Misaligned Barrels


Dear Bruce

I enjoy your informative web site very much. Regarding the Benelli, I have had several instances of shotguns not shooting to the point of aim as the result of bent or misaligned barrels and incorrectly installed choke tubes.

The first instance was a Rem 3200 purchased new in the late 70’s. It shot high and I was confounded for several years until I came across an article on “reading” shotgun barrels. Sure enough the whole works was sway-backed. Great for trap. Remington straightened the barrels for no charge an it is still one of my best shooting guns.

The most recent instance was a Rem 11-87 special purpose owned by a friend. He couldn’t hit a thing with the gun (which I thoroughly enjoyed). It got to the point where I thought I was going to lose my hunting partner so I patterned the gun from a bench rest and it shot well to the right. One look at the choke tube from the muzzle end was enough to convince us that it was installed off center. I also shot the gun with a barrel from another 11-87 to validate the whole works. Remington fixed this for no charge also (this was some years ago).

So I suspect a barrel or choke tube problem which I believe is more common than most people suspect in mass produced guns.

Best Wishes,
Jim

Dear Jim,

When inspecting a gun before purchase, it ALWAYS pays to check the barrel at both ends. Barrel straightness can easily be judged by holding the barrel up to a light, looking up the breech end, and “reading” the concentricity of the rings. If they don’t line up perfectly, the barrel isn’t straight. A glance at the front will tell you whether the chokes are screwed in straight.

Remington may have trouble with alignment, but Beretta does too. It is very common for the Berettas not to have the rib line up properly with the groove in the top of the receiver. You pass those guns by. Caveat emptor- even with the new stuff.

Best regards,

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

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