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gjw Offline OP
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Hi all, just was curious to see what you think on this subject. As it stands today, the fad/trend is for longer bbls.

But, what do you think about shorter bbls (25"/26") do they have a nich in the doublegun world?

As we all know, years ago, short bbls were in for the uplands, does anyone think they'll make a come back?

Your thoughts please!

Thanks as always!

Greg


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I don't pay a great eal of attention to barrel length. However, do find that longer barrels usually do contribute a great deal to the higher swing efforts (unmounted and mounted MOI's) that I find I shoot better.

DDA

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I use 25" barreled guns to shoot driven game in the UK. I have heard the argument that longer barrels help to maintain swing many times. For this to be true, longer barrels must be slower in starting to swing through a bird. I like the fast handling that short barrels give me and I have not experienced any problems with hitting both high pheasants or fast partridges. Short barreled guns are usually lighter to carry when walking to your peg, this helps to get you settled before the drive starts.

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Rocketman, does length have any real affect on the MOI versus the weight of the barrels and the affect of length acting on the point of balance as a lever? That is, would the MOI be different for barrels of different lengths if the point of balance and the weight were the same? My high school physics tells me that with the exception of the slight difference in resistance through the air that it is the mass of the barrels forward of the point of balance that is the major factor.


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I have spent much time considering this, and trying to be honest with myself about why I prefer longer barrels. I have come to these conclusions. Long barrels are aesthetically more pieasing to my eyes. The shortest barreled double I own is 28", and it is a .410. It looks longer and much more elegant than a 28" 12 ga., the slenderness of the tubes adding a subtle "gracefulness" to it's lines, as opposed to the fat tubes on a 12.

Aesthetics aside, I have believed for most of my life that I shoot a longer barreled gun better than a short one. I have long arms so naturally grip the gun farther out the barrels than most men. This gives me added leverage in swinging. I believe this factor is not considered in most discussions of barrel length preferences, but is crucial to handling qualities in a particular gun. So, I tend to move a shorter barreled gun too quick, and stop it too quick.

That said, spending a little time with Don, and his MOI device, has been a revelation to me. He helped me see and understand that barrel length is not nearly as demanding a mistress as is where the weight in the gun is located, or distributed. I.e., a short barreled gun can actually handle more like what I feel I need than one a bit longer, if the weight is distributed farther away from the balance point. This has changed my way of thinking greatly about handling (not about looks!). I will give more consideration to that, and less to length. As a caveat though, I still find that the vast majority of longer guns suit my handling characteristics more so than shorter ones.

SRH


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My longest barrels are on a 10 bore with 32". My shortest barrels are on a 12 bore with 28". I can hit better with the 28" but I don't think it has as much to do with barrel length as it does with stock fit. I don't like the looks of a gun with barrels less than 28".


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Greg, we all have our preferences, but I don't see short barrels making a comeback in popularity. Reason: Barrel length for field guns is influenced, more than most of us believe, by the clay target games. Short barrels were once in favor for upland hunting, and that trend (IMO) was strongly influenced by the then relatively new clay target game: skeet. Remember when almost everyone shot 26" barreled skeet guns? Carried over to the trend in upland guns, and skeet was created as practice for upland shooting.

Now we have sporting clays influencing barrel length, and those guys have gone longer and longer. Preferred barrel length on skeet guns has gotten longer.

Personally, I like doubles with 28" barrels for almost everything (hunting and clay targets) except trap, which I very seldom shoot. And when I do, I dig out my old Sterlingworth 12ga with 30" barrels. Some gun writers talk about the advantages of shorter barreled guns for grouse and woodcock hunting, because you're less likely to whack short barrels on trees. I've whacked plenty of barrels when shooting grouse and woodcock, but it's seldom the last 2-3" that come in contact with the tree in question. But gun for gun, shorter barrels mean lighter weight, and that can be an advantage for the grouse and woodcock hunter.

Last edited by L. Brown; 07/08/12 09:20 AM.
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Larry,

As always, well said.

I shoot targets better with 30" - 32" because once I get them started it is hard to subconsciously stop them!

Mark


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gjw Offline OP
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Hi COL, excellent point on Sporting Clays. I remember when the game fist started, it was supposed to be a game that hunters (with hunting guns) could recreate field type situations and help them shoot better in the field. Of course it evolved into a target game with specialized guns, chokes and what have you. To bad, seems if you show up at a SC course with your trusty hunting gun, your looked at like some kind of odd ball.

Oh well another topic!

Thanks again!

Greg


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Greg,

For the Upland hunting you and I do here on the Northern Plains, short barrels are no handicap and may be an advantage on our flushed pheasants, sharp tails and huns. If we did a lot of hunting in the wetlands where passing shooting is a way of life, I think longer barrels would serve us better.

I shoot 26 inch barrels very well on pheasants, but I do like the looks of 28 or 29 inch barrels on a SxS.


bc
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