Determining Muzzle Length

Author: Gil Ash
Posted on February 13, 2014

Blog 14 Feb…….

Got an email from Grant Lewis this week asking about how we determine the best muzzle length for shooters….he mentioned that some of the better shooters have gone to 34 instead of 32…..well I called him and he was shocked when he answered the phone and it was me…oh well…..he was excited to tell me that he has been putting key words in the search engine on the vault and was shocked at the fact that there was an answer for everything he had search for….except the question on barrel length…..well Grant here goes….

Barrel length is something that is a personal choice ….when we began shooting sporting 30 years ago we were using 28 inch skeet guns with that big beaver tail forearm that I modified by sanding down the forearm back boring porting and installing Briley thin wall chokes and re-inletting the stock to a lower dimension ….…..and everywhere we traveled we won or placed in the top 3 or 4 and just about everywhere we went some one wanted me to make a “Gil Ash Citori” for them….this gun evolved into the Browning Special Sporting Clays and the Lightening Sporting Clays…..both with 30 inch barrels….in fact there were even some two barrel sets of 28 and 30 inch barrels…all of them were choked improve and mod so they could be sent to Briely for screw chokes because the original factory chokes were very short and often not what they were marked and even sometimes off center…..I feel that the manufactures were looking at screw chokes and the game of sporting clays as a fad that would fade into the sunset….it was not long after our success in shooting all over the country and the continues frustration with the factory short chokes that I had an idea to make a choke that stuck out the end of the barrel that allowed for the factory chokes to be replaced with longer chokes offering Briley long choke technology…..well the extended choke was born….In 1990 I had briley make me 10 sets to fit a browning and I took them to the national championships and gave them to friends to use……not top shooters just our friends…..I can still here Jess Briley saying….”Gil do you think that people will actually buy those ugly things that stick out the end of their barrels?” ……well after just the first round at the nationals there were people crowding the Briley booth wanting the “chokes with the knarled end” on them not because they would perform better but because they were easier to change!!!!! ,,….go figure….and the extended choke was born….during the evolution of the browning sporting guns they sent me a version of the special sporting with 34 inch barrels to try….man it handled great on long crossers but was a little too hard to change directions on quick pairs so I sent it back and we stuck with the 30 inch barrels…..……..the birds were not nearly as long as they are now and we used a lot of skeet IC choke combinations…..as the targets began to get longer and manufactures began to look for new innovative product the inevitable birth of 32 inch barrels occurred with its origin being in trap…..and that is pretty much where it stands today with some shooters preferring 34s but the vast majority settling with 32s…most of the salesmen talk about the “longer sighting Plane” but they don’t shoot and are trying to sell product…..we feel that the reason for the 32 inch barrel dominating the scene is the balance and the smoothness they deliver because at the end of the day it is more about smooth and controlling your swing speed than any other thing…..but you gotta be strong enough to handle the weight and control the muzzle speed….if you do decide to try a 34 inch barrel be aware that the bird barrel perspective will change and you will be ahead of everything you shoot for the first few flats…….you will get the feeling that you are just shooting right at the target when you hit it…. but after 300-500 rounds everything will look normal again…..it is amazing how quickly the sub conscious brain can adapt and learn….that we are continually being amazed by….

On another note if you have not checked out the Kill Shot Review in shot sim, clay target kill shots don’t waist another minute do it now……Randy Lawrence of Sporting Clays Magazine looked at the 10 minute video of 38 kill shots and called immediately all lathered up and excited…..his words…..”you have found the missing link in shotgunning……. The mystery in shotgunning has always been what it really looks like and you have not only shown the reality of it but the OSP system is so simple and makes all targets clays or birds so simple to hit consistently…..it really is the missing link….congratulations!”…….we discussed how a person could just simply look at the 10 minute video of ShotKam kill shots over and over and that would program the brain more clearly than anything else what it is we are trying to get it to do……it will make the pre-load before each shot easier and more consistent as well as making the shot and results more consistent…..to say we are excited would be an understatement and would like to here from all of you after you have looked at the Kill Shot Review and implemented the stabilized picture at the end of the shot seeing the bird behind the barrel….one bit of advice……insert the muzzle too far in front of the bird and see it come to muzzle as you stabilize the picture….when the picture is stable the lead is perfect without you having to do anything with it…..

Doug Mellen of Liberty Golf Cars said that as far as he is concerned that video should be treated like the original formula for Coke A Cola….we are on our way to the 74 ranch to shoot quail with the ShotKam for the KV and will be doing the same on Pheasants Monday or Tuesday at Rio Brazos…..then we will have ShotKam shots on all birds to share with all of you…..we anticipate adding 500-600 ShotKam shots on KV in the coming months with selected shots having a Brian Virtual animation done on the most common shot for each specie….. we will also be doing the kill shot review again and inset a front shot of the shooter so you can see what the mount looks like and also placing a green ring around the red dot when the gun is mounted so there will be no doubt at what point during the shot the gun is mounted to better let you see what it looks like when the target is coming to the gun and the picture stabilizes…..this is exciting to us and really is going to take improving performance with a shotgun to the next level…..

Art Romberg is learning how important the preload is not only on game day but in practice as well….he has been winning his class on a regular basis and will punch into AA soon and cant wait to see him at the advanced class at 74 ranch…….pls let us know how you are doing in your shooting in the shooters forum…..Vicki and I have made a commitment to blog more often this year and hopefully on a weekly basis and are dedicated to sharing all your successes with everyone on KV…..so let us hear from you……successes and ahhh haaaas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More later…..GA

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