Tubes Or Barrels?

Dear Technoid,

My 28 gauge has become my every day gun. For .410, should get tubes or a separate barrel. What are the advantages of each?


Dear Robert,

I’m not sure that .410 tubes can be made to fit inside 28 gauge bbls. If they can, the problem will be a considerable gain in weight. If the .410 tubes weigh 7 oz, that is a huge amount of weight to add to any barrel. Set up that way, the .410 and 28 will handle completely differently. Some shooters deal with this better than others. It would drive me crazy.

Some skeet shooters can happily shoot a tubed gun in the 20, 28 and 410, and then equally happily pull the tubes and shoot the naked barrels in 12. I don’t know how they do that, but they do. That said, many skeet shooters use the tubed 20 in the 12 event to avoid changing balance. Others use an auto in the 12 for the same reason. They feel happier with a completely different gun than with altering the balance of a gun they are shooting in the other three skeet gauges.

The advantage of tubes is that they are usually cheaper than a new set of barrels. A new set of barrels traditionally costs half of what an entire gun costs.

A separate barrel will (or should) weigh more or less the same as the existing 28 gauge barrel. This means that the gun will handle about the same whether you use 28 or 410. A separate barrel will have to be fit to the action, and that will increase the cost. Make sure to get a price for the barrel fitted to your action.

Personally, if money isn’t the main concern, I’d go with the second barrel in a heartbeat. But that’s just my opinion and your money.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid


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