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Who has actually tried a long barrel shotgun?


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I know that the "conventional wisdom" is that short barrels on the shotgun are better.  I also know that the vast majority of shooters prefer them that way.  All you have to do is look around at a match and you will immediately see that people like me who shoot long barrels on their scatterguns are very rare.

But something in another thread got me to thinking.   (Always a dangerous thing!)

Among those who assert that shorter is better, how many of you have actually ever tried a long barreled shotgun?   I mean, have we all just heard that shorter is better, assumed that this is so, and then got one without every trying a long one?

I am genuinely curious.  How many people have actually tried long barrels before deciding shorter is better instead of just going short because you'd heard that it's better that way?

 

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I have used a CZ Hammer Classic with 30" barrels. You just have to stand back from any windows, doors, or props. Works well and the barrels open easily. If you take a step forward, the gun is almost halfway to the knockdown.

Edited by Castalia,SASS#18915
exaggeration for clarification
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A few years ago, I got an outstanding deal on a CZ Classic 30" hammer double.
Modern steel, modern manufacturing & modern accessories, like choke tubes.

Bought it to hunt with, but use it on occasion for cowboy shoots.

Love shooting BP out of hammer doubles -- the most fun!!!

--Dawg

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Not all the time, but I have a passel of hammer doubles and an original Winchester 1887 - all with a long barrels that I shoot when I'm in the mood. 

 

Most of the stages we shoot are written so you pick up the staged shotgun and shoot. Put back down or be the last gun shot. So a long barrel is not a hindrance. Biggest problem is at loading tables with a wall right behind it.  Not enough depth to put the shotgun down. 

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Started in the game with a Remington 1889 hammered double.  Shot it at at least one EOT in Classic Cowboy.    30" barrels.   Knocked down every thing I pointed it at with ounce and eighth loads.   It was cumbersome for me to maneuver through props like at EOT, BT and WR.    Also bounced off my shoulder since it had no recoil pad.  

 

Moved on to a TTN hammered double (20") and have used that Remington only for a few cowboy clays matchessince.

 

Yeah, there's a BIG difference in speed and maneuverability.

 

good luck, GJ

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I bought an extra barrel for my ‘97. It’s 30 in. I planned to cut it down, but I seem to get on target much easier with it. However, movement with it takes a little planning if there there are posts between shotgun positions.

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26 minutes ago, Fast Tracker said:

I bought an extra barrel for my ‘97. It’s 30 in. I planned to cut it down, but I seem to get on target much easier with it. However, movement with it takes a little planning if there there are posts between shotgun positions.

 

That mirrors my own experience.  My first shotgun was a 97 with a 20" barrel.   I wanted long barrel one, just to have one, and when I found a 30" full choke barrel, I bought it.   

I soon tried it on a whim, and while I did have to think a little harder on one stage with a lot of windows and doors, I never missed with it.  Plus, it was just more funner somehow.   Hardly ever go short since then.  I even got a 30" F/F Parker cuz my 18" one kicks like a mule.

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2 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Started in the game with a Remington 1889 hammered double.  Shot it at at least one EOT in Classic Cowboy.    30" barrels.   Knocked down every thing I pointed it at with ounce and eighth loads.   It was cumbersome for me to maneuver through props like at EOT, BT and WR.    Also bounced off my shoulder since it had no recoil pad.  

...

...

 

That's the model I learned to shoot shotgun with as a teenager in Idaho.

A friend's father loaned one to me for a couple of years (had to return it to him when we moved to Oregon).

A cowboy shooting friend picked one up a number of years ago and I told him that if he ever decided to sell it, to let me know.

The only thing I've used it for since he sold it to me has been BP sidematches.

 

 

 

WR 2013.jpg

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30 inch '97.  We seldom miss, it sure does it's job as long as I do mine, and that's with Feather Lights.  This long drink of water likes the long barrel jokes, I also will never be the fastest. As mentioned above, with the 30 inch full choke you don't have to lean over the table or out the window to get the job done.

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I owned a 26" IAC model 97 a couple years ago.    YES, I tried it a couple matches and it wasn't for me.

 

Maybe I was too use to shooting my 18.5" model 97's.    

That 26" felt imbalanced and awkward.

 

Mileage varies.

 

..........Widder

 

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Back when I got to shoot all the time, I never shorted the barrels on any of my shotguns. I have a Savage 311 and the previous owner shortened the barrels to 24 inches (just enough to eliminate the chokes) and although it handles nice, it isn't short enough to be considered short. Shorter barrels never were an advantage -- to me. But when I was young and fast you could measure my stage times with a calendar, so there's that.

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I had a long barreled 97 a long time ago and also later on I had a Rossi hammered shotgun that had long barrels. Sold 'em both and got coach guns which I think are better for this game.B)

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For a number of years, I had two identical SKBs, except one was 22” and one was 28”.  Otherwise, tuned exactly the same. I never found an advantage with the long one and found plenty of shortcomings for our game. It ended up getting cut.

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I used to shoot a 26 inch double and liked it a lot.  It balanced and pointed well and stayed open when reloading.  I didn’t find the extra 6 inches caused a problem. Unfortunately,  I wore that gun out so I now shoot short barreled 97s and an 87.  I would love to find a 26 inch SKB, but have never seen one for sale.  
 

I think the big draw for the short barreled shotgun is that it handles better around windows and props. My solution to that was to position myself back a bit further from the prop (6 inches or a foot) than I normally would.  That distance makes no difference to getting a hit and I found that not stepping up to and back from the prop (especially when moving between windows) was faster.  

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188
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I have a Stevens 12 ga hammer 28" I use 89% of the time.  A Stevens 5100 I think with 30" barrels used the rest of the time.  Have a 20" barreled Stevens also I loan as I don't like the short barrel.  Barrel length has no effect no my time, Last in order is last in order.  

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I have.  Lots.  If your shooting "Stand and Deliver" it doesn't matter.  If you have "Props" with doors and windows and movement and stuff, long barrels are a ROYAL PITA.

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I guess I got so used to using short barreled shotguns while working that the short barrels seem natural to me. Tried a really pretty Stoeger 20 gauge with longer barrels and just felt off.

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And the long barrels on a hammerless will often fall open be themselves just like a hammered gun

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I started with a coach gun and within two years added three Russian Hammered doubles with 30” barrels that I still use most of the time. Props can get in the way but most clubs I shoot at now have props but shotgun is usually on one end. I did buy a 87 with the 18 1/2 barrel that I really like. Sometimes when they have a prop too close to stag3 the long barrels it can be a problem. I prefer the longer barrels. DC

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