Long Cones For Sub-Gauge

Dear Bruce,

To a user and advocate of the beloved sub-gauge I pose this question: Have you had any experience with lengthened forcing cones in this gauge? It seems to make sense that with such a relatively long shot column anything to “ease the journey” down the barrel would enhance patterns! Would it be worth while having the work done?

Thanks for a great column.

Dear Steve,

First of all, I am not a big believer in most after-market gun modifications, but lengthening forcing cones is one that I do like. I am fairly circumspect about offering gun modification advice in print because so much of a magazine’s revenues can depend on the after-market gunshops. Magazines live and die by those ad revenues so it doesn’t make much sense for me to trash the guy who pays the rent. One of the things that I like so much about being the Book Review editor at Shooting Sportsman Magazine is that the editors give me complete freedom to review the books I want to and to say anything I want about any book. SR’s parent company is also a book publisher, so this takes some nerve on their part.

The nice thing about Shotgun Report is that since I am co-publisher here, and since the only people I owe allegiance to at SR are my Technoid readers, I can say anything that I want to. If I don’t like a product or service, I will absolutely, positively tell you. I will leave it up to the readers to sort out the trash from the treasure.

So- as to forcing cones on little guns- Yes, I have lengthened the cones on some 28s. I think that it is a good idea. The whole purpose of lengthening the forcing cones in a barrel is to ease the transition of the shot from the shell into the bore. The smaller the gauge, the more abused the shot becomes during this transition. Remember, the bore diameter of a sub-gauge has decreased, but the size of the individual pellets has not. Also sub-gauges tend to have longer shot columns in respect to their diameters than standard twelve gauge loads.

I believe that the 410 would benefit the most from long cones and the 28 second most. A 3″ 20 would also benefit a great deal. The more shot you are trying to cram down a small hole, the more a smooth transition from shell to bore means. I believe that Kolar and/or Briley include long cones as a standard item in their premium sub-gauge tube sets.

If you believe in the benefits of long cones in 12 gauge (as I do), then you just have to believe even more in their benefits to the sub-gauge. Do it!

Best regards,

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

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