View Full Version : Barrel length??

March 29, 2008, 08:16 PM
Hi > I am considering getting a new shotgun> Semi auto> General use> some sporting clay, small game , maybe some duck hunting , an possibly even an occasional turkey hunt.

My question is, what would be the best all around barrel length? 24, 26,28, 30.
I do have a 30" full 12 gauge in the stable>


March 29, 2008, 08:49 PM
28" is pretty much the industry standard for all around use but I tend to like a 26" barrel on my semi-autos. It shoots just as well as a 28 and it lightens it up a little. I got a Browning Gold 3.5 with a 26" barrel last year and it turned into my favorite all around hunting gun.

nutty ned
March 30, 2008, 11:38 AM
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For all those uses I would have a 30", unless that required buying a new barrel.
In that case I'd suffer through a 28".

April 3, 2008, 06:19 PM
A 28" barrel on a semi-auto or pump gun / is the most popular. In those guns a 28" barrel makes the gun about the same overall length of an over under with 30" barrels on it. So it kind of depends on how long your arms are and what you like. At 6'4" my arms are pretty long - so I can pretty well shoot whatever I want - but anything smaller than a 28" barrel makes the gun way to " whippy " to me.

Personally in most semi-autos and pumps, I like a 30" barrel, because the guns are a little lighter - the longer barrel gives me a little more sighting plane and I swing it a little smoother on my follow thru as I execute the shot. If I go to a 28" barrel, I have a tendancy to stop the swing and "yank" it one way or the other which isn't the smoothest way or best way to shoot a shotgun and it causes me to miss or shoot behind a target.

In heavier guns like over unders - I still like 30" barrels for overall field gunning, sporting clays and skeet - and guns that are around 8 1/2 lbs. For Trap - because there is less barrel movement - I like a 32" barrel in an over under and something around a 10 lb gun - so I keep it real smooth and the weight of the gun helps me on the follow thru. But a 34" barrel and a 10 lb gun in a faster game like skeet or out shooting quail or something is just way too clumsy and as one of my buddies put it, " its like swinging a big sewer pipe out there ...". But shoot what you like ......and try some guns, if you get the chance with shorter and longer barrels on them.

April 4, 2008, 07:40 PM
Hi Guys.
Thanks for the advice. Just bought a Benelli M2 in 28" 12 gauge,
have handled both the 26 and 28" altough the 26 seemed a little "quicker" to me I like the longer sight plane of the 28" as you said>

Thanks again for the advice
on both the gun and the barrel length!!!

April 4, 2008, 08:04 PM
Well, I have a couple of SKB doubles, one with 26" barrels for hunting, and one with 28" barrels for trap. They are equally good. With doubles, there's no receiver to speak of, so they're relatively shorter than the typical pump or semi-auto would be.