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light contour barrel

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by ky4some, May 6, 2012.

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  1. ky4some

    ky4some Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
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    Pardon my beginner's question but what is a light contour barrel? I'm just starting into trap with a Browning BPS Trap and was thinking about maybe getting a gun for sporting clays. I've seen "light contour barrel" on several advertisements for used guns.

    Mike Kamer
     
  2. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    A light contour barrel differs from a standard barrel in that the outside diameter for a significant amount of its length is machined smaller. The goal is to reduce weight but retain the desired length. Typically the weight savings is 4 to 8 ounces, which equates out a 2" to 6" shorter barrel, depending on the manufacturer and gun, with 4" typically being average. Consult advertised specifications for weight details. The barrel diameter increases just before the choke area, so that standard screw in chokes can be used.

    This is a plus for some types of shooting. In sporting clays it allows a longer barrel that's still "lively". This may not be desirable for some for trap, as they want more weight for steadier movement. It also makes the gun lighter for upland hunting.

    Drawbacks, aside from being too "lively" for some, is that the forends have a smaller barrel channel, precluding using a standard barrel without either opening up the barrel channel, or obtaining another forend. For those who like to modify their barrels, you cannot overbore a light contour barrel, at least none that I'm aware of. The wall is too thin. It may or may not be possible to lengthen the forcing cone. It is possible to lengthen the forcing cone on a Remington light contour barrel because the barrel has standard barrel dimensions until after the forcing cone area, then it reduces in diameter. I do not know if this is the case for other makes.

    On my 1187, I use a 30" trap barrel for trap, and swap in a 28" light contour field barrel for sporting clays. Because the barrel diameters are the same until after the forcing cone, the light contour barrel snugs nicely in the standard trap forend, and floats the rest of the way. I point this out because you might see about simply purchasing a light contour barrel for your BPS instead of another gun. I shoot sporting clays with a monte carlo trap comb.
     
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