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Old 01-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default Barrels out of alignment.

Not sure if this model is available in USA as it is manufactured by Browning in Belgium.

A friend of mine recently purchased a Winchester Select Midnight that he believed was good value at $1400.
He had problems with this gun and it did not shoot as well as he expected. So he asked me to try it, I shot well with the top barrel but with the bottom barrel I performed below my average. This was disconcerting, but I put it down to me not being used to this type of O/U gun?
It was only later, that I decided to try a Laser Bore sighter and to my dismay I found that the bottom barrel was badly out of alignment, it was firing high and to the left of target, no wonder I scored poorly with it! At least I now know that it was the gun at fault and not my shooting ability.
Another guy at our club had the same Winchester Select Midnight model , so I went to check his shotgun and his lower barrel was also out of alignment, but not by as much as my friends gun. We went back to the shop where he purchased this shotgun, and checked another Winchester Select Midnight that was in the racks and this also had the bottom barrel out of alignment. Other Winchester Select Field and Select Sporting shotguns in the rack had barrels that did align reasonably correctly. So I have to conclude that these shotguns had unfortunately been faulty from the manufacturing stage and so were really unfit for purpose. Both guns were returned to Browning in Belgium and they agreed the defect in manufacturing and a full credit note against the purchase of a new gun was given.
Ever since this experience I have checked quite a few shotguns both O/U and S/S. About 20% were out of alignment and some of them were $5000 guns, anyone else experienced this.

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Old 01-23-2011, 07:06 PM   #2
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yes its a common problem with low end doubles of both types. thats one of reasons why a really good double isnt cheap. an in bore laser is a really good tool when buying a double.

doesnt mean you cant get a good lower end it just means you gotta be more diligent on the purchase.

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Old 01-24-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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yes its a common problem with low end doubles of both types. thats one of reasons why a really good double isnt cheap. an in bore laser is a really good tool when buying a double.

doesnt mean you cant get a good lower end it just means you gotta be more diligent on the purchase.
I totally agree Jon what did surprise me was a couple of $5000 guns had the same fault.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
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I have to take exception. An acquaintance bought a nice Spanish SxS and was all pissed off because a laser showed the barrels to be way out. When we shot it, she was just fine. Out of curiosity, tried it in my Browning BSS 20 Sporter, and it indicated a bad barrel regulation problem, but I know this gun shoots almost 100% on at 40 yards thru both barrels with multiple loads. So, I think the proof is in the patterning. I would definitely not rely totally on a laser where a two barrel shotgun is concerned.

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Old 01-24-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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I have to take exception. An acquaintance bought a nice Spanish SxS and was all pissed off because a laser showed the barrels to be way out. When we shot it, she was just fine. Out of curiosity, tried it in my Browning BSS 20 Sporter, and it indicated a bad barrel regulation problem, but I know this gun shoots almost 100% on at 40 yards thru both barrels with multiple loads. So, I think the proof is in the patterning. I would definitely not rely totally on a laser where a two barrel shotgun is concerned.
Below is my friends response to a similar question.

It is my understanding that it is, or used to be, generally accepted that the industry standard for shotgun manufactures is to have the shot-patterns from both barrels centring at 35 yards. Any double-barrelled shotgun that patterns differently and does not achieve this goal fails this standard! And personally I would not purchase such a gun because in my view it is defective.
Surely all of us that shoot at a target expect the gun to place the shot-pattern from both barrels where we expect it to be and not 18 inches left or right, above or below?

Previously to this recent experience I’d always assumed that any reputable doubled barrelled shotgun would place the shot pattern of both barrels in exactly the same place at 35 yards, sadly from my experience it appears this is not born out in practice and the purchaser has to check for this “out of alignment”. I have now had time to check all the other 7 shotguns at our small shoot and just two of these have both barrels that are aligned and correct. One English made 16-bore S/S had one barrel firing 26 inches higher and 14 to the left at 35 yards. The owner commented that a “left and right” rarely happened.

Just to play devils advocate with a notional, fictitious advertisement of two shotguns in a Dealers rack:-
Shotgun 1 - £1500
Top barrel shoots to the point of aim at 35 yards.
Bottom barrel shoots anywhere, could be 20 inches to the left or right or 20 inches high or low at 35 yards. User must compensate as necessary!
Shotgun 2 - £1500
Top barrel and Bottom barrel shoot to the point of aim at 35 yards – checked and tested at factory.
Which of these would I be tempted to try?
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:57 PM   #6
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Anything up to 6" or 8" off center is usually considered acceptable by most, except in the case of a $55,000 and up Purdey, and then only with the loads it was regulated with. Of all the 2 barrel guns I have owned, I only had one that was bad enough for me to address the issue. Ralph Walker fixed it so it was only 3" off with the center of pattern at 40 yards. I believe there are still several gunsmiths who can do that work, but with a new gun I would be looking for the factory to fix it too.
I alway pattern any new-to-me gun so I at least know it's me that's causing the missing.

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