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Posted: 1/5/2012 3:55:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2012 4:00:46 PM EDT by mdaugherty1988]
So I've decided that I want a Browning BPS in 12 gauge, but I'm still not sure what chamber size (3" or 3-1/2") and barrel length (26", or 28") I want to go with. This will be a do-all gun, anything from sporting clays to hunting (small game, pheasant, ducks, geese, turkey, etc). I'm aware that there isn't one gun that can excel in all these different situations, but if you had to choose, what size chamber and what length barrel would you select?

I'm leaning towards a 3-1/2" chamber with a 26" barrel, since the overall dimensions are nearly identical to my Browning 2000 12 gauge that fits me well. The only thing that worries me is that this barrel might be too short for waterfowl hunting...thoughts on this?

BTW, I'm about 5' 9.5" tall, with a slender build and average length arms. I assume this would help with sizing?
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:09:49 PM EDT
I've hunted ducks darn near all my life and I'm 50... I have used 26" and 28" barrels and IMO it makes NO difference other than your personal preference as far as sight radius and the feel of the swing, as it goes. Some like a longer barrels for "wing shooting", I like em shorter. IMO, the choke is where it's at, not necessarily the barrel length.

Get one that will fire 2 3/4" and 3" shells. With that being said, I stopped using 3" shells long ago. The 3" shells never made a big difference to me when hunting ducks, turkey, etc.

So if I had to make the call, it would be a 26" barrel chambered in 2 3/4" & 3".
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 7:40:39 PM EDT
26" is good, if you need more distance you can use a different choke and hotter loads.

Why do you want a 3 1/2" gun? Do you need the extra shot? You won't generally get any more velocity out of a 3 1/2" shell and in some cases you give up some velocity because of the increased payload. There are some really good 3" loads out there that make the difference pretty much nothing.

Much more important is the fit of the stock, go to a shop and 'try on' several different shotguns and get the one that fits. If it doesn't fit, you'll never shoot it as well.

Link Posted: 1/6/2012 6:29:27 AM EDT
I have two BPS'. One is the 20" high capacity model. The other is a 26" Hunter. The 26" is still longer than my O/U's with 28" barrels.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 7:46:13 AM EDT
The BPS has a long receiver, making the sighting plane of the 26" barrel as long or longer than other 28" barreled guns. But they are balanced further back towards the rear-middle of the gun, too. They aren't the most graceful swinging guns, for sure.

There will be no difference in external ballistics or patterns between a 26" & 28" barrel. Personally, I would never set off a 3 1/2" shell in a BPS. Unless you do a lot of snow goose hunting with steel shot, there's no need for that long shell.

The BPS is fairly complicated for a pump gun, and they are a royal pain in the ass to detail strip. I have personal experience with them in three gauges...10,12, and 20. I tried to like them but they just would not pattern as well as my other guns no matter what I fed them.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 8:03:47 AM EDT
Had a BPS 3.5 inch 12 gauge with a 28 inch barrel.
Smoothest operating pump gun I ever had and I own two 870s
It is a tad tricky to take apart the action but once I did it a few times it wasn't hard.

I thought it was a great gun but its a tad heavy for upland bird hunting.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 8:41:45 AM EDT
They make a very short Quail gun version of the BPS... 21" I think.
Link Posted: 1/6/2012 12:32:35 PM EDT
I'd get the shorter 3" gun with 26" barrel if you are going to do any upland bird hunting.

The only real reason to get the 3 1/2 inch is if you are going to hunt geese w/ steel shot, if you do a LOT of goose hunting that may be worth it, otherwise I;d just spend a little extra per box to buy some of the newer better performing non-toxic shot shells.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 6:24:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 6:39:36 AM EDT
Personally, I'd go with the 3 1/2" chambered one with a 26" barrel. I'd rather have the versatility of the longer chamber, even if I only used 2 3/4" or 3" loads the bulk of the time. Recoil on the 3 1/2" duck loads is pretty stout from a pump gun though.

One thing on the BPS though, is that since it's a bottom eject it could hang up with the 3 1/2" shells if you don't get your hand far enough down the forearm. If any part of of your hand or jacket gets over the little scallop that the empty shell comes out of it could hang up. My Remington 870 SuperMagnum will also hang up if you don't completely "bottom it out" on the pump stroke before going forward when using 3 1/2" shells. Just takes a little getting used to.
Link Posted: 1/7/2012 6:42:01 AM EDT
I have a BPS 16 gauge that I really like and shoot well. I prefer the 26" barrel on shotguns myself ,but 26" or 28" doesn't seem to affect how I shoot. In my duck hunting experience I have used both 2.75 and 3" shells and found 2.75 are fine over decoys but I like to have more shot for pass shooting. If you plan on goose hunting it's nice to have extra capacity for bigger shot like BB and BBB.If I bought another 12 gauge today I would buy one that shoots 3.5" shells. Even if you don't plan on shooting them, you always have the ability and resale may be higher.
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