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Old 08-20-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default Shotgun Barrel Length...

I am pondering the notion of a new shotgun for duck and goose hunting (which would also be my Turkey gun). I've heard a mix of opinions regarding barrel length; opinions differing primarily based upon what gun shops have in stock. I've tried to to some research on the subject, but have come up with nil.

Does barrel length in todays shotguns really make a big difference? I think the argument is that the longer the barrel the longer the reach the gun has. So practically speaking, what am I looking at for a difference, say between a 26" barrel and a 28" barrel when hunting ducks or geese? If it matters, the guns I'm looking at are the Benelli SBE2, Breda Grizzley Super Magnum, Franchi I-12. Since the first two choices can use up to 3 1/2" shells and the Franchi can only go up to 3", let's assume 3" shells.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 08-20-2006, 10:25 AM   #2
 
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

Barrel length has very little to do with performance anymore. The newer powders will burn fast enough to be complete in just about any legal length barrel. And patterns have more to do with the choke than the barrel length.

The only thing a longer barrel will do is help the barrel swing better if you have a problem with follow thru. The down side is it doesn't react as fast. A longer barrel will also give you a longer sight plane, which could possibly make you more accurate.

However a lot of god shotgun shooters don't even look at the bead. A good fitting shotgun should naturally point where you look. You should concentrate on your target, not the end of your barrel. This is very hard for rifle shooters to do though, take my word for it.

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Old 08-20-2006, 01:39 PM   #3
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

Most waterfowl guns are a 28"-30" barrel models, just helps in following or leading birds. Keep in mind the shooting sports- Sporting clays 28-30" barrels- Trap smooth follow thru 30"- 34" - Skeet 26"-28" fast pick up andswing. Grouse hunting vs. goose hunting, which gun would you rather have in your hands..
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

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ORIGINAL: rcgerchow

Most waterfowl guns are a 28"-30" barrel models, just helps in following or leading birds. Keep in mind the shooting sports- Sporting clays 28-30" barrels- Trap smooth follow thru 30"- 34" - Skeet 26"-28" fast pick up andswing. Grouse hunting vs. goose hunting, which gun would you rather have in your hands..
Same choice here!
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:27 PM   #5
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

I have a different opinion on shotgun barrel lengths than most people. I prefer a shorter barrel for a quicker moving gun. I do tons of waterfowl hunting and I can reach geese just as far as anyone else with my 24" barrel, if not further. Find a gun that fits you, and get a barrel length that suits your needs best.

In my goose blinds (Final Approach Top Guns), with a dog in the blind I prefer a shorter gun, then again I hardly ever shoot geese beyone 25 yards in the dekes, or ducks. I also shoot alot of sporting clays, and run a pheasant operation and the 24" barrel really shines there as well.

I wouldn't waste my money on a 3.5" shotgun either, thats money you can just buy extra shells with. When shooting steel shot just remember that speed kills. My Benellis' really pattern Kent Fast steel #2s very very well, this is the load I shoot all my pheasants and ducks an geese with. If it gets really windy or nasty out I will switch to BB steel on ducks and geese, but its really not necessary.
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:48 PM   #6
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

Must be a SD thing, I prefer the 24 inch barrel as well. I would never go beyond 26 inches.
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

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ORIGINAL: James B

Must be a SD thing, I prefer the 24 inch barrel as well. I would never go beyond 26 inches.
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:57 PM   #8
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

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Old 08-24-2006, 09:00 PM   #9
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

i had the same problem when picking out my new shotgun. I know the benelli sbe2 comes in 24, 26, and 28. I couldn't decide so i went with the in between at 26. Its short enough that i can pick up birds quickly, but long enough to reach out and tag the birds far out. By the way, i recomend the sbe2. I bought mine about a 1/2 year ago and love it. It has light recoil, chambers 3 1/2, and the inertia driven system is virtually indestructable. Many people have their opinions, but i think that the barrel length isnt near as important as how heavy the gun feels, and how well it fits you.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:39 AM   #10
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Default RE: Shotgun Barrel Length...

I agree with all the replys on this post. The new powders, shotshell components are greatly improved. In an article I read years ago stated that the powder is burned up in about 25" of barrel.
I've hunted ducks, geese and turkey for years with a 26" barreled 12 ga Rem 11-87SP with no complaints.
The most important thing to do is to pattern the shotgun with various loads and choke combinations.
Case in point: I got a Remington choke recently that was stated as full choke (steel, lead, and tungsten). I took my 870 Super Mag out and tried this choke with 3 1/2" BBB steel, #1 Steel, 3" #4 steel, 3" #4 lead and 3" BB Heavy shot. I then replaced the choke with my Rem-choke modified tube and shot the same shells. All the loads shot tighter, except the #4 lead, with the modified choke. I then shot the #4 lead with my Rem-choke extra full and found that this shot tighter than my new choke.
Looks like I wasted $36 on that new choke. I would like to try a Kicks choke. I hear they are very good. Just wish I knew someone who had one cause they ain't cheap.
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