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Personally, I like the 28" on a 20ga field gun. But that's me. I find I get a tighter pattern with the longer barrel and it follows thru better on the swing. But again thats me, for every excuse I give some genius will jump out of the woodwork and tell you something different. Like the old saying...if you ever get lost grouse hunting and are in the middle of nowhere just ask out loud what choke is best{or barrel length} or why you missed the last bird and 25 guys will come out of the woods to tell you there version of what you did wrong...when they are finished ask them where your truck is, they will surely know that too!!!
 

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I like a 28" for most everything.
I can't say why really except that the 26" always has felt too short and out of balance for me.
I don't think you can go wrong whichever way you go though. It's more of a what feels good to you type of assessment.
 

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I started with a pump, and then 30 inch barrels on old sxs.. the 28 is ok, but the 26 just feels short.. Its all preference, if your used to long barrels,the 26 will seem short. The only difference i can see is if you flinch or in heavy recoiling loads.. .. Flinching and barrel whip from heavy loads is better handled with a heavier gun, and one way to add weight out front to keep on (or ahead of the) target during these circumstances is with longer barrels.. dave..
 

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You didn't say what you were hunting!

I like a 6 lb. 26" 28 gauge for upland hunting. There's less barrel wobble on a fast mount, and shorter barrels are quicker to re-point as the center of balance is a bit more to the rear.

I shoot the same gun in 20 gauge with 30" barrels at the range. More weight forward helps your swing follow through. Good for doves and ducks. But it weighs 1.25 lbs more, too!

Those two guns are Ruger O/U. For nasty weather, the upland gun is a 24" FABARM H368 auto and the dove/duck gun is a FABARM H368 auto with a 28" tube. The auto action adds a couple of inches to over all length vs doubles.

The usual all purpose, compromise length is 28" in doubles and 26" in autos.

Have fun and be safe.
 

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I find I get a tighter pattern with the longer barrel
Choke, not barrel determine the pattern. An IC 22" bbl and IC 30" bbl from the same manufacture will shoot nearly identical patterns.

Go with whatever fits you the best and ballances the best. I would always error on the short side, but I grew up shooting shorter bbls.
 

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Pick whichever feels best coming up to your cheek. Most of my O/Us are 28s, but the darling of this pheasant season has been a 26. I'm consistently shooting as well or as better than ever. I think it's the gun as a whole, not one particular measurement.

The general wisdom when it comes to upland guns is that longer guns tend to help smooth the swing a little, shorter ones tend to be a quicker to handle. IMO, take your noggin' out of the equation a bit and choose whatever you think feels best, fits best and best suits your shooting style.

I tend to be a little on the deliberate side, and I think the gun I'm shooting now helps me kick it up by just a fraction of a second and helps me bypass my tendency to overthink a shot.

Does that last part make any sense to anyone besides me? :?
 

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Absolutely, MGF.

I grew up a competitive rifle shooter, a contemplative, patient enterprise. With shotguns, I was pretty good at longer shots that had lead time for set up. Short, quick ones just flew by as I re-looked the shot multiple times.

Shock therapy was international skeet - there's just no time to think about the shot. I remember thinking, "this is a game for upland hunters", and it's been a decade or more since I shot a round of skeet or trap with the gun mounted.

I did become a lot faster and broke more birds, developed an appreciation for shorter barrels and stock fit, and learned how to follow through from the legs and hips, rather than chest.

Most shotgunners don't shoot enough low gun to recognize that all that weight forward on a long barrel adds a wobble at the end of a fast mount that interferes with a quick sight picture.
 

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lonepalm said:
Hi all,
Still looking at the Franchi 720. What would be better for field hunting, a 26 or 28" barrel? also any info on the Dick's sporting goods Franchi Diamond 720?

TIA
The 720 has a long receiver. Overall length with 26" barrel is 47". For comparison, Franchi's 20g O/U with 26" barrel is 44" overall.

I generally prefer a 28" barrel on an autoloader, but found a deal on a 26" Beretta and haven't really missed the extra barrel length. It really does come down to what feels best to you.

I don't know what Dick's is selling these days. Last time I was there they were selling what looked like a Franchi I12 as a Benelli Diamond, but it was only in 12g.
 

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Fit & balance are everything ... however, I think you'll find most have a marked preference these days for longer barrels on doubles ( than in past) ... 28" is the choice I'd make for a 20 SxS or O/U upland gun. They seem to swing smoother.
 

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For single barreled guns, I have always prefered 24" barrels. It is so much handier to haul around, handle in a blind, and gives the same velocity and pattern as longer barrels. If I ever buy another O/U, it will be as close to 24' as I can buy it. My last buy was a 25" Churchill. Very handy and balanced gun. I never could understand why shooters like long barrels, unless it is for balance.

My son has a 22" that he uses for everything and he is either very lucky or very skilled.
 

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As you can see, it is all preference. Personal fit and feel is everything.

I personally like the very short barrel guns, 20 to 24 inches.
I have bought youth guns with 22 and 24 inch barrels then bought adult stocks for them as that is the most economical way I could get the short barrels. :shock:
 

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I had a 391 20ga Field w/26" brl....very whippy...traded it for a 391 Sporting 20ga w/28" brl.....Love it.....
My Browning Super Lightning 20ga O/U has a 28" brl and couldn't be happier :wink:
 

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myles said:
Absolutely, MGF.

I grew up a competitive rifle shooter, a contemplative, patient enterprise. With shotguns, I was pretty good at longer shots that had lead time for set up. Short, quick ones just flew by as I re-looked the shot multiple times.

Shock therapy was international skeet - there's just no time to think about the shot. I remember thinking, "this is a game for upland hunters", and it's been a decade or more since I shot a round of skeet or trap with the gun mounted.

I did become a lot faster and broke more birds, developed an appreciation for shorter barrels and stock fit, and learned how to follow through from the legs and hips, rather than chest.

Most shotgunners don't shoot enough low gun to recognize that all that weight forward on a long barrel adds a wobble at the end of a fast mount that interferes with a quick sight picture.
Thanks, Myles. Except for trap, I shoot all my guns low mount. I'm a bird hunter, not a competitor.

My trap gun is actually a Beretta SPII Sporting with 30" barrels and a comb I raised just a touch with a Kick-eez sorbothane cheek pad. As I'm primarily a field shooter, I find this one a heavy but nicely balanced gun. I find it just lifts and floats nicely to the target. It's as good a trap gun as I'll ever need. I shoot for fun, and this big beast (compared to my field guns, anyway) gets the job done. With one-ounce loads, it's a sweetheart.

For skeet and 5-stand, I shoot all my field O/Us and SxS guns plus a Benelli SuperSport. All from the low gun. It's really helped my live-bird shooting. Having a ball! Having a great bird season. Hope you are, too.

Best,
Mark
 

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Totally a matter of personal preference. Get whatever looks and feels best to you. There is no right or wrong. As a designer, a SxS or O/U gun with barrels about twice as long as the "Pull" looks about right to me from a purely aethetic point of view. While tastes change, at the moment, both 26" and 28" are common choices with the market slightly favoring 28". Best bet would be able to shoot your alternative choices. Second best - spend some time in the store getting a feel for the difference. Whichever way you decide, never look back. Either one will do the job.
 

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SidelockSxS said:
Totally a matter of personal preference. Get whatever looks and feels best to you. There is no right or wrong. As a designer, a SxS or O/U gun with barrels about twice as long as the "Pull" looks about right to me from a purely aethetic point of view. While tastes change, at the moment, both 26" and 28" are common choices with the market slightly favoring 28". Best bet would be able to shoot your alternative choices. Second best - spend some time in the store getting a feel for the difference. Whichever way you decide, never look back. Either one will do the job.
Fascinating comment! - I have a 15 1/2" LOP and I love shorter guns - 25-27 inch. Wondered why they didn't quite look right. Not way off - just a tad annoying visually. Now I know!!

The market does favor 28" barrels but all that means is that you can get fantastic buys on used 25-27" barrels. I recently saw a matched pair of 25" Churchills for about 20 grand.

My personal preference for the field are 12 ga 25" and 20 ga 27 inch sxs. For clays I use 28-inch but cannot tell the difference - I just do it out of habit

Good advice- NEVER LOOK BACK!! It's your gun and you like it so why should you care what someone else thinks?
 

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I just bought a 20 ga 26" O/U, so I'll be able to answer this in a few months. I'm thinking it all depends on the shooter what you are hunting, the terrain, how far you are walking. I have a 28" that is a little heavier by about a pound and a half and it swings nice but does get a bit heavy carrying it around. I'm hoping the 26" is a good balance between weight and performance.
 
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