21 or 26in barrel 870 - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 06-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default 21 or 26in barrel 870

Should I get a 21 or 26in barrel on the 870 for turkeys.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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Go with the 26. I have a 26 on mine and its great for turkey hunting but better than a 21 if you ever go on a dove shoot or any wing shooting for that matter.

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Old 06-15-2013, 06:55 PM   #3
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The barrel length/ shooting distance thing is a myth. Used to be the long the barrel the more range you would have. In the last 10-15years this theory went kibosh due to advanced technology used in making better quality shotgun shells ie.(flight control wads, screw in chokes, etc.) the only difference you will get with a different barrel length is "swing time" or "target acquisition". To put simple the shorter the barrel the faster you will acquire your target. Sometimes a good thing to quickly throw the gun up and shoot, sometimes it's is not good for a certain shooter to have a fast swinging gun. It just depends on the shooter. I have guns with 32" barrels, and guns with 18" barrels. I can make my remington 870 shoot the same pattern at any range as I can with the old bolt action 32" goose gun with screw in chokes. My go to shotgun for everything is a benelli super black eagleII with a 24" barrel, I have a turkey choke in it during turkey season but if it ain't turkey season then I shoot an improved cylinder at everything else (skeet, birds, duck) the only thing I change about the gun is the shells I shoot. With the two lengths you gave here I would go with a 21" barrel and choke it to what I need to shoot. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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Two fellas shooting the shit in a gun store about "shotgunnin". One ole boy was craddling a "long tom" 32" barreled 12 gauge, the other a 21" easy swinger. The discussion of course came around to pros and cons of barrel length and the old boy with the goose gun was argueing the benefits of the long gun and finally posed the question...." do you realize how much further this 32" barrel can shoot than your short little 21" gun?
The other guy pondered a bit then said yes; I do,....about 11 inches further, and he's right, don't make a shit about the barrel length on a shotgun as to how far it will deliver its payload.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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id go 26" it seems easier to line up on a bird that is only 8-12 yards away, granted that is not ideal but when they sneak in on yo you gotta take what you can get. I've missed more close Turkeys with a short barrel so it might be a biased view, but I think I can aim better when they are to close for the shot to spread.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:05 AM   #6
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For turkeys, I'd go with the 21" barrel
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missplaced_idahoan View Post
id go 26" it seems easier to line up on a bird that is only 8-12 yards away, granted that is not ideal but when they sneak in on yo you gotta take what you can get. I've missed more close Turkeys with a short barrel so it might be a biased view, but I think I can aim better when they are to close for the shot to spread.
This theory makes zero since.... With a shotgun it is all about swing... How is a longer barrel, with a longer slower swing, easier to line up on a bird at 8-12 yards? This statement in itself contradicts itself... You also contradicted your "hypothesis" by stating "this might be a biased view, but..." Lets go with you like a slower swinging gun and leave it at that..... I don't know any quail hunters that shoot a 26" barrel, and most quail shots are inside 12 yards and a hell of alot faster than any gobbler. Shooting a shotgun is 95% point shooting, 5% aiming... If you have to actually look at the site on your shotgun then you are doing it wrong... Watch the targe not the gun...
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MULLET HUNTER View Post
Shooting a shotgun is 95% point shooting, 5% aiming... If you have to actually look at the site on your shotgun then you are doing it wrong... Watch the targe not the gun...
I don't know that I agree with that for turkey hunting though. At 8-12 steps with a turkey choke and a load of heavy shot you better be 95% aim and 5% pointing. Your shooting a slug size load at that range. 20+ yards that pointing % starts to climb. For dove, quail, etc. I absolutely agree.

I agree a short barrel gun is easier to aquire the target. I personally like a 24-26" barrel just because I like the way it swings. Guess it's what I've always shot so I'm use to it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't know that I agree with that for turkey hunting though. At 8-12 steps with a turkey choke and a load of heavy shot you better be 95% aim and 5% pointing. Your shooting a slug size load at that range. 20+ yards that pointing % starts to climb. For dove, quail, etc. I absolutely agree.

I agree a short barrel gun is easier to aquire the target. I personally like a 24-26" barrel just because I like the way it swings. Guess it's what I've always shot so I'm use to it.
Rob, Sorry I didn't specify I was referring to shooting quail, obviously shooting at a turkey your doing more aiming than point shooting. Also you make a great point, if you are used to shooting a particular barrel length then you will most likely shoot better using the same configuration, however I started with a 28" years ago. Now my go to is a 24" barrel...

Point is aiming is aiming, you will find the bird and take aim much faster with a shorter barrel.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grassflatsfisher View Post
I don't know that I agree with that for turkey hunting though. At 8-12 steps with a turkey choke and a load of heavy shot you better be 95% aim and 5% pointing. Your shooting a slug size load at that range. 20+ yards that pointing % starts to climb. For dove, quail, etc. I absolutely agree.

I agree a short barrel gun is easier to aquire the target. I personally like a 24-26" barrel just because I like the way it swings. Guess it's what I've always shot so I'm use to it.
exactly! using an impoved cylinder or modified choke, youre right, pointing is aiming. extra full turkey choke is a whole different story. I've thought about getting a o/u for turkey hunting just for the situation I mentioned and having an improved cylinder in one barrel and an extra full in the other for everything past twenty yards. that IMO would be the perfect turkey gun
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