CalendarCalendar   Photos  * FAQ
It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 4:22 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Balance
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:31 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:53 pm
Posts: 269
Location: Hampton, VA
I've had a few doubles at this point, low cost ones imported by CAI for the most part. Most of them were ok handling guns, coming from repeater type guns but they just didn't have "that feeling" like I thought they should. As it turns out those guns lacking "that feeling" had a balance point 6 or more inches in front of the front trigger - up on the fore-end iron or wood. They were nicer and much slimmer (all with splinter fore-ends) than a repeater, but just a tad off from my expectations.

I had an SKB 100 with 26 inch barrels that was a tad whippy and needed some cast off added. It had that feeling, except, just a tad unsteady in the barrels for me.

My favorite, is an AyA No. 3 with 28" barrels. The barrels weigh in 1260 grams and the gun balances on the back 1/3 of the hinge pin, about 4.5 inches in front of the front trigger. The gun has that lively feeling that just feels right. The gun is lively, yet smooth swinging. I've handled guns at shows up to $3500 and I have found that this gun handles like guns costing many times more than what I paid for this one. I think this is going to be the one my kids remember me shooting in the field.

What sort of balance do you prefer on your guns?




Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:55 am 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:31 pm
Posts: 894
Location: Lodi, CA
In my opinion, words like "balance," "swing," "liveliness," and "feeling" are so subjective and personal that I find they are very difficult to quantify. I hate to use such a cheap metaphor, but it is kinda like that feeling you get with a woman. When it works, it works and when it doesn't, it doesn't. Oh sure, we like to tell our friends "yea, I'm a leg man" or "not me, I am a breast man" but in the end it still adds up to a poor attempt to describe something we really can't precisely define. Like I said, I don't really care for the metaphor but perhaps in this case "the shoe fits" as they say. And don't forget that they all have their individual quirks and misgivings that make them each so individual and of course very special --the guns that is! Women, of course, are perfect!

Guess that's why everyone around here has taken to calling their guns "Spanish Ladies."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:15 pm 
*Proud to be a*
*Proud to be a*

Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:03 pm
Posts: 3626
Location: peoples socialist republic
I like to feel just a tad more out toward the barrels on a 26" which may be 1/2-1 inch in front of the pin; 28 or30 the balance may feel Ok on the pin center.

_________________
over the hill and picking up speed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people...to disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."..
founding father George Mason.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:07 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 1468
Try this experiment: dismantle the gun to its three main components- barrels, forend, receiver with stock. Now hold each part from the point you would be holding it if it were assembled.

Well balanced best guns, those that have "the feel" will have parts that balance positively towards the center. So the barrels will balance towards the breech ends, the stock with receiver towards the knuckle. In my experience, the more "assertive" the balance towards the center the more lively the feel of the gun. This also explains how some relatively heavy guns feel lighter than badly balanced lightweights. The mass of the balanced ones is towards their center.

Locating the balance point of an assembled shotgun proves very little. A gun can balance on a point even when it has weights attached to its extremities.

_________________
www.linseedoilfinish.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:58 am 
Presentation Grade
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:31 pm
Posts: 894
Location: Lodi, CA
Shotgunguru brings up an interesting point, and that is that the hinge pins on different guns are often in different locations. While many will say a gun should balance on the hinge pin, it is actually better to measure from the balance point from the front trigger when comparing the balance points of different guns.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:44 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 1468
"That feeling" that Undercover mentions is a dynamic quality. The gun does not resist your movement, or as Gough Thomas used to say, the extremities do not have inertia.

If the barrels are front heavy, when balanced by themselves, and if the stock and receiver assembly is rear heavy, the gun as a whole will feel sluggish no matter how light it is.

To experiment with this idea try adding weight to make each assembly feel center heavy. That is add weight to the barrels to the rear of the point where you normally hold them, and add weight to the receiver, so that when you hold the wrist the receiver tips forward. Adding weight can be a temporary attachment of lead sinkers with scotch tape. Then assemble the weighted parts and mount the gun. With the mass, (even though increased via the weights), firmly between the hands the "feel" is more dynamic, yet the balance point of the whole assembled gun might not have changed at all.

This "feel" is a game gun trait and useful in the field. Target guns have different requirements.

_________________
www.linseedoilfinish.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:18 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:59 pm
Posts: 2925
Location: Flathead Valley, MT
Very interesting suggestion, I will have to do some disassembling and remeasuring. I understood the concept of balance "between the hands" as SG described, but never stopped to consider that hinge pins would be in different places. How silly of me. I do, however know which guns feel lively and which don't, regardless of where they balance in relation to the HP. :D

MD

_________________
Me: I love you, dear!
Wife: You just bought another shotgun, didn't you?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:21 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:53 pm
Posts: 269
Location: Hampton, VA
I'll have to disassemble my doubles and try that one, Shotgunguru. That is certainly an interesting observation.

What I have learned, is that I don't want to spend a thousands of dollars on a gun unless I can handle it or sell it fairly easily.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:14 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 117
Guru,
That is avery interesting observation, and just the kind of useful information that makes tinkering with guns worthwhile. I can tell you have thought it out, and tested it, so I am certainly not disputing, just trying to clarify in my own mind. It seems that it would be difficult to get the balance to come out right for long barrels. Is the forearm attached to the barrels for the balance test, or left out of the equation?

Steve


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:41 am 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 1468
The forend is almost always rearward balanced since there is so much metal to the rear and the front is a wedge tip of wood. So it is best to test the barrels without the forend.

Volleyfire, you are right, long barrels, that is longer than 28 inches are more challenging, especially if they have relatively thick barrel walls. But it is worth trying the weight addition experiment with them, it often works to improve handling.

Over the years I have balance tested hundreds of shotguns and the observation about the location of the mass is borne out. The most fascinating case was a 9.3X74 OU Merkel double rifle. Handling was so fine that it belied its 9 lbs weight. Many people were asked to handle it and guess its weight, everyone underestimated it. It felt like a 7 lb shotgun.

When balance correcting my guns I go easy. A few grams drilled from under the butt plate can make a big difference in handling. And this brings me to an old grudge against ribs. On a ribless double it is easy to add weights between the barrels to custom tune the balance. In addition there is no hidden place to accumulate rust or ribs to come undone. Unfortunately they do not make ribless SXSs, the only one I know of is the old Alex Martin. I have seen a couple that were custom "de-ribbed", removing something like 200 grams, about 7 onces of weight from the front. That is weight supported by the weak hand, where it matters.

The French Darne is often seen with no bottom rib. If you come across one of those test its handling. It is an amazing handling double.

One day I am going to modify a SXS with a detachable carbon fiber top rib. Just waiting for the right candidate to come along, one that will not induce guilt over the surgery.

_________________
www.linseedoilfinish.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:44 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:43 am
Posts: 230
Location: Central MI & SW FL
Something not mentioned in the discussion of balance is the weight of the two shells! I realize you would be immediatley unpopular if you stuck two live rounds in anyones shotgun to check the balance! However snapcaps can be weighted to simulate 1oz, 1 1/16, 1 1/8 or ugh even 1 1/4 oz loads. The shells being "between the hands" have a minimal effect on balance, yet it is there never the less. Let us face the fact the we generally carry our guns afield with both barrels loaded. I generally only load the more open barrel when shooting singles at skeet, I do not notice any "balance" issues doing it that way.

If my gun felt pefect unloaded but wasn't just right loaded, I'd go fishing! :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:11 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 1468
Combatlifer,

Thankfully most of us are not that sensitive to balance, so as to be affected by the extra weight of two shells. But, the situation is more noticeable in repeaters and autos with the tube containing two or more shells out front.

The situation is not relevant to Spanish guns, since most are doubles, but it illsutrates a point about balance. When Beretta brought out the A304, limited as it was to two in the mag, with a light 2 3/4 only barrel, it outclassed balance wise the 390. The A390 was magnum capable, had a 3 shell mag and a bulbous magazine cap. Fully loaded it was a front heavy club.

Apparently the broad buying public are not swayed by fine points of balance. The magnum 390 outsold the balanced 304 by multiples.

Lanber also marketed a gas auto, I do not know it it is still in production. The one I tested had a plain barrel. It was amazing handling for an auto. The absence of the rib made it pointable and fast.

To the superb balance and point category should be added the medium to high quality singles made by Briths makers up to about 1940. These were moderately priced guns, usually external hammer actions. If you ever come across one handle it and mount it. Their handling is a revelation.

_________________
www.linseedoilfinish.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Balance
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:16 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 1468
Re the question of balance. Has anyone tried using one of those "swingometer" gizmos used on golf clubs to test their shotgun's swing dynamics?

Not being a golfer, I do not have personal knowledge of the things. From what I read it looks like they could be used on shotguns to yield some comparative scales.



_________________
www.linseedoilfinish.com


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: Alphaseeker, Azraz, Bing [Bot], Bob S, camero, casonet, cbxchris, cheecho1960, chowellacsbd, CLuttrell, Colonel26, cookoff013, creeker, Darne1, daspope, deuce72, DLC1951, drcook, FWP, Ga. Skeet, Ganderson, GoldenEagle, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, grayghostforge, gspjazz, hamernhonkers, HNTR96, JonnyRocket, jpwheels, jwmhunt, jwright37043, K80Doc, miklm, Missing Michigan, morg7140, NCMikeR, neocat, nick_ander, pro2slow, rickeroo, RickyI, Riflemeister, ROBinGa, scottyhammond, ShowMe2, Tal/IL, TankRIP, tj40, TomP41, Tozman, triton21, TuJays, WGB, Wumpus


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group     -  DMCA Notice