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Question by thunderdog512. Uploaded on December 28, 2009
Another big difference is the weight - oftentimes the shorter barrels are best for upland bird hunting - where carrying the extra weight is undesirable and the longer barrels are used for skeet/trap/sporting clays where the longer barrels are thought to provide better momentum and a more fluid swing through.
The is a slight difference in handling characteristics and pellet velocity. The 26" barrel is handier, but the 28" barrel shoots "harder."
with a fixed choke the longer the barrel the tighter the choke
It's a trade-off, like most things. It all depends on your personal preference: I prefer the 26" because of the faster and easier handling, but others like the 28" because it helps them follow-through. Also, sometimes a 28" gun will pattern better than a 26" (it all depends on the loads, really). Plus, it also depends on which shotgun you're talking about - on a double I would always take a 28" or a 30" because you get the fluidity and the pattern advantage without the excessive length.
Bottom line, you'll never know until you try it. If you're looking at buying a new shotgun, always test both lengths (if possible.)
No, there is no difference other than handling characteristics as someone said. A longer barrel doesn't shoot harder or anything else. I prefer a 26, it's just a matter of eyesight.
Primarily affects balance, handling, and follow-through (longer barrel puts center of gravity forward so might help you swing through when pulling the trigger). Velocity differences between 26 and 28 barrels should be insignificant for most loads.
My preference is a 26 inch barrel. Good balance and swinging ability with nice handling in an upland situation
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