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What do Barrelsmiths Know that the Mfg. Doesn

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Chango2, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    This is a serious question and also could be a good "troll topic", but I assure one and all that it is not.

    I have shot higher grade trapguns that have had barrel work done by a very well-respected barrelsmith. A Mr. "W" I am told..he stamps his names on the barrels. The barrels really get the job done with less perceived recoil and just seem to obliterate targets "better"...

    Question, and for example: Today I shot a "W"-Massaged" barrel on a Ljutic. 744 bore, I believe, and .025 choke constriction. I am curious about what is done? Why don't the factories do the same thing? I mean....one asks that question since it would cost no more and give a theoretical edge over the competition. What might be done besides an align bore over the stock dimension and a rework of the choke constriction? There must be some other work done, some secrets, some rumor about what is done, etc. I just am amazed to think that an independent machinist/gunsmith can improve a barrel from an expensive gun over factory. Yet I have seen it happen and seeing is believing; I shot a gun today that I swear seemed to have "eyes" likely due to a very good pattern. The barrel had been reworked by a famous Mr. "W". There is also a Mr. "A" who, I have heard, is also quite reputable and talented in that field.

    Thanks and I am looking forward to an answer(s).
     
  2. need to shoot more

    need to shoot more Active Member

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    I have posed the same question and responses were expense versus cost of the gun? I found it hard too belive a independent could tweak it better than a major manufacture? Really once the machining or process is set up?
    Jim
     
  3. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    It's been proven time and again that people perceive what they expect to perceive: they see what they expect to see and feel what they expect to feel.

    There's no doubt that there is a lot of mundane barrel work that needs to be done: rib repair, straightening, choke tubes, re-bluing, dent removal, honing, boring, chamber liners etc. Do a workmanlike job on these and people eventually believe you're magic at everything you do. So when you check a good tube for straight, remove a little metal here and there, polish a few rough spots and tell them it's better... it will be.

    MK
     
  4. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    That's a good question but I think the higher-end guns are near perfection with the barrel/choke design and function from the factory. However, Kerry Allor re-worked my 391 Urika 2 Sporting and made 3 thinwall chokes with the result, a significant difference. For me, on this gun, it was well worth the money and the wait. Obviously, my 391 was not a higher-end gun but it is now.
     
  5. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    I may be way off base, but there surely exists the possibility that steel, while the alloy is being made, may not be 100% consistent. This could let the metal in the barrel expand at different rates as the shot is going down the barrel. It would be overly time consuming for the mfg of a barrell to take the time to tune a barrell for a particular load or load range. Most are aware that a rifle barrel has a tendency to "whip" as a shot is being fired (thats why bull barrels are usually more accurate than thinner walled barrels). I really suspect that a shotgun barrel looks very much like a tube with a ball going down it that is larger than the tube. Imagine a golf ball falling thru a streched out nylon hose or a snake that has swallowed a mouse. To improve the barrel a good smyth takes the time to tune the individual barrel for the load it is being used for by removing and shaping the barrel for the particular load range. Thats just my theory, but surely something to explore.

    Bob W
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I do not know what Tom W. does to barrels but I do know he spends a lot of time getting things right. He first patterns each gun and then based on the pattern, determines what needs to be done to the barrel.

    Quality custom work can improve many things that are made in factories. Tom is a very meticulous person in everything he does.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Mr.W says there are some barrels from the factory that he can't improve. My gun had a hot core before Mr.W worked on it. Noticeable difference at 35 yards on the pattern board after his work. 99.15 ave on singles and 92.83 ave from 27 last year. Did it make a difference? You'll have to spend the money to find out.
     
  8. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Here's what those barrelsmiths know.

    And its the same thing P. T. Barnum knew.

    There's one born every minute.
     
  9. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I have personally witnessed the difference after having a Pro re work many different barrels. It is not in my head as I did a lot of testing before and after. However, I have bought some new guns and was told they could not improve on the barrel. One that comes to mind was an early BT99 one of the first Inv + guns that came backbored. I sent it away and he sent it back saying it was as good as it will get. That gun was a shooter from the factory. I have also used Wrights chokes in a few guns and seen a sustantial improvement over factory
     
  10. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    cigar - How were those chokes improved?
     
  11. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    What they know is that they can open up patterns to break the poorly pointed out target or crunch a properly pointed target. These guns will not produce the dense puff of smoke equal to a .035" or more. Barrelsmiths can not completely eliminate the hot core, if they do, the pattern is going to be too open for 27 yard targets. I know that there are those that will disagree and that's ok. In truth the higher percentage patterns for target breaking are above .035" which I had always considered optimum. I had handicapped myself out of realistic percentages by having a gun modified by a very well know barrelsmith, yes scores/avgs rocketed upward but the end price was I was always going to be destined to have some handicap targets slip through the pattern that was correctly pointed. When I realized what was going on, I rebarreled, and things were just starting to come together and my eye was injured. I was forced to quit shooting for a while. Shotgunning is not a precise science it is a game of close enough, it cannot be compared to the internal ballistics of a rifle, there is no evidence of any kind to suggest that. "Shotgun patterns" is a misnomer, it is random dispersion on the average.
     
  12. b12

    b12 Well-Known Member

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    I imagine its like a good machanic with your car. I know a young fellow that can take a new GM Cadilac With the 500 horse engine and get 750 horse out of it buy redoing the computer. Don't ask me how but he does. He is a very young fellow that did't have a pot to piss in and within just a few short years he is a multimillionare. He tunes the cars for top gear you see on cable tv. He is bussy all the time at his home. When ask why the mgf. don't do the same he said they could but it the libality. I imagine its the same way in the barrel making business.
    Oh by the way he only works for cash.
     
  13. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    If you don't believe barrel work helps, then don't spend the money. But do you really have the experience to comment if you've never gone through the process and witnessed the "before" and "after" affect? Tom W. is as honest as they get, and he will send your barrel back with no invoice if he can't improve your pattern. He showed us barrels from an expensive new combo that had bores that were oval. It doesn't hurt to have a professional check it out.
     
  14. Mike Michalski

    Mike Michalski Member

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    I've been in Kerry Allor's shop and have seen his pattern targets. He counts and marks every target. The improvement is not only seen as an even pattern but mathematically proven (%).
     
  15. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Mathematically proven? How so?
     
  16. Dr A C Jones

    Dr A C Jones Member

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    So far the proof to posts ratio is running at zero.

    I'll update this ratio as necessary.

    Andrew.
     
  17. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Well, there are two proven results that a bbl smith provides. A lighter gun and a lighter wallet. Adn of course there is the inevitable drop in value.

    If better patterns or more specific patterns are your goal, spend some time (and very little money) on developing a reload to disperse shot a bit more. Even changing to 8-1/2s may well buy you a target. Adn too as you move to the back fence you can once again adjust to a load that is specific to the task. Twinbirds is pretty close in his description.

    On the other hand having choke tubes installed may buy you a a few (or one or some)targets. But even with those, believing that they do may be the most correct answer.
     
  18. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    OK, first off, I have spent the money, shot it better aftewards too. Reached 27 yd line,avg.90-92 from 27, 98.3 avg on singles, numbers pretty much match yours? but never broke any higher than a 97 in handicap. What I have learned is that I was lucky. Check out Tight choke thread. Everything you see in a shop hanging on the wall is just one pattern and not a series of test patterns, what did it do for the next 9 shots? There is no way to control the random dispersion, doesn't matter if it is shot out of a $150 gun or a $15,000 gun. There is a difference in reliability and creature comforts between the two.
    Mathematically proven what? The increase in working pattern? Obvisously, scores can be enchanced with the opening up of the pattern but the pay off is a percentage of the time you now have voids targets will slip through unscathed when correctly pointed out. There is no way to make an even pattern through a 30" circle consistently break targets. For that matter the pattern on paper is just what it looks like at that moment and doesn't mean that it wasn't full of huge voids early or later. Shot does not fly straight line.
    Just because a test pattern is counted and marked doesn't mean it is the blueprint for the next 99 shots.
    Again I have had it done, since then I have learned to point out more precisely, and feel that I had handicapped myself with built in misses.
     
  19. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the best person to ask why he does this might be Ray Stafford?? He's been an All-American trapshooter for nearly 5 decades? He did break 100 straight at the the 27 during the Autumn Grand last month too? He sells P guns and seems to me he'd have first rights on a good shooting shotgun coming direct from the factory?

    Hap
     
  20. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    With an adjustable choke reamer, a forcing cone reamer and a wheel cylinder hone, you too can perform barrel magic. I know, I did. HMB
     
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