shotgun barrel length

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  • shotgun barrel length

    how much difference does it really make in terms of shot velocity and pattern

    i read on the internet there should be no difference between a 22 inch and a 28 and all barrel length effects is the swing

    does this mean a coach gun is just as effective in range with the same chokes as a longer shotguns?

  • #2
    From my research on the net it doesn't seem to have much affect velocity wise re the barrel lengths you mentioned and from what I've read the patterns are more controlled by the chokes, my understanding is the barrel length affects the handling characteristics more than anything.

    (by the way I'm only new to the U/O shotgun scene so still learning myself) but as far as I can tell the info above is correct.

    P.S. I should clarify that I'm taking about the difference between a 28" and 30" barrel . In your case going from a 22" to 28 or 30" barrel length there would have to be a noticeable loss of velocity between the 22 -28" version one would think.
    Whacking Varmints is my passion!

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      Guest commented
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      Originally posted by Varminator" post=6044
      From my research on the net it doesn't seem to have much affect velocity wise re the barrel lengths you mentioned and from what I've read the patterns are more controlled by the chokes, my understanding is the barrel length affects the handling characteristics more than anything.

      (by the way I'm only new to the U/O shotgun scene so still learning myself) but as far as I can tell the info above is correct.
      it certainly reads that way online but ive never been able to test it so i dont wanna buy a short barrel shotgun and its only good up close

      im trying to pick between a 22 inch or 28 inch chiappa 1887 lever shotty

      any advice from people would be appreciated

  • #3
    What are you going to use it for? I would think the 28" would be a more versatile choice if your wanting to shoot some clays for fun and hunt bunnies and foxes etc. I would think the 22" version would be good for close range scrubby type terrain (less barrel length to get hung up on branches/quicker to point etc in that type of environment.
    Whacking Varmints is my passion!

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      Originally posted by Varminator" post=6391
      What are you going to use it for? I would think the 28" would be a more versatile choice if your wanting to shoot some clays for fun and hunt bunnies and foxes etc. I would think the 22" version would be good for close range scrubby type terrain (less barrel length to get hung up on branches/quicker to point etc in that type of environment.
      i want to use it for abit of everything but also to shoot SGs out of at pigs from a polaris ranger ( buggy type vehicle) / off the back of a ute

      i already have a 30 inch beretta 686 and want this for fun

      can not choose between 28 and 22 inch and its doing my head in

  • #4
    Read the other day in an early 80's Sporting Shooter magazine that 50 F.P.S is lost with each inch of ( 12 Gauge ) barrel length.

    ( 99 % sure it was a Nick Harvey comment )

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      A few of the brands (Akkar, Stoeger/Boito) offer models with both 20" & 30" interchangeable barrels, so you can have the one shotty for both clays and scrub work.

  • #5
    Negligible difference in muzzle velocity ( that'll be cartridge dependent as a general rule)
    Pattern is determined by bore constriction ( difference between a sawn off and a purpose built coach ) and chokes

    Recoil? All other things being equal between 30 & 18 inch barrels there should be no difference in recoil. However that 12 inches of steel weighs something and we all know 'the lighter the gun, the more recoil'

    Swing: try this at home. Pretend to play drums with a short pencil and a chop stick. The chop stick will swing better because its length bestows inertia at the tip. That's why longer barrel shotguns swing better because they require less physical effort/ muscling to maintain movement. And as we shotgunners always know, you point, not aim and always swing through the target

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      Some old fart used to apply a "rule of 40" ie 40x calibre for ideal barrel length; for a .729" 12 bore this was near enough 29"; most makers liked neat, round figures, so went with 28" and 30"; but some old snobby, stickler farts were notorious for making barrels at 29"; when one of those old snobby stickler farts closed the business, he sold out for a pittance to some other old snobby fart, and wouldn't sell to any other old farts - even at a handsome profit, 'cos they were beneath him.

      Particular standards and configurations have long ago been settled on as ideal by people who invest their lives and enormous resouces in creating perfection in sporting guns.

      Bonus points to the person who can correctly name each old fart. They're pretty iconic names. You won't have to look far...

  • #6
    Ah, good old quotes from firearms magazine writers. When I was a kid I used to think that the sun shone out of the arse's of the writers for most of the gun publications. Now all these years on I've come to realise that a lot of them were just "regurgitators". They'd heard some bullshit somewhere and repeat as if it was fact without any shed of evidence or even a sniff test. Some would even pass it off as their own info. It's actually a sort of sad thing when you realise you're hero's actually aren't. Anyway, enough of that.
    Here's some info that a bloke I know in the US did, using a gun another mate of mine donated for the cause. Unfortunately the velocity measurements were done with slugs , but it's difficult to measure velocity with shot. I had done a similar test to this about a year prior but had started with a 20" barrel and had not gone down as short due to using a pump action. A 3rd party also did a similar test with similar results with an 870.
    The who thing arose from claims on the internet that saw off shotguns were harmless.

    Note the anomaly at 20" on this chart. It wasn't realised at the time but I it's believed it was due to some form of choking or similar or possibly an anomaly in the barrel. This was an old single shot H&R from memory. If it was done again, we'd want to measure the bore diameter as well I think and I'd go to the trouble to make up an extra long cylinder bore barrel just for the task.
    Unfortunately also, the tests were done with buckshot due to nature of the tests been done to see if saw off shotguns were viable for self defence., but I see no reason why it would change with birdshot.

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    • gamma
      gamma commented
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      I use a 28inch barrel gun,and as a field gun i find this fine .Mate has same model and make(fabarm Gamma lux ) but 30inch barrels and thinks that mine swings a little bit faster than his.I used to have a Beretta A 302 that had a 20inch barrel with sights and a 28inch barrel and when i was into shooting a lot of pigs i still liked the 28inch barrel as i found it swung and the balanced better.I also did not like the increased noise in my ears from the shorter barrel .cheers

  • #7
    Fantastic grapths TT says it all.cheers

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      Took my Churchill 20" out 1st time the other day, hardly any recoil & less noise than my 223. Light & hit the target every time. Cant say anything about spread seemed ok at 20 mtrs
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