Gas Gun Barrel Length

Dear Bruce,

I’m considering the purchasing of a Beretta 390 Trap gun. I only shoot (or have been shooting) targets from the 16 yard line. Is there a disadvantage to purchasing it with a 28″ barrel. It seems that the trend today is towards a longer barrel. A shorter barrel seems easier to handle.

Thanks Ken

Dear Ken,

My advice on trap guns is to shoot the longest barrel that you feel comfortable with. The longer the barrel, the more precise the pointing ability of the gun and the less whippy it is. Trap is the closest thing that shotgunning gets to rifle shooting, especially when you get long yardage handicap. A long sighting plane is a definite advantage in precision.

Another advantage to the longer barrel is that it moves a bit more weight out front to stabilize the gun. In trap, the movements are short, subtle and controlled, the very opposite of some other games. A bit of barrel weight in the nose can smooth out a short move.

BUT… If you just don’t swing a long barrel well, then don’t use one. The typical gas gun action adds about 3-1/2″ to the length of a gun, so a Beretta 390 with a 28″ barrel has an overall length equivalent to a standard O/U with a 31-1/2″ barrel. The most popular trap barrel length by far for the Beretta 390 is 30″, but you should pick what you like. There is no real ballistic advantage long or short. The difference is just in the sighting plane and forward weight. Even that difference is slight.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid at <>
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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