Originally Posted by havasu
You would want the shortest barrel possible to scatter the buckshot as quick as possible. This would give it a lethal range of 30 feet or more with the 26" barrel.
How quickly the shot disperses is almost entirely a function of the choke, not the barrel length. The OP's shorter barrel has a more open choke, so it will disperse the shot faster because of the choke
, not the length
. Not that it will make a lot of difference at home defense distances.
The biggest advantage of the shorter barrel for HD is that it's shorter
. 26" is longer than ideal for HD; 30" would just be too much to move around inside.