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Barrel Weights


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I after some opinions if anyone has used barrel weights, currently shoot a Browning OU 32inch which balances just even over the hinge pin  & usually shoot sporting, my scores usually in the mid 70's but I have noticed recently that I am starting to over lead on long crossers. Do you think barrel weights would slow this down?   

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No. They will only serve to make the gun heavier where you don't want it to be which is outside the the area between your two hands.

I'd suggest reciting "bum, belly, beak" (as some advise on pheasant or less often said "bum, belly, beak, BANG") and as you say beak and start to pull ahead of the bird pull the trigger. Extra weight will make the thing harder to stop which although is good does mean that it'll be harder to then stop the gun and then start it on the second bird of the pair.

I don't shoot a lot of clays but the theory and practice applies to game and to clay alike.

That a gun may balance isn't...as some celebrity gunfitter videos think fit...the whole picture. It is where that weight is distributed. Ideally half the total weight of the gun should be withing six inches either side of a point about an inch in front of front ends of the cartridges which is usually, yes, just about the hinge pin or just in front of it. 

Edited by enfieldspares
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25 minutes ago, Raymondinio said:

I after some opinions if anyone has used barrel weights, currently shoot a Browning OU 32inch which balances just even over the hinge pin  & usually shoot sporting, my scores usually in the mid 70's but I have noticed recently that I am starting to over lead on long crossers. Do you think barrel weights would slow this down?   

I have not been shooting that long myself, so I am no great sage on the subject and this is basically information that I have received when asking a similar question of my instructor.

For clay shooting, most prefer the point of balance to be over the pin or slightly stock heavy. Your question suggests to me that the problem you are having is with swing speed, One cure for this that gives you more control is to make the gun a little heavier in general. Adding barrel weights alone will make the gun a little heavier and in the case of a stock heavy gun, would also improve the balance.

However, as yours already balances over the pin, adding just barrel weights would make your gun barrel heavy. I would think a better option would be to add weight at both ends of the gun, this would both preserve the balance and make the gun less whippy.

In my case, the balance and weight of my gun was about spot on, but I was struggling with running through the clay to fast and then stopping the gun to wait for the clay to catch up then missing behind. 

My instructor pointed this out and suggested that I should move my forend grip a little further forward and this would improve my swing speed and control, sure enough it did.         

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I have been shooting my ProSport 30" for almost 12 months now. It has always balanced right on the hinge pin. However, about 8 months ago I fitted the barrel weights in the second vent slot back from the muzzle. I have never considered using the stock weights. After using the weights for the first few times my scores crept up into the mid 80's. I was finding it easier to shoot those close quartering Crossers as well as the distant birds. Anyway, from  December my scores had dipped back into mid 70's and I suspected I was overleading stuff. In fact a lot of the time if I cut my lead in half, I was dusting birds again. I have now removed the barrel weights and I shall see how things go over the next 1000 targets or so  ! I hope I can then come to some conclusions as to refit the barrel weights or not  ??

Edited by Westley
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8 minutes ago, Westley said:

I have been shooting my ProSport 30" for almost 12 months now. It has always balanced right on the hinge pin. However, about 8 months ago I fitted the barrel weights in the second vent slot back from the muzzle. I have never considered using the stock weights. After using the weights for the first few times my scores crept up into the mid 80's. I was finding it easier to shoot those close quartering Crossers as well as the distant birds. Anyway, from  December my scores had dipped back into mid 70's and I suspected I was overleading stuff. In fact a lot of the time if I cut my lead in half, I was dusting birds again. I have now removed the barrel weights and I shall see how things go over the next 1000 targets or so  ! I hope I can then come to some conclusions as to refit the barrel weights or not  ??

Forgot to say that fitting the barrel weights near the muzzle only moved the point of balance VERY slightly forward, around 1/4".

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I've been clay shooting for over 40 years and have never bothered about barrel or stock weights or adj combs.

 I just pick up a gun and if it feels right just get on with it. I think all these add ons are just something else to worry about.

Same as chokes.  For OSK, skeet and cyl, sporting, skeet & 1/4, ABT 1/2 & 3/4. 

And i dont do bad. 

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We've all had these thoughts, I tried heavy extended chokes once as I thought I needed more muzzle weight on long crossers. 9 times out of 10 it's a technique issue, it's just finding out what you do need to change. For me when I had the same issue I had to go from pull away to a halfway house in-between pull away and maintained lead. If I mounted on the clay my gun speed got too high, I now mount halfway in-between the clay and my perceived lead which gives me a more controlled swing on anything that needs 8 feet or more of lead, anything below that and I shoot pull away. Seems complicated but it works for me.

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I'm trying a barrel weight on my gun ATM, I found that when my shotkam was fitted it slowed down the swing,(without the Kam it balances just behind the hinge pin, with the Kam just in front) so seeing if I can replicate the balance with a weight. Balance is no fast rule some prefer perfect , others barrel or stock. It's what works for you

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  • 1 month later...

Just to add to this, a friend who had been struggling with stand 4 (Centre) on skeet borrowed a shotcam and fitted it on his Beretta o/u. He straighted the centre stand and continued shooting pairs off that stand,  without a miss. I asked him to weigh the camera,  it weighed 6 ozs. So he had added 6 ozs near to the muzzle, which obviously aided his swing and hence his success rate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The guns balance is the point between the hands not really where the gun balances by itself.

It is assumed that the mid point between the hands will be the hinge pin and generally this is correct.

Check you grip however to make sure that is correct - if you hold the forend quite far forward that may move the mid point between the hands forward and you may 'want' extra weight in the barrels.

Alternatively - as Tonka says - move you hand back on the forend and see how it feels.

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