Article 7 – 2014
Question: I have noticed the trend about raised ribs on shotguns that you mentioned in an earlier article starting to really develop. What I am surprised about is how many of these ribs appear in Sporting Clay shotguns now. Can you explain the advantages of them again, but in particular the reason for the adjustable ribs? I really like a couple of brands that have the option of making the front or back lower, but I am unsure what the advantages of this are.
Keith Gillies, Hawthorn VIC
Answer: The raised rib is actually not a new idea. There was a shotgun developed by Perazzi back in the early 1980’s called the DB 81 which really started this trend. It was named after one of the United States great trap shooters, Dan Bonillas. It was essentially a trap gun which had a prominent ramped rib on top of the barrels. It had a higher stock to compensate for the higher rib. It proved to be a popular shotgun and paved the way for some later model Perazzi shotguns that had a similar design.
Essentially the idea behind the raised rib shotgun is to give the shooter a better view of the target if the starting position of their barrels is between the target breaking point and where the target is released. If you were familiar with DTL shooting you would clearly see the benefits as the starting position is generally above the top of the trap house and when the target is released from the trap the shooters peripheral vision is used to initially move toward the target. The raised rib gives the competitor a clear unobstructed view between the starting point of the gun and the trap house because the higher rib allows the shooters left hand (assuming a right handed competitor) to be out of the line of vision. A standard rib will cause a blind spot with the left hand if the gun started above the trap house too far. The higher the rib the higher the stating position can be without a blind spot. It’s a simple test to prove for yourself the next time you are at the range.
If you are a “one eyed” shooter then the benefits of a high rib shotgun in trap shooting is negligible as the starting point for someone only having the use of one eye MUST be no higher than on the top of the trap house, but never above.
The higher ribs will have the same benefits in sporting on any target that appears from a starting position below your barrels.
The adjustable rib allows a variety of innovative ideas. If you are happy how your stock is set up and never want to change it or you have a non-adjustable stock then the rib can be altered to change where the gun shoots in four distinct ways.
First of all by lifting up the rib the same amount at the back and the front will LOWER your point of impact. Secondly by lowering the rib the same amount on both ends will RAISE the point of impact (yes it’s the opposite to what you would do with an adjustable stock).
By leaving the back of your rib as it is and lowering the front then you will again RAISE the point of impact of the barrels even though when you look down the rib it will appear flatter. THIS IS AN OPTICAL ILLUSION. Finally when you leave the back of the rib as it is and lift the front you will be LOWERING its point of impact even though you will be seeing more of the rib. With these last two scenarios the same can be achieved by leaving the front of the rib pinned and lowering or raising the back.
The adjustable rib is a great innovation, but be wary of fiddling too much with it. If you have a shotgun with this type of rib it is good advice to adjust it in front of a pattern board to see where your point of impact actually is as opposed to where you think it should be.
Enjoy your shooting.