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View Full Version : 26 vs 28 inch barrels; Pro's & Con's



dc240nt
11-29-2009, 11:28 PM
Whats everyones opinion about the 26 vs 28 inch barrels? Why do you prefer the length that you do? What length is best for what situation? I have a bunch of questions I guess. I'm considering a new shotgun before next season and really dont know anything about each of these barrel lengths. I'll be hunting Pheasant, Ruff and Sharptail Grouse, also Turkey. I will have one gun for all. Whats your opinion?

donnie_19
11-30-2009, 07:46 AM
26" are great for point shooting and carrying through the brush. 28" will help swing through the target better. Depending on the brand you choose, most will have screw in chokes so pattern can be whatever you want.

BritChaser
11-30-2009, 09:12 AM
My gun has 24" barrels, the feature I bought it for. I hike up to eight miles in a day of pheasant hunting on the high plains. The longer the barrel(s), the heavier the gun carries. I use the gun on turkey too with a ported turkey choke -- it knocks the big rascals on their butts with a 2 3/4 inch 1.25 oz. of no. 5 lead shot.

JMc
11-30-2009, 10:07 AM
Here's my two cents in relationship with my Benelli's:

M1 w/24" - great gun but can't shoot it worth a darn
Legacy w/26" - shoots like a dream
Montefeltro w/28" - shoots nice

I can't tell you why, but I prefer the 26". I get the best of both worlds; quick point and still swings well. Would be willing to trade my Monte 28" barrel for a 26" if anybody wants to trade.

thurrealty
11-30-2009, 10:38 AM
Whats everyones opinion about the 26 vs 28 inch barrels? Why do you prefer the length that you do? What length is best for what situation? I have a bunch of questions I guess. I'm considering a new shotgun before next season and really dont know anything about each of these barrel lengths. I'll be hunting Pheasant, Ruff and Sharptail Grouse, also Turkey. I will have one gun for all. Whats your opinion?

My dad has an old Remington that has two barrels...one is a 26 inch and one is a 28...I have a 26 inch that I primarliy quail hunt with...but i use his to pheasant hunt and put the 28 inch on. I also use the 28 in to turkey hunt. I would buy a gun that you can do the same with. :cheers:

dc240nt
11-30-2009, 11:12 AM
Right now I'm set on getting a Benelli M2 in 20 ga. I've played with both barrels in the store and really can't come up with a difference while inside. The gun is very light with both lengths. However, I know the differences will show up once in the field. I appreciate the above comments, but would still like to hear more.

Dakotazeb
11-30-2009, 12:04 PM
With the M2 I would recommend the 24" or 26". Especially since you mentioned Ruffed Grouse hunting which I assume will be in heavily treed areas. Most shots are fast and the shorter barrel will get on target sooner. Personally I prefer the 24" as that's what I have on my Benelli Montefeltro pheasant gun. Barrel length is mainly a personal preference that has been debated on this site before. So it's really what you think feels the best to you.

Don't worry about needing the longer sight plain for the type of hunting you will be doing. Besides the sight plain on a 24" auto loader is approximately the same length as an O/U with 28" barrels.

Uncle Buck
11-30-2009, 03:57 PM
One has to remember that a semi-auto or pump has an action that adds to both length and weight. You have 6-8in more length than a double. Therefore you can use a shorter barrel to have the same sight plane length to bead as a double, most of which are 26 to 28. I prefer 28 on doubles 26 or24 on autos and pumps. Both my 20 ga. sxs are 26 tho. I wish one was 28 for pheasant.
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1GB
11-30-2009, 06:44 PM
I shoot a 28" for waterfowling. I shoot a 26" for upland birds.

A 28" is nice for passing shots. Typically in my upland adventures shots are out and going away, so I find a lighter, easier to maneuver gun is nicer.

Deacon
11-30-2009, 07:52 PM
20ga 26" O/U, will out shoot anyone in the field just about any day. Always get a good laugh at the guys carrying a heavy 12ga and they consistently miss shots. Have bagged many 3 bird limits on 5 shots or less. Go light, light, light for success will upland.

donnie_19
11-30-2009, 09:43 PM
More to do with the shooter than the gun. My old bird hunting buddy has killed more quail, turkey and pheasant with a 410 sxs than most.

niceshot
12-01-2009, 12:50 AM
Always get a good laugh at the guys carrying a heavy 12ga and they consistently miss shots.
A 12ga does not have to be heavy anymore, and the guys I hunt with only laugh in disbelief when I shoot "back up" with my 7lb Beretta 12ga O/U.:D

Rooster Roaster
12-01-2009, 12:57 AM
Just picked up a 26" Benelli Vinci. It has the same overall length as my 28' barreled OU and SxS. It also only weighs 6 lbs. 14 oz. Pretty nifty piece of pheasant weaponry. Mainly bought it for ducks, but it will get a workout on roosters, too.

niceshot
12-01-2009, 12:59 AM
This discussion would really benefit if we were clear about what type of gun has what length barrel, because a 26" inch auto is the same length gun as a 28" O/U.

Rooster Roaster
12-01-2009, 01:02 AM
This discussion would really benefit if we were clear about what type of gun has what length barrel, because a 26" inch auto is the same length gun as a 28" O/U.

The Vinci is a semi-auto.

Uncle Buck
12-01-2009, 10:28 AM
This discussion would really benefit if we were clear about what type of gun has what length barrel, because a 26" inch auto is the same length gun as a 28" O/U.

Actually longer. The action on a pump or auto is twice the length of the biggest shell it can handle so minimally it is 5.5 to 7 in. longer before you get to the barrel. This is why despite having two barrels, most doubles are lighter than guns with bolts.
The new autos are getting very light however.
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SnapShooter
12-01-2009, 07:49 PM
I go with 26" o/u, feel like I can shoulder it and point faster. A couple of years ago, I was researching the same question and found that their is ballistacally no advantage of one over the other. The artical actually stated that 27" was the best, but are not massively produced in the US because Americans prefer even numbers.
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Bob M
12-01-2009, 10:07 PM
Just my opinion, but with today's ammo a barrel of 21 inches is most likely gonna get you everything the shotshell can offer.

That brings it down to you and the particular gun. How does it feel, point, swing in YOUR hands? Because a shotgun is not aimed as a rifle it must fit you, the shooter, to perform to your desires.

Handle, swing, point, fondle, and if at all possible, shoot all you can and then YOU pick the barrel length.

My 2cents,
BobM

birdshooter
12-02-2009, 10:05 AM
There is not much difference in feel from a 26 to a 28" autoloader.

It really depends on the manufacturer as there are heavier versions and lighter versions depending on who makes the gun.

In a generalization:

Lighter shorter guns allow for more instinctual shooting. This is mostly useful when quick shots are needed. When there's not much time to acquire a sight picture, a quick handling, short or light gun is usually best.

The longer sighting plain thus longer gun adds a little weight up front and allows for smoother handling and a more accurate pointing gun. Where this might be helpful is in longer shots or passing shots where you have more time to acquire a sight picture. You can afford to be more deliberate on your shot and that is where a longer, heavier gun may help. The added weight for some makes the gun less whippy and less chance of stopping your swing.

Most Sporting Clays tournament shooters are shooting longer barrels. Most of the pros are shooting a 32" O/U or 30" on their autos. There is a reason for this and that is exactly what I have previously described above. But that is Sporting Clays and a good field gun should be a compromise between the short and long depending on where and what you are hunting.

Stature may also be a deciding factor as a smaller shorter person may find the 26" better suited regardless of what their hunting. I think if you were contemplating 24 or 28", there would be a better case for going either long or short. But 2" difference isn't much so it really boils down to what feels best to you.

FWIW

Fenway
12-02-2009, 11:36 PM
I'm shooting 30" tubes on my 20ga Rizzini, I was concerned at first but after more than half a season I love it, I have never shot better. I have only missed one all year, which is unheard of for me, it just fits perfect and well balanced It would be very light and whippy with 26" barrels. My 12 is 28 and my SXS, and Auto are two.