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Old September 30, 2000, 01:19 PM   #1
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I would like to know if barrel length from 26, 28, 30 have any effect on shot and pattern. i know in rifles the longer the barrel the better, does this make shotguns the same?
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Old September 30, 2000, 01:33 PM   #2
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As a general rule given the same choke the longer the barrel the tighter the pattern.
I have an old Iver Jonhnson Special Trap with a 32" extra full choke barrel that keeps most of the shot in an area the size or a quarter and all within the size of the the bottom of a soft drink can at 16 yards. The tighter pattern in trap allows the shooter more time to get on the clay. I know that an IJ is not the most glameriuos scattergun in the world but this one has the most beautiful wood on it I have ever seen on a gun and has served me well for nearly 30 years. I wouldn't trade it for a new Parazzi.


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Old October 1, 2000, 09:41 AM   #3
Dave McC
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I disagree, Gunslinger. Your bbl may be everything you said,and probably is, but that's a result of interior dimensions, not length. Chokes are 50-50 science and magic.

Trap guns have long bbls for reasons of sight radius and balance. Modern powders burn inside of maybe 24 inches with most loads. A longer bbl may actually turn in lower velocities than a shorter one with the same load.Friction with the bore.

Rifles run much higher in velocity than shotguns,House. The slowest load I know of is the 45-70 405 gr moving at maybe 1600 FPS. That's a little faster than the fastest shotshell. BTW, bbls on rifles longer than 28
inches also don't add much velocity, if any.

If I were setting up a dedicated trap gun(unlikely), the bbl(s) would run no longer than 34" at most and more likely about 30". Again, this is for balance/swing.
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Old October 2, 2000, 04:50 PM   #4
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will the shot travel the same from a 26in barrel than a longer barrels. or does the longer barrels have better shot distance?
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Old October 2, 2000, 05:34 PM   #5
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Any difference between shot travel between a 26" barrel and a longer tube would be insignificant. Shot travel is more affected by the size of the shot. This is why many trap and sporting ranges have shot size restrictions so as to limit the shot fall zone.

There really are no hard and fast rules with shotguns. Longer barrels don't make for a tighter choke. Inside barrel dimensions, the choke constriction, the speed of the shot, the hardness of the shot, even the size of the shot can have an impact on pattern size. The only way to know for sure is to pattern your gun with the load you want to use.
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Old October 5, 2000, 11:24 PM   #6
Join Date: October 4, 2000
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Greetings from Texas. The velocity difference between the various barrel lengths is negligible, but can be addressed by diddling reloads a bit if necessary. Trap guns generally have long barrels for an extended sight plane, and for a smooth swing. Both of my trap guns are built like this, a BT-99 Browning with 34" barrel and an L C Smith Olmypic SBT with a 32" tube.
The BT-99 has Briley chokes, and throws nice patterns with all five chokes, in most cases. Barrel length has no real effect on choke, the selected choke tube does. The Elsie is choked FULL and it is (30" @ 35 yards). My Sabatti sporting clays gun has 30" barrels, yet throws a tighter pattern than the Elsie SBT with its choke marked FULL. An even tighter pattern comes from a 16 bore Elsie Ideal featherweight, with 26" barrels.
Barrel length has no effect on distance shot will travel, this is dictated by muzzle velocity, drag and gravity. One shot pellet of a given size (and mass) can only travel so far, no matter how fast it's traveling when it leaves the gun, or how long the barrel is. Just plain physics.
The long barrels found on old double guns were to provide for more complete combustion of their black powder propellants, more barrel time for the shot column meant more pressure, which in turn raised the burn rate of the powder. This would allow the powder to burn more completely and with less residue, a major problem with black. Todays modern smokeless powders work well in a variety of conditions and applications, and do not require the barrel time to produce good velocities (pressures).
Barrel length is a matter of personal preference, and has little to no effect on velocities. I prefer longer tubes, one of my hunting partners swears by his shorties. Whatever the barrel length chosed, the gun should fit properly and be correctly balanced for it's intended task. Thanks, OL

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future! - Adolf Hitler, 1935
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Old October 8, 2000, 12:48 AM   #7
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I just started shooting Trap with my Beretta 686 Sporting Clays....with 28" bbls. I use the lower barrel...and busted 24 out of 25 the other day. My shotgun does look a little out of to the 34" BT-99's, Ljutics etc. Just use what you have available. And...have fun!
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