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Joined: Oct 2010
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Done this experiment many times but still cannot figure out what it proves. The balance point shows that half the mass is on one side and half on the other, it says little about the feel and handling. I have also managed to balance a SXS with 5 lb arm exercise weights at its extremities.

Much more can be determined by balancing each part, barrels, stock and action, separately to see how they concentrate their mass. The more towards the centr the balance point, the more lively the total gun.

As for the actual technique, a piece of leather or other non slip material over a chair back is reliable enough support. Kust be close enough and ready to catch.

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And what you going to if the point is off to your liking ?

Add a couple of wheel weights.

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Originally Posted By: HomelessjOe
And what you going to if the point is off to your liking ?

Add a couple of wheel weights.


Sell the ones that don't feel just right and replace with [slightly] fewer really good fitting ones. Comparing balance, fit, and weight to virtually all my shooters and make some choices. A decade or so of acquiring sporting arms and many learning experiences. Getting serious now!

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I am not sure what value a balance point is unless one also describes the length of pull, where you put the gun on your shoulder, where you grip it with your rear hand , and where you grip it with your forward hand. How does a "balance point" relate to all that ? Maybe makes something for magazine articles.

Last edited by Daryl Hallquist; 08/28/12 07:42 PM.
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You can either shoot it or you can't...

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Mmmm!! My experience as follows.

Balance tells you how the weight of the gun is proportioned between the hands. Period. You don't have to know/understand the physiology of it, only the dimension (length in inches) of balance as referenced to the (front) trigger; trigger because that is the one point you must touch to make the gun work. Individuals will prefer/need differing balance lengths just as they will with stock dimensions/measurements.

Any round "rod" will work just; like a round pencil or pen. Just be sure not to let the gun slide off and fall. A piece of paper masking tape lightly applied to the bottom of the gun will provide a good place to mark the teeter-totter balance point. The "best" tool is an upside down wooden "T"; bar on a table and the stem pointing up. A 45 degree crosscut on the up end of the "T" stem will make a very, very accurate "knife edge" for balance.

Technical note - balance is the zero sum point of increments of mass times distance from the balance point. The weight on the two sides is not necessarily equal, probably would never be equal. A 4# weight at 1 ft would balance a 2# weight at 2 ft; 4# X 1' = 4 ft-pounds and 2# X 2 ft = 4 ft-pounds.

To characterize handling dynamics one needs weight, balance, unmounted swing effort (MOI at balance point), and mounted swing effort (MOI at butt). Weight, balance and MOI at balance must be measured. With these three measurements you can calculate mounted swing. These four dimensions are to handling as stock dimensions are to physical fit.

As for changing guns handling, recoil pads and weighted forarm guards (John Bugden down in Murry, KY) can work wonders. Stocks can be drilled and barrels back bored or shortened if lightening is needed. Most importantly, these dimensions will tell you if a candidate gun is within an envelope of reasonable correctability. "Wheel weights", tape, etc. have a place in experimentation. There are more elegant long term solutions.

Questions??

DDA

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I don't understand balance to the level Don does, but I know what sort of balance I want in a shotgun, and it is different for different shotgun shooting venues. For example, with skeet, where precision shooting is required, I want a barrel heavy gun, or weight forward, where one can smoothly swing the shotgun and where lightning swing is rarely, if ever, required. For live bird shooting, a discipline which requires lightning speed and deadly accuracy, I prefer a barrel light gun, one which is slightly butt heavy, so I can quickly move to the appropriate box, at the time of target presentation, where quick target acquisition is a must. For a game gun, I like a gun that is balanced between the hands, which is neither butt nor barrel heavy. This is the sort of gun I prefer for trap shooting as well. Just my opinion, but I think there are specific indications for various and different balance points in terms of shotguns.


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I thought the the value of the "half-weight radius" of a circle swung from the balance point and intersecting the gun at two points between which half the total wgt. is concentrated spoke to the probability of desirable MOI; a smaller radius indicative of less inertia. I don't know how the particular value of that radius is determined but it is a parameter that was easy for me to visualize.

jack


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Its not wear the "point of balance" is ,its how it feels between your hands . Better still how it feels on your shoulder and how it swings . This is one of these old quibbles that surface every now and then ,a lot of people will give a lot of differing opinions as to exactly wear the "point of balance" should be. I have recently had a brand new pair of Miroku's through my hands that in no way will ever "balance" due to their construction ,long barrel and multi chokes . Its a mute point in my opinion ,any shooter will know if a gun feels right when he picks it up . That's all that really matters .

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Originally Posted By: gunman
Its not wear the "point of balance" is ,its how it feels between your hands .

Mostly I agree with gunman's point. I would expand it to say it is completely correct if you are shooting for the joy of shoting, but should include how well you shoot with that balance if you are shooting for score. If you know the number (inches from teeter-totter point to front trigger), you will have a leg up on predicting wheter you will like a new (to you) gun.

Better still how it feels on your shoulder and how it swings .

Yes, and the swing numbers are measured (unmounted) and calculated (mounted). Again, knowing these numbers for yourself and for an unknown gun gives you a possibility to predict how well it will siut you, personally.

This is one of these old quibbles that surface every now and then ,a lot of people will give a lot of differing opinions as to exactly wear the "point of balance" should be.

IMO, there is no given place/optimum location for balance anymore than there is for LOP. These numbers are individual to any given shooter.

I have recently had a brand new pair of Miroku's through my hands that in no way will ever "balance" due to their construction ,long barrel and multi chokes . Its a mute point in my opinion ,any shooter will know if a gun feels right when he picks it up . That's all that really matters .

I think gunman is using "balance" in the sense of a summative for handling. From the teeter-totter point sense, all guns balance - - - the only question is where. The mentioned Mirokus might suit a sporting clays or trap shooter; heavy weight, forward balance, slow swings. That is, they will help the shooter follow a highly predictable target track and have a stable swing which resists quick changes in direction or speed of swing.


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