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11-87 Just purchased and I have questions

2369 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  NJCowles
I just got my used 11-87 out of layaway at Carter Country here in Houston, TX. I am new to the bird hunting sport. I did go Dove hunting several times this season with my bosses gun. Anyway I got my new prize gun back to the shop only to learn that it has a 26" barrel. Is 26" going to work for quail, dove, duck and goose? Should I try to get a longer barrel?

Paul Fitch

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26" is the preferred length for a lot of quail hunters. Because Lone Star Buzz Bomb covey rises go in all directions you need a quick handling gun for the job. 26" promote lively gun handling and will help.

Welcome to my addiction and Welcome to ShotgunWorld.
You say you learned that it has a 26in. barrel like it is a dissapointment. What where you expecting ? You can hunt all the stuff you listed just fine with a 26in. barrel. You may have problems with dove loads because I think the 11-87 has to have a pretty heavy load to operate reliably. Not sure though.
Well I thought it might be too short because everyone else in the shop has 28" barrels, and my boss acted like 26" would not do the job. That is why I posted. I wanted to know what the advantage or disadvantage is to different lengths. My personal thoughts are that maybe a shorter barrel might be less accurate at distance.

Thanks for the responses and help.

Paul Fitch
That's not true at all. Barrel length is kind of a personal thing. I prefer 28" but my father and brother both prefer 26". The best quail shot I've ever met used a 18 1/2" barrel. The distances you shoot doves, duck, quail, pheasant, chukar it just doesn't make any difference at all.
Barrel length is only critical for precision rifle shooting and then...only with certain calibers and certain rifling twist combinations. 2 inch differences are nothing in a shotgun!!!
Everyone has an opinion on this of course, so I might get "bit" by others out here for saying it. But I have been shooting for about 45 of my 51 years, and I have been able to shoot all the upland game birds that I care to hunt for with 26" or 28". I can not say anything about the 30" cuz I have never owned a gun with that length barrel. my soapbox now, and enjoy the hunting season.
The only thing an extra two inches will give you is a longer sighting plane, and place your shot two inches closer to your target. The barrel length is a personal thing as far as swing is concerned. The trend is longer barrels. Some sporting clays shooters are even using 34 inch barrels on o/u's. I cant. Since you are using an autoloader you have the extra sighting plane of the receiver to add to your barrel length. Enjoy your gun and watch the feathers fly!
your boss has "small mans" complex. good thing you did not get the 30' barrel... he might have fired you.
Hey Paul 5910:You got a great shotgun and a barrel that will work just fine for what you want to do . Have fun !!
Good, good, good..thanks for the responses. I feel a lot better about the purchase...By the way, was $459.00 a good price for this used (looks like new) 11-87 SP, all black?

Paul Fitch
Can't really say how good a deal it was, but it seems in line with what I've seen lately. I've currently got a used 11-87 Premier on layaway (looks new except for small stock blemish). It was $440.00
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