Whether you are a hunter or want a shotgun for your home defence, learning the barrel difference will help you. You can decide on '26 Vs. 28 which one to choose if you are clear about the length of the facts.

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This guide has all the parameters to decide the best one out of 26 and 28 shotguns. 

26 Vs. 28 Shotgun - Which One is the Best?

Learning about the parameters of the shotguns will help you decide which one is the best for you. So, before diving deep into the debate on how much pipe you need, let's discuss the essential parameters of a shotgun.

Shotgun Balance

Shotgun Balance

Finding a handgun with a great balance is sorcery. You can easily destroy the target with a shotgun with great balance. Gun balance facts will help you choose the best weapon for personal defense or hunting.

If you own a gun and have an effective grip on it, the change in its balance will also change its balance point. If you have a good height and long arms, go for 28-inch barrels.

A shotgun with a 26-inch stack barrel will be perfect for you if you have moderate height and normal arm's length. Your grip on the handgun will help you balance it easily.

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Shotgun Swing

Shotgun Swing

Swing is another feature that decides your grip on your gun to hit the target. A heavier barrel handgun will swing smoother than one with lighter barrels.

If you have problems with handgun swing, it's good to choose the 28-inch stack barrel. It will provide you with a better swing than a 26-inch barrel shotgun.

Handling the Shotgun

Handling the Shotgun

The third and most important parameter to consider while deciding which shotgun is perfect for you is 'Handling.' The above two features of your handgun will decide how you handle it.

The swing is a feel and not a scientific entity to consider in your shotgun. The barrel length and contour, choking style, receiver material, action, rib style, and other features decide your gun's swing.

If you effectively control the gun swing and balance, handling it will not be a problem. So, choose the best handgun that provides an effective grip, as mentioned above.

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Shot velocity is one of the most important parameters to discuss while choosing a shotgun for you. You can easily analyze the velocity of your shotgun with its swing and balance.

Moreover, the barrel length also affects the shot velocity. With a normal load, there will be a 10 feet per second increase in shot velocity with every 2-inch increase in the barrel.

On the other hand, the difference will be 15 fps per 2-inch increase in stack barrels for magnum loads. So, a 26-inch shotgun will have a relatively lower velocity than a 28-inch.

If you want a shotgun for maximum shot velocity, go for 28-inch stack barrels. Twenty-six inches, on the contrary, will be the best choice to hit the target from less distance. Mostly, it is used for home security and personal protection.

Right Barrel Length for Home Defense

A shotgun offers great resistance against robbers and thieves attacking your property. But which one is the best for home defense, a 28-inch or 26-inch?

Mostly, home security doesn't demand any special barrel length. So, you can choose any 28-inch stack barrel length or that 26-inch.

However, the barrel length affects the cost of the shotgun. A basic barrel length is relatively cheaper than an increased stack barrel length. So, you can choose a 26-inch shotgun for your protection.

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Right Barrel Length for Hunting

Though barrel length has little effect on the shot velocity of a handgun, it alters handling. Moreover, a lighter barrel will not bring many advantages for you to shoot immobile targets like birds.

Mostly, a short barrel will result in different hunting scenarios compared to a larger length. When you are covering the prey from a closer distance, the short length will not bring satisfactory results.

Shotguns with a barrel length of 28-34 inches are the best to shoot the birds. So, if you are a hunter, go for a 28 handgun.

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26 Vs. 28 Shotgun - What is the Best Barrel Length?

Barrel length has little effect on the shot's velocity and intensity. However, it affects control, swing, and balance largely.  

If you want a shotgun for home protection, 26-inch and 28-inch will work. But the same is not true for you if your intent is hunting and preying.  

Proper control, perfect swing, effective handling, and good choking are important factors for perfect target hunting. You can shoot the prey effectively if you have perfect control over all these parameters.  

According to expert hunters and some technical facts, as mentioned above, a shotgun with a 26-inch barrel length is not effective for hunting purposes. However, a 28-inch barrel will be the best choice for it.

So, go for a longer stack barrel if you want a handgun for hunting. A 28-inch shotgun will be the best choice for shooting birds and other immobile targets.


Choosing the right shotgun barrel length means perfect target shooting and vice versa. When deciding '26 Vs. 28 Shotgun is the best, you can choose the best only if you know the essential parameters of a handgun.

The intention of investing in a shotgun also decides which one will suit you the best. So, it is not right to say choosing a shotgun for personal protection and hunting is the same. You'll have to observe the gun differently for different intentions.

We briefly discussed all the essential parameters of a handgun in the above section. It will help you decide which stack barrel length is perfect for you. Stay tuned for the next outdoor adventure episode!

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