NFR Shotgun Barrel Length

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by freestoneangler, Dec 23, 2012.


Favorite Length Shotgun Barrel?

Poll closed Dec 30, 2012.
  1. 32

  2. 30

  3. 28

  4. 26

  1. What is your favored barrel length?
  2. Depends: but I like short barrels for doubles.
    O/U: shorter the better. Swing fast, shoot quick.
    Maybe that's a lifestyle, not a barrel. ??
  3. First one that doesn't simply answer the poll and heads down that alley.. agreed. Honestly, I'm in the market for a new O/U and been going back and forth on length. I'm just curious what preferences are amongst the forum.
  4. Not sure of the other dimensions of this discussion: but I'm a medium small guy: I like a short barrel over/under for skeet. Thats after taking lessons at the local sportsmans club and using their 'range' guns: probably 28's. I like a shorter barrel.
  5. 28 inch barrels work for me on side by sides and o/u's. I have one 26 inch o/u and I wouldn't go any shorter than that. A 28 inch on a two barrel gun is close to a 26 inch barrel on a semi or pump. I'm not big on heavy or "clubby" feeling guns.
  6. I grew up shooting 30 inch fixed full choke barrels. I have shot about every length barrel since then from 24"-32". I like 30" and up for waterfowl, sporting and upland.
    I like to philosophize that a longer heavier gun is harder and slower to start swinging AND is also hard and slow to stop swinging.


    Beretta 686 with 30 inch barrels and extended Briley choke tubes.

    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  7. Nah. I'll just put this in the cast and blast forum.
  8. whhats with all the gun threads here? is this wff or nra?
  9. We do have a cast and blast area. At least this deals with shotguns and barrel length.
  10. While I did use longer tubes when waterfowling, my preference today is 26" - 28" with 26" being my choice in double-barrels. True, you must train yourself to "swing-thru"/follow-thru with lighter shotguns, but at my age I prefer the lighter guns in 28 & 20 gauges for my lengthy Upland hunting jaunts.
    Alex MacDonald and Blake Harmon like this.
  11. aaha... and i see we've been magically transported. i see this is also the place to find some good looking quadrapeds. might have to visit more often.
  12. Overall I think you'll find that 28" is a good all around length. I have a 28 gauge 870 with 25" barrel for tight cover, long walks for grouse. I have a Citori 625 also with 26 inch barrels that is 60/40 for rising pheasants. My 16 gauge BPS has a 26" barrel, but the 12 gauge has 28". The 16 is a good all around gun and the 12 is my duck gun. Lastly an RBL with 28 inch barrels that shoots like nobody's business, fast and on track. Each gun has it's own feel and purpose. Determine what this gun will be used for and go from there. Shopping for a gun in a gun store is hard and only half the job. If you want to test some guns up close and personal, hit buddies up to go to the range....BTW consider me a buddy.
  13. As others have said, there is a lot more to it. Are you hunting or shooting targets? What is the weight of the gun, balance point, gauge that you need? I used a heavier 30" O/U 12 ga. for waterfowl, switched to 28" semi-autoloader due developing a bad elbow. I have a small variety of models, gauges and lengths, each is different in how I swing them on targets.

    I also recommend you spend time at the range with friends trying different combinations so you can find what feels and shoots best for you. I shoot at the Tacoma Sportsman's Club, send a PM if you want to try some of them when the weather improves.
  14. My vote for the best photo of the year -- absolutely awesome!
    Alex MacDonald likes this.
  15. For primary upland, I would go 26 or 28. My preference being 26.
  16. Well, as I kind of expected, the 28" is leading the poll...the 26 vs. 28 and the CZ or Citori has been my source of what-to-do for some time. Being new to bird hunting, I didn't want to make too big an investment in an O/U. I've wanted one for what seems like forever, would search like hell, not find what I wanted and then loose steam. I've used my brothers Browning's; of which he has several mid-high end models he uses for trap and they sure are nice. I also had a chance to use a CZ Redhead and Ruger Red Label at a range last year and honestly of all of them, the CZ just felt good. Then, after looking at prices, it looked better still.

    So today I pulled the trigger on a like new/used CZ Canvasback, 12 gauge, 26" that has that gorgeous burl wood some of these guns have...been searching for about 6 months now. I prefer the black color receiver and manual extractors are just fine. I went back and forth on barrel length during my search, but since most of my plans for its use is upland game (pheasant, grouse and maybe turkey), decided on the 26". I sometimes shoot trap with my brother and have used my Mossberg 500's 28" barrel -- kinda an ugly duck, but gets the job done -- so I'm hoping I can use this CZ, with the right chokes, for that as well.

    The CZ only has the M and IC of the original set of 5 chokes. From what I've read, it sounds like these are the two most often used for both hunting and skeet. I can buy the others from CZ or Trulock, but being new to the O/U and bird hunting game, and using trap or skeet load vs. other hunting loads, not sure about what to buy so I can pretty much cover the gambit. Thanks in advance for any advice on this.
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  17. My primary shotgun is a redhead deluxe, I swear by CZ. Good choice!
  18. CZ definitely stands behind their products; I needed the sear adjusted on one I bought used . . . CZ went good for the repair sans shipping cost. I have 3 in 28, 20, & 12 (SxS). When I anticipate birds to be holding tight such as during late-season outings, I opt for the skeet tube in the first barrel, mod in the second. I tend to favor #6 shot year-'round (lead & non-tox, not steel . . . won't shoot steel thru my double guns.).
  19. Barrel length is not a simple thing. It is influenced by your gun's weight, balance point, LOP and if you are shooting a beach loader of a pump / semi auto - which few people realize.

    In my case my LOP is right about 15". With a 15" LOP I need longer barrels to balance the gun. Consequently I go for 29.5" to 30" barrels on virtually all of my breach loading guns - especially on something with Damascus barrels since those tend to be much lighter than steel.

    With pumps / autoloaders you need to consider where the trigger is relative to the chamber. When you start to look at that relationship you will see that a pump / autoloader provides a longer effective barrel length than a breach loading gun - i.e., the pump / autoloader may be listed as a 28" barrel length, but the effective length will be more like a that of a 25" or 26" barrel on a beach loading gun.

    Arguments about shorter barrels for faster swing times are just nonsense. You have all of the time in the world to acquire your target, mount, swings, fire and follow through. Unfortunately, shooting is to American culture like paddling or skiing. We all like to think that we came out of the womb with inherent abilities to do all of these things, but nothing could be further from the truth. Each is a highly technical skill filled with counter initiative movements that you would never learn on your own. Before someone invests in a gun of a particular barrel length it would be prudent to get some shooting instruction from a certified coach / instructor who can tune your fundamentals and provide some feedback to you on if your guns fits. Then look start to look at barrel length.

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