Do I need an 18.5" barrel?

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by molonlabexx, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    I have an 870 with a 23" barrel on it. For the past few months I have been thinking about an 18.5" barrel and it *could* be fit into my budget but if I DON'T need it, then I don't want to get it. SO I turn to the awesome people you are, yes or no? Clearing corners and all aside, what would my "new" advantages be? In a perfect world, of course I would go with the 18.5", but is it necessary? Thanks guys as always!
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    a shorter barrel would be handier for sure, but i don't think it's an absolute need, by any means. at close range of most SD usage, the barrel length isn't going to make a huge difference in pattern, only that a shorter barrel is more handy and easier to move about with.

    only you can decide whether it's truly needed or not. most 18.5" barrels are cylinder choked and don't have screw-in choke tubes.

    check out MidwayUSA for barrels and the gun auction sites for used barrels.
     

  3. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Thanks for the input. That is a thing I forgot to mention; the shot will not have time to spread in a standard HD situation, because the ranges are so close!
     
  4. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

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    No you don't. When the choke is installed it is 20 inches, that is not that much shorter than 23 inches, so I do not see the need to switch barrels. What you need is a handgun or 16 inch carbine if you need a rifle.

    18.5 inch barrel with 1.5 inch choke
    [​IMG]

    16 inch carbine in 40 S&W
    [​IMG]

    16 inch carbine in 223 Remington
    [​IMG]

    What I think you really need.
    [​IMG]

    Jim
     
  5. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    I guess I am late to the whole Handgun VS. Shotgun debate. I have trained a lot with my 870 and I feel comfortable having that more so than a handgun. There are many advantages to either one, it really just comes down to what you feel most comfortable with.

    I like your setup. As far as I know, remington barrels have the rem-choke system in them so I am not sure that would surpass the length.
     
  6. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

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    It sounds like you are using a smooth bore and shot in the gun. I could see spending the extra money for another barrel if you get it as a rifled barrel and use slugs then it can be used for deer hunting as well (a good excuse to buy another barrel).

    Mine is a smooth bore and uses 00 buck shot, but I have Foster Slugs for it as well.

    Jim
     
  7. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    With shotguns barrel length is irrelevant for velocity and spread of shot pattern its all about the choke. Longer barrels make it muuuuuuch easier to aim without a reflex type rds sight.
     
  8. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    I had fun with an 18" barrel shooting low flying skeet.
     
  9. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Shotguns, surprisingly, were the last type of gun I really learned about, and with everything else I am still learning more about firearms every day.

    As far as I am aware, foster slugs are for bores that aren't smooth and can be fired with any choke, right?
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Foster slugs (actually, Forster, but nobody calls them that) are for smoothbores, and yes, can be safely fired thru any choke EXCEPT Extra Full (normally only found with turkey hunters). The Sabot slug is used with rifled barrels.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_slug#Brenneke_slugs
     
  11. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If it was me looking for an 18.5 inch barrel, I would go to my LGS and look for a used fixed choke field barrel. length is irrelevant, choke is irrelevant. i would just be cutting it down to 18.5 to 19 inches, and adding a new bead to the end of it.

    i picked up a 28" field barrel with a fixed mod. choke for my 870 for $50 about 2 years ago with a broken front bead. Bought a new bead for about 10 bucks while at the same shop. I can now used my HD and deer shotgun for bird hunting as well. Deals are out there, you just have to look for them.

    Check Ebay. I have seen a lot of 870 parts on their site for cheap. I just picked up a 20 ga. Mossberg 500 barrel that is bent at 22 inches up from the back of the chamber. rather than straighten it out, i am just going to cut it down to 19 inches and turn it into a slug and H\D barrel for her birthday.
     
  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    FWIW I run a 23" 870 turkey gun for HD. It's short enough.
    Have had shorter and longer, and can mod bbls, or buy whatever I want...............the 23" works for turkey, HD and I even ran it on doves multiple times at 50%. Not the best gun for that, but it worked decent.
    Could screw in a IMp Cyl or maybe even rifled, add a scope and be good for deer (don't want long bbls for that- big recoil, shooter variability, want least time of flight in bore).

    And my 835 with rifled bbl (when they first came out) shot foster slugs better than sabots. (3" better than 2 3/4"...........no 3.5" slugs back then).

    Yeah the rifling was rough, and it leaded up badly, but I tested for cleaning interval and took a buck at 165 yards and a doe at 90. Put the holes where I wanted too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  13. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Hey Jim! That's MY PT-92!!!(jk,..mine has a 5.2" Bar-Sto match barrel, and my grips are a lighter wood...)



    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
    Molon: my Mossberg SA-20 is 22" plus the choke. I think it really depends on the corners and doors in your place. I have a Single level house with a "Semi-open" floor plan( kitchen, dining rm, and living room is one big L shaped space,.but it's a back up close qtrs weapon. Not the primary. Handguns are always the primary unless you must escalate the level of response to a threat. Home invasion by 2 or more and we go to extra guns...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  14. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    It's only been the last 10 years or so that a lot of people had a short barrel shotgun for home defense. Millions of people have successfully defended their home with a shotgun that had a 28" or longer barrel.

    In fact, it is only the internet gun guru that believes he/she would be handicapped by a long barreled shotgun. After killing rabbits and quail in thick brush with a 28"/30" barrel people with hunting experience are confident with a long barrel shotgun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  15. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that if you are using the shotgun for HD, instead of "house clearing", you do not need to shorten the barrel. My recommendation is that you hunker down and defend yourself & family, and call 911 & let the PD clear the house. MHO
     
  16. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    That's true. People confuse home defense with CQ combat. Gun magazines and the entertainment industry are especially fond of tactical shotguns.

    Edit. Eatmydust just said it while I was typing.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Both of these are very true. The only thing that really makes a shorter barrel better is its easier to hide out of sight in the home.

    In my home we currently keep an ak47 underfolder in a hidden spot thats our defensive point mainly because its so short with the stock folded its easy go get out in a hurry. I would prefer an ar15 but i havent done a sbr yet for that
     
  18. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    Uh, I'll still take an 870 Special Field 20 for that thick critter stuff.
    Got mine before the internet ;)