28 Gauge Barrel Length

Dear Technoid,

I know you are a big fan of the 28 gauge. I am about to give it a try myself. One question. What barrel length do you recommend? I plan on using the gun an equal amount on skeet and quail hunting.

What do you think of the Ruger Red Label in 28 gauge. I am either looking at that or a Remington 1100, 28 gauge sporting clays. I don’t have an auto in my collection at this point.


Dear Rob,

Many O/U and SxS 28s are light and whippy. They would benefit from 28″ barrels, especially if you are an average to large man. On the other hand, my wife preferes 26″ barrels on her Beretta 687 28 gauge because she is a small woman. The O/U 28s I would look at are the Beretta Silver Pigeon in 28″, anyone of the Citori models in 26″ or 28″ (probably 28″) and the Ruger O/U 28 in 28″. I have handled the Ruger, though not shot it. I thought it was the best feeling O/U that they make, but the model that I tried had an English grip and I prefer a pistol grip on O/Us. For what it is worth, I also don’t like the Ruger safety.

In the 28 gauge 1100 I don’t think that you have any choice in bbl length. It comes in 25″ and that is it. If you add on the extra 3-1/2″ of receiver that an auto has, it comes out to a bit over 28″.

One reason that most people don’t use 28 gauge autos is that the autos pitch out those solid gold hulls. Reloaders will be lined up behind you on their hands and knees to get them. New 28 gauge shells cost about $10-$12/box. 28 gauge reloads run closer to $4/box. There is a REAL financial incentive to reload 28 and 410. Even if you don’t reload, if you shoot Winchester AA factory 28s, you can always sell the hulls for 10¢ each. The new compression formed Remington hull is almost as good. Federal and the rest only last a couple of tries.

Personally, if you want to try an auto, I would do it in 12 gauge where the reduction in recoil (for clays) and increased capacity (for waterfowl) make it a better choice than O/U.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

This entry was posted in Shotgun related, Shotguns. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 28 Gauge Barrel Length

  1. John A. Meahl says:

    I agree with your assessment of the 1100 Sporting Clay’s 28. But it is a fine little gun. I believe the 28 sporting version comes with a 27″ barrel and chokes.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.