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Thread: gun weight

  1. #1

    gun weight

    I know this isnt about stalking and I hope I havnt put it in the wrong place but wondered if anybody had any answers.

    I have been dragging around the fields for the last ten years a 12 bore Browning 325, Yesteurday on the last driven shoot of the season someone showed me there lightweight Browning 525 game gun, it weighed less than my 20 bore.

    Question, anybody had any experience of these, how do they make them so light, does it effect anything, I guess the recoil might be a little heavier.

    Seems the best way forward unless anybody has had any problems with them.

  2. #2
    i bought my wife a fixed choke 12 bore B525 hunting 28" to replace her 20 gauge lincoln. it was lighter than the 20g lincoln, and also much better to use than my lanber sporting, which had to be sold once i'd use the b525. the only downside that i can see of them is that they are not proofed for steel shot, and you get a right bollocking when you lean your wifes new gun against barbed wire and it slides down the fence! she shoots game with 25g cartridges to reduce recoil - yesterday i was using 32's in it with no probems (apart from earache about the amount of scratches on it)

  3. #3
    I use a browning 325 sporter which is pretty heavy , I also have a nice wee miroku 20b which I use for walked up and a 28b, the secret with lighter guns is to use lighter cartridges.

    For most walked up and driven game I feel 1oz loads in a 12b are ample although once you start to push out the distance with high pheasants I go up to 32grams as I do for ducks and 36 for geese.

    I see folk using 1oz and above in 20b's which is going to be uncomfortable , I think heavy loads- heavy gun, light loads-light gun.

  4. #4
    SD Regular
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    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    All modern guns over and under are too heavy and all very old side by side guns are too! Anything over 7lbs 8ozs in a 30" barrel 70mm chambered double gun is quite ridiculous. And without reason.

    Greener used to work on the something like a "Rule of Ninety-Six" in that the ideal lightest weight of a gun was the weight of its shot charge multipled by ninety six.

    Thus the ideal gun for a one ounce load was 6lbs.

    To make a gun "light" isn't a skill with any magic but it demands that the weight is saved from the barrel, the action and from the stock. It could be done on an over and under but would probably be unpopular with the consumer.

    On most true side by side game guns you will see barrels that have a relatively thin wall thickness compared to your Browning. But then you run the risks of barrel dents. I've seen many side by side guns with dents...never an over and under!

    Also weight can be saved if the stock blank selected for the gun is weighed before it is made. Walnut does vary in weight from piece to piece. Lightweight blank = lightweight gun! And of course most side by side game guns don't have the extra weight of a full length stock bolt running from the action to the butt.

    Lastly because they don't have this a good two or three ounces can be removed from inside the stock that you'll never see. So a lot of game guns that are "bespoke" actually have hollow stocks! And you've saved weight with dispensing with the pistol grip and using a straight hand stock on the side by side.

    Also there are only two ribs (top and bottom) on a side by side not three (top and two side ribs) as on some over and under guns.

    So that's why they generally weigh less because there is actually less metal and wood in them. Some you can see where - look at the muzzle of a classic game gun and compare it to your Browning not the number of ribs see there is no pistol grip. Others - the lack of a stock bolt and maybe a hollowed out stock you can't see.

    Fit and balance are however more important that weight in determining felt recoil and perceived weight when you shoulder the gun and fire it. A badly balanced gun will always feel heavier that a well balanced gun of the same or heavier weight and a badly fitted gun will always transmit more recoil than a well fitted gun of the same weight.

    Now if you like your Browning but want a side by side I've got a super side by side FN Herstal 12 bore side by side ejector for sale. Made in the 1920s/30s with 70mm chambers, chopper lump barrels, proper (expensive) removable hinge pin (like on a best London gun) that weights just 6lbs 5ozs with its 27 1/2" barrels!

    So FN could do lightweight in a side by side game gun - that proves it - but the market where they were aiming to sell was even by the 1920s/30s becoming over and under dominated.

  5. #5
    What Enfieldspares says about fit and balance is spot-on. However you can't escape "Newtons third law of motion" which states that: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".
    This basically means that the more lead you chuck out of your barrel, the more recoil you get and the muzzle velocity will also affect this amount. A heavier gun will therefore absorb this force not appear to kick as much as a light one.
    It never ceases to amaze me how people but smaller guns like 20 bore for wives and kids and then get them firing 28 gram loads and wonder why they get put-off shooting .

  6. #6
    Def do not want side by side, cant get on with them at all. I liked the feel of the lightweight browning 525, I guess they do it in different grades, just wanted to make sure people hadnt come across any problems sucj as denting, damage recoil etc only goin to use it for driven shooting, have a Benelli M@ for wildfowling, takes any amount of abuse.

  7. #7
    The only issue with lightweight guns is that they tend to be very quick onto target but also very quick off target. My gun of choice is now a 410 side by side that weighs just over 4lb's - lovely to carry and also 50 shells easily fit in one pocket. Its deadly when I connect and easy to hit snap shots, but on birds where you have more time to see them would want my over an under with a bit of weight in it to smooth things out.

    I am sure it is just a question of practice - what a pitty I have to spend the time and money practicing.

    Many lightweight over and unders will have alloy or titanium actions and will look, feel and sound different to steel - but nothing wrong with it strength wise.

  8. #8
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    I'm with Heym on this. I've been using a 28 bore over-under for the last 3 seasons and love it. With an 18 gram load it's very effective. However, being light I'd also agree that it's a lot more 'pointy' than my 12 bore. When I'm snap-shooting in the woods this isn't a problem, but when standing on a peg and seeing the birds coming a long way off it can all go to pot. Not a problem with the gun of course, but with the shooter! Despite this, it's my gun of choice when I open the cabinet.


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