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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The idea for this thread grows out of an exchange on cleaning, which ended with a dialog between Ulysses, me, and Silversport. Uly had been pointing out that there's such a thing as overcleaning your guns, and I asked whether the old tale (passed along by all the mean but loveable old farts who taught me about guns and hunting) was true that, if you touch the blueing on a gun and fail to wipe it down, it will inevitably turn into a rusty fingerprint. Silver pointed out that there was at least some truth to it.

So I got to wondering. Since this forum is for new people, what gun myths can we debunk? What ones are true and important?

I'll add the first one, next post. Take it from there, all!

Jeff23
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok, one myth new shotgunners may hear is that longer barrels make for longer shots. This one is true up to a pretty limited extent (about 21"--the gunsmiths will correct me if I err). But the huge 10 and 12 ga bolt-action antiaircraft, err, I mean, goose guns with the 32 inch barrels that are lying around in gunshops everywhere were fairly bogus. There's not much ballistic (as opposed to aiming) difference between a 26" and a 30" barrel. If you shoot your load of #2's out of a 26" barrel, it'll get to the goose (all else being equal, including the choke) with just as much wallop as the same shell fired from a goose gun with a big 'ol Cutts compensator and a 32" barrel.

IMHO we have AWESOME skill on these boards! Who will add the next urban shotgun legend? Or, if I'm wrong, who will debunk what I've said?

Jeff23
Lifetime Member and Ombudsman-General of the Hammock Creek Duck Hunting, Fishing, and Athletic Association
 

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Pump guns kick more than semi autos and both kick less than O/Us...
Some semis kick less and some just as much or more than a good pump (I think).
I have never shot an O/U (actually I have shot over and under a target but not an O/U Shotgun.

As to barrel length...at some point it is diminishing returns meaning no benefit (except maybe the longer sight plane)

my .02

Bill
 

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On the longer barrels.... Until the pressure in the barrel drops to near atmospheric, it is still accelerating the shot. BUT - by the time the shot charge is 20 inches down the barrel, the pressure is low enough, and the charge already moving fast enough, that the difference in velocity at the muzzle isn't worth spit. Longer barrels give you a smoother swing and a longer sight radius, although instinctive shooting should negate the sight radius bit.
 

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MYTH: An auto or double shotgun lets you hit targets faster and better than a pump.
FACT: It depends very much on the shooter. An experienced pump-gunner is not at a disadvantage in most shooting situations.
 

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JWiley: Allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute. :lol:

If the pump gun shooter is not at a disadvantage in accuracy or speed, then why is it that in the top level of sporting clays or FITASC shooting that there is only one pump gun user of significance, and he shoots mostly just local shoots in and around Ohio? I'm not saying that I could beat that one particular shooter, but why is it that of the top 300 or so shooters in the country only one uses a pump gun? Since there are only 3 main choices of gun types to use (O/U, auto, or pump), about 1/3 should use the pump if there is no disadvantage to doing so. :wink: The pump is certainly the cheapest of the 3 and some claim that it is the most reliable (though I don't agree). :lol:
 

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Hi!

I would bet that the reason most of the sporting clays big shots use autos rather than pumps is because precieved recoil is less with a gas gun. If you look close, I'd bet they are almost all gas operated autos. Not many A-5's or Benneli's are seen I'd wager. :D

Dale
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ulysses, may I quote, or would you care to post here, some of what you wrote about cleaning the bore every time?

Jeff23
 

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Hi Ulysses:

Thanks for jumping in as the Devils Advocate; it makes for good fun on the board :D . I will readily concede that FITAS competition is a place where an expensive and/or custom fit double can make a difference, but that's not really what one could consider most shooting situations, is it? FITAS is a very specialized, high level competitive game, with origins in Europe, where you see O/U setups to the exclusion of most everything else. I'd guess particpation at perhaps one or two percent of the general shooting population, at least here in the US where you actually do see pumps used for sporting purposes.

Actually, I've had the pleasure of shooting some lower level stuff in Bavaria, and IMHO good pumpers from the US would have been completely able to hold their own. In the course of a year spent shooting on the Continent, though, I saw no pumps of any kind, and damned few autoloaders. One could argue that the O/U legacy of European competitive shooting is part of the reason that little else prevails in FITAS here stateside, no? :wink: But I digress.

Some of the best shooters I've ever seen, Trap, Skeet or Sporting Clays, have shot pumps. The same guys also shoot autos and O/Us and hit well, but on any given day Jim R might show up with his Wingmaster, and it's going to be a tossup whether he would have hit better with his 391. The reason, again IMO, is that it's the shooter that makes the difference and not the iron. Good shooters can hit well with most any gun that functions properly.

I wouldn't call myself a great shot (especially compared to some of the old timers I get out on the course with!), but I average around 75% on a Sporting Clays course and occasionally spike into the eighties. I typically shoot Benellis, but on any given day it could be a Sport or a Nova, or maybe that IZH-43 I'm trying to move out of my safe (see WTB!), and the real deciding factor is what's going on in my head instead of in my hands.

Whew... sorry for the dissertation, open up a can and look at all the stuff that pours out!

Best Regards,
John
 

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Barrel cleaning: If you can hurt a shotgun barrel by cleaning it, you're not cleaning it right. This is like the myth of never cleaning .22's because they're more accurate when dirty. No other caliber, just .22's.
There is no "over cleaned". There is "over oiled" though.
Feel free to disagree.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I'm not mis-interpreting Ulysses, who--like his namesake-- can certainly take care of and speak for himself, he never said much cleaning would HURT a bore. He just said it wasn't necessary to clean them nearly as often as we think. Possibly I'm out of line bringing this up here, but I thought his original post on it was good stuff and fit the theme of this thread. Ulysses, "well-turned"? (The motto from The Odyssey)
 

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I've got two myths, of slightly different flavors...

The first is the one I hate the most, but also hear the most. It's the "myth of the shotgun" according to non-shotgunners, and that is that you never have to aim a shotgun because it basically shoots out a cloud of pellets that destroy everything in its path. I was once telling a friend about a tactical shotgun class and he said, "Tactical? But it's a shotgun." To this day, I'm not sure exactly what he meant, but I think it's related to that myth.

Even pistol and rifle guys sometimes buy into it. I was at the indoor range shooting my 590A1 Vang Comp (with a 4.5" pattern at 16 yards). A fellow in the booth next to me was giving his lady friend a pistol lesson. After I'd put a few shells into a 5" circle at the far end of the range, he turned to her and said, "That's the great thing about shotguns, you don't have to aim!"

I don't know if my second one is a myth, or more of a misconception. But a lot of people think that bullets will ricochet like billiard balls, that is to say that if a bullet strikes a wall at thirty degrees it will leave the wall at thirty degrees. In reality, it leaves the surface at a much shallower angle.

During a class, we once did an exercise where we skipped buckshot off the concrete floor and into a target lying on its side. We fired from a standing position about 5 yards away and the pellets impacted about a foot up off the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great stuff, Sander--I too have done the ricochet exercise. What you say about it is a fact, although i'm not sure of the physics. Applying my great knowledge from Physics 101, I would surmise that spin does it, since spin affects vector. But I don't know for sure. Somebody who actually knows physics, feel free to set us straight!

I love the 'ol "blunderbuss theory" too. My wife's friends, mostly political liberals who regard me kindly as slightly eccentric, think that I just sit in a duckblind, freeze, and make quacking sounds. (Thus far, of course, they are correct). Then when the ducks fly into the immediate airspace, all I have to do is point my shotgun vaguely up into the air, pull the trigger, and voila! It's raining ducks. Not much of a challenge, I can see them thinking; why doesn't he take up running, or pilates, or being a vegan? Hah! Pilates, my eye! I'd like to see Britney Spears shoot even one mallard!

Jeff23
 

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The reason that the shot does not ricochet as high is because the lead deforms as it hits the floor. This deformation uses up energy which is no longer available to rebound the shot off of the flat surface. Sort of like throwing a stiff bean bag at the floor. It will keep going with close to the same forward velocity, but it will lose the majority of it's rebound force. I hope I explained that so that it makes sense?
 

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The term is "coefficient of restitution"... a super ball (remember those ???) has a coefficient of restitution of about .99. A lump of putty has a coefficient of restitution of about .001. Lead is somewhere between, and I would suspect that high-antimony shot is a higher value than chilled shot.

On the subject of the rifle/pistol dudes (or dudettes) who think a shotgun is easy, invite them out for a round of skeet. It shouldn't be hard to talk them into it , since they're already shooters.
 

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Good Explanation WWB!

I didn't want to go into C.O.R and vectors just cause I didn't want to have to explain it.

:lol:
 

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I brought up the question about cleaning the gun too often with some of the older members of our gun club today. One of the oldest in the group (89 years young) stated that this came from the days of black powder and high-carbon steel barrels. The residue from the black powder could pit the barrels over-night if they were not cleaned and wiped down with a thin coat of oil. He says that he was taught that after a hunt that you always follow the same pattern: 1)Clean the game 2)Clean your gun 3)Clean yourself 4)Appologize to the womenfolk 5)Clean yourself again and then you could set down to supper or go to bed. If you were at the hunting camp and not around the women folk you skipped number 4 and changed number 5 to 5) Have a few drinks and tell lies about the ones that were too far away to shoot at (because a true hunter would never miss) and then go to bed.---AFG
 

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Hey, so does that mean steel shot would actually rebound at an angle closer to that of the original angle it came in at?
 

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Sander -

Yup, steel shot would rebound at nearly the same angle, as it loses very little energy to deformation (compared to lead). If you want to check it out, find a couple steel balls from a ball bearing and drop them on a very hard surface - they bounce pretty well. Try the same thing with lead, and it won't bounce as high... provided that the drop height is high enough to have an impact velocity high enough to deform the lead (put a little flat spot on it where it hits).
 
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