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How much does barrel length effect pattern spread on a shotgun? I want to get a shorter barrel for my shotgun that is easier for

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  • How much does barrel length effect pattern spread on a shotgun? I want to get a shorter barrel for my shotgun that is easier for

    How much does barrel length effect pattern spread on a shotgun? I want to get a shorter barrel for my shotgun that is easier for me to carry around and maneuver in the woods for general purpose use.

  • #2
    None at all. Barrel length effects manuverablility and how well a gun "swings". A longer barrel gives the end of the gun more weight causing the gun to carry its momentum in the direction your moving it making for a smooter swing before and after the shot. While a shorter barrel won't carry its momentum as well it will make trasitions between one target to another easier, asuming the targets force you to revirse the direction of your swing. I don't know what your hunting but obviously this only applies to moving targets. Also, while this is valuable information it realy only makes a noticable difference on the Trap field (this is why most of your trap grade guns have 32"-34" barrels). That being said I'm assuming you have a 26 or 28 inch barrel on your field gun. They were manufactured like that for a reason, field guns already have relativly short barrels to account for a variety of different shots and allow versatility, unlike your trap grade guns. Unless your looking into a realy short barrel for turkey hunting I wouldn't suggest paying that money for somthing your barrel is already designed for. Or if you are thinking of getting a short barrel for turkey hunting the better investment may be to buy a turkey gun.

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    • #3
      Barrel length? Shot size? Application? Lets say you're shooting grouse with a 30" barrel and go to a 26. And you shoot with both eyes open. Sighting radius means nothing here, since you're not using the sight, but are pointing. And if you're hitting brush with the barrel, you need to stick to clearings or logging roads. In this case, switching barrels would be for nothing. If you're hunting birds in cover this tight, you don't have time to acquire the target by using the sights, so the difference due to a shorter sight radius will go unnoticed. There are better ways to spend the money.

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      • #4
        Barrel Length has nothing to do with Patten Spread the "Choke Seating" deems Shot patten. I'm a dyed in the wool Grouse Hunter, I use a Ithaca Mod 37 12Ga feather lite with a 19" Bbl with a Adjustable Poly-Choke(Old School)Good from Grouse to Deer, Now if your a Trap or Skeet Shooter you need a longer Bbl 26" to 30" for a longer sighting Plane and follow through.

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        • #5
          What they said,mostly. I talked to Claude and he would only discuss ergonomics because he doesn't like to wax technical. Barrel length can actually be a part of the equation that destroys your pattern. There is a mechanical resonance of the shot, put in motion by the short forcing cone of all inexpensive shotguns, that will scatter the shot if the barrel length is wrong, Most beginning shotgunners will walk away disgusted because they can't hit anything. The importance of reaming the forcing cone cannot be overstated. Just my experience as a shooter and engineer. Got the forcing cones reamed on five of my shotguns. Only one didn't need it. For me, it makes the difference between getting the limit on doves and getting two.

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          • #6
            I have talked to a couple of gunsmiths who say barrels of 26 inches stabilize shot as it travels down the barrel and results in better patterning.

            Beyond that, barrel length won't have much effect on the width of your pattern spread.

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            • #7
              What Phil said.

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              • #8
                Thanks y'all. I might need to explain a little more what I am talking about. We have hogs on our property now and we can't go into the woods without a gun. I want a gun that could do basically anything I walk up on (from squirrel to hog to deer) in a shorter lighter, easier to maneuver. package. My shotgun right now has a 28 inch barrel and it gets kind of annoying to carry around when I am trying to do other things. If I were intentionally going hunting for birds or if I were shooting clay pigeons I would use my longer barrel.

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                • #9
                  A lot of years ago I had a Winchester 1300 pump with a 22 inch barrel with the Winchokes in it. It was a fantastic turkey gun and was a dream to get around in the woods with. I would never dreamed of shooting trap, ducks, or geese with it but grouse, quail, turkeys, and hogs like you are talking about it was great. I traded it years ago and haven't seen one them for over 20 years.

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