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Old 02-21-2019, 11:00 PM
 
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Can you shoot birdshot out of 18in smoothbore barrels?

If you get one gun you need for survival out in the woods, being able to shoot slugs for medium to big game, and bear protection, be very useful if you can shoot bird shot for small game, birds, and fowl hunting too. Carrying two barrels and changing them is too much of a burden especially if you want to travel light.

How much accuracy does bird shot lose when coming out of 18in barrel? Or will 20in be better for both slugs, and birdshot?
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Cody, WY
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The problem is choke, not barrel length.

https://www.rem870.com/2012/05/06/sh...modified-full/
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Central Washington
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Like HappyinWyoming said. Here is a chart on the effect of different chokes. Note that this is for lead shot, steel shot will give somewhat tighter patterns.

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Old 02-22-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Yeah, the whole "need a long barrel for long shots" idea with shotguns is just bunk. Maybe it had some validity with black powder, not sure. But you can get a Remchoke or similar barrel for your gun, 18" or 36", the barrel length does not matter to the pattern. Most shotshells have pretty much fully expanded the powder gas by 18", so the longer barrel is only useful to make the gun balance more forward, which a lot of guys prefer for longer range bird hunting like waterfowl frequently turns out to be.



One thing that does matter for longer shots is big enough shot size, and enough pellets to have decent pattern density with those larger pellets. And with waterfowl you may be using steel shot, or you may be using bismuth or other less toxic metals rather than lead. With steel you have a relatively low density, so you get into just 12 and 10 gauge guns to handle the bulk of a large enough load of big enough shot to kill cleanly.



On a gun like an 870, it's no big deal to have at least a couple of extra barrels, either factory or aftermarket.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
The problem is choke, not barrel length.

https://www.rem870.com/2012/05/06/sh...modified-full/
Quote:
Originally Posted by dozerbear View Post
Like HappyinWyoming said. Here is a chart on the effect of different chokes. Note that this is for lead shot, steel shot will give somewhat tighter patterns.
I guess what I am asking then is can you shoot bird shot out of a short barrel like 18in with a choke designed for regular slugs, and still be effective range, and pattern to be able to hunt small game, birds/fowl with.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I guess what I am asking then is can you shoot bird shot out of a short barrel like 18in with a choke designed for regular slugs, and still be effective range, and pattern to be able to hunt small game, birds/fowl with.

Well a slug barrel is going to be a cylinder choke, which is to say, no choke at all. So refer to the post above - you can shoot birdshot but your range will be quite short. Most better slug barrels have rifle-type sights that are a hindrance to good wing shooting. I don't think a police-type shotgun would make a very good bird hunting gun, but if that's all you have if you manage to get close flushes, and shoot quick, it might work.


Me, I would spring for a "real" birdshot barrel. Reminds me that I was wanting a rifled barrel with sights for my 870, to shoot slugs with. Not that I really need that, just that I think it would be cool to have one. I'm implicitly assuming you have a fairly recently made shotgun, and it's either a pump or automatic - maybe that is not true?



But, anyway, why not just buy a box of shells and give it a try? I would expect pretty wide patterns, but, if you have a place you can put up a patterning type target, you can find out what the real deal is in a few rounds.

Last edited by M3 Mitch; 02-22-2019 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I guess what I am asking then is can you shoot bird shot out of a short barrel like 18in with a choke designed for regular slugs, and still be effective range, and pattern to be able to hunt small game, birds/fowl with.
You cannot get an acceptable pattern with bird shot [n a barrel choked for slugs, The pattern will be too scattered. You will need a different barrel or one fitted with a muzzle that takes different choke tubes.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:05 PM
Status: "Hey Tavarisch!!!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
The problem is choke, not barrel length.

https://www.rem870.com/2012/05/06/sh...modified-full/
Actually choke and length of barrel are critical. 28-30” is my minimum for birding.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:23 PM
Status: "Hey Tavarisch!!!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,670 posts, read 15,138,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Can you shoot birdshot out of 18in smoothbore barrels?

If you get one gun you need for survival out in the woods, being able to shoot slugs for medium to big game, and bear protection, be very useful if you can shoot bird shot for small game, birds, and fowl hunting too. Carrying two barrels and changing them is too much of a burden especially if you want to travel light.

How much accuracy does bird shot lose when coming out of 18in barrel? Or will 20in be better for both slugs, and birdshot?
For ducks, geese and fast flying birds you will be soundly humbled with an 18 barrel.

Unless you shoot them at 25yds, which I doubt,
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:26 PM
 
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Ok then let me ask you, what is the maximum length of smoothbore barrel, can you shoot a regular slug out of? Is this maximum slug barrel, a bare minimum for birdshot/wing shooting with no choke?
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