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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This shotgun will primarily be for upland hunting. I'm not a serious clay shooter. I enjoy clays. But, not a competitor. Do you prefer 26 inch or 28 inch barrels on your 20 ga o/u? I'm looking at the Browning Citori White Lightning. Bass Pro has a deal going where they throw in a leather and canvas fitted case. But, they are only offering the 26 inch barrel model.

What do you guys think?
 

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Since you are looking mostly for a field gun, I personally would want one as light as possible to carry. I also shoot a lot of skeet using my 26" Browning barrel set along with another gun I have with 29" barrels and a Berreta 390 with 28". The recent wisdom seems to indicate 30" or longer for skeet type games. I guess that is fine for a gun you shoot a lot and carry a little, but after a long day in the field I know I prefer the shorter barrels and lighter gun. If you get the 26" barrels you will be really not be giving anything up for the shooting you do.
 

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I have a 20ga Citori lightning ...it has the 26in barrel...have had it since the early 90s...works fine 4 me...28in tubes would work fine also but if you can get a good deal on the 26in over the 28in and you have handled both guns and like them both...go for it...
 

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txgolfer45 said:
This shotgun will primarily be for upland hunting. I'm not a serious clay shooter. I enjoy clays. But, not a competitor. Do you prefer 26 inch or 28 inch barrels on your 20 ga o/u? I'm looking at the Browning Citori White Lightning. Bass Pro has a deal going where they throw in a leather and canvas fitted case. But, they are only offering the 26 inch barrel model.

What do you guys think?
A gun case is no reason to buy a gun with a certain barrel length at all. You get what suits you, personally, and that's all there is to it. It is far more personal preference as to balance and swing than any other consideration . . . two inches of pipe doesn't change much else.

28 in. is the more popular choice, but general popularity is not a reason to select a gun, either.
 

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SS said:
Why do you think they are giving away those cases? 26" bbls are hard to sell.... hard to resell too.

I shoot 30-32"
SS has the right idea, those extra 4 to 6 inches puts him closer to the target/game, less misses at that distance!

The biggie IMHO is not barrel length, but balance. How does the gun balance for you? If it feels good, buy it!
 

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Churchill proselytized the 25" barrel as being plenty long enough. Some advocate 30" and others will even hold forth on the benefits of 32" smoke poles. The happy medium favored by most for braking guns seems to be 28" or 710 mm. While there is, in my opinion, no right or wrong, we seem to be swinging back to the longer lengths these days.

Many will rationalize what is, in essence, an esthetic choice since any well crafted SxS or O/U will balance close to the hinge point. The reasoning for shorter barrels is that a longer gun will hang up in the branches giving ruffed grouse an unfair advantage. (Never had the problem myself.) Longer barrels are required for pass-shooting ducks and geese with heavy loads. (Oh, really? And to think I never knew!)

So, in the end, if a gun looks good to you - and makes you happy - then go with it. Happiness is the key.

What is going to do that - make you happy? Now a very short stock with extra long barrels looks as peculiar to me as do short stubby barrels on an extremely long stock. As many would agree, this is just a question of proportion.

Gun makers are well aware of these considerations, and radical change comes slowly to the industry. Even if you could get quiet, recoil-free, and perfect patterns from a 20 inch barrel, it would take many years for such guns to become the sought after fashion. But, since it doesn't really matter, if this year we can be convinced that 26" inches is best, and then next year everyone decides the answer is 30", maybe we will all buy two guns instead of just one.

As a designer, from a purely esthetic point of view - and this is just an opinion - the barrels will look particularly well suited to both the gun and the shooter if they are within an inch of being twice as long as the pull. For slim barrels, like a 28 ga or .410, the shorter side of that equation looks about right to me. This is, of course, assuming the gun fits you.

So, what do you think? The Adventure continues. . .
 

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I am lucky enough to have a 20 gauge Churchill with 25" barrels. I love it. Most of my other upland guns have 20-24" barrels. Quite handy.
 

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Ev - Thanks for the post. Definitely makes my day: proof positive that if you are happy with your gun, it can make you happy. Wonder if your 20" barrels came that way, or if they were custom made. . .

Shoot Safe, SidelockSxS
 

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As far as weight goes we're only talking about 2ozs. I would agree with Randy- don't buy an OU (or any gun) because it comes with a free case, unless you like the gun and it fits you. I tend to like the 28" barrels on OU's (little bit longer sighting plane) and it's just a good all around barrel length for most hunting and shooting. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think I'll continue looking for a 28" barrel 20 ga o/u.

Scott
 

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SidelockSXS, I had my 20" barrels cut down from longer barrels by Polychoke. Had them install their deluxe model on them.
 

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txgolfer45 said:
I think I'll continue looking for a 28" barrel 20 ga o/u.

Scott
Good choice, Scott! Hope to see you at EF soon!
 

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Ev - Way cool. The only way progress is ever made is by those who have the insight and courage to try something outside the envelope of common practice. Whether or not others choose to go down the same road, it reminds those in the conforming herd - myself included - that there may well be another way, and quite possibly a better way, to do things. In 1750 a musket might have a 45" barrel.

The Adventure continues. Who knows what the future will bring. . .
 

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I have hunted with both 26 and 28 inch 20 gauge Citori's. I would likely opt for the 28 inch but I don't see any difference in my shooting in the field with either. If the gun fits, either will work.
 
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