Does barrell length have anything to do with it?

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Does barrell length have anything to do with it?

Postby huntingrdr » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:02 pm

Hello,


I have a Mossberg 835 camo turkey gun with a 24" barrell on it. I have a modified choke in it. I took it out skeet shooting and could not hit anything. I took it dove hunting and I still cant hit anything with it. I went turkey huntig with it with the full choke in it and dropped it in his tracks. I went to Cableas and just bought me a Benelli. I went skeet shooting and duck hunting with it and I could hit everything. It had a modified choke in it too. I have decided not to take it duck hunting again becuase it gets too beat up where I go. I like the Moosberg for the fact that it is synthetic and it can handle all kinds of beatings. I want to use my Moosberg for turkey and duck hunting and my Benelli for everything else. Could the length of the barrell be an issue with the Mossberg? Is that why I cant hit anything with it? I was thinkning about getting a 28" barrell for it. Do you think this would help? I think the pattern splits up way too quick before it gets to the bird. Remember it is a 24" barrell on it. I want to get a 28" for it so I can take it duck hunting this year. Do you think the length of the barrell has anytihng to do with it and why I cant hit anything with it?

Thanks Robert
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Postby greenster » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:52 pm

Barrel length should not have any- thing do to with it ballistic is made with in the first 14" of barrel. It problem all in the choke tube, or even you. Try pattering your tubes, good duck pattern for mod is about 60 percent + at 40Yds nothing less is suitable. Full about 70% at 40yds is min. See what your tubes are throwing and where you gun shoots it. Then post back.
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Postby huntingrdr » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:17 pm

Alright, I will pattern it this weekend.

Thanks
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:49 pm

hey man....

I agree w/ greenster. Ballistically yer gun is sound. But you will have to git used to the way it "swings" or handles unless you do want to git that other barell.

Up to you. I would try to learn how to use the shorter one... and if it just isnt werkin fer ya, git the longer barell :salude:

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Postby huntingrdr » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:59 pm

I ahve had the gun for 3 years and still cant hit crap with it. I have no clue what the problem is. I am going to pattern it in this weekend.
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Hitting target

Postby Decoy » Tue Nov 01, 2005 9:12 am

I found it helps when I keep my eyes open. Let me know what happens after you pattern it. I am thinking about a 24" barrell.
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Postby huntingrdr » Tue Nov 01, 2005 3:32 pm

will do

thanks
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Postby mvbighead » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:26 pm

Figured maybe I could chime in since I actually have experience with shorter barrels (no puns intended). My Benelli Nova has a 24" barrel, and my Browning BPS has a 22" barrel. I have shot both at ducks and geese, using the Browning on smaller birds and the Benelli (with the 3.5") at larger birds (mallards/geese). I have no problems hitting either ducks or geese (okay, well, truthfully, I often don't lead enough) but the guns' patterns are great.

I am sure others as well shoot short guns too, but figured at least I could give some input. (BTW, my brother is giving me crap about buying a new SX2 (my first semiauto) with a 24" barrel when I could've gotten a 26" barrel for $80 more, but for me, the shorter barrel is soooo much more convenient in the blind.) Just my $.02.
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Postby Citori12 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:48 am

barrel length has more to do with the overall balance of a shotgun more than it has to do with its ability to down birds. For waterfowl loads a minimum would be 22-24 inches as the slower burn rate powder needs at least 18" to give full velocity. I use 26" barrels on autos and 28" in stack tubes...I have a buddy that loves his 11-87 in 18" but its more of a personal preference. As far as patterning is concerned I customize my patterns for the type of shooting...in most cases I like more open patterns as most of the birds I take are very close.
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Postby mvbighead » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:58 am

Citori12 wrote:barrel length has more to do with the overall balance of a shotgun more than it has to do with its ability to down birds. For waterfowl loads a minimum would be 22-24 inches as the slower burn rate powder needs at least 18" to give full velocity. I use 26" barrels on autos and 28" in stack tubes...I have a buddy that loves his 11-87 in 18" but its more of a personal preference. As far as patterning is concerned I customize my patterns for the type of shooting...in most cases I like more open patterns as most of the birds I take are very close.


That actually makes alot of sense. I have been shouldering some 26" guns and even 28's, and they all seem to be front heavy for me (I'm used to the shorter barrels). That may be why I feel so much more comfortable with the shorter barrels.
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Postby AK Ducks » Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:27 pm

a longer barrel will help your swing and makes a follow through more natural an that would probably be why your wing shooting isn't so great with the short barrel.
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Postby Citori12 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:30 pm

I do not believe that a longer barrel encourages follow through or swing through. But I do believe that those who prefer longer barrels prefer them cause the shoot better with them. I like my shotguns to be balanced between my shooting hand and myforearm hand. In some cases a shorter barrel enhances pointing ability for some. And as we all know shotguns are pointed not aimed.
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:49 pm

The 28" barrel will give you a longer sighting plane. Far better for wingshooting than the shorter barrels. That"s wy most trap shooters prefer a 30" or longer barrel, nothing to do with pattern or ballistics. I personally don't like anything shorter than 28" for shooting ducks. And I do believe you will have a smoother follow through with the additional weight that the longer barrels have. Turkey guns have a smaller barrel because it is basically a bush gun, easier to manouver in tight quarters and also not shooting at something that is moving. When it comes to hitting a moving target at 30 to 40 yards the smoother follow through that a longer barrel provides is going to help. Follow through is one of the most important things to good wingshooting. If you stop your barrel anywheres in the motion of shooting a crossing duck you will miss the target. Try this for fun, if you swing fast enough and follow through after pulling the trigger you can acually kill birds by shooting behind them.
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Postby Willhunt4food » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:33 pm

I agree I believe everyone should pattern their guns with different chokes, loads and at varying distances.

I also thought I'd suggest an easy way of doing it.

I started with a piece of tin since their is alot laying around were I shoot.

Then I made a trip to the dollar store and bought a coulpe rolls of X-Mas
wrapping papper

just use the back side of the papper since it should be white.

Mark a little dot in the center to aim at

And don't forget the write the load, choke and distance on the paper so

you can remember which work better.


I hope this helps with your problem. and if you have never patterned you gun before it should make you a better shot in the long run.
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Postby Fowlercon » Tue Dec 13, 2005 11:00 am

It's all in the chokes.
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Postby Bill B » Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:28 am

I just found this site and this will be my first post. What a great opportunity to communicate thoughts about a common passion. Talking about hunting isn't as good "doing it", but it's close.

Robert has been given some good advice in this thread, but I think it's not addressing the problem. I suspect Robert's problem is an improper gun mount. If switching from one gun to another makes a noticed difference in performance, it's almost always in the way the gun fits and comes to the shoulder. If the gun isn't mounted correctly, it doesn't matter what else is done. How the gun swings, balances, and patterns doesn't matter. If you ain't pointing where you are looking, count on an empty bag at the end of the hunt.

The most productive time we can spend improving out shooting is standing in front of a mirror and practicing our mount. Bring your gun to shoulder (it's usually best to unload it! :smile: ). If it isn't pointing straight back at you, you need to correct. Practice, until it's automatic. Remember, Ol' Betsy is going to mount differently after you pile into all of your cold weather gear. A shortened stock is an excellent investment for cold weather outings. My duck guns are all a bit shorter than my dove pieces.

To open a can of worms for thought and discussion: It's my opinion that a pattern board tells us little. It applies a two demension answer to a three demension question. Remember that a shot string is just that, a string. All of your shot doesn't arrive at the same time. It all piles up at the same spot on the board, but it doesn't look like that in the air. To get a true picture of what your loads are doing, you have to pattern on a moving board. Bob Brister did a good deal of testing on this some years back, with some interesting results. You may have a bunch of shot in your circle on a fixed board, but large holes where your target and shot string cross.

Also remember, because the shot is in a string, it's harder to over-lead a bird than to under-lead. He may fly into the tail end of your string, if you over-lead. On an under-lead the whole string is going to miss.

The above is opinion, only. Your mileage may vary and I welcome any comments pro, or con. Wishing you locked wings over your rig.
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:35 am

Welcome Bill, I'm new to this forum as well , a lot of good people here.
I agree with the gun mounting stuff, after shooting for 40 years I guess we take some things for granted. I went through the gun mount thing years ago and it is important. I also shoot with 3/8" cut off all my gun stocks.And I'm working on the shot string problem which has gotten even more important since the introduction of steel shot. I'm looking into the wad stripping chokes that they claim reduces the shot string.
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Postby Citori12 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:08 pm

Ok Jim you are very correct for shot string issues. But I saw where a 28" barrel helps the sighting plane. I don't know about anyone else but if I am shooting and hitting I do not even notice the bead or the barrel. Shotgun stocks are made to fit a standard 5'8" person. I personally cut my stocks about 1/2" and replace the recoil pad to get the length of pull I am comfortable with. Shotguns are pionted and therefore no sight is required but both eyes. If a shotgun shoots where you look the battle is mostly won!!! Patterning boards do not always tell us the whole story for sure. But you can at least visually see un-uniform patterns, bridging issues and other things that may not be good for the overall performance of a load and choke. In addition if you make one pattern off hand just like you would shoot a duck you can see if your patterns are high or low so that you can determine if the gun shoots where you look. Its not an exact science. And everyone is different on how they like to have thier shotguns.
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Postby RiveRat » Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:40 pm

I think we get carried away on shot string issues. If you have a duck traveling at 60mph and a four foot long shot string traveling at 1500 feet per second, the duck would travel about 3 inches from the front to the rear of the shot string. Not very far. I think that this would be a very long shot string since it comes out of the gun at about two inches long. When I pattern my guns, I forget about a 30" circle and glue a 9" paper plate in the center of my pattern paper. It tells me if my gun is hitting where I'm pointing and whether or not I'm getting enough pellets in the kill zone. I go from there with shot and chokes. I sometimes use a sheet of 1/2" plywood as a backer to test for penetration at certain distances. Like nearly everyone here, I think barrel length is a personal thing and really doesn't have any meaning ballistics or shooting wise
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Postby Citori12 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:30 am

To get a real good insight on patterns and shot strings I would suggest a book written by Bob Brister. He is the expert as he went as far as pulling pattern targets behind a car to pattern. He also was one of the major contributors to initiate steel shot into waterfowl hunting. I personally do use a 30" circle for patterning but my pattern paper has a silouette of a duck (life size) in the center of it. Again, barrel length is personal preference. I have used some poorly patterning shells with good results and have used great patterning loads with poor results. But as a rule of thumb evenly distributed patterns seem to work for me. :salude: :thumbsup:
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:22 am

Citori12 I think I mislead you with the 28" barrel thing and sighting plane.
My duck gun hasn't had a bead on it for over 25 yrs. it got knocked off one day and I had no use for it so I never replaced it. I don't believe it has any use at all in wing shooting and most beginners would be better without one. The 28" barrel I'm stuck with, anything else dosn't feel right when I swing it. But I do believe the added weight makes for a smoother follow through. I could be wrong Riverat but the shot string is 16 ft. long not 4'. So here is what I,m concerned with if you take that nice killing pattern that you put on paper and stretch it out 10 to 16 ft. what kind of pattern are you left with. My goal when I pull the trigger on a duck is to kill it not cripple it or worse leave a crippled duck in the marsh. I always have been and always will be in pursuit of the best killing pattern I can achieve with my duck gun. This steel shot thing is reletively new to us Canadians and I'm trying to learn what I can, in order to come up with a good combination of shot size and choke constriction.
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Postby kcduckslayer » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:31 am

I have the mossberg 835 24" woodlands camo turkey gun. Factory it came with a xtra full choke. I run a modified choke and dont have to much of a problem it killing ducks. I either hit them or I dont. I am going to try out the full choke either later on this year or for next year.

Basically with todays chokes there isnt really the need to have a 28 or 30" barrel anymore. You can pretty much do what a 30" barrel can do with a 24" barrel. Its all about chokes now days
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Postby Bill B » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:49 am

Jim...Thanks for the welcome!

RiverRat...If your getting 1500 FPS at killing ranges, I sure would like to know what you are shooting. I need a couple of cases that stuff. :thumbsup: But, I do know what you are saying.

Citori12...I referenced Brister's work on the subject in my first post, but it has been too long since I read the work. I never had the book and, only, read about the tests in the Houston Chronicle and heard about them from Bob in BS sessions at the local gun shops. Do you know the title and publisher of his book?

BTW, Bob was strongly opposed to steel shot at first. He was convinced that wounded and lost birds would offset the benefits. Later, as you say, he became a champion of steel. He did a number of articles on learning to shoot steel. He passed on not too long ago and the gunning world is poorer for it.
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Postby Citori12 » Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:49 am

:thumbsup: I gotcha on that one Jim. What it comes down to is there is a little bit of science involved with the technicalities of shotgunning. Its not an exact science. Ha my bead has been gone off my 11-87 for a long time and I don't recall it falling off I noticed it one day when someone I was shooting clays with borrowed the gun and wondered why the bead was missing. Shotgun barrel length and stock fit is an individual thing. Hitting and killing birds in the air with steel is more about hunting conditions, skill of the shooter, how close your birds are being allowed to come in before they are considered taken, ect ect ect...We as sportsmen try to reduce crippling and increase sportsmanship. Steel is not the best killing idea. However, it can be very effective if reason is used on how we attempt tp take our critters :salude:
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Postby Jim Broadbridge » Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:11 am

duckslayer!
What are the ingredience of the shells you are shooting and at what range do you kill ducks?
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