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Whats the vent rib on A shotgun for?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by ArkansasFatboy, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. ArkansasFatboy

    ArkansasFatboy Well-Known Member

    I know this may seem like a dumb question But what purpose does the vent rib play.I have heard its to help keep the Barrel cool or as a sight plane which is it
  2. Javelin

    Javelin Well-Known Member

    2 main reasons..
    #1 most common is for looks
    #2 is it *can* act as a heat shield so you can handle a hot barrel


    If it is the sight rail you are talking about then it is vented for looks as it elevates the sight bead for easy aquisition. The ribbing is purly asthetic.

  3. sm

    sm member

    Shotguns are pointed, not aimed.

    Vent ribs come about to assist with dissipation of heat waves that might distract a shotgunners focus on targets.

    Originally folks learned how to correctly mount a shotgun to face, originally Skeet had shooters shoot from low gun position for one example.

    Time passes and rules changed to allow skeet shooters to Pre-Mount the gun.
    Many shooters were not raised right nor with correct basic fundamentals of gun fit, mounting gun to face - etc.

    These shooters used the vent rib to determine if they had pre-mounted the ill fitting gun to them, and had canted it.
    Rib allowed them to get wrapped around the gun , get it "straight" and then call for the bird.

    Art & Science to this Shotgunning...
  4. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Well-Known Member

    Alright, there's the elitist point of view.

    Here's a more pragmatic point of view:

    A vent rib makes it easier to shoot a shotgun effectively. It helps your brain line up things even if you're not conciously aiming. It especially helps if you're (gasp) aiming it. Aimed shotguns have their place with slugs and buckshot but some purist wingshooters seem to forget this fact...
  5. ImARugerFan

    ImARugerFan Well-Known Member

    For me it allows a lot quicker target acquisition. Two beads on a vent rib really increases my accuracy when shooting clays.
  6. sm

    sm member

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    OMG, sm, don't say that to the tacticool crowd on the rifle forum. They'll call you all sorts of names, did me anyway. ROFL! But, it's true.

    I was only trying to make 'em understand why I prefer a shotgun for home security beyond the absolute fact that buckshot is better at close range, which they didn't believe either. :rolleyes:
  8. sm

    sm member

    Those that know me, understand when I say, some folks have no frigging idea of how I was raised, what into, how mentored, and lessons by certain folks.

    Elitest ? No.
    Realist yes.

    I and mine did stuff way before vent ribs come to be, or even available as an after market option.
    Ernie Sims anyone?

    Firebombs shot out of the air to prevent a porch or roof catching on fire.
    Low Light, no light, and thugs shooting at us to take what left after a disaster, and I know what a 20 ga slug will do to stop threats...

    No known gun schools back then, no 3 gun, nuttin'
    Hot range, live fire, moving targets, and trip wires set up...

    I/we kids learned to shoot with no sights on BB Guns, .22 rifles then shotguns.
    We shot clay targets from throwers or low 7 with these BBGuns .22 rifles and slugs from shotguns.

    Gun fit to shooter, correct basic fundamentals, mount gun to face, and focus on target.

    *shrug* I walked off from sanctioned shoots and burned my cards before the great equipment race.

    Oh I finally in '74 got a shotgun with a vent rib, and in '75 added a mid bead, but for other reasons.
    I retired that gun ( I think) after I put 300,000 shells through it.
    Just one I put a few shells through over 100k rds ...

    I still had a '74 SX1 set up with factory slug barrel without vent rib, ...then again I and mine were running shotguns without safeties on purpose too...

    In the real world - there is no starting buzzer...classifications are Dead, maimed for life, or injured.

    Awerbuck says it best " I will not be at your gunfight"

    Rebel I am, my handy shotgun is a Youth , H&R Topper 20 bore with plain barrel and fixed mod choke.
    I have my reasons, and these go back starting in the mid 50's.

    *shrug* Reality is, we are all dying, we all started right after we drew our first breath.
    Ain't that something?
  9. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    SM can you provide more details on your childhood training techniques, or point to literature?
  10. Bud Tugly

    Bud Tugly Well-Known Member

    My first gun was a hand-me down BB rifle with the sights broken off. I stuck a piece of toothpick in the hole where the front sight had been and shot it that way. Put untold thousands of BB's through that thing before I ever shot anything with proper sights on it and got to be petty good with it.

    Probably was good training for my future shotgunning.
  11. stevereno1

    stevereno1 Well-Known Member

    sm is right about the dissapation of heat waves. it also acts as a good place to mount sights, beads etc. if anyone has ever been on a dove hunt where you are burning through shells, you will notice the heat waves coming off the barrell, which can blur your sight picture.
  12. sm

    sm member

    The Old Man & The Boy by Ruark is a start.
    Score Better at Skeet - Fred Misseldine
    Shotgunning:The Art&Science - Bob Brister

    Three books to read. Though I have shot with Misseldine and Brister.

    You want to learn shotguns?

    Will Fennell for Clays
    Awerbuck for defensive use of shotgun.

  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    To the subject, I think the vent rib is more style than substance at least on field guns. I cannot recall a bird hunt so fast and furious as to cause me problems with the heat waves off the barrel. :rolleyes: Of course, I've never done any of that wing shooting I see on TV in Argentina. Must be nice.

    My old single shot 16 my uncle gave me for geese when I was 16, the front bead eventually fell off. No matter, I just pointed down the barrel and lost no shooting efficiency in doing so. I've never replaced that bead to this day, though I've thought about it a few times since it'd be cheap to do. Just not high on the priority list and I never think about it when I'm running to town.

    You can't find a gun now days without a vent rib that doesn't have rifle sights on it, so my Mossberg and my Winchester have 'em. The one on the Mossberg has gotten a little loose on the front, rattles about the first four mounts back from the muzzle. If it falls off, I don't know if I'll bother replacing it, ROFL! Oh, I probably will since it'll look a little stupid without the vent rib, looks, not function.
  14. Lucky

    Lucky Well-Known Member

    Thanks man. Got 'The Shotgunner's Bible' by Laycock going right now, will get one of those next. Thanks again; Scott
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    There's a clays range in Mesquite, Nevada, on the Arizona line. From what people say, when you shoot in the the Summer there, you need the vent rib to block the heat mirage off the barrel.

    Here in San Diego, even when it's hot, I have never seen a heat mirage on a plain barrel, even a hot barrel. I don't think I've ever really needed a vent rib for that, or even gotten a chance to see it in action.

    I have a couple of shotguns with no ribs; one of them I've shot a fair amount. It's an old 1100, so the barrel does get hot when I shoot 5-stand with it. Never seen the faintest bit of mirage off of it. It has a bead on a little pedestal just like an 870 HD gun has; that's how they used to come standard, when a vent rib was an optional upgrade.

    However, I do find that, when I shoulder a gun with a rib vs. that old 1100, my eye is drawn down the rib a little quicker and looking down the rib is just somehow a bit more natural and intuitive. I've used the 1100 for popping flushing quail in boulder and brush country, and I've bagged quail with it. But a ribbed gun is just a hair quicker to shoulder, point and fire.

    sm is right about shooting high-gun and getting all "set", but I'm not talking about that use for the rib. I'm talking strictly about high-speed do-or-die bird shooting, where if you don't get a well-placed shot off pretty much as soon as the bird comes out of the brush, you're done. No bird.

    I've generally quit using the semiauto for quail, since the 3rd shot is really a non-issue, in favor of an old, shorter and quicker 20 Gauge O/U. It has a rib, which I don't consciously use, but which does seem to work with my eye to make pointing just a little faster. The rib also helps my eye to look straight down the barrel instantly, not slightly off to one side or the other when I mount the gun fast.

    That's my opinion and experience. YMMV :)
  16. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Well-Known Member

    sm, I generally agree with you, but in this case I think you are being, if not elitist, then curmugeonly. The good old days were the good old days, and some things really are improvements. In the old days, people learned to drive cars where you had to have some muscle to turn and brake. Then some idiot invented power steering and power brakes, and now people are just lazy, and anyone, from the weakest little girl, can learn to drive a car . . .

    If the rib helps, why do you care? If you want to keep shooting shotguns without a rib, go ahead.
  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    If there were only a way to keep the weak-minded off the road...:)
  18. simmonsguns

    simmonsguns Well-Known Member

    rib's, short end or long end.

    Oh, shotgun ribs, damn. Ernie "pops" Simmons was the man in the 50's around here, hunting and fishing with all of the stars and political big wiggs of the day, we even had a heli-port next to the shop for thoes who could afford the toys.
    Whatever works for the shooter, Pops was a marketing god, but what he and the powers that were at Winchester, came up with a system that worked for people that were new to or had trouble shooting plain barrel guns, whatever type of guns.
    Browning, in there marketing hell that brought you the Cynergy, had there rib correct but the marketing department got a hold of it and lowered it for the look, ever shot one good, no, well that's why we have removed alott of them and replaced with the correct heigth rib.
    I learned how to shoot like SM, the only shotguns that i have with a rib are sxs's, but if somebody needs help shooting and does not have time to really shoot than whatever it takes is also good.
    I have yet to figure completely height of comb and heigth of rib stuff, from flat ribs to 1 and 1/2 inches high ribs, off-set ribs and one-eye-blind custom ribs, if i ever find a good 16 gauge model 12 with a plain barrel, it will stay that way.
  19. Markbo

    Markbo member

    I am no expert or historian, but I am willing to bet that it is a design carryover from double barreled guns. Remember that single barreled shotguns used to be rare, and side by sides were the rule. They had a rib as means of attachment to lock barrels in place in shoot to the same point of aim.

    The first single barreled guns sure didn't have any rails. But Once single barreled guns started to become more popular they appeared... a nostalgic carryover to days gone by.

    Something that every gun owner still uses as a strong marketing technique today.
  20. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Well-Known Member

    I never owned a gun with a rib until I was -- well, lets just say approaching retirement. As a kid, I saw one gun with a rib and thought it was just the coolest looking gun ever. And looking good sells guns. People look for the best looking wood, the deepest blue, etc. Shotguns can be like our cars. All they really have to do is get us from one place to the other but if you can have some style too, well......... And some people feel the flat surface helps them. Some also have glow worms on the end of the barrel rather than the traditional bead. It may help some but I see it as another style option. To each his/her own. The difference make life and discussion like this interesting.

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