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Does the barrel length really matter?


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It may be an old topic.

 

After I searched on line and read many reviews and answers, it seems they all make these kind of statements:

1)long barrel does not increase the speed of the shots

2)long barrel does not change the pattern

3)long barrel gives longer sight plane

4)long barrel make it easier and steadier to swing

 

But I still really doubt the 4). I could not imagine a long barrel with so much weight far from your hand could make the swing easier or steadier. To me, I think the short barrel make it easier to handle, and I could either swing fast or slow. I could not imagine any advantage I could get by adding extra weight on the muzzle side.

 

I really want to here what you guys think. Because I am going to buy a SBEII and I really want to buy a 24" barrel version. But I do not want to regret my choice after the purchase just because I did not have reasonable discussion and reasearch.

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I pay no attention to the barrel length speed debate. The few fps either way doesn't matter to me. I recall it's in the single digit fps range per inch of barrel, which is irrelevant in the real world.

 

I have been shooting 26" bbls my entire life because they fit my style of shooting and hunting.

 

I hunt turkeys, so I like shorter barrels in general. Easier to move the gun around in tight spaces.

 

I hunt ducks from a tank, so the gun needs to be long enough to not slide all over the place. I don't like 24" bbls in duck tanks - they can slide below the tank frame - not good :(

 

I did have a 24" bbl Nova that I could not get to pattern well, so I'm can't say for sure shorter barrels pattern well.

 

I think a 24" bbl SBE II would be a great gun :)

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mudhen:

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

But, as for the speed, actually longer barrel does no good at all. For a rifle, from 24" to 26" maybe there is a speed gain of 10-30fps. But for a shot gun, not at all! Shotshells generate very very low pressure compared to a rifle cartridge (you can tell that by comparing the thickness of a shotgun barrel and a rifle barrel, even a .22LR rifle). According to the data, all the powder of a shotshell burns out when the shots reach the barrel length of 14". And the shots reach their maximum speed at around 20-22". After that, the shots will not gain speed. They will only lose speed because of the friction with the bore, but not much. Anyway, the shots coming out from a 28" barrel are by no means faster than from a 24" barrel. And it could be even slower.

 

I like the short barrel because the gun will be easier to carry and faster to swing. It will be lighter also. I am not a big guy with long arms. I am only 5' 6", so I do not think a gun with a barrel 26 or 28" barrel will fit me better than a 24" one. If possible, I would perfer even shorter barrels, say 22" or 20". But SBEII does not have this short barrel versions.

 

Besides, what is the shotgun you are using? And which one do you think fits you best?

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mudhen:

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

But, as for the speed, actually longer barrel does no good at all. For a rifle, from 24" to 26" maybe there is a speed gain of 10-30fps. But for a shot gun, not at all! Shotshells generate very very low pressure compared to a rifle cartridge (you can tell that by comparing the thickness of a shotgun barrel and a rifle barrel, even a .22LR rifle). According to the data, all the powder of a shotshell burns out when the shots reach the barrel length of 14". And the shots reach their maximum speed at around 20-22". After that, the shots will not gain speed. They will only lose speed because of the friction with the bore, but not much. Anyway, the shots coming out from a 28" barrel are by no means faster than from a 24" barrel. And it could be even slower.

 

I like the short barrel because the gun will be easier to carry and faster to swing. It will be lighter also. I am not a big guy with long arms. I am only 5' 6", so I do not think a gun with a barrel 26 or 28" barrel will fit me better than a 24" one. If possible, I would perfer even shorter barrels, say 22" or 20". But SBEII does not have this short barrel versions.

 

Besides, what is the shotgun you are using? And which one do you think fits you best?

 

I think you misunderstood my entire post.

 

I don't care about the barrel length speed subject. It is almost factually irrelevant. The 20-22" is just one opinion floating in a sea of many. I've read far more reports that state max vel of most factory loads is reached at 26-28". I would think that the given load power would be far more determinative than the barrel length or any preset notions.

 

I'm also pretty sure that bore diameter would/should be included in the equation. The speed factor with the same ammo cannot be identical in the .722 Benelli as it is in the .742 Browning. Maybe close, but not identical.

 

I think Tucker has a chart somewhere that shows some data - post up Tuck?

 

I've owned maybe 25 shotguns over the years. All of my current guns fit me fine; M2 x 2, SBE x 2, SBE II, Gold x 2, and Silver. I will shoot them all this season.

 

Benelli makes a 21" M2 - maybe that is a better choice?

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I really doubt that the factory load make the shots reach their maximum speed at 26-28". I read many posts, but I have never seen that before. If you saw it, could you please give me some links?

 

Although the bore diameter of different manufacture would differ a little, but that would not make a substantial change in result, I guess. Besides, nobody says exactly at xx.xx inch the shots reach the maximum speed. It is just approximate, say 20-22".

 

I want a 3-1/2" shotgun, so the M2 would not be my choice.

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I really doubt that the factory load make the shots reach their maximum speed at 26-28". I read many posts, but I have never seen that before. If you saw it, could you please give me some links?

 

Next time I see it, I will try to post up. Don't hold your breath though, I don't go looking for that stuff.

 

I've never heard of your 20-22" theory. If absolutely true, you would think we would see lots more 22" barreled guns on the market. But, I don't pay much attention to that stuff in general. I have heard, for about the last 20 years, that starting from a 28" barrel, you lose approx. 7-10 fps per inch that you go down from 28". Given that so many of today's loads are in the 1450-1550 fps range, the 14-20 fps I might lose with my 26"'s and the 28-40 fps you might lose with a 24" bbl seems trivial. But that's just my take.

 

You could e-mail LP Brezny at Wildfowl Magazine. He is probably one of the main experts in this area. You could also look around at Shotgun World's website. Lots of guys post up there about trivial stuff like this :)

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I have tested this many times with several different guns. I have SBE's with 24", 26" and 28" barrels and the all have the same average Muzzle velocity with Kent Fasteel, AA trap loads, my reloads and Federal Steel. My Winchester 1300 28" has a bit higher velocity on average than the Benelli's.

 

I shoot the 24" barrel more than any of the rest. I love the easier swing and it moves around better in heavy cover and reeds. I never notice the "sight plane" or the bead when I am hunting. I pull up concentrate on the bird and drop him. If the bead fell off my gun I would never notice until turkey season.

 

BUT everyone says that the short barrel is LOUD to others in the blind.

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I have tested this many times with several different guns. I have SBE's with 24", 26" and 28" barrels and the all have the same average Muzzle velocity with Kent Fasteel, AA trap loads, my reloads and Federal Steel. My Winchester 1300 28" has a bit higher velocity on average than the Benelli's.

 

I shoot the 24" barrel more than any of the rest. I love the easier swing and it moves around better in heavy cover and reeds. I never notice the "sight plane" or the bead when I am hunting. I pull up concentrate on the bird and drop him. If the bead fell off my gun I would never notice until turkey season.

 

BUT everyone says that the short barrel is LOUD to others in the blind.

 

Great!

I am just looking some experiments like what you did. I think a systematic experiment will be better for just thinking or guessing. Could you please supply more details of your test? And, besides, did you compare the different patterns from different barrel length?

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Next time I see it, I will try to post up. Don't hold your breath though, I don't go looking for that stuff.

 

I've never heard of your 20-22" theory. If absolutely true, you would think we would see lots more 22" barreled guns on the market. But, I don't pay much attention to that stuff in general. I have heard, for about the last 20 years, that starting from a 28" barrel, you lose approx. 7-10 fps per inch that you go down from 28". Given that so many of today's loads are in the 1450-1550 fps range, the 14-20 fps I might lose with my 26"'s and the 28-40 fps you might lose with a 24" bbl seems trivial. But that's just my take.

 

You could e-mail LP Brezny at Wildfowl Magazine. He is probably one of the main experts in this area. You could also look around at Shotgun World's website. Lots of guys post up there about trivial stuff like this :)

 

Thank you.

 

I think the 7-10fps loss per inch is very important, considering the low velocity of shots. But I never see that statement before. I bet that would not be true. Because I saw the data saying that the velocity loss per inch for a 30-06 rifle is about 10-15fps. But 30-06's pressure is much much more than a shotgun.

 

My statement of 20-22" comes from the book "Cartridgs of the World". And you can find many many similar comments on line.

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You must be joking!

Looks like the doc asks questions and then argues the answers when they're given to him.

 

I'm glad he isn't my doc :p

 

episode 3

 

Well, I personally like short barrels. And I do not deny that I have this inclination. But I did not get that answer by my own imagination. Besides, now I am having a 28" barrel Nova.

 

But if you have reliable data to prove that a longer barrel could give faster shots or better pattern, I would accept that because that is the truth.

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I looked into the website Tucker provided.

There is a "long vs short barrel" episode, in which the guy also stated the pattern from long or short barrels are almost identical.

He did not talk about the velocity. He said the difference is the way the guns swing and the sight plane.

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Well, mudhen, let's forget about the data at this moment.

 

You said your 24" Nova does not pattern well. But you also said a 24" SBEII would be great gun. May I ask why do you think that? Because I am thinking between 24" and 26" SBEII, so that would be my concern.

 

Thanks.

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Well, mudhen, let's forget about the data at this moment.

 

You said your 24" Nova does not pattern well. But you also said a 24" SBEII would be great gun. May I ask why do you think that? Because I am thinking between 24" and 26" SBEII, so that would be my concern.

 

Thanks.

 

You may :).

 

I said I 'had' a 24" Nova that did not pattern well. I bought it in 98 or 99 for $200 NIB. I never liked the gun much. Gave it away to a friend. Patterned poorly and the choke tubes swelled. I recall lots of folks had barrel issues with early Novas.

 

So that was 1999 and a totally different gun.

 

It's 2007 now, and I have not heard many patterning complaints about SBE II's regardless of barrel length. The new Crio chokes seem to be working well for folks. My 26" bbl SBE II patterns very well. All seems well with the SBE II.

 

That's why I said a 24" bbl SBE II would be a good gun.

 

I also think a 26" bbl SBE II would be a good gun. A 28" bbl SBE II sounds good too. A 30" Sport II might be nice.

 

Hey, you said you wanted a 3.5" gun. Why :confused: Are they better? Are 3" guns bad? What about the lowly 2.75"? Ineffective? Obsolete? Does 3.5" allow me to make longer shots? Why, why, why???????

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun#Barrel_length seems to me choke selection and ammo selection will be of more significance than barrel length? Barrel length is funny to me i picked up a 32" O/U and it felt as if it were a 30" which i am more used to swinging but i guess it has something to do with Tuckers link on actual measured lengths vs stock lengths.
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I just purchased a new Benelli Cordoba with 30" ported barrel and synthetic stock. I've been shooting 28" barrels in O/U and semi-auto configurations for over 30 years, as well as a 26" barrel for skeet. I can only provide you an answer based on my experience.

 

After taking the new Benelli out for a test run over the weekend, I found #4 to be a true statement. It seemed to be very smooth on all crossing targets and I tended to extend my swing after pulling the trigger.

 

Personally, I would never hunt with a barrel length under 26", but hey that's me. FWIW, the trend in professional target circles is to go with longer barrels, upwards of 32" and even 34".

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You may :).

 

I said I 'had' a 24" Nova that did not pattern well. I bought it in 98 or 99 for $200 NIB. I never liked the gun much. Gave it away to a friend. Patterned poorly and the choke tubes swelled. I recall lots of folks had barrel issues with early Novas.

 

So that was 1999 and a totally different gun.

 

It's 2007 now, and I have not heard many patterning complaints about SBE II's regardless of barrel length. The new Crio chokes seem to be working well for folks. My 26" bbl SBE II patterns very well. All seems well with the SBE II.

 

That's why I said a 24" bbl SBE II would be a good gun.

 

I also think a 26" bbl SBE II would be a good gun. A 28" bbl SBE II sounds good too. A 30" Sport II might be nice.

 

Hey, you said you wanted a 3.5" gun. Why :confused: Are they better? Are 3" guns bad? What about the lowly 2.75"? Ineffective? Obsolete? Does 3.5" allow me to make longer shots? Why, why, why???????

 

I choose 3.5" because it will either spread more pellets to the target or put the pellets to longer range, or both. Say a 3" #2 1-1/2oz 1400fps, but for a longer shot shell, 3-1/2" #2 1-3/8oz 1550fps.

 

Maybe you will say that difference does not have much effect, or, anything that a 3.5" can do, the 3" can also make it.

 

But anyway, the bottom line is, 3.5" will not be worse than a 3". Another bottom line is, with a 3.5" chamber, I can still shoot 3" well.

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I choose 3.5" because it will either spread more pellets to the target or put the pellets to longer range, or both. Say a 3" #2 1-1/2oz 1400fps, but for a longer shot shell, 3-1/2" #2 1-3/8oz 1550fps.

 

Maybe you will say that difference does not have much effect, or, anything that a 3.5" can do, the 3" can also make it.

 

But anyway, the bottom line is, 3.5" will not be worse than a 3". Another bottom line is, with a 3.5" chamber, I can still shoot 3" well.

 

But can you shoot 2 3/4" (7/8 oz.) loads without ejection issues?

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Benelli says the SBEII could handle anything from 2.75" to 3.5" magnum without any problem.

 

Not to sound flippant, but of course they would say that. I've seen it happen and talked to owners of SBE II's that have experienced ejection issues on light target loads.

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Because the pellet from 3.5" could have greater velocity than 3". Read the ammo box you will find that.

 

But what if they are the same speed :confused:

 

What if the 3" is faster than the 3.5"? Does the 3.5" still shoot farther?

 

What makes the 3.5" better in your opinion :confused: Why do you want one?

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Not to sound flippant, but of course they would say that. I've seen it happen and talked to owners of SBE II's that have experienced ejection issues on light target loads.

 

All of my SBE's and SBE II's have worked with with all the 2.75" - 3.5" loads I have tried.

 

So now you know at least one person who has not had the same problems as the owners you have talked to :)

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