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 Post subject: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:46 am
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Location: California
I am looking to buy my first 12ga shotgun. I have shot a 20ga Franchi autoloader, now I want to get a Stoeger 2000 autoloader. I am wondering whether to get 28 or 26 inch barrel. I currently mostly hunt jackrabbit, cottontail, squirrel and quail. I may hunt waterfowl in the future, but am less interested in that than in types of hunting where I can walk around, rather than sit in one place like in a duck blind. Is it true that with 28 inch you have more velocity and can shoot a bit further? Is 28 inch too long for hiking through brush? Any comments on the relative merits or demerits of 28 versus 26 inch?

Deborah Cloudwalker


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:28 am 
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I do not think that there is practical speed difference for shotguns.

(Rifles do have a small velocity increase with longer barrels. Shotguns work at much less pressures and move so much slower, etc. Any difference at all would be miniscule. The variation between shot to shot is going to be much much greater than any variation between a 26 and a 28 inch barrel.)

The advantage of the longer barrel is that some people find that the extra weight forwards helps to smooth out their swing. Also a longer barrel puts the muzzle blast farther away from your ears so it will be a bit quiter (the difference between a 24" and 28" is quite noticeable)

The advantage of a 26" is that it will ba a little faster to get started moving. The 26" also might seem a bit more "handy."

In reality the difference between the two is not that great. The trend lately is toward longer barrels.


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:29 am 
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Welcome to SGW. The Stoeger 2000 has a rotary bolt face. Beacuse of this the gun has a longer overall length compared to non rotary bolt face models. Some Franchi auto's have ratary bolt faces as well. I would think a barrel length of 26" or even 24" might be a good choice. Hold a 2000 with both lengths to see which you like the best.

With modern shells there is only a small loss of velocity due to barrel length. It's around 7-10 fps per barrel inch up to 30".


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Hi Deborah,

Welcome to Shotgun World. Choice of barrel length is more a personal preference than technical performance issue. Technically speaking, there is a slight (very slight) increase in velocity with the longer barrel. A faster load will not gain you any effective range, because the faster you start off a round (or several round) projectile(s), the faster it slows down. Depending on pellet size and choke, a shotgun, in the hands of an expert is at best a 70 yard tool. For most of us, with normal ammunition, that range becomes around 40-45 yards.

Selection of a gun based on barrel length is about feel and balance. Which one you prefer can only be answered by you, hopefully after you've handled the two and have felt the difference. You wouldn't think it, but those two inches will have an effect on the handling.

As someone who perfers shorter barrels (I like 26 inchers on a field gun with fixed breech, 24s on autos and pumps), I can tell you that a repeater will seem about 4 to 6 inches longer than the same barrel lenght in an O/U or SxS.

Go to the local gun shop and see if you can handle them a bit and see which you like and which fits. And have fun!

Frank


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Deborah, you are correct. A 28" barrel will shoot farther than a 26" barrel.

Two inches farther.

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 Post subject: Re: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:15 pm 
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Seamus O'Caiside wrote:
Deborah, you are correct. A 28" barrel will shoot farther than a 26" barrel.

Two inches farther.


:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:40 pm 
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Seamus O'Caiside wrote:
Deborah, you are correct. A 28" barrel will shoot farther than a 26" barrel.

Two inches farther.


And all theory aside this answer is for all practical intents and purposes correct.


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:05 pm 
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I think if I need those extra 2 inches, I'll lean forward before shooting!

Deb


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 Post subject: Re: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:07 pm 
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Deborah Cloudwalker wrote:
I think if I need those extra 2 inches, I'll lean forward before shooting!

Deb
:lol:

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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:28 pm 
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Location: Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation
Deborah:

As many have already stated, barrel length on a field gun is a matter of personal preference.

I hunt the same game you listed, plus waterfowl, turkey, pheasant, and chukar. I do most of my hunting in the High Desert country of San Bernardino, Kern, and Inyo Counties, as well as the mountains of the Central Coast and Mendocino County.

I am positively addicted to sporting clays, too. I also shoot a little skeet and trap, to keep life from getting too "samey."

But I do almost all of my shotgun shooting with one gun. That gun is Remington 870 with 28" barrels -plural in my case because I have both the 'standard' and Remington's 'light contour' barrels for it in the same length. This allows me to tune the swing of the gun a bit for the game I'm playing or shooting.

It ain't trendy, and it ain't cool. No one goes "Wow! What an awesome gun!" when I pull it out of the case.

The point isn't to sell you on an 870 but to illustrate how much personal peference can influence one's gun use decisions -including action type and barrel length.

I shoot an 870 the most because it is what I like to shoot and of all of the guns I have, it is the one that I get the most consistant results with, both on clay and in the field. The 870 with a 28" barrel simply feels like an extension of my body. I just shoot the thing and don't have to put a whole lot of thought into it.

Our female staffer on Uplandhunter.net feels the same way about her 28" 12 gauge 11-87. Like me, she has other guns to shoot (including a 12 gauge 870) but winds up doing the bulk of it with that one gun. A 12 gauge 11-87 with a 28" barrel was the first gun she ever shot and the gun that she started out with. Ask her why she still uses it, and the answer she typically gives is "Because it's comfortable and familiar, and I hit well with it."

We both shoot and hunt with the same group of folks. One fellow has a gun for every possible niche of shotgunning. He can switch from one gun to another and do well with all of them. Another female shooter that is a part of this circle of association shoots a youth model Beretta 391 20 gauge with a 26" barrel on everything. Another fellow shoots nothing but Browning Superposed guns -one for skeet, one for clays, one for quail, one for ducks, and so on. We all shoot the same games and hunt the same game, but none of us use the same kind of gun in the same situation. I am usually the only one shooting a pump out of this group of primarily Beretta and Browning shooters.

That's really my point. There's what works for me and what I like and what works for you and what you like, and they may seem as different as night and day yet deliver a similar result in our respective hands.

The beauty of a pump or autoloading repeater is that if you found that you bought the wrong barrel length, you can fairly cheaply correct that by buying a longer or shorter accessory barrel. My vote on this type of gun would be for the 28" but yours might be for something shorter.

-JP
www.uplandhunter.net


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:50 pm 
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Depends on the gun!
I have a 12 gauge Wingmaster that originally was a fixed choke barrel that I had tubes installed and it "feels" (swings) better with it's 28" length. On the other hand my 1187 skeet gun that has a heavy older model standard configuration barrel (w/Tubes) and it feels better with it's 26" length. 8)
:idea: All that aside I think a 28" is the best length for most 12 gauge Auto or pump guns? :)


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:29 pm 
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For your purposes, I'd go with the 26".

As others have suggested, the main difference will be in the swing and follow through of the gun. The longer barrel will tend to move a little slower and smoother. The animals you hunt don't seem well-suited to a slower barrel imo.

Geese and ducks may move along a straighter path where that smooth swing really helps, but the rabbits and squirrels I've hunted aren't that way, and the quail only give me a second or two to even get a shot off. I'd think the quicker handling barrel would be better.

2 fewer inches to maneuver through the wooded habitats of some of these animals would be a plus too.

Personally, I use a 24" (with an extended choke that makes it 25")


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 Post subject: Re: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:43 am 
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thomasartbutler wrote:
Deborah Cloudwalker wrote:
I think if I need those extra 2 inches, I'll lean forward before shooting!

Deb
:lol:



:D :D :D


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:03 am 
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Deb: get the longest barrels that YOU can comfotably shoot.


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:40 pm 
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If it were me I'd go with a 26'' barrel for a hunting gun. Just for the fact of manuverablity in the field.


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:12 pm 
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As most others have said, it is simply a matter of preference. Personally, I think overall length is more important than barrel length. My pump gun (Rem 870) has a 26" barrel, and my Yildiz O/U has a 28" barrel, but the overall length is nearly the same (45 1/2" for 870, 45 1/4" for O/U). Essentially, a pump or autoloader will be about 2 1/2 inches longer than any break action. When I can get another gun (i.e. when wife allows it), I will try to get one with about the same overall length, not because it is any better or worse, but because that's what I'm used to shooting.

Don

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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:40 pm 
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I shoot 24" for upland and 32" at clays. I shoot the 32" better, but don't like hauling it around all day (lazy and makes my shoulder ache) I have semi auto, sxs, o/u in 4 gauges. I love them all.


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 Post subject: re: 26 inch versus 28 inch barrel
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:53 pm 
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Deb
I have a 2000 with a 24" barrel for upland hunting. I find the shorter barrel easier to use in heavy cover, it swings quicker and is a little lighter.


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