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Q:
I am in the market for a 12 gauge shotgun. I notice that the barrel length goes from about 18 inches to 28 inches. I know the obvious benefit of weight on a shorter barrel, but does the longer barrel offer more accuracy? Can you tell me what benefits a longer shotgun barrel would have versus a shorter one. Seems that the longer barrel guns are cheaper. Go figure, more metal, less price.

Question by 93Snake. Uploaded on December 21, 2010

Answers (9)

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from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

the longer the barrel the farther your range . it is more accurate to . pretty much the shorter barrel is good for is tight spaces and a bigger spread . the longer barrel will hold a tighter pattern at longer distances .

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

If you have a decent choke, the barrel length really doesn't effect accuracy, but the longer the barrel, the more like you are to follow through with your shot. Heavier guns make it easier to keep the gun moving with the target.

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from PigHunter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

Pattern is a function of the choke and not the barrel length. Velocity is not greater with the longer barrel and depends more on powder burning rate, friction of the shot cup, etc.

The longer barrels are usually ribbed with a bead sight and will give you a longer sight radius and may result in better accuracy. Also, the longer barrel may put more weight further out to help you when swinging to the proper lead when shooting at flying birds.

From Wikipedia:
"Shotguns generally have longer barrels than modern rifles. Unlike rifles, however, the long shotgun barrel is not for ballistic purposes; shotgun shells use small powder charges in large diameter bores, and this leads to very low muzzle pressures (see internal ballistics) and very little velocity change with increasing barrel length. According to Remington, modern powder in a shotgun burns completely in 25 to 36 cm barrels."

"Shotguns made for close ranges, where the angular speed of the targets is great (such as skeet or upland bird hunting) tend to have shorter barrels, around 24 to 28 inches (610 to 710 mm).

"Shotguns for use against larger, slower targets generally have even shorter barrels. Small game shotguns, for hunting game like rabbits and squirrels, or shotguns for use with buckshot for deer, are often 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 inches)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

I have to agree with pbshooter and blackdawgz that the longer the barrel, the smoother the swing,
not to mention the less obvious benefit that the 28-inch barrel is ten inches closer to the target than the 18-inch barrel:)

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

lefthandedshooter..."Longer the range?" That's a lefthanded answer...barrel length has nothing to do with the range. It is all about barrel length, and the weight of the longer barrel. Once you get the longer barrel swinging, it tracks better, stays on line better, follows through better because of the weight. And 18" barrel? They come with holsters.

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from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

sayfu i remember in physics class my teacher took 2 straw a 2 inch straw and a 4 inch straw he shot a bb out of both with equal pressure and the one with a longer barrel went farther and more accurately . and thats what i went by .

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from shane wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

A longer barrel does not provide more range or accuracy. A longer barrel can help give more consistent tight patterns, but only a little, it's mostly dependent on the choke.

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from Sayfu wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

Shane, good answer. The powder ignition, and effective muzzle velocity is accomplished in a short distance. From there, it is the choke that determines the pattern. The eye should stay on the target, not the barrel. If the eye goes to the barrel before you shoot, the barrel stops, and you miss behind a moving target. It is all about the swing. No need to intentionally follow through after the trigger is pulled. If the eye stays on the target when the trigger is pulled the barrel will follow through automatically..the longer barrel has more wt/momentum, and follows through automatically. Shorter barrels are more "flippy" and prone to up and down, and jerky moves compared to the longer barrel gun. In recent years, the move has been to the longer barreled gun, especially when not carrying one in the field, like in a duck blind, or stationed shooting doves.

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from RES1956 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

93 Snake, What exactly are you planning on using this shotgun for and a better determination can be made for recommendations for barrel length and other questions you have.

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from pbshooter1217 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

If you have a decent choke, the barrel length really doesn't effect accuracy, but the longer the barrel, the more like you are to follow through with your shot. Heavier guns make it easier to keep the gun moving with the target.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

Pattern is a function of the choke and not the barrel length. Velocity is not greater with the longer barrel and depends more on powder burning rate, friction of the shot cup, etc.

The longer barrels are usually ribbed with a bead sight and will give you a longer sight radius and may result in better accuracy. Also, the longer barrel may put more weight further out to help you when swinging to the proper lead when shooting at flying birds.

From Wikipedia:
"Shotguns generally have longer barrels than modern rifles. Unlike rifles, however, the long shotgun barrel is not for ballistic purposes; shotgun shells use small powder charges in large diameter bores, and this leads to very low muzzle pressures (see internal ballistics) and very little velocity change with increasing barrel length. According to Remington, modern powder in a shotgun burns completely in 25 to 36 cm barrels."

"Shotguns made for close ranges, where the angular speed of the targets is great (such as skeet or upland bird hunting) tend to have shorter barrels, around 24 to 28 inches (610 to 710 mm).

"Shotguns for use against larger, slower targets generally have even shorter barrels. Small game shotguns, for hunting game like rabbits and squirrels, or shotguns for use with buckshot for deer, are often 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 inches)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

I have to agree with pbshooter and blackdawgz that the longer the barrel, the smoother the swing,
not to mention the less obvious benefit that the 28-inch barrel is ten inches closer to the target than the 18-inch barrel:)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

lefthandedshooter..."Longer the range?" That's a lefthanded answer...barrel length has nothing to do with the range. It is all about barrel length, and the weight of the longer barrel. Once you get the longer barrel swinging, it tracks better, stays on line better, follows through better because of the weight. And 18" barrel? They come with holsters.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

Shane, good answer. The powder ignition, and effective muzzle velocity is accomplished in a short distance. From there, it is the choke that determines the pattern. The eye should stay on the target, not the barrel. If the eye goes to the barrel before you shoot, the barrel stops, and you miss behind a moving target. It is all about the swing. No need to intentionally follow through after the trigger is pulled. If the eye stays on the target when the trigger is pulled the barrel will follow through automatically..the longer barrel has more wt/momentum, and follows through automatically. Shorter barrels are more "flippy" and prone to up and down, and jerky moves compared to the longer barrel gun. In recent years, the move has been to the longer barreled gun, especially when not carrying one in the field, like in a duck blind, or stationed shooting doves.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

the longer the barrel the farther your range . it is more accurate to . pretty much the shorter barrel is good for is tight spaces and a bigger spread . the longer barrel will hold a tighter pattern at longer distances .

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

A longer barrel does not provide more range or accuracy. A longer barrel can help give more consistent tight patterns, but only a little, it's mostly dependent on the choke.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

93 Snake, What exactly are you planning on using this shotgun for and a better determination can be made for recommendations for barrel length and other questions you have.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lefthandedshooter wrote 3 years 17 weeks ago

sayfu i remember in physics class my teacher took 2 straw a 2 inch straw and a 4 inch straw he shot a bb out of both with equal pressure and the one with a longer barrel went farther and more accurately . and thats what i went by .

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer