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Does headspace matter on a shotgun shell?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Sportshot, Jun 20, 2010.

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  1. Sportshot

    Sportshot Active Member

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    I read the article on Giacomo Perazzi in Trapshooting USA. It was interesting to see Dan Lokker's opinion that the critical element in barrel fitting is headspace and not the locking bolt or top lever.

    Why is that?
     
  2. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Headspace in any firearm is critical. Excessive headspace will leave part of the shell (or cartridge) unsupported, and thus liable to rupture. Bad news for the shooter, and maybe those around him/her. So I would agree-that would be my first concern in barrel fitting.

    Jim R
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    The headspace on a shotgun shell is based on the thickness of the rim of the shell. If the recess in the chamber is cut too deep the firing pin won't reach the primer and if cut too shallow the action won't close. HMB
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For reloaders, this will definitely shorted case or hull life, assuming none of the other undesirable problems like ruptures, case head separations, set back or blown out primers, pierced primers, or other problems don't occur first.
     
  5. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    HMB is correct but I will add the thickness of the rims on shotgun shells is not the same among different shells. In break open guns, the critical measurement is the distance between the barrel and the breech when the gun is closed. The very old, crude and pretty good cigarette paper test is a quick check of this distance. If the gun will not close when a single layer of cigarette paper is placed behind the barrel and will close when the paper is removed, the head space is good.

    Of course, almost nobody rolls cigarettes anymore but cigarette paper is commonly sold at many stores. I don't understand why so much cigarette paper is still used.

    Pat Ireland
     
  6. Barrelbulge(Fl)

    Barrelbulge(Fl) TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Uhhh, Pat. Joints. Bulge.
     
  7. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Pat,

    I've heard the same thing over the years. I've never measured a cigarette paper, but have been told about the thickness staying constant.

    Pretty funny analogy.

    ss
     
  8. Sportshot

    Sportshot Active Member

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    The article didn't get into any details beyond just Dan's brief remark. I still dont get the urgency of it? All Perazzi barrels fit flush, breech face-to-chamber. The fitting involves the tight and proper seating of the bolt in the lugs. And Dan acknowledges most shooters he talks to think this way. Where is the headspace issue?

    Now, if Dan is finding barrels that have a serious gap, he's got to deal with it. That is probably what he means. The breech closure has to be perfect. But again, that doesn't seem to define headspace as the term is used in rifle and pistol shooting. It's breech gap tolerance.

    Maybe there can be worn receiver face issues that he sees and he has to rebuild a receiver and he calls that the headspace problem.

    There's really nothing he can do about rim thickness except confirm it is set to industry spec's and it would be once the breech gap is addressed.
     
  9. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Not enough headspace.. The barrel will not close when a shell is in.. Too much headspace and the firing pins will be a wee bit short for dependable ignition..

    Brownell makes a handy kit for readjusting headspace.. with a ring.. then the rim is recut.. Works well..
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Garwood ("Gough Thomas") related excessive headspace to excessive recoil. I didn't (and don't) believe it.

    Neil
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Neil- Excessive head space, real excessive head space could reduce felt recoil. When the head of the shell ruptures and burning gases hit your face, you will not notice the recoil.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Pat,

    You're killing me! LMAO.

    ss
     
  13. Shotgunbutch

    Shotgunbutch Member

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    Pat,
    "Of course, almost nobody rolls cigarettes anymore but cigarette paper is commonly sold at many stores. I don't understand why so much cigarette paper is still used"

    Funny,

    Arnie
     
  14. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Subject: Does headspace matter on a shotgun shell?
    From: Pat Ireland
    Email:
    Date: Mon, Jun 21, 2010 - 06:27 AM ET
    Website Address:

    <QUOTE>"
    Of course, almost nobody rolls cigarettes anymore but cigarette paper is commonly sold at many stores. I don't understand why so much cigarette paper is still used."
    <UNQUOTE>

    Pat Ireland

    (I hope I did that correctly for all)

    Pat, obviously being used by all those Perazzi owners fitting barrels. ;-)

    Jim
     
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Head space is pretty important in a shotgun. Years ago I was hunting with a model 10 Remington pump that was worn so the head space was not correct. Upon firing, the bolt had moved back off the back of the case, but the firing pin still had enough length to reach the primer. The case ruptured on the top and blew a hole in the top of the receiver,blew the stock out on the left side, right under my eye. Not a scratch, lucky day!

    Ajax
     
  16. Sportshot

    Sportshot Active Member

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    Neil,

    I think Dan @ Giacomo was talking about the headspace distance between the 2 3/4" 12 gauge chamber and the breech face,

    --- not the 4" headspace between your two ears, which is what you and Garwood are talkin' bout.
     
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