Get to Learn How to Measure Barrel Length for Different Guns

It is important to know the basic information about your gun such as the barrel as sometimes it can affect how you handle it. The process on how to measure barrel length is relatively the same from one gun type to another with a bit of variation. It is important that you get to choose the right method when it comes to measuring the barrel length as illustrated below.


For Revolvers​

What you’ll need​

  • Revolver
  • Dowel rod
  • Ruler


1. Unload the gun​

The first thing you have to do while handling a gun for this process is to make sure it is unloaded first. You need to keep the gun pointed in a safe space and then cup the left hand around your gun making sure that the fingers are away from the gun muzzle.

Proceed to push the cylinder release latch on the gun. It is normally found on the left side of your revolver gun. This should help with releasing the ammo from the gun so that you can unload everything. Physically check all the compartments of the gun cylinder making sure that the gun is fully unloaded.​

2. Insert a dowel rod in the muzzle​

How to Measure Barrel Length2

You will need a dowel rod for measuring the length of the barrel in this case. Proceed to slide your dowel rod into the gun barrel. Keep pushing the rod until you get it to touch the front of the cylinder cartridge.

The trick is to use a dowel rod that comes with a smaller diameter than the barrel of the revolver. Having a smaller diameter would make the process of sliding the rod down the barrel easier. You are not to force is down the barrel as it might cause some damage.​

​3. Mark your dowel rod

The moment you feel that the rod is not moving, then you have to stop pushing as it would be on the face of the cartridge cylinder. You now have to mark on the rod where it has reached into the barrel. Make the marking close to the muzzle as much as possible. You can use a pen, marker, or pencil to do the marking. Keep the gun laying flat down on the working surface when taking the measurements.​

4. Take the measurement​

With the marking done, you should now take out the rod from the barrel. Proceed to lay the gun on a flat surface and take the marked rod to a ruler. Place it against the ruler to measure the length of the barrel. Make sure that you know which side was into the barrel as it is the point you get to use for reference.

You can now take the measurement and record. Just like that, you have successfully measured the barrel length of your revolver.​

For Semiautomatic Pistols​

What you’ll need​

  • Semi automatic pistol
  • Dowel rod
  • Ruler


1. Unload the pistol​

As a safety measure when trying to measure the barrel length of the pistol, you want to make sure that it is unloaded. Make sure to remove the magazine holding the ammo and any cartridges found in the pistol.

You might have to open and close the slide just to make sure there is no ammo in it before you can proceed with the measurement of the barrel length.

With the pistol unloaded, then you should be ready to proceed to the next step of taking the measurement.

2. Insert the dowel rod into the gun muzzle​

Just like in the revolver, we also get to use the dowel rod for taking the measurement in the semiautomatic pistol. Start by sliding the rod into the gun’s muzzle until you get to feel it get to the breech face.

As before, you get to use a dowel rod that is smaller in diameter than that of the barrel. This would make sliding of the rod to be easier than when the diameter is bigger.

You have to take note that in this type of gun, the chamber would be involved in the measurement. This is different than what you saw in the revolver. So, make sure that rod gets to reach the chamber before marking the dowel rod.

3. Mark the dowel rod​

Now that the rod is sitting in the right position, you have to proceed with marking it. Always make sure that you get to mark it close to the barrel as much as possible.

Remove the rod from the gun and place it against the ruler to take the measurement. You should now easily know the barrel length of the pistol from the marking.


Just like that, you now know what it takes when it comes to taking the measurement of the barrel length. You always have to take note of the safety at all times when it comes to taking the measurement. Make sure that the gun is unloaded to avoid cases of injuries in some cases.​

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