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I don't think heavier barrels are so good

1344 Views 16 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Silent Smoker
I have a CZ 452 and a green mountain barrelled 10/22. The CZ seems heavier to the rear, between my hands and shoulder, whereas the 10/22 weight is more in the hands (20" bull barrel). It is very easy to hold a target with the CZ compared to holding the weight of the 10/22.

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Easier? Or steadier? There is a huge difference in the meaning of those two words. You may not mean this, but there is a big difference in putting a light weight rifle on the target and holding it there, as opposed to lifting a heavy barrel into position.

Take a pencil and draw a 2 inch circle on the wall. Then take a ten foot cardboard tube about an inch and a half in diamenter and holding it by one end, lift it up and point it at the circle, just an inch or so away from the wall. Hold it pointed right at the center of the circle for a few seconds. Now take an inch and a half solid wooden dowel and do the same thing. Sure. The cardboard tube was easier to get to the circle... but which one stayed in the center best once you got it there?

The heavier an object is, the more it resists movement. That also holds true when you are trying to steady an object such as a gun barrel. I didn't say "easier" I said "steadier" ;)

Easier is easier, but steadier hits bullseyes.

I tend to agree with you Antlurz, but..

for me, heavier isn't better, the weight is adding to the problem of steadying the rifle. I don't know at this point if it is balance, if it is me, or if it is in fact weight. I'm thinking at this point a lighter rifle may be better. But for benchrest shooting the heavier works great, at this point I'm not going to agree with that for offhand shooting.
It is all in what feels good for you personally.

In shotgun sports there has always been a lot of talk over barrel length. The line of though used to be that you used a long barrel, 32"-34", for trap, a stubby barrel, 26", for skeet, and something in between for sporting clays. Now I see people hefting guns at the club who obviously can't swing 30" barrels but insist on buying them because they 'heard' they were better or because some pro they saw shooting had them.

A rifle or a shotgun has to fit you in order for it to be easy to shoot. The easier it is to shoot, the more likely you are to be accurate. As Antlurz points out, you will lose some technical ground if you choose a light barrel, or a short barrel, but I think you gain a lot more in 'shootability' to make up for it.

I like short heavy rifle barrels and 30" shotgun barrels in just about all cases. My brother, cut from the same genetic cloth, likes long skinny rifle barrels and 26" shotgun barrels. Some days I outshoot him and some days he outshoots me.
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I'll add another vote to Antlurz opinion. Of course my heavy barreled guns normally get shot off the bench anyway.

Dave Z.

I had a 541T HB that was much easier to steady on a target free hand than my 10/22T. My 1517 HB is also easier than the Ruger.

Go figure.
OK here is another version of the idea

Following the idea of drawing a circle or target on the wall and aiming a weighted stick at it, the idea I'm trying to express would be best magnified if the "stick" in this case were a sledgehammer. In the case of my CZ, the weighted end of the sledgehammer would be against my shoulder with my hands supporting the handle. I find this steady because the friction of my shoulder catches the weight and helps hold it and the support my hands give the handle seems to be steadier. Reverse this sledgehammer so that the weighted end is forward, and you have and exaggerated sense of what I feel with the 20" bull barrel on my 10/22. Also, and probably as important as anything else, a recoil on my forward weighted gun seems to be different than the rear weighted gun which rises vertically. No big deal in the small calibers, but my larger caliber guns insist on flipping upward, by design, a design enhanced with rearward weight I suspect. By the way, aren't some shotguns like beretta offered with some weighting system for adjusting balance to each shooter?

Thanks for your thoughts

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Easy vs Steady

What I was trying to refer to in using the word easier was "force". It seems to take more force to place and hold the sights on target with a heavier barrel. Because I use more force, overcorrection becomes a problem and If I am waiting for a shot, the jitters can get to me. "Easier" to me meant refinement in the detail of the hold, along the "aim small..." line. I was thinking along the lines of Force=Mass*Acceleration. The heavier barrel requires more force to move its greater mass given that I aim all my guns the same way (acceleration=constant). I hope that explanation clarifies, rather than confuses everyone.


I recently posted my thoughts on this...

For me, it is not about the weight of the barrel at all. It's all about balance. If the stock and barrel are mated together to give a balance point where you hold it with your off hand, I think you can steady it much easier, regardless of weight. In other words, a heavier barrel will require a stock that has more weight in the butt area. Likewise, a lightweight barrel will balance better with a skeletonized type stock.

Please keep in mind that my observations are what I have discovered for myself. For me, it is all about balance. This may prove different for someone else.

I think what Hawk just said goes along perfectly with what I was trying to say.

LIFT SOME IRON!!!! I've been doing it for a few years now, but just got a new bench set 6 months ago. My BP weight went from 154 to 216!!!!! Haven't done anything lately due to football injury...... **** pyramid drills (I HATE UP-DOWNS!!!) It defenintly (sp) helped my offhand shooting w/ the whale of a gun a.k.a my mosberg. Plus, opening jars becomes fun:D
Added BUTT weight...

I'm getting ready to ADD a little weight to the BUTT of my project 10/22. After adding the GM 18" heavy barrel, I was slightly amazed how nose heavy it had become!

I really don't want to make the rifle any heavier, just BALANCE it out. I'm using the factory stock http://www.sendmetheloot.owns1.com/
QUESTION: how many ounces of lead, should I start with?
Any ideas? I know it's going to be trial & error, and a personal thing...

antlurz and citori

i agree with you both, citori, personal fit is very important, but antlurz has the laws of physics on his side when he says a heavy object resists movement more than a light one. you are both right and neither are wrong.
wait is that possible?
I'm going to weight the rear of the gun

I think I will weight the rear of the gun with lead and epoxy to hold it in. Thanks for the Idea, Stainless45 (the gun looks good!). I will find the balance on a piece of pipe or something. I will weigh the gun and measure it and see if I can related a pounds per linear inch so I know how much weight to add to move the center of gravity rearward. It helps to have a sounding board like this forum.

I'd hold the rifle in your normal offhand hold and mark the point of the center of your left hand on the stock and balance the rifle from that point....

At least I think I would..

I agree with everyone! If you look at a heavy barreled Anschutz 1907 type rifle, the balance point is near the forward edge of the receiver. This balance allows you to hold the 10+ lbs. rifle in a fairly normal, tight, standing position. The 15 lb. free rifle, however, is a muzzle heavy son-of-a-gun. That's why you use a hooked but plate that fits under your armpit to keep the rifle in position on your shoulder. The heavy muzzle weight is also why they are used in world competitions. Many shooters even add additional weights forward of the stock. Getting back to 10/22 and the heavy barrel issue; many combinations of light stock, heavy barrel are not well suited for off hand shooting. That's also one of the reasons that many standard rifle silhouette shooters use a McMillan or B&C stock that is a direct copy of the Anschutz standard rifle design. IMO, more thought should be given to the type stock that will be used with the rifle before buying the barrel, or visa versa. Later dude.
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Ahh just the excuse I need...

...to order that nice wood stock. I currently have a synth on the 10/22. I actually take it out to the field hunting. Maybe I will save it for hunting and keep a fancy one on it for the rest of the year.

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