“Best” Fowler barrel length? HC/PC and performance?

Discussion in 'Historically Accurate Equipment' started by Jfoster, May 8, 2019.

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  1. May 8, 2019 #1

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    36 Cal.

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    Hello all, im trying to decide what barrel length to opt for for my fowler. The plan is a 20ga fowler, most likely English/Colonial styled as opposed to French. Depending on what kit i go with i have the option of 36”, 42”, 44”, or 46”. While HC/PC accuracy is important to me i also want to be practical. My primary hunting area will be anything from thick brush to more open woodland area. Field hunting is not overly common but still possible. I do plan to hunt sky creatures as well. So what would be the best over all barrel length to go with in terms of performance and handiness? The particular time frame i plan to embody is on the range of 1783-1820 mainly. I do not plan to do fur trade and will stick to the “area” of TN westward into the ozarks as opposed to the North. My persona is that of market hunter and guide thus the appeal of the adaptability of a smoothbore. Whatever barrel length i go with will need to perform equally well with tightly patched round balls and shot sizes from bird to buck depending on my game.

    Thanks folks for any help.
     
  2. May 8, 2019 #2

    jrmflintlock

    jrmflintlock

    jrmflintlock

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    I like the look of the long barrels and they are more HC, but hard to transport.

    That is all I will say.
     
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  3. May 9, 2019 #3

    Coot

    Coot

    Coot

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    I have either fowling pieces or rifles in 42, 44 and 46 inch long barrels. I don't like the look of the shorter barrel guns so I would rule out a 36" barrel. I also admit that the 46" seems/feels longer than it is so I would suggest either the 42 or 44.
     
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  4. May 9, 2019 #4

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

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    Thank you. Im leaning toward the middle ground of 42” or 44”. Probably 42” so that its a tiny bit handier.
     
  5. May 9, 2019 #5

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

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    "Probably 42" so that it's a tiny bit handier." Good choice;)
     
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  6. May 9, 2019 #6

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

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    Welp, believe im set on 42” then. Now to focus on the accoutrements. Lol
     
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  7. May 9, 2019 #7

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

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    Longer barrels became the style in west Europe and much of North America. Later shorter barrels became a standard. Balisticly there is little difference in performance. I like the looks of long. Made a NWG with a 36” barrel, and I just didn’t care for its feel or it’s ‘short, cut off look”.
    I live in the ozark forest. Sometimes open, sometimes thicker thickets. I can’t say I find that extra few inches makes the gun any harder to handle in the tall timber.
     
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  8. May 11, 2019 #8

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

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    Would you opt for 42 or 44” then? Sounds like we hunt the same type of land. Balance and feel are important to me as well.
     
  9. May 11, 2019 #9

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

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    If your building colonial mid to a little later eighteenth century I would say 44, post AWI to early nineteenth 42, after first 1/3 century 36.
     
  10. May 11, 2019 #10

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

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    1783-1820
     
  11. May 11, 2019 #11

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

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    By 1820, even by 1810, 30 " barrels half stocked were very common for sporting guns. (shotguns)
    Very different to 1780's.
    To me the most elegant are English guns from 1750 say, to 1780's., so mostly full stocked and larger locks.

    Good luck in your decision, Mr. J!
     
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  12. May 11, 2019 #12

    E. B. Leland

    E. B. Leland

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    I picked up a 42” 20 ga. flint on the cheap because it had a chatter mark in the bore near the muzzle. When I couldn’t get it to shoot, I figured, “Nothing to lose...” and shortened it by 6” to remove the damaged area. What a difference! Now it patterns great and is damned handy in the brush. Not the least bit sorry.
     
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  13. May 12, 2019 #13

    Capt. Jas.

    Capt. Jas.

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    Any of those barrel lengths are perfectly acceptable historically including the 36".
    I would be more concerned with overall barrel design. I know the "Griffin " barrel by Colerain comes in 42" length and in 20, 16 and 12 gauge. I would NOT get the 20 in in that configuration as it has the same OD as the 16. The 16 or 12 is a good choice for that barrel and it's a good design with a nice healthy breech.
     
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  14. May 12, 2019 #14

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Since I consider you the Forum "E.F. Hutton" on Fowlers, what barrel would you suggest for a 20 ga. for both bird shot and ball?

    Gus
     
  15. May 14, 2019 #15

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

    Pukka Bundook

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    Capt. Jas,

    You are very right re. the Griffin barrels by Colerain. The 16 is a lovely light one, whereas the 20 is too heavy for a sporting gun really. 16 bore by far the best of the two!

    Hello Gus,
    Life and farm still getting in my way!
     
  16. May 14, 2019 #16

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

    Jfoster

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    Does anyone know if the griffin barrels are what sitting fox uses for their 20ga?
     
  17. May 16, 2019 #17

    Capt. Jas.

    Capt. Jas.

    Capt. Jas.

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    Gus,
    I usually get Ed Rayl or Rice to make me what I want in 20.
    My buddy made a wonderful piece with handmade standing hook breech using a 38" Colerain octagon to round 20 from Track
     
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  18. May 17, 2019 #18

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Great Info,

    Thank you.

    Gus
     
  19. May 17, 2019 #19

    Capt. Jas.

    Capt. Jas.

    Capt. Jas.

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    IMG_1776_zpsw0lenguj.jpg IMG_1788_zpslpsosi0g.jpg IMG_1725_zpsf70gzb6o.jpg IMG_1798_zpsd4m4e9e2.jpg IMG_1717_zps0u8non1q.jpg IMG_1751_zpsjk9zdpsm.jpg IMG_1776_zpsw0lenguj.jpg IMG_1776_zpsw0lenguj.jpg

    This is the gun with the TOW 38" Colerain 20
     
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  20. May 18, 2019 #20

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

    Flint62Smoothie

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    Uhhhhh, their 'stock' barrel is a barrel made for DOM (drawn over mandrel) tubing, it is not a custom fowler barrel. But Ray is quite open to upgrading his kits to whatever the customer wants.
     

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