28 INCH BARREL vs. 30—I want to purchase a shotgun, a Union make, 16 gauge repeater, and I want to know whether a 28 inch barrel, full choke, will give as good results shooting as a 30 inch barrel, full choke. In other words, will a 28 inch barrel shoot as far as a 30 inch, a 30 inch as far as a 31 inch, etc.?
I think you will be well satisfied with the 28 inch length. In testing out 12 gauge guns of 28 and 30 inch lengths, the two inches difference seems to have no effect on the pattern or range. There may be a difference, but it is so little that it is hard to detect, and if a 28 inch 12 gauge apparently shoots as well as a 30 inch, there should be no noticeable difference in the shooting of the 16 gauge of the two lengths. But if you were to compare the work of a 28 and a 32 inch, both of the same boring, there might be some difference noted. It is difficult to determine the difference even by actual test, for there is no way of knowing whether the two guns would shoot exactly alike if they were of the same length of barrel. The only way it could be proved conclusively is by exhaustive tests with a number of guns of the same length and choke, and comparing the average of patterns with the average made by a number of guns of the other length, but the same choke. It is possible that such tests have been made, but if so I do not know of it or of the results. One thing should be remembered, and that is that it is difficult to make a 16 gauge equal a larger bore, and 28 inches seems to be the ideal length for a 16 gauge gun if the shells are loaded in proportion to the bore.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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