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Barrel length

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You can buy very light 32" barreled guns and very heavy 28" barreled guns, so if both barrels weigh the same and guns weight the same. How does extra length help?

A 24" barrel gun with barrel weights can be much more front heavy than a long barrel gun.

People think long barrel better swing more steady. No not true, a guns balance has more to do with it.

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3 minutes ago, figgy said:

Long wildfowling guns needed to be long due to the shot charge weight and black powder needed the length to get full burn.

Modern powders are done in a foot or so up the barrel. So a choked 24" gun will shoot just as far as a 32" gun with same choke and cartridges.

Don't forget you have to add extended chokes to those 32 inch barrels figgy:yes:

At the end of the day it is what a)  fits you and your style b) gives you confidence.

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Walker I agree with confidence. But the clap trap of long barrels smoother swing I do not. 

The extended chokes can make a chunk of difference depending on how long and how much weight they add. 

For people wanting a more front heavy gun for swing through. Get some barrel weights and fix on as many as you want untill you get the swing you want. 

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It is the whole feel of the shotgun which matters most. Any of us who have a few years under our belts have hefted a fair few guns off dealers racks and 'some float and some don't'.

My Mossie 410 Husher certainly doesn't float. It is the most awful handling gun you could imagine, so I have to adjust accordingly and have learned to make it work but doing that takes a few years experience. Similarly my Grandfathers old BSA 12 gauge is a 'lump'  but I learned to shoot shotgun back in the 50s with it and again I can make it work for me. Back in the seventies I purchased an over and under 12 gauge, it felt right for DTL but I soon found out why it was cheap as the top rib had be soldered on all out of line but this didn't stop me MAKING that gun work for me, but at that stage I had handled and shot many shotguns of various makes and types.  For a new to the game shot, then they need to visit a reputable dealer and try and feel how a gun handles for them.  I tried to help a friend select his first shotgun a few years ago and picked one out and he said it felt good but the dealer HAD a gun he obviously wanted to sell and persuaded my friend it was a better gun. I didn't intervene it was his money.  He dispensed with that gun within a year, he couldn't hit a barn door with it.   Yes, as I did with my recent 410 purchase, I purhased one and then found the same model but with longer barrels which suited my style of shooting better.  I was not aware at the time they produced a 30 inch model. 

I don't feel a front heavy gun for swing through is necessary the gun has to be balanced throughout.  I personally feel that a shotgun moves better the longer the barrels BUT horses for courses. It would be a very boring world if we where all the same.

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38 minutes ago, figgy said:

Long wildfowling guns needed to be long due to the shot charge weight and black powder needed the length to get full burn.

Modern powders are done in a foot or so up the barrel. So a choked 24" gun will shoot just as far as a 32" gun with same choke and cartridges.

I was not referring to black powder guns, the way black powder burns, and the need for long barrels when using it........... I do have some knowledge of this, I have held a BP licence for many years! I was referring to breach loading English Nitro proved long barrelled double guns!

As far as I know the English gun trade never made a nitro proofed 8 bore with 24” barrels.....or a 12 bore, Mag, 3” chambered, Nitro proofed 12 bore with 24” barrels?.........(even with double full choke) why would that be?

The only reason I can see for English gunmakers making guns with long barrels, (or short barrels for that matter!) is that they handle differently, in a way that suits the style of shooting and quarry species the gun is expecting to encounter.

Modern guns seem to be built to suit demand/customer preference.............not to suit a shooting situation/quarry type!

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Opened an interesting can of worms here me thinks.

My late great uncle had an old single barrel 12 bore that we referred to as "a duck gun" and something had to be done to the breach area to tighten it up to fire modern cartridges ( modern in the early 70s) as I seem to remember something being said about it being a black powder gun. It had a 34" barrel. Don't know if any of the above info was true, but it had quite a range, though I personally struggled to hit much with it. I once saw my uncle drop a crow that paced out to over 100 paces, probably a realistic 70 or 80 yards. It was light and felt odd with that length barrel, but mainly because it was a single barrel I think. An over under would feel very different I'm sure, and with that said, "feel" and "fit" ( not necessarily professionally fitted) are probably what counts and what leads to confidence. My Franchi Affinity (27" barrel) is not an expensive gun, nor has it been fitted to me, but I have confidence with it and I guess it must fit me fairly well. I'd just like a second gun of a different bore, to do the same. My Franchi Raptor 20 is lovely, it's light and easy to handle, but I have varying degrees of success with it. I've had SxS's but generally I prefer looking down one barrel, rather than up between two, which is why I'm considering an over under 20. Perhaps I need to speak with my local-ish gun shop, and see if they may let me try before I buy. I'm hearing good things about the Turkish Kofs, especially for the price, so may wander over and put one to my shoulder 😁

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Oy reason I can of is, wildfowling guns were long for black powder carts even the breech loaders as that's what I was referring to not muzzle loaders. The trend and style will have just continued.  Many a Fowler has said sometimes the gun was too heavy to get on a bird or stay in front. Ballistically no need, to swing steady also no need for long barrels.

Live pigeon guns the trend was long tubes 30" was common. Yet today plenty use 26" barrel autos in the hides.

My first fowling auto was a 26" SX3 didn't make a jot of difference on high geese they still fell to the shot.

I remember looking at new sxs wildfowling guns and thinking that 34" barreled one looks good for geese. Times change and more hard data is available today than was available a century ago.

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A can of worms indeed.

In the past 25" barrels and now 32" barrels are a marketing hype.

Perhaps the long barreled fowling guns were a hype.

 

Edited by Robertt

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Perhaps the simplest answer is choose a gun you are happy wiith, have it fitted when you can consistently mount it and then practice a lot.

 

If as many do, you choose to have multiple guns with varying barrel lengths, bores and choking then you still need to practice regularly.

 

N.B. The long barrelled fowling weapons and live pigeon guns were that long to allow the black powder sufficient time to burn as the power is generated much more slowly than modern day powders.

Edited by TIGHTCHOKE
PUNCTUATION!

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3 hours ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Perhaps the simplest answer is choose a gun you are happy with, have it fitted when you can consistently mount it and then practice a lot.

/\  This is the answer.

For me anyway, I do a very 'mixed' lot of shooting from walked up grouse, a few smaller days on 'typical range' (i.e. not dramatically long range) pheasants and partridges, the occasional charity 'fundraiser flush' and a few 'for fun only' sporting clays with friends.  I could either have a few specialist guns such as a light weight quick gun for walked up, a general purpose game gun for pheasants and partridges, and a sporter for my clays - or do what I have done and have just general purpose guns (all 12g, mostly 28" barrels) and enjoy using them with suitably chosen loads.

For clays typically I use 3/4 oz and for game, 1 oz or 1 1/16 oz loads.  These are used in mainly either AyA or English s/s, or 'game' type o/u 28" barrels.  My normal 'go to' is a 40 year old AyA No 1, fitted to me and with 28" barrels.

I do have a s/s with both 28" and 30" interchangeable barrels and prefer the handling with the 28" set.

 

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23 hours ago, Old Boggy said:

I  think that barrel length is very much a personal thing, so whilst short barrels may suit one person but not another. My 20g Macnab Highlander has 29 inch barrels which I find suit me well but perhaps that`s the overall feel and fit of the gun and not necessarily the barrel length. Having shot with short barrels previously (12g AYA 25 BLE) I found that they are quick to start, but quick to stop. Ideal for snap shooting but need a concerted effort to maintain the swing. That`s just my take on it, others probably find things differently.

OB

Good answer ^^^

theres a bit more to it than just barrel length though 

the type of stock has a fair bearing on how the gun handles and or fits you more wood in the stock with a pistol grip and palm swell puts a bit of weight into the back of the gun helping to Ballance out the long barrel 

just a thought 😊

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a friend had a 325   32 " complained a lot re gun  / himself not quite 6 ft  every time he bent down to pick up empties  barrels stuck in the mud / every time someone slammed the land rover door shut,   his gun  got it  , every time in the hide he managed to get rapped up in the net so bought a 28"  the morel of the story  ( he couldn't shoot with either )       if it fits it will  work nothin to do with barrel length  ,  unless old black powder guns needed a long barrel to burn the slow powder 

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It's personal choice, end off 32" slowed and steadied my swing no end I missed a lot in front on clays with 28" and that was advice from a top top clay shot.

Adding a 9lb 32" Miroku was the best decision I ever made, but that won't suit everyone.

I know top shots using 30-34" but in general for smoothness and steadiness 32" is the preferred length on the top clay circuits.

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On 15/09/2019 at 21:09, Robertt said:

' Why were traditional wildfowling guns built to have extra weight and longer barrel.'

That is a question for the folk that made them. Perhap a spill over from the black powder days.

I can understand the weight of fowling guns but not the barrel length. 

I think weight is more relevant to a shotguns handling characteristics rather than barrel length.

               After building a Blackpowder Nutty slack Gun         

          if the length wasn't there you would no tget the pressure required and a Complete Burn.

            My Gun has a 42" Barrel .lol.. Try And Stop That..

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

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