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Should I buy a 4 inch or 5.5 inch bull barrel 24/45 for first handgun?

This is a discussion on Should I buy a 4 inch or 5.5 inch bull barrel 24/45 for first handgun? within the Ruger Rimfires forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I am very excited about buying my first handgun. I had the chance to fire the Mach 2 5.5 inch and liked it. It felt ...


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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #1
 
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Smile Should I buy a 4 inch or 5.5 inch bull barrel 24/45 for first handgun?

I am very excited about buying my first handgun. I had the chance to fire the Mach 2 5.5 inch and liked it. It felt a little heavy and so the 22/45 Mark 3 4 and 5.5 inch I suspect would be lighter. Should I be concerned about 4 vs 5.5 inch for any reason? I do not expect to be a super champion target shooter. I just want to get good with handguns and enjoy them. I want bull barrel because I want the scope attachment.

This is a great form. Thanks!



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Old November 8th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnielc View Post
I am very excited about buying my first handgun. I had the chance to fire the Mach 2 5.5 inch and liked it. It felt a little heavy and so the 22/45 Mark 3 4 and 5.5 inch I suspect would be lighter. Should I be concerned about 4 vs 5.5 inch for any reason? I do not expect to be a super champion target shooter. I just want to get good with handguns and enjoy them. I want bull barrel because I want the scope attachment.

This is a great form. Thanks!
Hi Ronnielc!

Welcome to the forum. You ask a loaded question (no pun intended). My best advice to you is to find a place where you can rent both types. The feel of a handgun is personal and what works for one is often not as good for another. I like the feel and balance of the 5.5 Bull Barrel so I bought one but there was not that much difference between the 4 and the 5.5 overall. I just like the feel of full sized handguns so I picked the 5.5. I get to use both sizes as my friend bought the 4 bull barrel because his daughter found it easier to handle. Both are excellent starter pistols and both are MarkIII models. My son also likes the 5.5" but doesn't complain when he shoots the other.

The choice of firearm is a good one, the barrel size is best determined by feel. If you cannot shoot both, at least handle both since one might feel better to you. Both are tack drivers. Good luck with your choice and thanks for joining the forum. It's nice to have you aboard!

P.S. My MKIII 22/45 is approaching 8,000 rounds and still looks new. It is a very robust firearm, especially for .22 LR!!!
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Old November 8th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #3
 
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One consideration you may think about.........

Do you plan to hunt small game with this gun at any time in the future?

There is often a minimum barrel length of 5.5" or 6" for handgun hunting. In NC the minimum length for hunting small game with a .22LR handgun is 5.5". Not sure about where you are or even if you are a hunter, but it's worth considering if you are.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 11:55 AM   #4
 
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I was not thinking about hunting but I should. I would like to have a gun where I can have options for use. Most likely, I will use it for shooting small animals, coyotes on our property, defense (if needed) and targets.

Do you folks find it comfortable to holster the 5.5 or do you not tend to carry this kind of weapon?

Since I posted this thread, I visited an old guy at his gun shop and he showed me his blued Ruger MK 2 4 inch with the number 180030 or something like that. The picture of the MK2 that he showed me in a hard back book about the history of Ruger showed number 180000. His gun was in nice shape with all the original paperwork, box, spent shell, etc. He wishes to sell it for $450. That is way to expensive for me.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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That serial number is from the first year for the MKII, 1982. The MKII series pistols do not have some of the added safety features the MKIII models have but they are very safe, stable and robust firearms. This may be considered a collector’s piece which would increase the price but you can get new MKIII models in the mid $200.00 dollar range. The MKII 22/45 is being sold NIB for $259.00 right now in San Diego and we are not considered a low cost area. A price is high only if it does not meet your needs and desires but, without knowing the exact model, it would be hard to judge if the price was high.

I live in the limits of a fairly large city in a very populated area in Southern California and do not carry my 22/45 nor do I hunt so I can’t advise you on those issues.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #6
 
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5.5 or 4

You do not have to get a Bull Barrel to have a scope mount. I believe all Mk. 3's with adjustable sights have been drilled for a mount and come with one in the box.IMO go with the 5.5
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #7
 
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Welcome to the forum, it all comes down to what you truley want compare the the two pros and cons... my two cents which is not much I would go with 5.5 just for the hunting purpose
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Old November 8th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #8
 
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i went with the 4.5 slab side with 3-dot fixed sights (and kicking my self i did not check to see if it was drilled for a scope mount - its not) i got it because the balance was perfect in my hand. the 5.5 was to barrel heavy. (enough that i noticed and did not like it). if you have never owned a hand gun you will probably not notice the difference much but hold all the models and see which one you like. if you can shoot them all the better.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #9
 
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I went with the MKIII 22/45 with replaceable panels. It has a 5.5" bull barrel and is drilled for scope mount. It came with 2 magazines, weaver-style scope mount base, adjustable sights, and lock. I have put over 1000 rounds of various ammo through it without any issues. This gun fits me very well and the trigger is excellent. I would not hesitate recommending this gun to anyone if the fit is right for them.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #10
 
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Well, I ordered the Talo Special addition slab-sided 4.5 inch 22/45 with removable grips and adjustable sight. I spent hours deciding, to the point where I could not sleep last night. I hit the button at about 3 am and slept soundly. I cannot wait for it to arrive from Gallery of Guns.

R
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Old November 10th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnielc View Post
Well, I ordered the Talo Special addition slab-sided 4.5 inch 22/45 with removable grips and adjustable sight. I spent hours deciding, to the point where I could not sleep last night. I hit the button at about 3 am and slept soundly. I cannot wait for it to arrive from Gallery of Guns.

R
Congratulations!!! You will NOT be disappointed. Now go out and get lots of ammunition for it; once you fire it, you will be addicted. Enjoy!!!
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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #12
 
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No doubt the 5.5" version is the most flexable, capable and best ballanced for general and target use.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #13
 
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The gun arrived today and I am very pumped up. My plan is to rent the range for 30 minutes over lunch on Tuesday. The 4.5 inch slab-sided that I ordered is pre-drilled and has special removable wood grips, nice.

I will let you know how it goes.

R
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnielc View Post
The gun arrived today and I am very pumped up. My plan is to rent the range for 30 minutes over lunch on Tuesday. The 4.5 inch slab-sided that I ordered is pre-drilled and has special removable wood grips, nice.

I will let you know how it goes.

R
Very cool! Be careful... you're going to get addicted to shooting like I have...

One thing that I noticed very quickly is that these all-metal .22 pistols are quite heavy. Quite literally, my Mk III Target with the 5.5 bull barrel at 42oz or so unloaded weighs almost 2x as much as many of the full sized polymer service pistols out there. The 22/45 saves some weight with the polymer lower, of course.

However, one upside to all the metal, aside from the durability, of course, is that while experiencing the endless "practice" sessions that are inevitable with a .22, you'll build up the proper muscles needed to hold a pistol out at arm's length steady... so it's like weight training!

Enjoy!

Last edited by scootle; November 16th, 2010 at 12:53 AM.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #15
 
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Welcome to the Forum!!!
Let us know how you range session works out. You made an excellent choice. Fair warning though,you might want to buy another one (or two,or three.....)
You can't go wrong with a Ruger.

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