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Thread: 30" Barrels For Upland Hunting?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Berks County, PA

    Default 30" Barrels For Upland Hunting?

    My current upland gun is a Mossberg O/U with 28" barrels. I have a Browning Citori CX with 30" barrels on layaway at the local gun shop. The Browning will mainly be used for trap and sporting clays but I may also take it for birds. My question is, are 30" barrels too long or will I be okay for an O/U with multiple uses? I can't see that the 2" would make much difference in weight or swing. Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
    Mossberg International Silver Reserve II 12 ga.
    Carlson's Extended Steel M/IC chokes

  2. #2


    In general 30" barrels on an O/U are gonna be fine and wil be shorter overall then a semi with 28" barrels. If the weight is fine for you I see nothing stopping you from using it in the field. Think you will really like the Browning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South Dakota / Arizona


    It's all a matter of personal choice. If you are comfortable with the 30" barrels go for it. However, I think 28" would be a better choice but then I like shorter barrels on my upland guns. My O/U has 26".
    Janee's August Breeze - Bree

    Godfather's Dakota Elle - Elle
    1X NSTRA Champion
    11/16/2008 - 11/22/2016

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    I agree with Zeb - 28" for upland hunting; perhaps 26" for grouse and woodcock. A long barrel may prove to be difficult to swing in cattails, high corn,heavy cover/alders. Both of my guns are 26" - clay's and upland use.

    In the end, what you're comfortable with...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Western MT


    I like a longer barrel myself, gives a better sight plain. The gun I grab for when going hunting is the gun I shoot the best.

  6. #6


    I began my hunting with a fixed choke, 30", 870. I think it fair to say this was less than an ideal set up. Yet it was all I had. They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I've shortened that up a tad and now assert that necessity is simply a 'mutha'. At the time my teen aged arms could throw up this rather weighty blunderbuss aided by youthful exuberance. My current arms (fast pushing the big 5-'oh') would not be able to accomplish a similar feat nearly as quickly.

    Many close flushing roosters, ducks, barn swallows, 3-toed tree sloths, etc...were turned into steaming piles of nondescript protein as I mounted that gun with ludicrous speed. The remaining pile being unfit for even a tin of 'Fancy Feast' cat food. This gun did force me to develop some shooting discipline. Roosters flushed at my toes were given a count of 3 before I unleashed upon them. This reduced the number of birds that ended up looking like a fragmentation grenade had been firmly wedged in their grommets. Pin having been pulled...

    A break action gun with 30" barrels will still be several inches shorter than the Remington I was forced to carry in my youth. With the right choke tubes it would be just fine for the pursuit of longtails. My only objection with such a set up would be weight. If I were blocking a pushed cornfield I may prefer such a gun. However, if I were bulling my way through miles of public cattails for each flush I would prefer to partake in something a bit less painful. Like a root canal performed by a mentally unstable dentist.

    That's about as well as I can sum up on the topic. I prefer to tote a slightly lighter set up these days but if you don't might the weight you'll do just fine with the right choke tubes inserted for your situation.
    Last edited by nastymcnarf; 11-12-2017 at 02:10 PM.

  7. #7


    There may be something important hidden in your original post.

    You mention that you will be using the 30" Citori for trap and sporting clays. Being that you will be practicing with that gun, you may find that you shoot upland game with it better than another gun that you do not regularly practice with.

    I hunted pheasants for a few years with a 30" Winchester Model 12. I had opened the choke to light modified and I had no problems hitting pheasants. I am sure that its overall length was considerably longer than a Citori.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016


    My Nitro Special has 30” barrels. It works great for pheasant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Northeastern Ontario


    I think it depends on what or how you define upland game.Doves,pheasant,prairie grouse,absolutely .
    Snipe,ruffed grouse,woodcock.I would opt for shorter barrels if for no other reason than I want the balance between my hands not in front,this does not tire my forward hand as much.To be successful at that game the gun must be carried at the ready.Longer barrels may smooth out your swing ,but those birds I mentioned will change direction on a dime.You must too to connect with any consistency.Easier to do with a gun that is barrel light ,instead of barrel heavy.A gun can be barrel light without being whippy.


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