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El Spavo

Balancing & weight distribution

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El Spavo

Was playing the old 'balance the gun on one finger' the other day, my B525 was noticeably barrel heavy compared to various Berettas and whatnot of others. I've read that they can be, but is there much if any advantage to putting weights in the stock end to balance it out, what is it likely to bring to the feel of the gun, and will the increase aid the gun as a whole at all bearing in mind it's roughly 3.5kg/7.7lb?

A lot on here suggest around an 8lb gun is a good average for the modern clay shooter, but what's the thinking behind that? I get the more weight you have the smoother motion should be, but other than that I'm not too clued up about gun weighting. Love the gun, no intentions of changing it at all, but if something make it harder, better, faster, stronger, then I'm all ears! :) 

Oh, and what's the 'usual' way of adding weight to the stock?

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Will Hewland

My take is: Barrel weight decides how the gun moves and feels. Stock weight mainly just balances it, especially to assist mounting from gun down. If I had your gun I would add some weight to the stock but not expect to notice it that much. Cut 3 cartridges up, tip the lead into a bag and pack it into the stock bolt hole. Pack it so it doesn’t move around and position it rearward. Suck it and see!

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Markh701

I used a Mk38 (trap) for years and it was only when I shot FITASC did I realise how barrel heavy it was. When it went in for a service I used a spare MK38 (sporter) and was amazed how much lighter it felt. I have balanced up the MK38 (trap) by adding lead fishing weights into the stock where the bolt is accessed under the butt pad. It wasn’t meant to be permanent fix but knowing me it probably will end up as one. My gun now weighs 9lb and I love it. It is slightly stock heavy and I am using it as an all round gun - so far so good.

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Lloyd

As a novice, I too am curious about the weight of a gun.

Beginning with Newton's 2nd law of motion being F= m.a the laws of motion would say that:

  • A heavier mass takes more force to get going (inertia, Newton's 1st law) 
  • And to get stopping (momentum)

Furthermore, physiologically speaking:

  • In humans, gross motor control is noticeably more accurate when the applied forces are lower.
  • And can be sustained longer (less fatigue/lactic acid)

So for me, this would indicate a heavier gun is more difficult to control, moreso over a sustained period; contrary to popular opinion.

Similarly, a Gun that has a center of gravity closer to the shoulder would give a smaller moment of inertia for any given mass, yet some like a gun to be a fair amount of barrel heavy.

From this, I can only conclude that the mass and balance is very much a personal preference and therefore for each individual to self determine. Perhaps I am overlooking something due to my naivety?

Gun mass (weight) would have a bearing on felt recoil (F=m.a). The force originating from the shot (Newton's third law, every action must have an equal and opposite reaction) being in the form of recoil (inertia) accelerating rearwards and felt though the shoulder decelerating the mass (momentum). Thus a heavier gun has lower inertia.

A forward heavy gun for this same reason (F=m.a) reason would have reduce muzzle flip. Equally, less drop at the heel would reduce muzzle flip due to a lower moment (turning force)

A heavy rifle would make a lot of sense, a light gun would also seem logical.

From what I can tell, there is technically speaking some opportunities to make a gun better handling, ignoring of course ergonomics. The latter perhaps the reason for a heavier gun being popular?

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ColinD

In the end it's all down to the shooter, try each and see what feels better to you.

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Will Hewland

It’s great if you have a gun like a new Beretta or a Blaser, which come with a range of weights for stock and forend to play with. I had lots of guns but only after I bought my Blaser did I finally figure out the weight distribution that suited me. 

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Lloyd

@Will Hewland I must say I am rather taken with Blaser on the whole.

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El Spavo
48 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

As a novice, I too am curious about the weight of a gun.

Beginning with Newton's 2nd law of motion being F= m.a the laws of motion would say that:

  • A heavier mass takes more force to get going (inertia, Newton's 1st law) 
  • And to get stopping (momentum)

Furthermore, physiologically speaking:

  • In humans, gross motor control is noticeably more accurate when the applied forces are lower.
  • And can be sustained longer (less fatigue/lactic acid)

So for me, this would indicate a heavier gun is more difficult to control, moreso over a sustained period; contrary to popular opinion.

Similarly, a Gun that has a center of gravity closer to the shoulder would give a smaller moment of inertia for any given mass, yet some like a gun to be a fair amount of barrel heavy.

From this, I can only conclude that the mass and balance is very much a personal preference and therefore for each individual to self determine. Perhaps I am overlooking something due to my naivety?

Gun mass (weight) would have a bearing on felt recoil (F=m.a). The force originating from the shot (Newton's third law, every action must have an equal and opposite reaction) being in the form of recoil (inertia) accelerating rearwards and felt though the shoulder decelerating the mass (momentum). Thus a heavier gun has lower inertia.

A forward heavy gun for this same reason (F=m.a) reason would have reduce muzzle flip. Equally, less drop at the heel would reduce muzzle flip due to a lower moment (turning force)

A heavy rifle would make a lot of sense, a light gun would also seem logical.

From what I can tell, there is technically speaking some opportunities to make a gun better handling, ignoring of course ergonomics. The latter perhaps the reason for a heavier gun being popular?

The only thing I can see about the weight of a gun is that if it's got a significant weight to it as opposed to being light as a feather, the swing should be smoother as the inertia is different to a gun which you can swing about freely and easily. Just my take, could be wrong though.

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Lloyd

@El Spavo Yes, indeed. I wonder if its more a case of "feeling" than maths, physics and physiology. Not sure I can think of any other logical explanation to be honest

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El Spavo

Hmmm, physics is part of it still... if you move a heavy object, once it's moving it has inertia and is therefore less inclined to suddenly judder or stop, unlike the characteristics of something without mass. Hence, once you start swinging, it's theoretically less likely that you'll jerk away from the target than with summat lightweight. I think?! :) 

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Will Hewland

I went the wrong way, thinking heavier was smoother. In a simple sense it is, but less forcefully moving a lighter barrel proved better for me. Remember the movement isn’t actually a big swing in a straight line all the time and often you need a careful adjustment just as you shoot. 

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Hamster
8 hours ago, El Spavo said:

Hmmm, physics is part of it still... if you move a heavy object, once it's moving it has inertia and is therefore less inclined to suddenly judder or stop, unlike the characteristics of something without mass. Hence, once you start swinging, it's theoretically less likely that you'll jerk away from the target than with summat lightweight. I think?! :) 

As Will has hinted barrel weight at least, seems to be counterintuitive to what's often been written and assumed about heavy guns with front bias ! Time after time I have found that heavier barrels seemed to need more driving than lighter ones, certainly at the moment of firing they appear to need you to remember to keep pushing and have even appeared to require more visible lead, light barrels by contrast don't seem to stop so easily, it's almost as though you can take more liberties with them, counterintuitive as I said. 

I have personally long preferred a slight stock heavy bias set up but that doesn't mean you can just take a front heavy gun and pack it to suit. 

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Jonny English

I would think that a major factor in all of this is front hand position. Holding the gun close to the action or right on the tip will make a massive difference in feel, movement and the effect of barrel weight and distribution. Lots of variables and it takes time to know what suits you. 

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Will Hewland
1 hour ago, Jonny English said:

I would think that a major factor in all of this is front hand position. Holding the gun close to the action or right on the tip will make a massive difference in feel, movement and the effect of barrel weight and distribution. Lots of variables and it takes time to know what suits you. 

That’s another element. Hugely affects precision. I know a short lady shooter who IMO is badly affected by this. Virtually holds the action, not the forend. Just not enough precision on the fiddly stuff. I watched a bloke blank a stand of two quartering targets once. I told him to go back into the stand, move his hand forward and do nothing different. He hit 7/8. 

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Jeremy Baker

Interesting topic 

I shot a Parcours for two years, lighting fast at the front end. 

I weighted it to 1540g not forend wood with the barrel weights from Krieghoff. (it was 1420G with out)

I found my shooting inconsistent (or more inconsistent than when I shot the Ascent CGs) 

If I was on it I could shoot 90 plus with no bother. 

Inconsistncy in my game is the hardest thing to cope with, I have completely changed my method of shooting and gone through some pain to come out the other side and understand the process but found the Parcours needed me to be mega precise. It was twitchy at the muzzle. 

After lots of thought I have bought a Super Sport, the barrels are 1660g no woodwork. 

Its early days but I am finding it alot steadier, needs smoother driving on close crossing targets but nearly everything else seems better. 

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Will Hewland
16 minutes ago, Jeremy Baker said:

Interesting topic 

I shot a Parcours for two years, lighting fast at the front end. 

I weighted it to 1540g not forend wood with the barrel weights from Krieghoff. (it was 1420G with out)

I found my shooting inconsistent (or more inconsistent than when I shot the Ascent CGs) 

If I was on it I could shoot 90 plus with no bother. 

Inconsistncy in my game is the hardest thing to cope with, I have completely changed my method of shooting and gone through some pain to come out the other side and understand the process but found the Parcours needed me to be mega precise. It was twitchy at the muzzle. 

After lots of thought I have bought a Super Sport, the barrels are 1660g no woodwork. 

Its early days but I am finding it alot steadier, needs smoother driving on close crossing targets but nearly everything else seems better. 

Shooting style is a definite factor. My preference for lighter barrels (or “front of gun” as forend makes a difference too) is undoubtedly connected to my shooting style. On almost all presentations I will touch the clay and then move to the kill point, often needing to build in an arc for line and usually slowing a bit as I pull the trigger. It’s certainly a very visual sight picture approach and definitely not swing through. I need to be able to make a precise and not overly long movement. But I can see why somebody would like a heavy gun for this style too.. so it’s definitely personal. 

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Bebo

The hand position thing is interesting.  A couple of times at Reg shoots I've had the ref asking if I always hold the fore end so far forward.  I don't have a totally straight left arm, but I find holding well forward certainly gives more control on the targets where you need to use low gun speed and be a bit more precise on.  If I hold further back, the ends of the barrel wobble more.  It's definitely a strength thing for me I think, a shorter cantilever from the support point helps with stability.  With a nose heavy gun control goes out of the window as I have to use more force to get it moving, I struggle to move in a slow controlled manner without the end of the barrel wobbling all over the place.

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Hamster

Ideally we should hold the fore end around the middle, too far back can make the gun less easily controllable , too far forward can restrain (and shorten) your swing arc and is often an indication that the stock is a tad too short. 

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Will Hewland
6 minutes ago, Hamster said:

Ideally we should hold the fore end around the middle, too far back can make the gun less easily controllable , too far forward can restrain (and shorten) your swing arc and is often an indication that the stock is a tad too short. 

Depends a bit on your height / length of limbs too. I would say end of forend is OK if stock looks right length and the leading arm has a “medium” bend at elbow. An outstretched arm, or a 90% angle just isn’t optimal, wherever you hold it. 

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Bebo

Getting feet right helps me a lot with the length of swing arc.  Personally always try not to have to push the gun a long way right of the centreline of my torso.  If I do I'm more likely to dip under the line of the target and also pull my cheek away from the stock.

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ips

My two peneth.

There is no right or wrong regarding weight, point of balance or were you hold the forend. If it works then its right for you. Furthermore faffing about with weights and any other adjustable thing can dig you into a very deep pit if you are not careful

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Hamster
9 minutes ago, Will Hewland said:

Depends a bit on your height / length of limbs too. I would say end of forend is OK if stock looks right length and the leading arm has a “medium” bend at elbow. An outstretched arm, or a 90% angle just isn’t optimal, wherever you hold it. 

Yes very tall people or those with long arms may well be perfectly OK holding close to the end. 

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Martinj

Yes, I hold it close to the end and, recently it has led to a problem, I changed from a silver pig with Schnabel fore end to a 692 with Schnabel, the new fore end was causing discomfort and soon broke through the skin on my index finger resulting in a bloody mess. I discovered that the lip on the Schnabel had been left sharp from the machining process so I rounded it off with about a 1mm radius and finished it off with stock oil.

If anyone had asked me I would have said that I hold the fore end in the middle as God intended, but now I know differently. I don't know why the new gun feels different to the old one which never had any issues, but I'm still getting the odd bang on my healing finger from recoil. I hold the gun with fingers wrapped round the fore end, not with index finger forward as I sometimes see people doing. Now I'm trying to hold the fore end in the middle but it isn't natural to me as I have monkey arms (e.g. need extra long shirts.)

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FreeShot

Played with weight distribution couple of times. Any sensation regarding weight distribution eventually wore out once I got used to it and from there on it was (yet again) all down to basics – no magic bullet there for me.

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Will Hewland
12 minutes ago, FreeShot said:

Played with weight distribution couple of times. Any sensation regarding weight distribution eventually wore out once I got used to it and from there on it was (yet again) all down to basics – no magic bullet there for me.

 

Agree, it’s all about the last few percent. It’s also the case that you will shoot what you are familiar with best! So sometimes a beneficial change can take time to come good. 

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