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barrel length theory

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Hellcat, Oct 15, 2010.

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  1. Hellcat

    Hellcat TS Member

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    30", 32", 34", 35" -- Can someone explain barrel length theory?

    Does it come down to mere preference?

    Do all the great trapshooters choose 34"/35"?

    Any opinions on how a different barrel length changes the game for you (all else things being equal)? Thanks.
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    The primary difference is weight and balance. I seem to swing a longer barrel better than a short barrel.

    Any difference is shot performance is at best, minimal. It is a bit easier to see the front sight on a longer barrel but one should not be looking at the front sight so I see no advantage in this.

    Pat Ireland
     
  3. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    A short barrel swings faster and is easier to handle in the bush.

    Since only swing speed is an issue with trap shooters, many of them use longer barrels to make it more difficult for them to swing too fast (which would put them past the target). Sporting and skeet shooters tend to favor shorter barrels. Keeping in mind that what swings slowly also starts and stops slowly, you will have to decide what is right for you.

    MK
     
  4. Kenny Helderlein

    Kenny Helderlein Member

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    Back when the gun makers and the power makers where collaborating for long
    range bird shooting, the slower the powder burnt the longer the barrel to hold
    a better pattern was the theory. Some say the longer the barrel the easier it is to point. Some say the shorter the barrel the faster it swings. I guess whatever works for what you are shooting.
    Good question.Thanks Kenny
     
  5. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Does a short barrel on a Abrams tank move quicker than a long barreled one?

    A short barrel is easier to handle in brush/vines/trees, very true!

    Hap
     
  6. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    The theory of a long barrel in regards to shooting games ( trap, skeet and sporting) is that the longer barrels promote a smoother swing and follow through.

    As unbknown1 states "many of them use longer barrels to make it more difficult for them to swing fast (which puts them past the target)". I totally disagree with this statement. Long barrels are used to promote a smooth swing and follow through and are harder to stop once they get moving. Good things in shooting sports! Rare is the shooter that shoots in front of targets.

    If targets are fast and close, I prefer shorter barrels. I shoot a 25 inch barrel on my 1100 28ga as well as my 870 28ga. I can they shoot my 12ga 1100 with 32 inch barrels for longer range shooting that needs more follow through and longer leads. I can't tell you why it works. I just know that it does! Jeff
     
  7. ddrsuz

    ddrsuz Member

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    I buy into the theories about the only difference between barrel lengths is the sight line and swing issues, but I have always been fascinated by my very experienced mentors who have counselled me that barrel length makes no difference in pattern density (ok, here come the comments about length doesn't matter). If that were the case, I should get the same pattern when I hold the shell in my hand and bang it with a hammer, fire it out of a pistol, or fire it my 34" barrel. Should we be thinking that there is only minimal difference in patterns between the 28" and 34" barrels, rahter than no difference?

    Anyway Hellcat, I clearly am only repeating the same song, but in the end, it seems that barrel length is only in the eye or hand of the beholder.

    d
     
  8. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Other than long barrels bein a tad heavier and tougher to start, a lot of guys say,"I never see the beads or barrels when I shoot". How could barrel length make any differences at all to those people?

    Hap
     
  9. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    ddrsuz-Most of the powder is burnt in the first 18 inches of barrel. The pressure pushing the shot begins to fall soon after that. You do need a barrel long enough for the maximum pressure to develop and accelerate the shot. Twenty six to 28 inches will do that just fine.

    Personally, I like the longer barrels because of the swing. It is much more difficult to stop swinging a longer barrel and the gun should be moving as one shoots. Of course, it should also be moving in the right direction but that has nothing to do with barrel length.

    Pat Ireland
     
  10. Norsky

    Norsky Member

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    A newbie question: when swinging the barrel for follow through, does the shot travel horizontally as the barrel is swung or does it go straight from barrel? Hope this question is worded clearly. Regards, Ray.
     
  11. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Ray.. I like the way you think.. Yes.. it goes straight.. The moment for a shell at over 1000 fps is so short..a large cross wind will move your shot more than the barrel..

    Now.. I've made 34" O/U barrels that weigh less than most 27 5/8" barrels.. If you shoot 50/50.. down the rib.. the length matters not.. for hitting the bird..BUT.. now.. here's the trick part.. If you shoot a fixed rib..and see all kinds of rib to get your POI correct for you..when you shoot a shorter barrel with the same picture..the POI is vastly different.. Now.. remember I am a 1 eyed shooter who looks over the front of the barrel.. The relationship between the blob of the front.. and the target.. must be consistent.. In my ATA days.. I shot a 34" O/U and a 35" single.. close enough..

    Hope this helps.. Now.. it's me.. other people will certainly be different..
     
  12. ddrsuz

    ddrsuz Member

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    Norsky:

    I will be interested in Pat's or Neil's response, but my analysis when I have heard this is that the tangential velocity of the end of the barrel is way small compared to the speed of the shot while leaving the barrel................like 0-5 fps compared to 1200. In the .1 seconds that the shot is in the air this tangential velocity dissapates by air friction. My call would be yes, but hardly worth worrying about.

    Dennis
     
  13. Norsky

    Norsky Member

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    PBM & ddrsuz,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. Appreciate the information. Regards, Ray
     
  14. ddrsuz

    ddrsuz Member

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    Pat:

    your analysis is just as I have always thought, so many of the "coachy" things our mentors tell us is shortened to fit in one yelling breath, usually with leading and trailing expletive deleted. For some reason no one flamed me for including a reference to discharging a hand held shell with a hammer.......guess maybe most of us have done it enough to know what the results look like.

    d
     
  15. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Dennis- The shot string as it leaves the barrel is about 1 inch long and is in the shot cup. The shot is traveling at around 14,400 inches per second. If you would swing your gun at 818 MPH you would get a one inch displacement between the first and last shot leaving the barrel.

    Pat Ireland
     
  16. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Well,being new to sport and short,and short arm length,I've determined just like fishing.Makes NO sense for a short fella,say 5'6" casting with a 7' rod.Therefore short armed people like me,probably should stay with 28" barrels so as to NOT cause us to tip over while on the firing line.Balance is the key I believe.

    Doug H.
     
  17. semperfi909

    semperfi909 Well-Known Member

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    Decades ago Rem (I think it was) made mondo experiments to examine patterns, etc. The "hose analogy" is BS. Due to air drag affecting the front of the shot charge more, pellets slow and get replaced at the front by those behind as a process that pretty much has the last pellets out of the bbl the first ones to a 40yd target.


    HTH

    Charlie
     
  18. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    HAP: My older Abrams I had to crank the Bbl to the target, My newer Abrams does it w/ hydraulics and a computer but they won't let me shoot TRAP with it.

    Even though my handicap scores were down shooting here from Ohio at Targets in Arizona, the targets were already on the ground when my round got there.

    HaHa Happy Haloween Hap


    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  19. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Rick - The "sighting plane" is the distance between your eye and the target. The sight at the end of the barrel is never in focus. One half of the weight in each hand? If I mount my gun and remove my forward hand the barrel falls down. But if I remove my trigger hand, the gun does not fall from my shoulder. It is true that it requires more effort to begin swinging longer barrel, but it also requires more strength to stop the longer barrel once it begins to swing.

    Pat Ireland
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Member

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    Pat, you are so correct. The longer barrel certainly helps with follow through and helps to negate stopping the swing to early and also helps to ensure a smoother swing. Maurice ( The Brit. )
     
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