Well I got the Smoothbore, but now...

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Travis186

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How do I make it shoot straight? As you can see, the gun shoots great, but for me, it shoots high and right, even with shot. I was able to play with my sight picture a little bit and bring this bad boy down to zero, but whose to say in the "heat of the moment" I'll be able to to maintain that sight picture? The gun in question is a Centermark Fusil.

I flung that shot closest to the black, but this is the load. 90gr of Olde Eynsford 2f, .600 roundball dropped onto the powder, held in place by a wad of flax tow at 25 yards. This is repeatable, tested this more than once, same results until I started playing with different sight pictures, so I'm not asking for load ideas here.

IMG_5842.JPG

So with all that being said here, what should I do? Install a rear sight? I can't do anything with the front sight as it's soldered. Just keep using the sight picture that brings it down to zero, and stop pole vaulting over a mouse turd?
 

martin9

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Bend the barrel. A forked tree is what I use. I had to bend the barrel 2 or three times to get my Hudson Valley fowler to shoot point of aim.

You can look up bending a barrel to see how other folks do it. Not sure if I've seen a thread here but ALR has quite a few threads on it.
 

Travis186

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Bend the barrel. A forked tree is what I use. I had to bend the barrel 2 or three times to get my Hudson Valley fowler to shoot point of aim.

You can look up bending a barrel to see how other folks do it. Not sure if I've seen a thread here but ALR has quite a few threads on it.
Not sure I'm confident enough to do this properly but I like the idea. I'm assuming the barrel will be bent in the same direction a front sight would be moved, which means follow POI correct?
 

martin9

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No, you bend the barrel in the direction you want the ball to go.

No real proper way to do it. From what I gather that used to be "the" way. I don't think I"ve ever seen an original gun with a drifted sight
 

Travis186

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No, you bend the barrel in the direction you want the ball to go.

No real proper way to do it. From what I gather that used to be "the" way. I don't think I"ve ever seen an original gun with a drifted sight
I'll have to spend some time wrapping my brain around this one. If I bend the barrel in the direction I want the ball to go, aiming dead center at the target will now push the ball further right, due to triangulation. In my brain, like any front sight adjustment, I'd have to bend the barrel in the direction the ball is already going to bring point of impact further left.
 

Woody Morgan

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If it shoots right, bend it left. Bending a barrel isn't a big deal. I did it to a Deerhunter where the rear sight was well left in the dovetail so I used a bench and tweaked it right. It doesn't take much either.

wm
 

smoothshooter

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I have bent several shotgun barrels. It’s a little scary at first, but easy to do.
“Flexing” the barrel might be a more descriptive term.
Remove the barrel from the stock.
When you apply pressure to the middle of the barrel you will need to bend it to where you can easily see the displacement at the mid-length part of the tube. Bold it there for at least a minute or two to let the tube to stress relieve a little and get a “ memory”. This is easier if you do it close to the edge of a table using two blocks of wood and a medium to large C clamp by putting a block under each end and pulling the middle of the tube down toward the table top with the padded clamp. Then walk away and do something else for a few minutes to give the tube some time to get a little stress relieved for the new “memory”.
Remove clamp. The tube will spring back to what looks like straight when you remove the tension, causing a beginner to think their attempt did no good. This can be misleading, because in spite of the fact that the barrel now looks just like it did when you pulled it out of the stock, chances are you HAVE made a change that is not really visible.
Reinstall the barrel in your stock and test fire it. Repeat as necessary.

Proceed slowly. It will take repeated efforts. If you go a little too far, you can start bending it back the other way.
Make sure you do not kink the barrel at the mid-point.
 

martin9

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You're overthinking it...forget about what a front sight does when you move it...that's not what bending the barrel does. Like WM said shoots right, bend left
 

Travis186

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So am I supposed to bend this barrel right in the middle then?
 

tenngun

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Put on a rear sight
Or hold slightly to the left
Or be confident Bambi won’t care if it’s two inches from your point of aim
Sweat your front sight and move it a touch
File down front sight a bit
Folks were known to have bent barrels in the past
They also were known to throw a barrel in to a fire to melt out a stuck ball, or dry ball
 

Travis186

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Put on a rear sight
Or hold slightly to the left
Or be confident Bambi won’t care if it’s two inches from your point of aim
Sweat your front sight and move it a touch
File down front sight a bit
Folks were known to have bent barrels in the past
They also were known to throw a barrel in to a fire to melt out a stuck ball, or dry ball
Bambi might not care about 2" but bambi will care about 7", and a Texas grizzly (wild pig) with a small kill zone will care even more.

With all that said, the barrel is out of the stock, and surprise surprise, it's bent. Probably a good thing I took it out anyway. Fuzzy rust on the underside. This baby never stopped browning.
 

martin9

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Good job! Once I started bending barrels I never file or drift my sights on new builds anymore. I make the sights just how I want them and then bend the barrel to sight it in. I will also mention Allen Martin, Mike Brooks....the list goes on..... are barrel benders and some of the best builders in the country.
 

William Lincoln

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Saw an old friend--now passed on, who heated his barrel over the fire back and forth and then placed it between cut pine branches and stood on it with his boot. He said it was dead on and shot better. I would rather trust some new sight work. But like anything there is an art to it--if you are skilled and lucky. Now barrel bending would be handy to know if you bent that barrel over
someone's head-- now you can restore it to like new. The bad guy's head? Not so easy.
 

martin9

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The heat was unnecessary...but....long as it worked
 

martin9

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Barrel bending is a very useful tool to have. I've seen folks do all kind of stuff to their sights...front and rear drifted way over...too tall or too short front or rear sights. I'd rather have a nice set of sights that suit the rifle and just bend the barrel.
 

Travis186

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First bend in place. As stated, took the barrel out and it did look like it favored right. My little vintage bench vise had too much flex so I pulled the big bulletproof hitch off my F250 and used the receiver on it to put some torque on the barrel in the desired direction. I could feel the barrel move and see it, but it slipped right back into the stock. Next time I take it out I'll report back.
 

tenngun

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Bambi might not care about 2" but bambi will care about 7", and a Texas grizzly (wild pig) with a small kill zone will care even more.

With all that said, the barrel is out of the stock, and surprise surprise, it's bent. Probably a good thing I took it out anyway. Fuzzy rust on the underside. This baby never stopped browning.
Sorry I didn’t blow up the picture on the phone, didn’t look seven inches
Still, personally I would move the sight before bending barrel, and add a rear sight
 

Travis186

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Sorry I didn’t blow up the picture on the phone, didn’t look seven inches
Still, personally I would move the sight before bending barrel, and add a rear sight
No harm, no foul. See above post, I did end up bending the barrel. It was actually bent the wrong direction from the get go, so hopefully this rectified the issue. Noticeable difference now with the barrel in the stock, which as far right as it's shooting, I'd imagine the difference would be obvious.
 

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Just keep using the sight picture that brings it down to zero, and stop pole vaulting over a mouse turd?
You've had your answer the whole time.
Unless you have to do some weird contortions to get this sight picture, it is practice time. Lots and lots of practice.
Doesn't need to be live fire. Don't really even need to pull the trigger. Everyday do a few repetitions of mounting the gun and getting that sight picture until it comes up naturally.
 
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First as said above lay it on its side with the ends supported and the middle raised, apply pressure and release, measure again and if it didn't move, more pressure. Repeat until it moves. Go shoot, Repeat as needed.

It took 5 bends on my Caywood and five trips to the range an hour away until I was happy but it shoots exactly where you put the top of the front sight. The last smoothbore match they asked me not to bring it anymore as they would like others to win as well:cool: YMMV
 

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