Equipment · American Skeet Singles

What is the optimal barrel length for Skeet?

2 Answers

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Ben Pearman
Answered over 2 years ago

It usually comes down to personal preference. It's been ages since I shot any amount of skeet, but I seemed to do better with shorter barrels. I shoot 32" barrels for clays, but skeet is such a muscle memory game that a shorter and more 'whippy' barrel is what many prefer. In other words, some feel there's not really a need for longer barrels on the skeet field. Some shooters thinking is that longer barrels tend to create a heavier gun, longer sight plane etc and I'm with them. For whatever reason, I have a much easier time hitting 60yd crossers with 32" barrels than with 26 or 28" barrels. It seems easier, for me, at least, to follow the line of a long crosser with longer barrels. Not that longer barrels make the gun heavier, or change the balance point (mine balances about a 1/2 inch forward of the hinge pin, thus very slightly more weight forward, but I think most people agree that longer barrels allow for a smoother swing. This makes a difference in Clays where no shot is really the same, station to station and course to course, versus skeet, where EVERY shot at a given station is the same, regardless of the field/location etc. Think of it in golf terms: Clays is akin to using every club in your bag. Skeet is akin to being VERY proficient with a 7 iron, whether it's used for a 160 yd shot or a pitch and run, but you'll never need that 7 iron to hit 300 yd drives or putt. The requirements to make the shot are a known quantity in skeet. Thus, the versatility of a clays gun needs to be somewhat more than a skeet gun, since there is so much more variabilityin shots with Clays vs. Skeet. But try out different lengths to see what you like. I know Master class shooters who shoot Clays with 28" barrels, and I know guys who can take a 32" barrel and run 100 straight without breaking a sweat on the skeet field.


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Jim Crowley
Answered over 2 years ago

I prefer a 28 inch barrel.  Easier and quicker to move.   30 -32 inch barrels work fine on sporting clays if you feel comfortable with the weight, but I shoot a 28 inch barrel with 1.5 inch extended choke.  Its a custom choke, but I feel more comfortable with a shorter barrel for skeet.

 



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