If both are choked then theoretically the group out of a short barrel with the same choke shouldnt be any bigger than out of a long. It might open up sooner, but how much sooner?
I shoot a 20 gauge coach gun with 20" barrels quite a bit on doves. It's plenty effective with modified choke right out to 40 yards. I choke it I/C Mod and it's a great shooting gun for hunting over tanks or grain fields when the doves are coming fast from all directions and shots can be quick. The only draw back to the short barreled gun is that it's a might whippy, takes some concentration and follow through on those long sweeping shots. But, if you are up to it, it'll do the job even on those shots. I've taken many doves at 35 and more since I got it several years ago. I had concerns about it knowing it'd be a whippy little gun, but it wasn't hard to get used to.
I have patterned the little coach gun. It shoots as well as if it had 8" more barrel, patterns in the 80+ range with full choke on 30" pattern board at 40 yards. Full choke is really TOO tight for my application, dove hunting. I do better with modified as my tight choke.
May 16, 2012, 04:07 PM
Better swing dynamics are what it is all about. For swinging on moving targets, these dynamics are crucial for success
May 16, 2012, 06:10 PM
The only true triple I ever did on quail was with a riot barreled 870. The 21" barreled 20 gauge 870 here does well on quail and ground game, though doves as I do them sees a 28 or 30" barrel set shine.
However, I tend to shoot better with longer pipes. Might be swing, balance, sight plane or all of the above.
It's not absolute. When I add a 30" LC barrel to Frankenstein, I shoot it better than I do with the 26" LC barrel, 3 oz lighter,4" shorter.When Son uses it, the 26" barrel works better for him.
May 16, 2012, 07:20 PM
Barrel length has nothing to do with the pattern and velocity changes between any of the common lengths is neglible.
It is all about balance, and a smooth swing. On long range passing shots a longer barrel swings smoother and it's momentum helps you keep swinging for a better follow through. You also have to consieer the gun. A double with a 30" barrel will be about the same length and balance a lot like a 26" pump or auto because of the receiver on the repeater.
A shorter barreled gun will balance and point different. They are harder to get on target and keep there on longer passing shots. But they also come up to the shoulder faster and you can stop them and change direction faster if the game you are hunting changes direction suddenly. They are better for short range snap shooting.
You will get a lot of guys who shoot a lot on clays courses that are sold on 30" or longer barrels on repeaters. For clay games I'm sure they work best, but all of the most successful hunters I know tend to shoot mid length 26" barrels on pumps or auto's. I think this is the best all round compromise on a hunting shotgun. There are times when a shorter, or longer barrel would be better, but at 26" you are never at a severe disadvantage.
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