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Turkey Gun - Barrel Length?


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What do you guys think in regards to Turkey Guns and Barrel length? I'm considering a 26" barrel on a SBEII but want to know your thoughts on this? I will occassionally be using this for other game as well (squirrel, rabbit, dove) but mainly for turkey hunting. Benelli makes a 24" Barrel and a 21" Barrel are these any better or just the latest interest? I always thought the longer the barrel the better the accuracy. I can understand the convenience of a shorter gun in tight situations and the fact that it weighs a little less for those who move around a lot, run and gun. I would like to know your thoughts on this. Which do you prefer?


Thanks guys.

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I would not go below 26" if you plan on using it for dove or any other wing shooting. The short barrel is mostly just for ease in the field. Usually, though, the rule of thumb is the longest barrel you can comfortably move about with. I hunt turkey from a blind, so I use a 28".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Remember a couple of things. First, a SBE has a REALLY LONG receiver. So a SBE with a 24" barrel is going to be as long a sighting plane and as long, or slightly longer in OAL as a 28" barrel Over/under. Don't believe it? Put them side by side and see.

Secondly, a shotgun with modern smokeless powder developes all of its velocity in more, or less the first 14" of barrel length, so anything more is just for sighting plane and balance/swing, so the gun doesn't feel pokey or stubby and you don't stop your swing of moving targets. Not a factor for turkey hunting. A gun that a good turkey gun is not going to be the ideal wing shooting piece, however a 24" SBE would be an excellent comprimise.

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