Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by rajb123, Jan 25, 2011.
What is your preference and why?
Not one of your choices, but I prefer 29, 30, or 32 for swing dynamics. The shortest I'll go is 28 IF the balance is there for me
I like no more than 26" on repeaters. On a double, no less than 28"
Ditto. 26" or even 24" on repeaters, but 28" is fine on s/s or o/u. This makes the overall length of the two types about the same. I have tried 30" on an o/u and it was fine for sporting clays but too long in the field. I have no scientific reasons here -- just what balances and swings well for me. At one time I tried 21" barrels on a couple of field guns and they pointed OK but were poor for passing shots. I only go that short for self-defense shotguns now.
Depends on what for.
California Quail here typically lives in thick brush in canyon bottoms. Shot windows range from short to ridiculously short. Shots are fast and instinctive, or they're not shots at all. I acquired a 6 lb. 20 Gauge SxS in a swap; it has 25" barrels. It's a GREAT quail gun. I wouldn't want it for pass-shooting doves, though.
On the other end of the spectrum, I like a 32" O/U for Sporting Clays or even Skeet. I don't own anything shorter than 28" in 12 Gauge, even a repeater. But in subgauges, shorter barrels can offer workable overall balance for some purposes.
26 for upland game, 28 for clays...
26" for hunting in heavy cover
28" for hunting in fields and for clays (or in days gone by ducks over decoys) it swings much better than the 26".
over 28" for trap or pass shooting
I have all three (26", 28", and 30") OU and like the 28 as all around favorite.
I like 25' or 26" on a 28 gauge or 20 gauge SxS for quail. 28" on a 20 for doves, pheasant, or wood ducks. 30" on a 12 gauge.
Both, depending on gauge and use. 28 ga.SxS with 26" barrels for dove and quail. 12 ga. O/U with 28" barrels for dove (later in the season) and occasional clay games.
I've done a lot of hunting for grouse, woodcock, and rabbits with a 26" 20 gauge double. IMO it was the perfect gun for the job in the thick woods around here.
My little Merkel twenty gauge double has 26 3/4" barrels. I've found this length to be a good compromise between having sufficient weight out front to keep my swing stable and yet afford a degree of quickness for "snap shooting" at grouse and woodcock in the thick aspen/poplar Michigan cedar swamp environs I (well, my setter Kate) find them in.
28 or 30 for sporting clays, although i did have a chance to fire a 34 in kreighoff, it swung really nice, but would be a little unwieldy for upland game.
30 to 32" for clays.
28 to 30" for hunting.
I like the weight forward and smooth swing of longer barrels. Anything under 28" in most guns feels choppy to me.
I've also hunted upland with a 32" shotgun. It worked okay but 32" was a bit too much of a good thing.
I have a 27" SxS - probably 26.77"/70cm like Swampwolf's - and a 28" O/U. I would want nothing shorter except maybe to try a coach gun in CAS where my old Verney Carron is kind of an oddball with full length barrels.
If I were a hunter or were still very active in Skeet or Trap and buying new, I would be looking at 30" guns.
I like no more than 26" on repeaters. On a double, no less than 28" .
Most of my doubles are 28" barrels. I have one old Ithaca that has 30" tubes and a LeFever and a Baikal IZH-43 that have 26" barrel (I'd rather they were 28"). I most often hunt with an old Parker with 28"ers.
Occasionally (more as time goes by) I hunt in the PA uplands - aspen, birch, barberry, huckleberry - with a flintlock fowler, 20 gauge, 40 inch barrel. Not when it is thick, though. I have a Navy Arms SXS caplock with 24" barrels for close flushes and BP.
Well, like me, all my doubles predate screw-in chokes so I have 26" bbl on some of them (most are 20ga.) so I can have the IC & MOD chokes for upland hunting. Mostly the longer bbls had MOD & FULL. I have one double in 20ga with 1 set of 22" bbls Skt1 & Skt 2 that are handy for timber doodles or early grouse in thick brush & the other set of bbls is 28" MOD & FULL. Even have 24"bbls on one double 20ga @ IC/MOD. My AYA 12ga is 26" bbl with IC/MOD. My one lone new era shotgun is a .28ga O/U with the modern screw-in chokes (5) from IC to FULL and it has 26" bbls.
For that CAS shooter back a few posts...I have a mule-ear 12ga with 30" bbls that are MOD/Full that I use for that sport.
So, I have the shorter bbls and those are my reasons why plus I am not real long armed so these fit/handle better for me.
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