The shorter the barrel length, the quicker you can swing and get the shot on target. I have found that I prefer the 28" due to the fact that I have a tendency to swing too fast and the heavier, longer barrel slows me down just enough. Many of the guys that I shoot with prefer the 26" and each is welcome to their own opinion. I am more comfortable with the longer barrel so that is what I shoot.---AFG
Ive a 30" 391, which is the equivelent to shooting a 32" o/u. Ive also got a baikal o/u which has both 26" skeet barrels & 28" barrels.
I personally find i shoot better with the 391, as when i jump down to the 26" i end up swinging too quickly and missing. But, its really what you get used to. When I started using the 391, id swing too slowly and end up missing!
From what i understand, anything after 19" doesnt make any difference. Most people tend to go for 28" these days, whereas years ago 26" were the favourites for skeet.
What I look at is overall length rather than barrel lenght. I'm just over 6', and for me 47" is about right. that means a o/u or sxs would have 30" barrels, where a semi or pump has 26". This puts them all at the same overall length, and makes them balance about the same. So to start out, I think a 26" would be the best.
"From what i understand, anything after 19" doesnt make any difference."
It does make a difference. After some relatively short (I've read anywhere from 13" to 18") length, the powder has fully burned and the gasses are pushing the shot as fast as they are going to go.
However, the length of the barrel does make a difference in how the gun handles. Try shooting trap with a 20" barrel some day. Try shooting skeet with a 32" trap gun and see what happens. Both will be a disaster. The added/or lack of length will unquestionably affect the swing of the gun, and your ability to hit the clay/bird/etc.
If it made no difference, gun manufacturers would save a lot of time and money by just producing 19" barrels for all purposes.
Are you shooting skeet or other games ? That may make a difference, and yes, Otto, you are right your height/upper body strength will make a difference.
If we are talking Over and Under, most people shooting skeet will be happy with a gun in the 26-28 inch range. Weight also comes into play. A heavy short gun will not let you stop swinging BUT a light short gun willl let you stop.
However, if you want a general purpose gun, for all games, then 28 to 30 inches may be better. If you are under 5'10" you may want to see how you handle a 32inch gun, it may work for you, it may not.
I am short but as a mis-spent youth playing rugby, I have upper body strength enough to handle a 32inch. I started with 28 and went up through 30 to 32. I have shot only 32 for 12 years. I have only one gun for all the shotgun sports. and yes I shoot gun down at skeet.
Would putting a barrel weight on a gun with shorter barrels accomplish the same help for the swing as using the longer barrels? I see Brily and Kolar both sell clamp on barrel weights.
What is really tempting is the mecury recoil reducer I saw that weighs 6 oz (the same as the barrel weights). Looks like it would help the swing and reduce recoil at the same time.
Has anybody tried either the weights and/or the clamp on reducer.
The carrot at the end of the stick for me would be to be able to shoot my field gun effectively for clay games also, then to remove the weights and go hunting with the same gun. Any thoughts appreciated
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