View Full Version : barrel length-how important??

November 3, 1999, 10:17 PM
I am taking up duck/goose hunting after 30+ years of pheasant/quail, deer, antelope,elk etc. hunting.
All my shotguns are nice older guns not suitable for diets high in steel. I started looking for a 3" barrel for my 870(slug gun) but stumbled onto a good used Browning BPS 3.5" ulti-mag with 24" special field barrel, invector-plus, choke tubes.
Now let me admit:
1)I never met a Browning I didn't like.
2)I really like shorter barrelled guns and I shoot them pretty well. I've always found longer tubes a bit awkward.
My question is:
with modern wads and choke tubes, is there any reason why a duck/goose gun should have a 28 or 30" barrel other than sighting plane??
I haven't patterned this BPS yet but, shouldn't the gun be capable of patterning close to a 30" tube if the shooter does his part??
This whole waterfowl thing is new to me, as is the 3.5" shell. My only other concern is weight of this piece of ordnance. Seems to me, any gun heavier than a good truck bumper, should come with wheels on one end. Since I only have to carry this to-from the blind, I can probably tolerate it.
Any thoughts on this barrel length?
Was I wrong to go with a 24" tube?
Actually, the short barrel was what brought the price of this gun low. The seller said everybody looking for a 3.5" wanted a "goose barrel". I figured if I liked it I could always get another barrel if I needed.
Thanks for any help.

November 4, 1999, 03:20 AM
King with the new inovations in wad technology the length of the barrel doesn't
really control expansion like it once did.
So your 24" barrel should pattern fine even at longer ranges. The reason I and most of
the people I shoot with prefer a longer barrel is that it follows through much better. With the short light barrels there is a tendency to stop on your target or a little behind what your are aiming for. The extra weight of a 30" or 28" has more momentum to it so you swing through the target without thinking about it.
If I were you I'd take the gun and some of the ammo you plan to shoot and go shoot some trap to get used the different feel of the shorter barrel. Other than that you shouldn't have any problems with the shorter
One of the guys I hunt Duck and Geese with uses an old Mossy 500 with a 24" modified barrel and he does as well as most of us other hunters.

As for the weight when you are putting up alot of steel high base mags you will be happy to have it.

Goos Luck Woody