Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by ArmedLiberal, Jun 13, 2009.
What is the purpose of a vent rib on a shotgun?
To dissipate heat off the top of the barrel, leaving the shooter a clear line of sight.
Edit to be more clear: The heated air is caught under the vents and directed out the sides away from the barrel, eliminating the shimmer effect so you can see the front bead and the target.
Depending on the gun, some may also be adjustable to change the POI/POA, especially on trap guns
You'd be amazed by the heat mirage coming off the top of the barrel when shooting a bunch of trap, especially under the lights at night.
The VR also tells you when your head/eye/gun are all lined up properly; it disappears. You should only see the bead, not the rib.
The vent rib was first used as an aid to high volume shooting. It really is not practical or needed on a field gun. However they have cornered the market and the sheep seem to love them. This makes it easier for me to get the plain barrels for a song from the locals.
I am also pretty sure you are not supposed to see only the bead when shooting the vent rib barrel. Depending on the design I believe it is desireable to partially see some of the rib and in some cases a lot of the rib as well as the bead.
Of course in clays games where there is a great deal of instinctive shooting going on you should really not be looking at the bead at all but rather at the target. In this instance gun fit comes more into play than vent ribs and beads.
Having guns with and without ribs, and having used them all for clay shooting and hunting, I think that's bull. "Not practical?" Even if you assert that ribs aren't good for anything, do people MISS because they have ribs? That's downright silly.
When you're raising the gun to your shoulder while swinging on a flushing quail, the rib provides a surface with a readily-discernible shape for your peripheral vision. As you raise the gun, the rib goes towards flat. You don't have to pay conscious attention to it like you do with a rifle sight.
That helps you focus on the bird, which is the only way to hit it.
Without the rib, you see something more like a rifle sight, as the top of the receiver approaches the bead in your vision. This can cause just enough distraction to make it harder to make the quick shot. IMO this is exacerbated by a bead on a pedestal, as Remington uses on plain barrels. If it's just a bead on the barrel, I don't think this effect is as severe.
Have I shot fast-moving quail with a plain barrel and a pedestal-mounted bead? Yes.
Have I shot those "Holy crap! How did I hit THAT?!?" birds with one? Not that I can remember. I have with a vent-rib O/U and a SxS, though. Now sure, if I were as good a shot as earlthegoat2, I could probably have done the same thing with a 9 lb. 10 Gauge ribless single shot. Personally, though, I found it easier to do with a quick, ribbed gun.
Bottom line? The vent rib and the two barrels of a SxS both help to draw your mental focus out towards the bird. This is caused by perspective and the effect of a "vanishing point." A bead on the end of a round barrel naturally draws your focus towards the bead itself.
It's not the easy shots, pre-mounted shots, or predictable, slow birds where you can tell the difference.
(Aside... I have shot doves and 5-stand in desert heat, with a really hot barrel, and I never had any heat mirage issues with a single barrel with no rib. Only a SxS has given me any real trouble with heat mirage. I'm not saying it doesn't exist on a single barrel or stack barrel gun, just that heat mirage alone can't explain why a vent rib is the standard, and has been for a long time now.)
Ventrib on the wife's moss only holds the two iron sights she needs to shoot with. It appears to assist in cooling, not that important since we dont shoot it very much on range visits.
To me it's not a necessary item either way.
I would not own a hunting or clay target gun without a rib.
I prefer matted ribs on my hunting guns, but nobody makes them anymore.
Nothing but the rib, with no vents to collect weeds & mub.
And sir, I am not a Sheep!
I like ribs myself, though it's way less crucial than fit and form.
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