More On Porting

Dear Technoid,

I am considering either porting a 12 ga. Benelli, or purchasing a ported choke. Purpose is reduction of muzzle jump. Can you give me the pro/con of each, and which would you recommend?



Dear John,

If you are just dying to drill holes in something, I guess that I would go with Ballistic Specialties Angle Porting on the barrel. Skip the ported chokes.

Ported chokes have holes all the way around the circumference of the choke. Escaping gas pushes out of those holes equally in a 360 degree circle. If porting is to work at all to keep muzzle jump down, the escaping gas has to push straight up, not down and to the sides.

Technically, barrel porting definitely does work. No question about it. Whether it works well enough to be worth the trouble and expense is an entirely different question. In order to work well enough to notice, porting requires a light gun, heavy load, light left hand control and truly vertical porting. As you alter these for criteria, porting loses its effectiveness in proportion.

I have shot a whole ton a ported shotguns. 95% of the time I could tell no difference at all. 5% of the time I could tell a difference, but invariably those barrels also had other things done to them (cones, backboring, wad stripper chokes) so the test was never clear.

We know that vertical porting reduces muzzle jump in high powered pistols and rifles. The problem is that the tremendous gas pressures in these firearms bear absolutely no relation to the low gas pressures at the end of our shotgun muzzles. High gas pressure is what makes porting work to reduce muzzle jump.

I would be very interested in hearing from any SR reader who has had a plain barrel that he has shot for a while sent our for porting (no other work, just ported). I would like to hear whether he felt that it was worth it. Personally, my experience would indicate that you should save your money and buy a softer shooting, more controllable gun than the Benelli. The Benelli has a lot of good points, but soft shooting isn’t one of them.

One last thought. You can often reduce muzzle jump by simply increasing the pitch of your stock a bit. Try increasing pitch until you encounter face slap and then decreasing it one notch. A properly fit stock will go a long way towards keeping that barrel flat. 100 Straight Products sells angled spacers specifically designed to alter pitch.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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