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Will a longer shotgun barrel shoot farther?

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Modern smokeless powders burn in the first 13 to 16 inches of the barrel and maximum velocities are obtained in the first 20 inches. Shot will carry the same distance regardless of the barrel length. Shot pattern will be the same whether the barrel is 21 inches in length or 30 inches in length, if the barrel has the same choke constriction.

Our experts state there would be a small variation in velocity when using a 21-inch barrel as compared with a 30-inch barrel; however, the variation would be immeasurable.

The basic advantage of a shorter barrel is that it will swing faster. The longer barrel gives the hunter a longer sight radius to be more precise, particularly when pass shooting waterfowl. Also, the longer barrel can often help balance certain shotguns better.

Extra barrels are listed in our online store at

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