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A straight-rifled barrel pattern-tested. (Winston)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Neil Winston, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    If you haven’t yet done so, take a glance at the link above, in which, last winter, we discussed at length how a straight-rifled shotgun barrel would work in contrast to a conventional, non-rifled one. A second one was at

    http://www.trapshooters.com/noframes/cfpages/sthread.cfm?threadid=171919&Messages=140

    Several posters predicted a 10% gain in pattern percentage, with or without a concomitant “improvement” in pellet distribution, by which they meant a “less hot center (relative to the outer ring.)” Links have been posted which document the source of these beliefs. A commonly proposed cause of these effects – tighter yet more-even patterns - was “wad spin.”

    There were a few doubters who wondered in print what forces might lead to wad spin and how you could know if wads did spin or not and how fast they spun and so forth, just twisting tails, really, since no answer was expected, nor, it seemed to me, was any reasonable one offered.

    But this is a perfect example of “gun club ballistics” to which there mostly likely is actually an answer, and a pretty simple one to get at that. Buy such a straight-rifled barrel, shoot it, and compare its results to those produced by a barrel as close as you can find to that one, but not rifled.

    So I got a new Hastings Wad-Lock II for a Remington 1100 and selected a barrel from my collection, a Hastings Leo Harrison III signature model, to act as a standard against which to measure it.

    The first problem was how to match choke restrictions. The Wad-Lock II has some serious rifling, and when measured one way (across the lands) the diameter was about 0.720 inches and measured across the grooves, more like 0.728 inches. In the end I counted on the diameters stamped in the barrels by the manufacturer and pegged the Wad-lock II at 0.720 (plus or minus 0.002) and the other about four thousandths larger. The full choke for the Wad-lock II was 0.685 and I found a choke for the LH III with a similar restriction but actually 0.004 more open. This gave the Wad-lock II a slight advantage in producing tight patterns.

    I have set aside several flats of Federal Gold Medal Paper shells, lot number AH 681, which in my testing have an unequaled record for producing patterns which are as good (tight) as they are going to get. I had planned to fire my usual string of ten shots with each barrel, but the results were so clear after five, I went no farther. Autumn patterning is a touch-and-go situation. You need still-air warmth and at Metro in Blaine there are but a couple of hours between good lighting after noon and photo-wrecking shadows produced by the low-angle and early-setting sun. Once it’s clear what’s going on, you might as well move on to something else; you may not get another chance until spring.

    The photos were taken with a Canon G10 digital camera and processed with Andrew Jones’ wonderful program Shotgun-insight.

    Here are the results:

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    This straight-rifled barrel, with these proven shells, shot significantly (P=0.04) less tightly than a similar, non-rifled barrel from the same manufacturer. More than that, it is notably poor-performer considering its choke restriction, 0.035 inches. It’s useless for long-yardage handicap and doesn’t even have the more-even pellet distribution it was supposed to.

    Oberfell and Thompson, in The Mysteries of Shotgun Patterns, provide a table (Table 1) by which they assert patterns evenness can be judged. For them, the “less hot” centers equate to “good or “excellent” The converse is true, of course, relatively hot centers are “fair” or “poor.” Most patterns are “normal,” of course. (I personally think at a hot center could, at times, make up for other faults at long handicap so I’m not necessarily with O & T on this, but include it only because they proposed a metric which bears directly on the putative powers of straight rifling.)

    The non-rifled barrel rated “normal” three times, “good” twice. The rifled one was “normal” three times too, but after that scored “fair” once, “poor” once. In other words, it produced, on the average, hotter centers than the other, not less hot.


    (edit. A deletion here - the pattern I posted was not as bad as I thought but I think I saved it and can check again)

    In summary, this barrel not only did not live up to any of its press, but was about as much worse is it was supposed to be better. Why was this supposed to work, anyway, does anyone remember?

    Neil

    © 2009 Neil Winston
     
  2. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    I would think you would want to try it with a variety of ammo before declaring it a bad idea.
     
  3. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Well Neil...you just knew you were going to hear that! Didn't you?

    Thanks for taking the time and pulling another layer of the "Shroud of Darkness" from the believers. Of which I was one!

    Ajax
     
  4. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Silver, my experience has been that barrels do not change relative to one another when they shoot different ammo. Good barrels continue to lead; less good continue to lag. I do plan perhaps one more test, how about light AA 8's? My strong prediction is that they are not going to rescue this particular example. Does anyone predict otherwise? And why?

    Ajax, of course I knew it. It's what I call "going somewhere else." No comment at all on the finding, in fact, ignoring it, but suggesting some other test, which will then be followed by "The barrels are known not to perform well with full chokes; you should have used the modified one." Ad infinitum.

    Tested with very good ammunition, the barrel failed to perform even half well-enough. That's what happened; I don't have to explain what would have happened in a test which was not done.

    Neil
     
  5. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    "I'd think if straight rifled shotgun barrels were the best thing since Budweiser, most all the top guns on the line would be using them by now!! I don't see that happening either. Hap"

    Hap
     
  6. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Neil Winston

    Thanks again for a straightforward analysis of an obscure issue. I had often wondered if they would perform any better than a standard barrel, but never thought to obtain one and try it out. I'd be thinking along the same lines as Hap. If they were an advantage, we'd see some very successful shooters using them. Somewhere I read that they were supposed to keep the wad and shot from spinning while in the bore. I never knew it to be a problem, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Now what do you think would happen if the rifled barrel had a twist of, let's say, 1 in 18" - 22"?
     
  7. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Interesting data. A difference at the 0.04 level with a relatively small sample size is convincing to me.

    It would be ideal if two or three others would duplicate this test and get similar results, but I suspect none will. It is too much work. It is much easier to sit at our desks contemplating new theories and attacking old theories with ideas not supported with data.

    Pat Ireland
     
  8. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    Since the wads are a cup to hold the shot and for the most part the shot doesn't rub the side of the barrels any longer how could the rifled barrels do any good at all? The shot never gets to the side of the barrels and therefore is not exposed to the relief of the rifleing. I would think the choke is the key to pattterning of the shot. If there was no choke at all the rifleing might be made to work if the sides of the wad were short enough to expose the outside of the shot to the gun barrel. In other words we have the shot going down a barrel and is slightly spread do to the dept of the rifleing. Then the shot mass hits the choke area and the outside bb's of shot are forced to the middle to get out the barrel. That's how the middle of the pattern was more populated than what you would think it should be. That's how I see it anyway. Dan
     
  9. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    great post

    Now Briley claims an advantage with skeet chokes- and says they have tested it

    20 yards with skeet chokes?

    I dont think Neil is ready to go after the skeet shooting game (yet)

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  10. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Neil.. while I don't really like the outcome you got.. I honor it.. All of my barrels produce very hot cores.. and that's what I'm after.. My hits have always be solid or better at long ranges..and that includes the parking lot..
    I agree there are no real differences with good quality shells.. AA and STS give me very similar outcome..
    Thank you for taking the time to test the barrels.. All Good.. Mike
     
  11. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Thanks Neil. Yet another example of marketing exceeding performance. Something in the concept of straight rifling correlates with the value of shooting straight at a target and breaking it. Guess I was suckered in...

    Have you got anything on your to-do list regarding vision? It's such a key component of our sport.
     
  12. handlepuller

    handlepuller Well-Known Member

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    Neat study and post Neil.

    Fun shooting with you the other weekend.

    John
     
  13. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Ha Ha, A little less magic in the world today. I wouldn't waste any more ammo on that sucker. Stand it up in the corner with the rest of the duds.
     
  14. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Gee, what happened to the 10% boost. Must be those stinking paper shells.
     
  15. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    Now Neil has his work cut out for himself. His tests showed the rifled barrel shot worse.


    Why?


    How could four shallow straight lands in a bore cause patterns to be,,worse,,everything else being the same??


    Ideally such a test would require two barrels/chokes as close to identical as possible, other than one being straight shallow rifled.


    Neil's results are in stark contrast from what Cliff Moller of Briley stated when talking to Todd Bender, quoting them;


    "T: Something that is new to me is the rifling in my tubes. So how about it, is rifling in tubes a major advantage?



    C: The first time we experimented with it, Hastings was rifling some shotgun barrels, straight rifled barrels. So I said great, and what we found out when we did testing with rifling, is that you had, in a high percentage of the instances, flyers that were brought into the outer area. You are not bringing them into the center, but into the outer ring, and not all the time. Were they always brought in? Hell no. So with rifling in our tubes we are trying to bring the excellence out to the next decimal place."



    There are names attached. Who is right??
     
  16. deuce

    deuce Member

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    Neil,

    I appreciate your testing and analysis. I have wondered if straight rifled barrels held any advantage, but I don't shoot an autoloader so I was simply curious.

    What,if any effect do you suppose such a barrel would have on pressure and/or muzzle velocity? Just curious again.

    I always enjoy reading your test reports.

    Jim
     
  17. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Paladin, I guess if I thought it my task to determine the detailed relationship between straight rifling and pattern-performance, an intermediate barrel would be the place to start and my work would be, as you say, cut out for me.

    But I signed up for no such task, as the title of the thread specifies. It's not "Why does straight rifling do to patterns what it does and under what conditions?" It's "A straight-rifled barrel pattern tested." And that's what I did (and that's where I stopped).

    As to who is right, I'd be content if people just accepted that we both might be. There might be differences in the way Briley tubes work in contrast to this Hastings barrel. But readers should recognize, as they weigh our two results, that they know way more about my test than they do Briley's. In particular, they know how natural variation in pattern performance can lead to unexpected conclusions.

    Look at that far-rightmost straight-rifled pattern, the best one at 72%. I could accurately say that that pattern exceeded the non-rifled ones three out of five times. It would give completely the wrong impression of how the experiment came out, but it would be true. That why when I report these experiments I do not use phrases line "a high percentage of the time" or "fliers that were brought in from outside areas." I _show_ what percentage of the time. If flyers are brought in they will appear somewhere in the pattern and I _show_ where and how many, if any (though it didn't happen here).

    I've no explanation for what my results were, just as I have none for Briley's. But they were my results though they surprised even me, as I expected no difference. Buy that's why we experiment, right, to test our ideas against reality?

    Neil
     
  18. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    In addition, Tim, if I had wanted to sell this barrel, I certainly should have done so before I posted these results, don't you agree? As soon as I re-do the test with light 8 AA's it will be for sale, of course, though I expect the recovered price will not be what it might have been.

    Neil
     
  19. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Wonder if mine are any better or worse than the tested barrel..?? As I said.. the factory sent me 20.. I picked what I want.. and sent the rest back???
     
  20. Paladin

    Paladin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply, Neil. It's a fitting end to your starting thread.
     
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