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Shotgun barrel length

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Rivenoak, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I think you missed this part of my post:

    I said ballistically barrel length affects little. Barrel length does indeed affect wingshooting, as George P. again pointed out in the above post. As does shell constriction. That's why you won't see top competitors in any of the clays games, or knowledgeable hunters, use anything but the best shells. I see the 15/25 crowd using the cheap ones all the time.

    At Horse & Hunt, the only barrels I saw under 30" were 28ga. and .410. You must not have been there when I was, and that was a while back, they are only getting longer. The standard for SC barrels has been working it's way to 32" from 30" for sometime now. Usually, you can only tell a guy's SC gun from his Trap gun by the stock. SC stocks tend to be a little shorter, more pitch, and rounded recoil pads. If they have an adjustatble comb, it is at 1 or 2 washers, instead of 4. Oh, and his huge bag of chokes he's switching out from station to station. ;)

    And I ended up quoting myself again.....:confused:
     
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  2. Milkmaster

    Milkmaster Member

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    I agree entropy. I think we are all saying the same thing. My less than clear attempts to explain one difference was about the ammo and the subsequent spread of the shot, but I do indeed use the 30 inch barrels on my clay gun. That's the other part of the story where smoothing out the routine helps the shooter. :)
     
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  3. George P

    George P Member

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    My 32" 12 gauge Browning is a 1994 Gti; 32s have been here since at least then
     
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  4. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    That's fine. If it works on the courses you shoot that's good. I do hunt woodcock and grouse and have shot some very demanding courses where fast guns are better. Bouncing Battues, fast doubles from different directions in cover and so on. But for the type of shooting you mention I don't disagree. If you shoot trap you are going to gravitate toward long guns with momentum. The standard barrel length for international sporting clays is 29 inches.
     
  5. George P

    George P Member

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    We get very fast crossers, quartering away, springing teals, rabbits at 5 yards or 50 yards, rabbits thrown like battues, etc. When there is a pair of fast opposite crossers (L2R and R2L), you set your hold point for the second target and swing back for the first. It isn't hard to move a 32' barrel. I own a 26" 20 that is so whippy, it sits in the safe. I really want to find a way to buy my friend's Perazzi 28 gauge - built on the heavier 20 gauge frame with 80cm barrels, (~31.5") it is awesome on targets and doves (He had it built for dove in Argentina) and it is choked .016 in each barrel, a very tight M. Since he also writes gun reviews, I have gotten to shoot a lot of various guns. The very light short barrel guns are difficult to hit anything with as they are SO whippy they start fast and stop even faster, especially on crossers.
     
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  6. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    The reason the barrel stops is that you never learned follow through on your swing. That is an essential part of the training when I was a certified and trained instructor. The guy I shoot with a state Champion pro and he shoots for big money. A long barrel is a crutch for poor follow through but most guys are just like you, Never had any training to start with therefor never learned the proper way to shoot. That is why long guns matter to most shooters.
     
  7. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    I,m tired.
     
  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I think George and I know how to follow through on swing. I teach it also. I have to remind some of the kids to stop the swing before they are pointing at the person next to them. I have shot Trap with shorter barrels, and SC, it just adds another layer of difficulty to an already difficult task,and something to be thinking about when you aren't supposed to be thinking at all. We had a gal on the HS Trap team this year that struggled with shooting a 26" Citori. We kept telling her to switch guns, her Dad insisted on the Citori. We finally convinced him to let her try his 30" A400, and lo and behold, she shot a 15. Know what her score was the week before, with that Citori? 0. Sadly, that was the last week of Trap for the kids, so her high for the year was 15. That Citori had her in literal tears on and off the whole year.
    I like short barrels for grouse, (though as I posted earlier, did fine with a 30" 870) and Home Defense. But not wingshooting other than grouse.
    Because swing dynamics are so important, I add 2 or 3 shot-filled hulls on the top side of my magazine (my Trap gun is an 1100 Competition, which many complain is already muzzle heavy) for Trap. As the angle decreases, (handicap) I take one out, since it's not as needed there.
    I do shoot leagues with a guy who uses a 26" 870, with full choke in, at 16 yards, and does very well. He's the exception to the rule, though. the other 9 of us in the club's top ten use 30" or longer barrels. He is not #1, he's 7th.
     
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  9. kudu
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    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    I am mainly a skeet shooter and sporting clay shooter, dabbled with a little FITASC in the past. I have several shotguns with less than 26" barrels and can run straights with them all on skeet most of the time and keep up pretty close to AA average on sporting clays fields. I can shoot them well, but I prefer a longer barrel to shoot with because it feels better to me and might add that extra target. I quit competing 20+ years ago and just shoot for mostly fun. Last year we had the State Sporting Clays shoot at our club on Saturday, was professionally set up for targets. I went and shot it on Sunday and shot a 91, 93 won it the day before and 91 tied for second. I had 30" barrels, could I have shot it with one of my other guns with 24" or 25", sure, and could of gotten real close to the same score, but they don't feel as good to me.

    Barrel length is going to be subjective to each and every shooter out there, as will the feel of each and every brand of gun. A new shooter may do great with a gun with 26" barrels and may pick up a gun that has 30"or 32" barrels and shoot it and think this feels great, or this feels awful. One brand of gun with long barrels may feel great, another might feel like swinging a 2x4. SUBJECTIVE

    This is the OP opening statement.
     
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  10. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I'm all done guys. Interesting discussion. Thanks for the input. Since the OP was talking about patterns we were maybe off topic.
     
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  11. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Agreed.
     
  12. George P

    George P Member

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    I'll disagree, I shoot with NSCA Hall of fame members, PSCA pro shooters and others who have won World Championships. EVERY one of them shoots 30, 32 or 34" barrels. It is not a crutch, it is an essential tool to do well. I have had plenty of training from a lot of very good people, including the likes of those I mentioned above. Short barrels are not good for great results at least according to those champions I personally know and shoot with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019 at 10:16 AM
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  13. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    You win. Not going to argue. Off topic.
     
  14. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    its easy to check the records of the winners in the clay games and the shotguns they used, in skeet the shots are very close(21 yards or closer) all the time so you don,t have a lot of time to kill the birds. so shorter barrels are what I use, but to say using a longer barrel is a crutch because of training is just not right.
     
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