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I'm a new shooter and am asking if anyone could recommend a barrel length that would be would be good at both trap and sporting clays. I recently shot trap with a 32" O/U and loved it but I've never shot sporting clays and don't know how it would perform there.

Steve
 

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There isn't an ideal barrel length for everyone; it's a preference thing. My only suggestion is to try different lengths at the games you want to play. The length mainly changes the balance and swing of the gun.

I use and prefer a 32" barrel for trap and skeet; I just like the way it handles.
 

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A shorter barrel is easier to manage quickly. 20 years ago, nearly all skeet guns had 26 in barrels. As Sporting grew, so did the barrel lengths, right or wrong.

A longer barrel allows more precise pointing, so they say.

A 26" auto is usually close in length to a 30" O/U
 

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I went from a 26" barrel to a 30" barrel to 32" for skeet and SCs, and 34" for trap. I won't be going back.
 

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I tried shooting skeet and 5 Stand with my 32" Browning Trap gun. It was too cumbersome, to track quick moving targets. I use a 30" O/U for skeet and a 30" semi-auto for 5 Stand. Just because a barrel is a certain length, doesn't mean it is the same as all other barrels of that same length. Mark
 

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Exactamundo! Barrel weight and moment of inertia are different in guns with the same barrel length. Not all 32" guns move the same.

A lighter longer barrel is ALWAYS BETTER than a shorter barrel in terms of pointability.......try shooting different guns with 32" barrels....Barrel "pointability"also depends on your height, conditioning/strength, etc.

Geez, two "new" words, i.e., "exactamundo and pointability".......

Most people shoot 30" semiautos and 30" or 32" over/unders....
 

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One of the top sporting shooters/instructors in the world told me he thinks that 90% of shooters would be best served with a 30" semi auto.
 

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People shoot bunker trap mostly with 30'guns.( fast targets,wide angles) The problem is not the gun's barrel length for trap or sporting , is the stock!

With proper chokes you can shoot easily both, trap and sporting with 30"-32" but the stock makes the difference!
 

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Long barrels are all the rage these days. Generally I'd say if you did well with 32's in trap the same weight/balance would do fine for sporting. As others have said there is more to it than just barrel length. For instance, my 32" Beretta Optima barrels are lighter and swing faster than my 29" Beretta Mobile barrels.

Tim Smith
 

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When setting up a shotgun stock (and rib), many trap shooters prefer the center of the pattern to be several inches or more above the point of aim. This because trap targets are generally rising when shot at. For skeet and sporting clays, many prefer the center of the pattern closer to the point of impact, if not actually exactly the same. This because of the different paths the clay targets follow, not always rising like trap. This is a very simplified explanation aimed at helping a new shooter understand trap vs. other shotguns. Hope it helps. -Ed
 

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To pick up on what Ed says, at a sporting course near me, at least 50% of the shots are at dropping clays--some gently sloping down, some on a rainbow arc, and some dropping straight vertical. This course is set up mostly for tournament shooters (which I ain't), but every course I've ever shot had some dropping targets.
 

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I shoot a 32" Sporting gun for every discipline. I have shot 100 straights in Trap and Skeet and I am consistently in the high eighties and low 90's in sporting, although some of the tougher courses not so much. every ones philosophy is a little different. Bottom line is to get a shotgun that fits you, know where it shoots(60/40,50/50,etc)and practice with it. You will meet with success. If you only want to shoot one of the disciplines then get a gun for just that sport. If you want one shotgun to play all then the sporting gun is for you. 30" or 32" is a personal preference.
 

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IMO if you are a tall bigger person 32" if you are of a small or medium build 30" might be better but some small people shoot 32-34" guns quiet well and vise versa.
 

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It's what fits you best and what you're use to shooting. I know a guy that has won State singles events shooting 200 straight with both a 30" O/U and a 35" top single. The same guy now shoots 2 different 32" guns on sporting and a 34" gun on trap singles and handicap, and is still winning State and regional events in both games.

The right POI is what counts. Finding it, and being consistant is the tough part.
 
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