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what barrel length

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  • 4 weeks later...

usmarine: you nailed it, sir. 24" is a heck of quick handling huntin' gun. I grew up getting my share of game way back with 28" pumps and autos. I graduated to short barreled side by sides for upland hunting. Then I got the M1S90 in 24" back in '94 and it is just one smooth handling duck and pheasant gun. It is so quick to shoulder. Then, I went and really spoiled myself by gettin' a 20 gauge M2 w/ the 24" barrel-- 6 pounds even! I don't even remember I'm carrying it half the time it's so light! I've been called a good shot but my style is snap shooting for the most part. Grew up on MN grouse... that'll teach you snap shooting if nuthin' else will! PS I think anything shorter than 24" is overdoin' it... I tried once a long time ago, learned my lesson.

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I grew up with a 30" Ithaca 37 pump as a hand me down, oh yeah, it was full choke as well. I either missed or destroyed game! As I got older and able to afford my own guns I started with 28", then moved to a 26"-both of these are Berettas. When I bot my SBEII, three of my friends bot 26" and I bot 24". Everybody wishes they have 24". The overall length of the action makes a 24" barreled gun the same overall length as a most 3" chambered guns with a 26". I am toying with the idea of an M2 in 20 gauge and it will have 24". My SBEII is my all around gun, from sporting clays, turkeys, pheasants, etc. I would do it all over again the same way.

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A 28' barrel O/U is SHORTER than a 26" barrel M2 or a 24" barrel SBE II because of the length of the receivers on the autoloaders is so long. That being said go swing em all and find what YOU feel most comfortable with. It's like a woman, some like them with more equipment on top and some care about a better "lower".

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i'm with mr. witt......try several lengths and even try an o/u for "swing"!


since the thread starter didn't mention what game (ie. grouse, quail, rabbits, rats) just small game it is tough to advise what is the best for his or her hunting situation. Short barrels are great for turkey hunters and I like a 24" or 26" in the grouse woods where "swing" can be limited.....but when it comes to waterfowl, pheasants, chukar or quail I like a longer gun in 28" or 30"........for sporting clays I shoot 30" and 32" barrels!


Too many people today fail to realize the advantage a longer barrel provides on moving "winged" game with respect to swing and follow thru......a 30" barrel swings much faster on a crossing bird than a 24" due to a little thing called momentum!

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