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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, new to the forum and am looking for some advice. I recently purchased a Franchi Affinity that came with a 30 inch barrel and extended chokes. I thought I’d like the length, but after putting about 250 rounds through it, I’ve decided it’s too long. I’ll probably sell it so I can get a shorter field barrel. However I’m super torn between the two normal waterfowl lengths, a 26” and 28”. I know pretty well the pros and cons of each. I’m a smaller framed 5’7” shooter, so maybe a 26” with extended chokes won’t be “whippy” for me, but that’s quite different from what I’be been using. Also, for tight quarters is a 28” really that cumbersome? Thanks for any of your thoughts, I know this is an incredibly common question.
 

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It's all about how it feels and fits. Start there and run with it. I've never bothered with extended chokes, what's that doing for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m definitely leaning 28 as it’s a bit more versatile. I’ll do as much open field stuff as small pond hunting. Also, I do quite a lot of sporting clays and the 28 will be much more at home there than the 26. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It's all about how it feels and fits. Start there and run with it. I've never bothered with extended chokes, what's that doing for you?
While I don’t notice a difference in patterning between my flush and extended tubes, I like the fact that the extended chokes provide some protection for the barrel. I find the extended ones are also much easier to change out. For whatever reason, I like the look of them as well :)
 

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I'm with HNT on the importance of feel. I want my guns to feel alive in hand, a part of me. Which is more a matter of balance than weight, so the longer, heavier barrel may well feel better as I bring it to bear than a shorter one - or not. Can't know without mounting a gun with each.

But it could well be that the addition of an extended choke could change that dynamic. Don't know, never fooled with one.
 

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My duck guns wear 26/27 inch barrrels because they work better for the way I hunt waterfowl.
My target autoloaders wear 30" barrels and my target O/U's wear 32" barrels.

For all-around use, the 28 incher would probably suit you best.
 

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While I don’t notice a difference in patterning between my flush and extended tubes, I like the fact that the extended chokes provide some protection for the barrel. I find the extended ones are also much easier to change out. For whatever reason, I like the look of them as well :)
Keep in mind, if you haven't pulled the trigger yet (see what I did there?), barrel length and gun length are two different things.

Why "fit" rules. My Citori O/U w/30" smoke poles is 2 inches shorter in overall length than my 20ga 870 w/28" barrel. Know you're not factoring in an O/U I guess but as Rick said, it needs to be an extension of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did end up going with the 28” and it’s a much better balance for me, extended or flush chokes. I can still shoot trap just fine with it! The 30” barrel will be posted on gun broker soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Keep in mind, if you haven't pulled the trigger yet (see what I did there?), barrel length and gun length are two different things.

Why "fit" rules. My Citori O/U w/30" smoke poles is 2 inches shorter in overall length than my 20ga 870 w/28" barrel. Know you're not factoring in an O/U I guess but as Rick said, it needs to be an extension of you.
If it were an O/U, I’d probably love the 30”, but with the added receiver length of the semi auto, a 51”+ inch gun is a bit much for swinging around the confined spaces of a blind. The 28” barrel mounts much more instinctively.
 

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I know this is an older thread and of no use to he who posted it originally, but I recently purchased a 26” barrel, 3” SBE and the best way I can describe it is nimble. Compared to the 28” barrel Vinci I’ve been shooting I absolutely love it. I read somewhere else that it makes little to no difference ballistically, and I have found nothing negative in terms of not following through, etc. From a fit and feel standpoint it feels more like a 20ga.

Just posting in case anyone else is searching this question.
 

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I'm with HNT on the importance of feel. I want my guns to feel alive in hand, a part of me. Which is more a matter of balance than weight, so the longer, heavier barrel may well feel better as I bring it to bear than a shorter one - or not.

But it could well be that the addition of an extended choke could change that dynamic. Don't know, never fooled with one.
I've found that the addition of a fraction of an ounce of choke tube (or even two choke tubes) beyond the muzzle does not change the "feel" of any of my shotguns.
 

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I just bought a sx4 with a 28” barrel. I have always preferred a 26” but the 28” swings and points just fine. I have a benelli m2 with a 26” and that thing is super nimble.
I agree that two inches of barrel length, more or less, makes little difference in the way my shotguns feel or swing.
Where it does make a difference is when hanging up on brush, limbs, cattails, bulrush, tules, etc. begins to be a problem. In those cases, the loss of even two inches is noticeable (to me, anyway).
Hunting out of a layout blind/boat is a prime example.
 

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I agree that two inches of barrel length, more or less, makes little difference in the way my shotguns feel or swing.
Where it does make a difference is when hanging up on brush, limbs, cattails, bulrush, tules, etc. begins to be a problem. In those cases, the loss of even two inches is noticeable (to me, anyway).
Hunting out of a layout blind/boat is a prime example.
That's just silly.
 

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Like many other aspects of Duck hunting, it comes down to what fits you the best and more importantly, works best. I don’t see much difference berween 26” and 28” barrels but I prefer 26” barrels. I hunt Arkansas flooded timber and you need to be nimble.

What I cannot stand is the feel of an extended choke on any length shotgun barrel. I prefer the factory modified choke. While the pattern may not be as good as the high end aftermarket options, I find that a shotgun————-when fitted properly———-when fitted properly…….shoots EXACTLY where I point with the factory Modified flush choke on Benelli Crio and Browning Invector plus barrels whereas with extended chokes it can shoot high or shoot low or to the right or to the left or a combination thereof. I know there is only a small difference with the extended choke but flush chokes feel and swing better to me.

It is all about personal preference and what works best for you. For me, give me the 26” barrel and a factory modified choke.
 
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