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I am going to purchase a Beretta Silver Pigeon II O&U 12g. I think I want to get the Sporting model rather than the Field model since I will shoot it more at the range than in the field. I do however, plan to use it in the field. My question is regarding barrel length. My knowledgable gun salesman recommends the 28 inch but says it is personal preference. The gun comes in 28, 30, and 32 inch with extended chokes. Is this gun good for use in the field as well as the range? The Sporting model is about 1 lb. heavier than the field model but I think the advantage on the range outweighs the drawback of carrying a slightly heavier gun in the field. I like to shoot trap and skeet but have not yet gotten into sporting clays. Any advise? Look forward to any and all feedback. Thanks a million!
R. Edward
 

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How tall are you and how much do you weigh? What type of clay sport are will you do most? What kind of terrain would you be seeing in the field?

28" barrels are fine for the field, for Skeet, and for Sporting Clays. But a little short for Trap based on what is popular today. 30" barrels are gaining popularity for Skeet and are very popular is Sporting Clays.

If you are hunting is relatively open country, the extra 2" is not going to be a burden. The gun will still swing quickly enough for quail and dove.

If I were buying a gun that was going to be used primarily for clay sports and occasionally in the field, I would buy it in a configuration that was best for clay sports. But that is me....

Scott
 

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Go with the 30'' For clays and hunting. I bought the 28 but wish that I had bought the 30. The 30 swings much smoother and has a better feel. The more I think about it the more I wish I had gone with the 30. Go with the 30. Unless you like the 28 or the 32 more.
 

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The current trend in sporting is o/us the longer the better even up to 34" long.

However length isn't the whole story. Barrel weight and balance matter too. A 32" 682E with Optima chokes is a nimble enough gun but an older 682 with the same barrel length is very barrel heavy and ponderous.

I'd start by holding a 30" gun and see how it feels in your hands and then start comparing among the three.
 

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I would choose the 32", the 30" minimum if you will shoot a lot of trap. The longer sighting plane/picture will be a benifit. A 28" gun will break targets fine on the 16 yard line but aquireing a 27 yard hard right will be easier with a longer point of reference to aim/point from.

Kent
 
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I think it's pretty hard to recommend a barrel length.

First a 28" barrel on one gun swings different than a 28" barrel on another gun. Part of this is total gun length and weight, if you pick up 10 different o/u's with 28" barrels they may vary by as much as 2-4" overall and probably 1-2 lbs in weight, maybe more.

Balance point, total weight, barrel length, and most importantly the shooter him/herself all effect how guns swing. If you naturally swing very fast you'd be amazed how long of a barrel you can get away with. On the other hand if you swing slow just the opposite. Balance point is huge here too. If the balance point is too far forward or back it effects swing speed as well.

Generally I consider a 30" to be a pretty good compromise for all sports and most guns. 28" can get pretty whippy on some of the new shorter/lighter over and unders. 32" on the other hand can get pretty heavy. The 2" itself isn't a big deal, it's that usually that 2" on the end of the barrel changes the balance point a lot which is what really slows down or speeds up the swing.

Sadly, that doesn't really help much, since the largest factor is the shooter him/herself, it's very hard for anyone but you to decide which length is right. That said it's easier to slow down a gun that moves too quick (add weight) than it is to speed up a slow gun.

As for the sight lenght.....I think it would be pretty hard for just about anyone given two exact guns altered in weight so they had the same balance point and total weight to tell you which one is a 30" and which is a 32" just by looking down the rib. As for aquiring the bird, I can't say, I shoot both eyes open and hold off the top of the house and look under the barrel for the bird as it comes out of the house.
 

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I prefer 30" bbls myself.

I've shot with 28's and 32's, but for all shotgun sports, I've found that 30" bbl's offer me the best balance of length (for accuracy and pattern) to weight (for swing and mount).

If you want to save some weight, you can go with the 28" inch bbls, and use long extended chokes, which can add length without the weight of long bbls.

Good luck!

Gil
 
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