What High Post Ribs Do


Bruce

Why is the rib on the Browning Citori Skeet gun have a slight slope towards the muzzle? Would this not make the gun shoot high?

I shouldered a couple different Brownings using the closed eye mount and the best sighting was with an older Citori Skeet with the raised rib. With some of the other guns I was seeing too much rib. It seems I fit up better to a gun with more of a comb drop. Im 5′-11″ tall. Right now Im leaning toward a Citori Skeet gun, but would still like to feel a SKB85TSS for comparison.

So the big question is, would the sloped rib on the Citori cause problems? And, whats your overall take on the Citori Skeet model.

Thanks,
David
Greenville, S.C.

Dear David,

I tested for “Clay Pigeon” a SKB 85TSS 3 barrel 30″ sporting clays subgauge set some time ago. I’ve not shot the 12 ga version. The gun I shot was a nice gun and well made. Excellent triggers. The tight, vertical pistol grip did not suit my hand and I had trouble with the nose of the adjustable stock pushing into the base of my thumb. Most of the people I loaned the gun to also commented on this, but a few felt that the stock was just fine. Like anything else, gunfit is personal.

I have little experience with the Citori XS Skeet gun with the high post rib. All Citoris are first class quality and have identical actions. It’s the stuff on the outside that changes model to model as Browning tries to plug a model into every possible corner of the market.

Browning’s High Post rib is a trap-style rib. Since it’s higher at the rear than at the muzzle, the theory is that when you sight flat down the rib, the barrels will actually be pointing slightly high. If you set up so that you see a bit of rib, the barrels will be pointing even higher. If you wanted the same high point of impact with a flat rib gun, you would have to see a considerable amount of rib. Many people find seeing a considerable amount of rib disconcerting, so the Citori High Post rib lets them have a gun that shoots high without having a sight picture that looks quite as high as it is.

You say that with many guns you are “seeing too much rib”. You may just need a lower stock. An adjustable comb feature would solve this, as would a simple session at the stock bender’s. If you shoot a High Post rib gun with the same stock dimensions in relation to the bore, you won’t see as much rib, but the gun will shoot equally high when compared to a flat rib gun. The slope of the rib doesn’t affect where the gun shoots. That’s Point of Impact. The slope of the rib very much affects what you see. That’s different from where the gun shoots.

Everyone says to “Get the gun that fits you best”. That’s not really what I would advise. I’d get the gun that balances best. Balance is the hard thing to adjust. No, I don’t mean just blobbing weight onto the butt and muzzle like a barbell. Proper balance is built in and lays along the barrel, not in one spot. It’s fairly hard to significantly alter the “feel” of the balance of a gun. Maybe little alterations, but not big ones. A clunker is a clunker is a clunker. Then again, a tubed American-style skeet gun does have an, ahem, “unique” balance, doesn’t it.

Gun fit, on the other hand, is a pretty simple alteration. You just fuss around with the stock until you get it right. Stocks are easily bent for height, cast and toe or padded/cut for length. Readjusting an unfriendly pistol grip is a much bigger deal. It’s possible if there is too much pistol grip because you can remove material, but difficult to do nicely if there is too little, unless you are into Bondo.

Personally, I have little use for the high post and avoid guns with this sort of rib. I remember that a couple of the Japanese reproduction Model 12s I owned had those and I hated them. I like a flat rib as I like to see a bit of rib when I shoot. But again, that’s just me because I shoot off the muzzle of the gun, not off the rib. I also don’t like high shooting guns for skeet. I want flat shooting guns so that I’m just concentrating on leads from the middle stations, not on leads and shooting under the bird also. That’s not so say that plenty of people don’t like this sort of set-up, but I’m not one of them. I also don’t use very high shooting guns for my trap either. A little bit of height is all I need. A flat rib and a figure eight is about right for me. I cover my birds. I probably shoot more wobble trap than ATA trap, so I’m far more likely to have a flat bird where I would shoot over it if my gun shot too high. If I was more of an ATA trap shooter, I might be more favorably disposed to artificially high shooting guns and the ribs that they require.

Since I use the same gun for trap, skeet and sporting clays, I also prefer the flat rib and flat shooting gun so that dropping targets on the sporting course can’t get hidden below the rib the way they can on a very high rib or stepped rib. I usually set my guns up so that when I cheek “into the bone”, I am looking right flat down the flat rib. Of course, I don’t shoot cheeked in that hard. When I relax to my usual 70% cheek pressure, this lets me see my usual bit or rib for normal work. On a severe dropping bird, I can cheek in extra hard and still never have my eye fall below the line of the rib and go “blind”. Worst case scenario is that I just end up visually flat down the rib and hold under the dropper. If I were shooting a High Post rib set up to look right down the rib at normal 70% cheek pressure, any extra pressure will put my eye under the rib and that’s all she wrote for that shot.

My favorite setup in the Citoris is the Ultra XS Sporter. This has the traditional Browning target stock and a flat rib. The stock on the 525, particularly the pistol grip (quite like the SKB 85TSS) doesn’t suite me at all. These tight vertical grips force the hand very high and close to the trigger. I prefer my hand lower on the pistol grip with a more extended trigger finger.

Still, all of the above is personal preference. Plenty of people shoot High Post ribs quite well and are pleased with them. Browning is a smart marketing company. They make their guns in many different configurations for a reason. Size 42 Regular doesn’t fit everyone. Just be aware what the various ribs are designed to facilitate.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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3 Responses to What High Post Ribs Do

  1. Alexandr livits says:

    I newer New that shooting clays has so much science. I shooting trap with different shotguns some with high rib some without and have score 23 average and 24-25 in a good day.
    I know when I missed that just my mistake nothing to do with rib
    I saw people shoot shotgun 100 years old with very high score
    All those whistl is marketing strategy to make us pay high prise
    But thanks anyway for such professional lecture

    Like

  2. jerry S says:

    Bruce:

    I wanted to comment on your post about high post Brownings. I shoot ISSF skeet and started out with a Browning Ultra XS with 30 inch barrels. When “they” added the double-doubles at station 4, this gun became slow. Before buying a new gun, I took a chance on a loose barrel dating from 1985 or so that I found on the world-wide inter webs. It came with fixed choke tubes (sk/sk) and the high post. The rib isn’t higher at the rear than at the muzzle. On the contrary, I compared my high post rib to the flat rib that came with my gun and measured the heights at the rear with a cali[p]er. They are within 1 mm of each other.

    So, to fast forward; Our hero had the “new” but “old” barrel mounted to his action and had his stock bent so that the mid bead stacked just under the front bead, the so-called “figure 8.” I patterned the gun from station 4 to a patterning board at the center stake buy bench resting the gun and lining the beads directly up (no stacking). Both barrels of my gun shoot exactly 50/50 POI this way. Before, I had to scrunch my head down on the stock. The higher post allows a slightly better heads up position and I have so far shot two 25s with it, about a dozen 24s, and countless 23s with this setup in ISSF skeet under the new rules. Not having to scrunch my head down eliminates one more thing I have to think about when mounting after the bird exits the house. I am very much smitten with this set up. I have had several experienced ISSF skeet shooters try my gun and they all pronounce the balance and paintability just about perfect and each one likes how the gun mounts up with the more heads up position. Just my $0.02 and your milage may vary.

    Like

  3. jim rennie says:

    Finally, a good explanation about problems with high post ribs that we have always suspected but never tested. This cuts through manufacturers’ advertising and gets to the facts…Thanks, Bruce.

    Like

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