<blockquote><I>"I have also used Wrights chokes in a few guns and seen a sustantial improvement over factory."</i></blockquote>I guess that's why more than 1 company makes chokes. I had the opposite experience with Wright's products compared to Briley. I suppose they didn't like the loads I fed them.
<blockquote><I>"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."</I></blockquote>I know how to tuna fish but how do you tuna barrel?
The only way I know of to change the frequency that a barrel vibrates at is to move or change the distribution of the mass of the barrel. This involves adding or removing metal. Adding will make the barrel thicker/heavier/balance differently. I haven't heard anyone complain of that. Removing metal also works. The factory barrel is a compromise of strength, durability and performance. Increasing one reduces another meaning that a "better preforming" barrel is either less strong or less durable. And how much less of either can you make it before you move into the red zone? Not my idea of improvements!
If you would like to learn more about the art visit Jim Eyster's website and then give Jim a call. We had Jim Eysterize our 682 and it shoots softer and patterns better.
On a personal note - I couldn't believe how many fliers came out of those barrels before Jim worked on it. I'm not sure what factory processes would lead to such variances, but a factory can only work on a gun so long before a profit turns into a loss.
A custom barrel from Jim Eyster would make a perfect Christmas gift!
I have an MX3 Special combo with a set of Tom Seitz's barrels now resting comfortably in its case. I originally had stock factory Perazzi barrels on the gun. I sold them after I bought the Seitz barrels to use on the gun. Why? Flat out, because they perform better. The patterns from the Seitz barrels shoot circles around what those factory barrels did. Both the single and the O/U barrels are much superior to what I had. My scores are going up each time I shoot the gun. I agree with Setterman, above. I have shot a lot of different gun/barrel combinations over the past 30 years, some good, some real good. None of them, and I have to repeat this, none of them ever shot as well as these Tom Seitz barrels do. Do you suppose that Ray Stafford, Phil Kiner, and most of the rest of the big dog shooters know something that we don't know about barrel tuning? They all send their barrels out to have them re-worked for a reason, and it isn't just to part with their money. My guess is that they honestly believe it gives them an advantage over those out there that think barrel tuning is a waste of money. Many shooters will drop a bundle of money to take a clinic from any one of these guys. They spend their money to learn from them. What can we learn from them for free? Have your barrel tuned for maximum performance. After all, they did, and it works fine for them... Just my observation.. Dan Thome (Trap2)
If you have spent the money for a new Kgun or Pgun, and found out the bores were "oval" I would want it returned to the factory to be made right. I see most of the guns with barrelsmith work are Pguns. Maybe that's just because Pgun shooters are more willing to try to get that extra target, or maybe they just aren't as good from the factory as some of the others.
I can only give you one example of how good a massaged barrel can be.
Shoot and pattern a 870 trap with a fixed choke barrel. Then shoot and pattern a 870 comp. The difference in the quality of the pattern is staggering. 870 comp barrels pattern as good as any out there. All the 870 comp barrels were hand massaged at the factory and Remington lost money on every one. You can only spend so much time on a part and still turn a profit.
I have also owned and shot barrels tuned by Mr. Wilkinson and it isn't snake oil. His barrels flatout perform better than the standard item.
real quick take of it is, you get more open pattern to break birds with,(scores improve) this pattern will allow targets to escape when correctly point out a percentage of the time. Loss of integrity. this is in isdeal conditions, what happens to a thinned out pattern when the wind is blowing?
Dr. Jones and Neil have have the skinny on it. Listen to them.
There are a few BARRELL and they are few and far between, thay have perfected their knowledge and will not devulge their secrets that they have acquired,over time and trials, They know their limits, and know what they can and cannot do. Most All Americans have a POI they want and need and what shells they shoot and have faith in Tom Wilkinson and others to their thing.
I have shot Bbls done by Tom and they were the best performing Bbls I have shot.
Now I can see you jump on me about my CG, well it has the best Factory Bbl I have seen in years, RE: POI adjustability and even patterns and very Long forcing cones, and some of the best factory choke tubes on the market, I would not use any other tube in this shotgun.
I Know 2 Bbl smiths Tom W and Kerry A. don't know any others.
There must be some barrels better than others because I was visiting with the father of a young All-American at the Grand last year and he said when he decided to switch to a different high end gun he went right to the company headquarters here in the USA and they went thru close to 100 barrels before they were satisfied that "this is the One". I'm sure they will all throw a respectible pattern but some will just throw a better pattern with certain shell types. Glenn & Merry Christmas to All