So I hear people saying that a 24" barrel on a semi auto is way too short all the time, yet my wife shoots a 24" 20ga montefeltro and its longer than my 28" 20ga beretta o/u. So do people on the trap field not like shooting next to me either? I've never had any complaints, just curious.
I think the problem is the barrel length. Shorter barrel means more powder unburnt....your gun is shorter than hers because she has the added length of the action. Fwiw....I never really noticed a difference...
At the OP...I agree that at this point, more important than any gun is to get good instruction and will help you far beyond any 'special' gun. Some of us never move beyond that point.