Originally Posted by NewGunz
Thanks. One more question: What are the different barrel lengths for? I see some longer and some shorter barrels. Can longer barreled shotguns fire longer range or are they just more accurate or what? Also, what's a good capacity I should settle for? I see some that are 4+1 and some that are 5 or 6 +1.
A shorter barrel, such as 18.5" to 20" is typically for home defense / personal protection. Typically they have a wide open choke for maximum spread at close range.
Beyond that, you need to look at the barrel itself. I have a Mossberg 500 with a 21" barrel with adjustable sights and a rifled choke for slugs. You also see 24" barrels set up like this, both good for hunting deer. These are also common lengths for turkey barrels, with interchangeable chokes. The chokes determine the pattern, and the barrel length allows the gun to move easily in brush.
28" barrels seem to be the norm for field barrels, also often with interchangeable chokes for hunting birds. They also are good for skeet and sporting clays. They provide a good sight plane while allowing good movement of the gun to the target.
Occasionally you will see 30" barrels, as well as 32" and greater barrels. Longer lengths are common on trap guns. I have several 32" barreled guns, and one 34" barrel for one of my receivers.
Like others have said, Remington 870s are tried and true in the pump gun realm, and Mossbergs have quite a following as well. Both can be had with interchangeable barrels for different purposes.