, it can be easier to maneuver a smaller barrel revolver.
Think about clearing a house with a short barrel compared to a longer barrel. The short barrel will be easier, especially in close-quarter confrontations.
When it comes to which revolver barrel length is the best, it depends on the specific gun and what you want to do with it.
If you are looking for a revolver to concealed carry, I would go with a shorter barrel so you can engage your threats faster.
But, if you are looking for a home defense revolver, it’s worth looking at longer barrels as they can provide more accuracy and velocity.
The right barrel length depends on what is most important to you for the use you intend for your revolver.