Skeet Carrier Barrel Or Weights


Dear Bruce,

I am a skeet shooter that has a 3200 Remington. I have two barrels both 12 ga and both 28 inches long. I use one of the barrels for the 12 ga and the other is tubed with Kolar tubes. The weight difference between the 12 ga barrel and the 12 ga barrel with tubes is considerable.

I did not want a carrier barrel made because the 3200 barrels are getting harder and harder to find. My question is: I need to put a barrel weight on my gun but I am concerned with damaging the barrel with the barrel weight. Tom Roster wrote an article in Shotgun Sports that he damaged a 3200 barrel by placing a barrel weight on it.

I do not have this article any more and so all the details are gone. I need to have the same weight in all four guns (12ga, 20ga, 28ga, 410bore)

1. Do barrel weights screw up a barrel?
2. Are there any other options that I can look at?

Thanks
Doug

Dear Doug,

Tough decision. Here are a few factors you might wish to consider:

There are two types of barrel weights which would work on your 3200 with its split barrels. The first is the stick-on weight generally affixed under the bottom barrel immediately in front of the forend. The second is a “between the barrels” weight consisting of two weights held together by draw screws. I have seen some from Kolar.

Both of these weights have some draw backs. First of all, your tubes add weight all along the barrel. These barrel weights add it in only about a six inch span. Even if the barrel weight equals the weight of the tubes (about 10.5 oz for the ultra light variety of Briley 28″ tubes), the weight distribution is different and the barrels won’t have the same dynamics due to altered “moment of inertia”. You may, or may not, notice this difference. Some shooters are more sensitive to balance than others.

The “between the barrels” weight would be better because the weight would be more vertically centralized (like the tubes), rather than hanging down beneath the barrel. With the between the barrel weights, you can always take them off to clean an lube. I don’t know what provision those weights have to keep from marring the finish on the barrels, but those I have seen in use have not caused comment from their owner. You could call Kolar on this. The under the barrel weight is a stick-on type and I always hate to stick anything on to a blued barrel. You never know what is underneath the tape when you decide to pull it off years later.

I realize that you don’t want to alter your second set of barrels, but you have to break eggs if you want an omelete. If it were my gun and I had two barrels for it, I would definitely make proper carrier barrels out of the second set. Briley can do a nice job of this. Having gone this route myself once, I would recommend that you backbore out the weight of the tubes LESS the weight of the chambers. This means that your carrier barrel with tubes in place will weigh about 2-3 ounces more than your standard 12 barrel, but it will feel the same and have the same dynamics. That is what is important. A couple of ounces in the middle of the gun is a lot different than the same weight at the front. Remember, you backbore weight out of only the barrels, but the tubes add weight back in the barrels and also in the chambers. You have to take this into account if you want to avoid shifting your balance to the rear with the carrier barrels. Depends on what you want.

Of course, this is going to cost you some additional capital. You will have to pay for backboring (about $300 total) plus the new, oversized tubes. You can always sell your old tubes for 1/2 to 2/3 of what they cost. It isn’t a cheap alternative and whether or not you want to do it may well depend on how serious you are about using that 3200 for skeet. Obviously, the between-the-barrel weight would be a far cheaper, if less perfect, solution. Still, a 3200 with a proper set of extra tubed carrier barrels would command a nice price should you ever choose to resell it.

Remember too, a backbored carrier barrel 3200 will weigh around 8# with the tubes in place, the same as your naked 12 gauge 3200 weighs now. A weighted 3200 or one with an unaltered barrel and tubes in place, will come in around 8-3/4#. Depends on what you want. Many skeet shooters just love those loady guns.

Of course, as the Technoid, your Mahatma of Machinery and Guru of Gunning Gear, I would opt for the elegant high tech solution. It’s only money…. your money, not mine.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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One Response to Skeet Carrier Barrel Or Weights

  1. Jay says:

    Annual NSSA data show there is no difference in averages between the 20 ga. and 12 ga. classes. Use the tubed 20 for 12 ga.

    Like

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