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Shotgun barrel length?


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I have had to take this year off but I plan on getting geared back up this fall and wanted some opinions on shotguns. I have had coach guns by Stoeger and Baikal in the past. Both had 20" barrels. I shoot primarily BP subs and I am thinking about going to a longer barrel length. Stoeger makes an uplander with 26" barrels. What does the wire think? Advantages to a longer barrel with BP?

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I have had to take this year off but I plan on getting geared back up this fall and wanted some opinions on shotguns. I have had coach guns by Stoeger and Baikal in the past. Both had 20" barrels. I shoot primarily BP subs and I am thinking about going to a longer barrel length. Stoeger makes an uplander with 26" barrels. What does the wire think? Advantages to a longer barrel with BP?

 

For CAS barrel length isn't going to make a big deal in it's own right ballistically. However, the big deal is how the shotgun handles for you - so barrel length is a personal preference IMHO. Some like a longer barrel, I like the 18.5" barrel because of maneuverabilty.

 

GG ~ :FlagAm:

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It seems like most of the skeet shooters are using 28" barrels these days. Guys getting new guns are often going to 30", which is a real change from years past when the 26" guns ruled the roost.

 

Trap shooters like 30" and even 32" barrels. Reach out and touch someone.

 

Most Cowboy shooters crowd the props.

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Middlefork Bob,

 

I've been shooting black powder in my doubles since I started shooting CAS in '99. I've used a Stevens with 28" barrels, and China double with 20" barrels, then a Stoeger Uplander with 26" barrels and now I'm using a couple of Stoegers with 24" barrels. All three of the Stoegers had screw in chokes which is not necessary for this game, but I've never met a knockdown that I couldn't take down easily if I did my part. As my shooting partner August West said, "folks tend to crowd the props" which makes it seem you need a short barreled shotgun. I like the balance of a 24 or 26" gun and I feel they tend to stay open better. I also like the fact that they can be used for hunting as well. Your mileage may vary, but that is what works for me. :D

 

Buckeye Pete :FlagAm:

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I guess it depends on yer clubs....We shoot a lot of store fronts in & out of windows and down skinny little porches so I like the short bbls. If we shot more tables it might not matter as much but IMO a smaller lighter gun will always be faster and for targets at 5 - 12 yards bbl length isn't a factor in shooting CAS.

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Never met a barrel that was too short. It is a personal preference for the most part though. Ballistically, there is no advantage either way. I prefer the balance of a short barrel. I like 18.5 inch doubles and 18.5 inch '97s. I like screw in chokes although they don't really do much at CAS distances except make you aim a little closer. If, as has ben mentioned, your club(s) shoot with a lot of "store front" facades, you'll sure find the short barrel works somewhat better getting in and out of windows.

 

Coffinmaker

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It seems like most of the skeet shooters are using 28" barrels these days. Guys getting new guns are often going to 30", which is a real change from years past when the 26" guns ruled the roost.

 

Trap shooters like 30" and even 32" barrels. Reach out and touch someone.

 

Most Cowboy shooters crowd the props.

My 97 is an original (ca. 1937) with a full choke 30" barrel. Had thought to get a shorter barrel but didn't. I love the way the knockdowns fly when I hit them with such a tight pattern. WW

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If you're shootin' BP, get the shortest barrel you can stand, because the rest of us enjoy watching the fireball come out with the smoke. :lol:

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I have had to take this year off but I plan on getting geared back up this fall and wanted some opinions on shotguns. I have had coach guns by Stoeger and Baikal in the past. Both had 20" barrels. I shoot primarily BP subs and I am thinking about going to a longer barrel length. Stoeger makes an uplander with 26" barrels. What does the wire think? Advantages to a longer barrel with BP?

 

For our game I don't see any advantage to a longer barrel. Perhaps with flyers but mostly they are really close so again, probably a wash. It might balance better, a longer barrel also may stay open better (or wider) because of the extra weight on the end. I normally shoot a brace of 20" 97's or doubles of one sort or another. I have a 26" Uplander in 20 gauge and the thing points and balances so sweet! I also have a 30" 97 with a really short stock (there's a story there but another time perhaps) that balances so well and shoots even better that I just don't want to cut it.

 

If your shooting off tables or fences, a longer barrel isn't going to make any difference negotiating the stage. If you're using windows and doors or have hallways (One Winter Range stage comes to mind; that hallway was a mite narrow for them long barrels) there might be an issue depending. Generally, step away from the prop, don't crowd it and this will give you plenty of room to manuver.

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