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Barrel Work - Eyster/Wilkinson ?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by shotist, Feb 19, 2008.

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  1. shotist

    shotist Member

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    I looking to get a K80 barrel that has factory chokes reworked. Looking for comments about Eyster or Wilkinson barrel work.

    thanks
     
  2. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Both very qualified. My preference is Wilkinson. Eyster has a long solid rep though
     
  3. K80433SC

    K80433SC Member

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    I bought one of the very first KS5 trapguns that Krieghoff made ; I have serial number 006. Soon after purchasing it, I sent the gun to Briley and had a set of series 2 flush-mount tubes put in it.

    When the gun came back from Briley, I ran the first 50 targets through it.

    About 4 years ago, I sent the very same gun to Tom Wilkinson, and had him re-work the barrel and the choke tubes. When it came back from his shop, I smoked the first 25 targets through the newly-modified barrel.

    I guess what I am trying to say (tongue in cheek) is that if you "think" a barrel modification is going to help your shooting, then......it WILL.

    ANYWAY..............to answer your initial question.........

    I have no real personal experience with Mr. Eyster. I cannot either recommend or refute his reputation. As for Tom Wilkinson, I was (and still am) VERY happy with the barrel work he did on my Krieghoff.

    If I have any complaint, it would be with the length of time that he had my gun. I purposely called him well-in-advance of the time I needed to have the gun back, and asked him to recommend a shipping date that would permit such return to me. I followed his instructions to the "T", and sent the gun off on the 8th of May that year. I explained that I needed it for my State Shoot, which always starts on the second weekend of June.

    After a few weeks went by, I began to get a bit "nervous". At my first call, Mr. Wilkinson told me that he was finished with the machine work, but had yet to test fire the finished product. About another week passed................

    I made another call to North Carolina, and got his wife this time. She assured me that my gun would be shipped shortly, and that Tom was not there at the time.

    To make a "long story" even longer (lol), the gun was shipped to my house ; it arrived TWO days before I was to leave for my tournament. It was late in the afternoon ; on a Friday. I was not home at the time, and the shipment required a signature for acceptance. Luckily for me -- my neighbor saw the UPS truck and went out to the driver, and signed for the receipt of the gun. Otherwise -- with it being a Friday, I would have not had my gun to go to my State Shoot that weekend.

    I hope my experience will help you, when deciding when and where to send your own firearm out for work. Make sure you establish the terms and TIMES, before you send it away.
     
  4. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    5,722
    Ken Eyster's son Jim is now doing most of the Bbl work, and i was told they have invested in CNC equipment for the work, I cannot give advice on his work yet, but have known some shooters that had work done there. I have been sending my guns to Tom Wilkinson as most of the top shooters have done, Tom publishes his accolades once in a while in Trap & Field Some shooters are Jerry Phillips, Richard Marshall, Ray Stafford, Pat McCarthy, Steve Stedman, Harlan Campbell,
    Chris Vendel, just to name a few.

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  5. shotist

    shotist Member

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    Thanks for info! Anyone else with comments???
     
  6. old tex

    old tex TS Member

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    Kerry Allor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. dawg

    dawg TS Member

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    Sending my barrel to Tom Wilkinson was the best things I have done. Not only to watch the targets smash, but for that empty space between the ears......
     
  8. Mono3811

    Mono3811 Member

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    Dec 21, 2007
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    Before I sent a gun to Tom Wilkinson, I called him about delivery. He told me
    about the work he had in the shop and when to ship my gun. It came back better
    than I expected and the gun was gone less than two weeks. For my money, the
    best.

    Dick Richards
     
  9. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Does custom barrel work really make a differance? Has anyone done any tests on a stock high end gun barrels-vs-a custom barrel done by one of the supposed great one's doing barrel work? Or is this just another gimmick, like porting?
     
  10. joehunter

    joehunter Member

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    Please add Kerry Allor to your list. He does great work too. He did my MX3 special and it is amazing the difference in recoil and pattern.
     
  11. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    Five years ago I bought a new trap gun and shot it for two months . After that time I found the pattern to be very small at 36 yards I sent the barrel to Wilkinson and ask for a 30 inch pattern at 36 yards . After the work it shot very well . Money well spent .
     
  12. shotist

    shotist Member

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  13. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    A good friend I shoot with had his Kolar Unsingle massaged by Wilkinson. Chokes, bore, the whole package. His barrel hits pretty hard with the 34 point Wilkinson modified choke.

    My K-80 Unsingle has an Angleport bore-matched 35 point Full choke, and Angleporting. The barrel is stock, and was bought new from Ottsville. This barrel gets harder breaks than the Wilkinson Kolar. There is enough difference to notice.

    He shoots Federal Paper Handidap 7 1/2's. I shoot 1 1/8 oz 1250 foot loads with Solo 1250 and 7 1/2's at the back yard. His shells SHOULD pattern better than my econo reloads with chilled shot.

    I won't get my barrels worked on. Period.
     
  14. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    The owner of the Kolar wanted to eliminate pellets outside the pattern, and get better breaks, according to him.

    I miked my barrel, (.732") and had John Clouse at Angleport send me chokes. He also ported my barrel. Nothing has been done to the bore. My Unsingle barrel was bought new from Ottsville.

    I might be lucky, but my Cynergy backup with .735" bores also has a set of John's Angleport chokes. With 35 point Fulls, it will definitely turn a solid into a vapor. The K-80 will get slightly harder breaks with the same loads. Both guns give outstanding performance with anything put through them.

    I use and recommend Ballistic Specialties' services.
     
  15. esetter

    esetter Active Member

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    The Eysters have a great shop and are as honest as you can get. They have worked on several of my guns doing barrel work on one and a refurbish on a Winchester model 21 and I can tell you they are first class all the way. They did what they said they would do, when they said they would do it. They take the time to work with you and are truely good guys. I highly recommend them. Gerry Addison.
     
  16. Les Greevy

    Les Greevy TS Member

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    Jim Eyster has custom choked barrels for several of my best bunker and double trap shooters and the improvements are immediately noticable. Jim really understands how to choke for international targets especially since the 7/8 oz load is more sensitive to choke that the 1 1/8 oz. It is not just the choke but the uniformity and relationships throughout the barrel from chamber to muzzle that are important. He can put the POI right where you desire and set pattern percentage to your specification. He is also a great supporter of youth shooting and a very successful coach. He works closely with the kids. He does the barrel work on my guns. Les Greevy
     
  17. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Shotist, I was going to stay out of this one, because it always generates so much controversy. However, there is some bad thinking presented here, so I'll tell you my story.

    When I decided to get rid of my 682 Gold E combo, I didn't want to make another expensive mistake. I borrowed and shot all of the guns I was interested in, quite extensively. Several of the barrels were worked on by Wilkinson. They all produced noticeably better breaks.

    I finally decided on a Perazzi, and bought a used MX-15 34". Tom Wilkinson had worked the barrel and three of the choke tubes. The original owner had asked for near medium and far chokes, so Tom provided .022, .027 and .036 to correspond with singles 22 yard caps and 27 yard caps.

    When I returned home I set up for POI testing (I was using 13 yards at the time). I was quite literally astonished. Using 1oz #8 loads, the patterns were round. I don't mean sort of round with a lot of flyers, I mean round. And even! I've patterned A LOT, and these results were other worldly. As an aside, I tell you that those results held up at 40 yards, with the more open chokes being more uniformly even.

    For a variety of reasons I won't go into here, I am not, and probably never will be a good trap shooter. Compared to the majority of the shooters at my home club, I stink. However, using the .022 choke, I didn't stink. When I went to 1 1/8oz loads, I stunk less. When I when to 1 1/8oz of # 8 1/2, I was marvelous. I was doing so well that I got bumped up two classes for my club championship based on known ability. My average didn't justify it, but I had been shooting soooo well, it was fair.

    A quick segue for two mini lessons. The .022 choke allowed me to hit more targets than my natural ability justified. It mad me sloppy. Because Everything smoked using the .022 with 1 1/8oz #8 1/2, even when I wasn't centered, I had no visual cues to help my subconscious targeting system adjust. As a result, my handicap scores tanked. Changing to the .027 choke (which patterned much tighter) for singles and handicap fixed that pretty quickly. However, my singles scores were not as good. So to borrow PBB's expression, the is a down side to the "trawl net" approach to singles shooting.

    Second mini lesson for Shooting Coach. Tell your friend that shooting 1 1/8oz #7 1/2 in an open choke is just plain dumb. No matter who worked on the barrel, if you want to shoot a .020 choke, you want more pellets, or you'll have to be dead center on each shot. Going from 394 pellets to 461 (#8) is a big jump. Going to 551 (#8 1/2) is even bigger jump. Have your friend try it. BTW, TW shoots for 80% PE at the range you tell him you hit your targets at, so your friend had to have asked him for a single barrel. BTW2, I have zero problems getting 95%-99% PE using 1oz #7 1/2 at 30 yards with a good Modified choke. That is too tight for best results, so going to 8s or 8's will help in both pattern diameter and pellet count. I prefer that approach rather than going to cheaper, softer shot.

    Shotist, back to you. I decided I wanted a new gun. The dealer had a new MX-2000 top single. I wanted an unsingle, so he replaced the TS with a barrel from a new MX-15. I had planned to send that barrel down to Wilkinson soonest, because I liked what I had with the old gun. However, when I was shooting for POI I noticed it looked pretty much like Wilkinson's patterns in my old gun. Tight, round and even. So I decided to try it a while first. It proved itself to be a superb shooter. At almost every shoot I get a comment from a squad mate about what that barrel does to birds. I forget at this moment whether it is .030 or .032 (the latter I think), but using my reloads it vaporizes singles targets and crushes 27 yarders (smoke, but with some visible pieces). No barrel smith is ever going to see that barrel, because it just doesn't need it.

    In an attempt to improve my shooting form, I decided to use higher ribbed barrels. So I now have RS-2000RS barrels for a 35/34 combo. Unfortunately, none of the barrels pattern as well as my old combo. The U barrel comes close. It is .020 and produces a very even pattern, but with more of a central hot spot than I like. The O barrel (.030) is OK, but not so even. The 35" unsingle (.035) needs help. It patterns very tightly, but with a very dense core and a patchy everything outside the central 10". Although it produces 80%+ patterns at 40 yards, the pellets are not distributed as evenly as I want. I swear that if I could find a way to put the higher rib on my MX-15 barrel, that is exactly what I would do.

    As it stands, both of the new barrel sets are going down to Tom for work. I know exactly what I want, and how to communicate that to Tom unambiguously. When I get them back I know that I will have the patterns I expect from good unmodified barrels, or from badly performing barrels that have been expertly corrected.

    Wilkinson is the_man in this neck of the woods, probably because he is close. You don't see as many Eyster barrels, and almost no Allor barrels. I really believe it's a geographical thing. I have shot very good and no so good Perazzi barrels. I have never shot a bad Wilkinson barrel (5 or 6 that I know of).

    If I had your barrel(s), here is what I would do. I'd pattern them. If I didn't like what I found, I'd try it again using borrowed chokes, just to eliminate them as cause of the problem. If I still was not happy with the results, I'd send it to Tom Wilkinson without hesitation. He can make a barrel/choke that doesn't perform up to snuff into a superb shooter. Just be sure you tell him exactly what you want to accomplish. If you tell him you want a choke for singles targets taken between 30 and 34 yards, you are going to get a choke that delivers 80% PE at 32 yards. If you want it tighter than that, tell him 32 to 36, or better yet, tell him you want 85% PE at a particular yardage. You should also tell him what loads you use. If you want the barrel patterned using your reloads, send two boxes down with the barrel. Good luck.
     
  18. Les Greevy

    Les Greevy TS Member

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    Hi Mike,
     
  19. TMX-35

    TMX-35 TS Member

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    Shotist, I currently have two TMX's that have had barrel/choke work done to them.

    The first TMX has a 35" barrel (a true perazzi 35" TMX barrel) that was worked over by Ken Eyster. The resulting .740/.0325 barrel breaks them hard and shoots soft. Zero complaints.

    The second TMX, my wifes, has a 34" barrel with factory tubes that was worked by Tom Wilkerson. The resulting .743/.024 tube also breaks them solidly and shoots soft as well. Again, zero complaints.

    I feel that either one of these guys will do a great job and their reputations speak for them soundly.

    Phil
     
  20. TMX-35

    TMX-35 TS Member

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    Sorry, I meant Tom Wilkinson.
     
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