HD shotgun barrel; 18" or 20"

This is a discussion on HD shotgun barrel; 18" or 20" within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Maybe you guys can help me make a decision. I'm contemplating the purchase of a new barrel for my 870 Express, to set it up ...

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Thread: HD shotgun barrel; 18" or 20"

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    HD shotgun barrel; 18" or 20"

    Maybe you guys can help me make a decision.

    I'm contemplating the purchase of a new barrel for my 870 Express, to set it up for HD.

    I can get an 18" barrel, IC with a bead sight, or a 20" barrel, IC with rifle sights.

    The 20" barrel is $40 more...

    What say you?

    I'm thinking about a >100 yard weapon
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I switched my 18" bead sighted barrel for a 20" rifle sighted one.

    I can compensate for the length difference with the Knoxx Adjustable Stock.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    For home defense distances either is fine. You won't notice the difference in pattern at HD ranges.

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Am I going to wish for one or the other if I take it to a shotgun class?
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about a >100 yard weapon

    100yd ranges with a shotgun shouldn't be a problem shooting rifled slugs. Most 18-20" barrels will be factory choked (improved or modified) without the ability to change chokes. Smooth bore from end to end. IMO...if your 870 Express sports a 28" barrel now, use that for the 100yd quarry. Get a replacement 18-20" barrel for your HD and swap them out as need be. The 20" barrel with rifle sights will more than likely get you closer to taking a turkey at 50y-75yds than the 18" with bead front. I've never contemplated any shotgun for a hundred yard shot actually. A rifled slug barrel might be good. My Kansas duck and pheasant days are over for now. By the way....Mossberg makes plenty of barrels for the Rem 870. Changing barrels is easy. Smooth bore all the way, go with the longer barrel IMO.

  7. #6
    Member Array SteveCollins's Avatar
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    The rifle sights will make it somewhat easier to shoot slugs at 100 yards, but how often are you going to be doing that? I could take either one, and be happy. The only advantage you'll have with the longer barrel is the ability to have a longer magazine tube. The difference between 18" and 20" is minor. It would be a lot different if you were looking at the difference between a 14" and a 20" barrel.
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    Regarding ballistics, I don't think you'll see a significant difference between the 18" or 20" barrels. However, when wielding a long arm in close quarters, two inches length does make a significant difference. Narrow hallways, negotiating corners or stairwells, all makes things more difficult with a longer barrel. In close quarters, shorter is better, and I have contemplated spending the $200 on the tax stamp and getting a Scattergun Technologies Border Patrol model with a 14" inch barrel.

    All that being said, my defensive shotgun is the Mossberg 590 A1 military 12 ga with a 20" barrel and a 9 shot tube magazine with a 6 round side saddle mounted to the receiver and have no problems with it. My wife shoots it well but has a hard time effectively wielding it in the house and prefers to use the Colt AR-15 collapsible stock Govt. Carbine loaded with 30 rounds of Hornady TAP self defense ammo.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    My coach gun has a 20" barrel and I put a larger bead on it...20" is fine for moving around the home.OMO
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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Better than either of those choices is to spend an additional $50 more than the 20 inch, and get the 21 inch replacement barrel that has the screw in Remchokes.

    That barrel would offer you the greatest versatility.

    You could then put in whatever restriction choke tube you wanted to.

    .

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    My coach gun has a 20" barrel and I put a larger bead on it...20" is fine for moving around the home.OMO
    Funny ret; your coach gun with 20" barrels is probably shorter, overall than an 870 with 18". Heck, maybe even shorter than a pump with a 14" barrel.

    ETA: Stoeger Coach gun with 20" barrels: OAL is 36.5"

    Remington 870 with 18" barrels: OAL is 38.5"
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    With that shotgun, 2" barrel length difference is insignificant. Get the one with the sights.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    I went with the 18.5 barrel on my 870 and am very happy with it. I also have the original 30" full choke for the birds. My 18.5 barrel is a smooth bore of course. At the ranges I would be using it, if the SHTF I am confident I can do the bad guys in, as long as I am doing my part..
    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. PSALM 144:1

    I CLING to my guns and my Bible.

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