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Just a few questions for you guys.....What is the shortest barrel I can obtain and legally have on my 870 shotgun? The length of the barrel is measured from the front of the receiver, not including the part that goes in the receiver, correct? What is generally considered the best choke for a defense-type shotgun using buckshot? Thanks in advance for any replies!!
 

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The minimum lenghth of a shotgun barrel has to be18 inches long. The minimum total length has to be 26 inches. Hope this helps.
 

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Grinch,

As has been stated by Rugster, the minimums are:
barrel length: 18"
over-all length: 26" [parallel to center line of bore]

Shotgun barrel lengths are measured from the breech face, with the action closed, to the muzzle.
 

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Every shotgun that I have qualified with at the police ranges have all been cylinder bores. And for this type of work that is best. 00 buck and 000 buck is pretty good. But I like #4 buck myself.
 

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Cylinder bores are only accurate to 20 yards with most ammo. I would still like to have choke tubes even for self defense that way you can pattern what works best. A smith can thread a bore for under 100 bucks.:usa:
 

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To tell you the truth, my house gun has a 22in vent rib bbl. with tubes. I leave the cyn tube in it. But I took it out last dove season when my 1100 broke. I put a mod chock tube in it and tore the birds up. And with an extra full, I can put 7 out of 15 pellets on a deer size target at 50 yards with 3in 00 buck. The one thing you have to think about is how a lawyer can turn things around in court if you have to use the gun. If you have your gun set up to out shoot a police gun, you could be seeing yourself in jail. And if you shoot at someone out to, or near 20 yards you will go to jail, unless there shooting at you. So in the long run, I think its best and cheapest to stay with the 18 in cyn. bore cop gun. Thats my 2 1/2 cents.
 
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