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Barrel Weights - when are they helpful, and. how to select the appropriate weight?

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Barrel Weights - when are they helpful, and. how to select the appropriate weight? Empty Barrel Weights - when are they helpful, and. how to select the appropriate weight?

Post by mikemyers on Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:34 pm

I don't remember seeing a write-up here or elsewhere, about how and when to use barrel weights.  I do remember reading that a barrel will reduce the amount of barrel rise when the gun is fired, and I worked with where to place my optical sight to keep the gun more steady, by moving the sight forward or backwards.  For me, that testing came to an end, when I decided the gun felt better balanced when the sight was towards the rear, and I also got a better view through the sight.

I keep noticing barrel weights, sometimes with more/less weight, and in the case of High Standard guns, and the S&W Model 52, the weights go towards the front of the gun.  I think I remember reading about different weights available for the Pardini guns, to "tune" the gun to your liking.


Is someone here experienced at this?  What might the purpose of the barrel weight be, and if its amount of weight is "tunable", how does one go about doing this?  Is it done by checking the group size, or by watching how much the front of the gun rises when shot, or are there other factors I'm not aware of?  I suspect that the "feel" of the gun as you hold it changes with a barrel weight, and maybe the whole purpose of the weight is to get the gun "feel" better.


To exaggerate, with a huge, heavy weight, the gun would "feel" much heavier, especially in the front, and take more effort to hold up.

  • Again, exaggerating, by adding more weight to the front of the gun, the barrel would move a shorter distance when you fired.
  • I haven't proved it yet, but I suspect that if the gun is "vibrating", which you see as "wobble", a barrel weight might help.
  • Finally, the heavier "the gun" gets, the less the felt recoil will seem.

But I don't think these are the reasons for using a barrel weight, or not.....


Barrel Weights - when are they helpful, and. how to select the appropriate weight? Img_2115
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Post by dronning on Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:40 pm

Weight is a personal choice some like it some don't.  Weight can be added to balance the pistol.  Some feel it steadies the gun during slow fire.  It does slow the recoil lift if mounted near the end of the barrel but remember the weight works in both directions.  When the gun comes back down you have more weight to stop too.

Try it see if you like it, I don't think there is any data that says it will work or not.  If there were any everybody would be using weights.
- Dave
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Post by orpheoet on Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:24 pm

I use a mix of steel and tungsten on my Pardini. Interesting video.
https://youtu.be/Ltm0DW8RPRQ
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Post by mikemyers on Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:06 am

I learned a lot from that video, then played the end of it at 1/4 speed.  It would be interesting to measure how the weights change the distance the tip of the gun moves up, and moves to the rear, with and without the weights.  

Dave, thinking about what you wrote "When the gun comes back down you have more weight to stop too", which is true, but I don't think that will matter because the gun will move a shorter distance, since it doesn't rise as much when it fires.
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Post by CR10X on Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:39 am

Yes, it does matter because you have more weight to move and then stop.  Inertia works both ways. It's not just the distance you have to move back but also how much mass you have to move and stop.  Think of it this away, its easier to move a feather back to where you want it than it is 5 pound lead weight. 

So now the question is how much weight do you need to help you feel the gun is balanced to achieve your minimum wobble area versus how much weight you want to have to move around after recoil?  There will be a balance depending on your strength, ability to see, grip, overall weight of the gun and how much you have trained to recover.  (Recovery is like putting,  you need enough to get to the hole every time -never up, never in;  but not so much that you make yourself three putt.) 

CR 

PS:  Weight will not really correct bad grip, bad trigger operation or a recovery process that does not actively drive the gun back to your starting point. (You might be able to get by with letting the gun just "fall back" during slow fire, but its not a good habit to have if you want to get good at Timed and Rapid.)


Last edited by CR10X on Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by James Hensler on Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:50 am

If you are shooting on a windy day add as much weight as you can ( I used every weight I had for my Hammerli 280) because the wind doesn’t have as much of a effect
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Post by chiz1180 on Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:57 am

Weight is a double edged sword, it can be very effective when used but you can also run into other issues if you have too much. For a while I had enough additional weight on my 22 that it was just about a pound heavier than my 45 (steel scope rings, and tungsten in an RDS). Shooting the 22 felt great, but it also led to fatigue in CF/45 of a 2700. It also made the balance of my wadgun seem off. I have since lightened the set up (aluminum scope rings, little bit less tungsten) , and have been getting results that are just as good if not better with less weight. Completely a personal preference thing.

My personal conclusion after playing with changing weight around is that you shouldn't over think it, add a bit see if it works for you, but don't add too much. Stick on wheel weights work well for experimenting if you are so inclined.

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Post by rkittine on Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:50 am

I have a weight on my Model 52 and on my Victor. They seem to help stabilize the gun for me. I did pick up the "Wing Weight" forend for my TOZ-35M. Haven't used it yet, but assume it works like a high wire walker pool for balance as well as forward weight.

I tend to shoot equally as bad with or without a weight.

Bob
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Post by Sa-tevp on Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:27 am

A few years ago I got to work with a shooter on the US International team and used the opportunity to try to get inside his head and see things like he did. A fascinating perspective on several shooting topics. He was approaching his second arm surgery due to sports injuries. At one point I mentioned how a grip on a pistol I had moved around when shooting like a skinny revolver grip and he said he only ever shot his competition pistols and never had any time to shoot anything else.

At the time I had several weights on my air pistol and he suggested removing all, as even the top shooters find it detrimental after time. (Studying ISSF World Cup finals showed few competitors with weights installed, or more than a small amount) My TOZ free pistol has an MEC Balance Bar and with the bar loaded with all three weights it felt great for the sighting period and horrible in the final, which reinforces the observation that AP/50m Pistol/2700 is a marathon type event and pace is a factor.

My takeaway from all of this was to consider that if I had a configuration or practice the top shooters were not using it was a good idea to figure out why.
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Post by Jack H on Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:09 pm

The big thing about weight especially in freepistol marathons is 'how strong are you'?
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