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Ideal Barrel Length

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42 minutes ago, Adrian Foster said:

Its down to balance. The man on the Clapham omnibus wants the balance point at the hinge pin.

O&U's have heavier receivers (and seem to get heavier) and thus barrel lengths became longer to even the weight out. This may change with the new balancing systems.

Also light barrels are easy to start to swing and then harder to control and vice versa. Good shooters tend to be fitter and thus prefer the better control of a heavier barrel. High bird guns also have a long barrel for tight control - Multi choke guns usually carry extra weight in the chokes which can account for a further inch or so a high bird fixed choke 33/34 inch gun is not unusual compared to a 30 inch multi-choke sporter.

I expect most shooters would drop a few if you swapped a 28 inch barrel for 32 inch barrel as the handling would change.

Balistically I understand anything after 24 inches its irrelevant.

 

 

I’d agree with much of that.
I’ve always found light Sporters much livelier and easier to ‘get going’, and find my trap guns take a bit more to get them going in a sporting layout, but once going they tend to be steadier and can swing for England. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Scully said:

I’ve never said 32” barrels are a fad, though the current trend Is for longer barrels, and I agree, it is all down to personal choice.
Have the scores of the current top shots increased as opposed to the top scores of those from the days when 28” barrels predominated? If so then I assume the same must apply from the days when 30” predominated over 28” on circuits, and improved again when 32” took over from 30”. It all sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it. 
You can only score 100 ex 100 at any shoot consisting of 100 targets; are more shooters consistently scoring maximums nowadays with 32” barrels as opposed to the days when they shot 30” guns from those in the past who shot 28”? Who knows? But if so, what possible advantage is there if ALL are using 32” barrels? 🤷‍♂️
Are you seriously suggesting that one top shooter with a 28” barrelled shotgun would miss a target he wouldn’t have with a 32”, or even a 30”? Really? If only it were that simple. 
If a top gun manufacturer said they had developed a 26” barrelled shotgun which would offer a distinct advantage over a 32”, shooters would be queuing up to buy it. 
Personal choice, not ‘better’. 
Barrels longer than 32” inch have been around for a lot longer than decades, if they’re ‘better’ then it makes you wonder why we ever bothered with shorter ones. 
Could it be that improvements in propellants and therefore ballistics , negated the need for longer barrels? 

 

 

Have you ever thought why most top shots don’t use 34” guns or 30/28 for that matter ? Because they feel 32” is the best compromise. BH is I believe on record as saying 34” is not the right tool for most people on Sporting, the designer of the Blaser F16 who admittedly used a 27” Browning gun to good effect is on record as saying he wished he’d changed to 32” earlier ! Mr. Myers K80 is I believe a 30” sample and if I’m not mistaken he says he felt that just felt better for him than the 32” version, almost certainly why most people so quickly fell in love with the Parcours K80, because that guns barrels were made much lighter which meant the vast majority of people were able to swing it in an easier fashion that is possible with the standard K80 which is famed for its bulky ponderous “handling”. 

It is laughable to suggest people shoot 32” for any reason other than the fact it’s the best compromise, you just don’t shoot enough registered targets. 

Edited by Hamster

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5 minutes ago, Hamster said:

Have you ever thought why most top shots don’t use 34” guns or 30/28 for that matter ? Because they feel 32” is the best compromise. BH is I believe on record as saying 34” is not the right tool for most people on Sporting, the designer of the Blaser F16 who admittedly used a 27” Browning gun to good effect is on record as saying he wished he’d changed to 32” earlier ! Martin Myers K80 is I believe a 30” sample and if I’m not mistaken he says he felt that just felt better for him than the 32” version, almost certainly why most people so quickly fell in love with the Parcours K80, because that guns barrels were made much lighter which meant the vast majority of people were able to swing it in an easier fashion that is possible with the standard K80 which is famed for its bulky ponderous “handling”. 

It is laughable to suggest people shoot 32” for any reason other than the fact it’s the best compromise, you just don’t shoot enough registered targets. 

😂 I don’t shoot ANY registered targets! 
Despite that,  your post above would appear it’s simply down to personal choice, which is what I suggested.  That doesn’t make it ‘better’ than anything else, only an individuals preference. 
I’m not against longer barrels at all, I just find it laughable for someone to claim they’re ‘better’. 
Is the ‘standard Krieghoff’ a 32” model? If so then according to what you’ve just posted, it would suggest it’s not down to barrel length, but more to do with weight distribution, if the Parcours is also a 32” model?

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1 hour ago, timps said:

The game of sporting clays has evolved massively, back in the day you had manual traps where the trapper had to hear you and be safe from being shot therefore targets tended to be closer. Now with electronic traps with big carousels and remote control they can be put anywhere with a big amount of spring. 

The longer barrels are meant to help with the sighting plane smoothing  the swing and easier to point for these 'bigger' targets. The sweet spot for compromise seems to be 32". Some manufacturers tried to push 34" and even though shooters have won world titles with 34" they haven't caught on with the masses the same with the fancy ribs. 

I started out with 28" then moved to 30" then to 32" my choice of size  was dictated by finances rather than anything else. I was given the 28" by my dad, I got a 30" at good money then the same with a 32" they were one off deals on specific guns take it or leave it so no choice on size.

I never felt disadvantaged shooting the 28" at the time but last time I tried a 28" I think it would take a bit of time to get back to shooting it and I didn't enjoy the experience at all.

Up until recently I owned both 30" and 32" and although I could shoot the 30" I preferred the 32" size a lot more. 

Now this could be just because I have shot 32" in competition for so long everything else seems odd or 32" is indeed better who knows.

In terms of weight my Browning ultra XS 30" had a heavier barrel weight than my Beretta DT 10 32" so shorter barrel size doesn't always mean easier to handle. 

But as Hamster says if you are shooting competitions and the vast majority are won by 32" why run the risk of going against the winning formula. 

👍 At the end of the day one length has to end up as the most often used or most popular, it’s only sensible to call that the best compromise.

I started off with a 28” Laurona and managed a lofty 47x50 at some point, (meaning they can of course have their necks wrung to produce good scores), then moved to a 30” Miroku 6000 which I quickly sold as it kicked liked a mule, the 30” Beretta 682 that took its place was a great gun except it had dead feeling barrels and after ten years was replaced with a 682e with 32” lightish 1430g barrels which proved easily to be the best compromise, forget “handling”, the scores showed it. 

These days if I ever pick up a short barrelled gun they invariably feel like they seesaw in my hands as I’m trying to align the target, in short they’re harder to shoot well - simples. 

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I have always believed that length is irrelevant, it is HOW you use it that really matters  !      :whistling: 

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17 minutes ago, Westley said:

I have always believed that length is irrelevant, it is HOW you use it that really matters  !      :whistling: 

🙂 Quite. Practice makes perfect. 

Meanwhile......The basic mechanism of shotguns were perfected over a hundred years ago, and therefore there isn't anything new really, with which to tempt buyers apart from technology, gimmicks, and cosmetics, the latter two being variations on a theme. Can anyone name me one major world leading brand of shotgun manufacturer with a history of excellence which has made any significant improvements to either their brand or the world of shotgunning? The same applies to golf clubs, golf balls, tennis rackets and darts.

Krieghoff make excellent and very desirable shotguns, but they don't have the history behind them ( their K series is a direct copy of an old design, the Remington K32 ) such as Beretta, Perazzi or Browning, all of whom in their day produced the 'got to have' gun. However, it is the era of Krieghoff and they are certainly the guns by which all others are judged currently, but it will be interesting to see if they can, how they can, and for how long, keep up their current supremacy, and what they will conceive to retain that supremacy. 

None of this is meant to suggest I think longer barrels are a gimmick, they're not, but I would think there have been AAA shots around for much longer than there have been 32" barrels. Are todays AAA shots consistently scoring higher than the AAA shots of say the '70's or '80's? I wouldn't know. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Nah, I think clay shoots have just got easier, that coupled with whimpish cartridges and not them  1 1/8ozs shoulder bruisers we had. PLUS of course squidgy rubber pads, stocks that adjust in all directions, boxes of chokes AND even EAR DEFENDERS , not to mention £600 specs !     :no:

Oh, by the way Remington copied that gun from a Miroku..................didn't they   ?

Edited by Westley

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31 minutes ago, Westley said:

 

Oh, by the way Remington copied that gun from a Miroku..................didn't they   ?

I don’t know to be honest. I’ve never seen a Miroku with floating barrels or that lock up system, but that doesnt mean there wasn’t one. 🤷‍♂️

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I agree entirely that barrel length is not necessarily a reflection of weight but in the days before lighter barrels and barrel & stocks weights it often was.

Many people talk about different guns and their handling characteristics but that means little without a reference point - the best being the balancing point forward or backward of the hinge.

The other (major) factor is the front hand and its position on the forend. Somebody with a wider grip (hands further apart and front hand towards the end of the forend) will feel less barrel weight as more weight is held between the hands where its effect on gun swing & speed is quite neutral. The opposite is also true and many juniors and lady shooters need shorter barrels for that reason alone

 

 

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Posted (edited)

While I was waiting the shoot high pheasant clays I was told by a stranger that my 26” barrels where no good for that stand. I shot 10 straight, he shot 7 with one of them just clipped with 32” barrels, told him to get a hacksaw and cut 6” off his barrels. I have since shot 8 of 10 on the same stand with a 1/2oz shot in a 410 with 26” barrels.

Edited by cervusman

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49 minutes ago, cervusman said:

While I was waiting the shoot high pheasant clays I was told by a stranger that my 26” barrels where no good for that stand. I shot 10 straight, he shot 7 with one of them just clipped, I told him to get a hacksaw and cut 6” off his barrels. I have since shot 8 of 10 on the same stand with a 1/2oz shot in a 410 with 26” barrels.

Not high lodge by any chance?

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I agree that 32” is the most popular on many disciplines.

In OT ......  291/2 to 30” is the most prevalent by far. Obviously the fast angled targets and static start demand an element of liveliness.

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Some of the Trap disciplines appear to prefer 30” set ups but oddly enough many professional Skeet shooters appear to keep their 32” Sporting guns for Skeet as well ! 

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I guess the difference is that in skeet, you know where the bird is going, and stance plus muscle memory etc can be honed to suit that very target.

In OT, you could get a screaming left OR right hander .. and it's much more 'instinctive'

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1 hour ago, cervusman said:

Yes, high lodge.

That's my favourite stand by a mile, hit plenty off there with a 26" too. 

 

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20 hours ago, Scully said:

I don’t know to be honest. I’ve never seen a Miroku with floating barrels or that lock up system, but that doesnt mean there wasn’t one. 🤷‍♂️

Miroku 3000.  One of Miroku's very few er......Disasters    !

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I'm six feet four inches tall so my guns are stocked to 15 1/2" LOP. I did once have a Midland Gun Company BLE with 32" barrels and found that it was difficult to get out of my gun cabinet. My own thoughts are that perhaps longer barrels are better suited to the maintained lead style of shooting rather that the instinctive style of shooting as taught by Churchill and others later. 

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Have a look o YouTube at goshooting ! Russel mark from Australia tells you everything you need to know 

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SO Mr OP you must now know what the ideal barrel length is. No! I don't either and I am sticking to my 26" ones with which I shoot well.

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1 hour ago, DUNKS said:

SO Mr OP you must now know what the ideal barrel length is. No! I don't either and I am sticking to my 26" ones with which I shoot well.

Ahh but you might shoot better with them a bit longer or shorter and not to mention having a different rib on them 😚

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4 minutes ago, Old farrier said:

Ahh but you might shoot better with them a bit longer or shorter and not to mention having a different rib on them 😚

Just leave it! do ya hear me leave it!😁

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1 minute ago, DUNKS said:

Just leave it! do ya hear me leave it!😁

But you know that you need a new gun when this is over 

you really do 😂😂

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1 hour ago, Old farrier said:

But you know that you need a new gun when this is over 

you really do 😂😂

Yep but it'a going to be a vintage black powder probably with 32" barrels.

Oh dear look what I just said.😄

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5 minutes ago, DUNKS said:

Yep but it'a going to be a vintage black powder probably with 32" barrels.

Oh dear look what I just said.😄

File cut rib or ? 🤭

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