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Thread: Vang Comp barrels Real data?

  1. #21
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P.E. Kelley View Post
    However that tight pattern reduces the overall usefulness of this wonderful thinking man's ballistic power tool!
    And that right there is one of the things that keeps my 870P in the house despite my increasing physical decrepitude ("no recoil for old men"). There are times a little "leeway" is a plus.

    I have used both 870 shotguns and .357 Magnum carbines as my "just in case" longarm to take in the vehicle. They both proved to be competent tools out to my self-imposed range limitations, but the 870P did have a versatility edge (and I have always been faster with a pump than a lever, for what little that is worth). In some situations - such as tagging a moving critter on the premises at night - I have a long-time bias towards the shotgun. Still, even with reduced-recoil loads, it pushes me around more than I like despite its 7-1/2 pound (unloaded) weight.

    At this point, I am not sure if sending that 18" barrel to Vang would help the situation, or if I should just try weighing it down some more via heavier furniture, like maybe a Surefire fore end and a Magpul stock.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato naranja View Post
    At this point, I am not sure if sending that 18" barrel to Vang would help the situation, or if I should just try weighing it down some more via heavier furniture, like maybe a Surefire fore end and a Magpul stock.
    I have both non-ported Vang and vanilla barreled 870s, and I don’t perceive any difference in recoil, though this may be because I use the “push-pull” method taught by Rob Haught (and now others), which is vastly more effective than any hardware fix to mitigate recoil.

    My reason for having some Vang’ed barrels is so I can have shot patterns somewhat approximating Flite-Controlled performance when I am shooting el cheapo ammunition in training, because even in the Before Times, that Flite-Controlled stuff was not cheap.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  3. #23
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nalesq View Post
    even in the Before Times, that Flite-Controlled stuff was not cheap
    Or even available, for that matter. My closest two brick 'n' mortar gun shops have never had a box of FC buckshot that I didn't have them get specifically for me.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  4. #24
    Site Supporter P.E. Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJP View Post
    Regarding reduced recoil... and I fully admit that this is completely anecdotal, but I have fired the same buckshot on the same day out of the same gun with different barrels. One was my 14” Vang barrel, one was a standard 18” 870P barrel that I bought at Cabela’s. I could tell a difference in terms of recoil. It was noticeable, to the point that I commented on it in a blog post. I have no real idea how to measure that, but it’s not just sales talk IMHO.

    The pressure discussion is interesting. I also tested some really high velocity buckshot from Slapshot that advertised 2800 FPS. Muzzle blast was reminiscent of a short barreled magnum revolver and Vang or not, patterns at any distance beyond 5 yards or so sucked.

    At the end of the day, I still appreciate the Vang modification, and will continue to send my guns to Hans as I can afford to.
    What we feel, is what WE FEEL! SO Vang away sir.

    I KNOW in my head (shoulder) that my Benelli Super Nova Pump was softer shooting that my Benelli M2!
    I was doing research for an article and was running some hot ammo through the M2 and figured I'd just try
    a couple in the Nova...thats when it hit me...hit me less than the M2. My thinking was that the "Comfortech" stock
    was more in play with the fixed breech Nova.
    Guns are just machines and without you they can do no harm, nor any good

  5. #25
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    A lot of good questions. My 2 drachmas:

    Barrel Geometry & Recoil - The process of opening up the forcing cone on the barrel seems to have important implications to the patterning and recoil characteristics of shotguns. My main teaching pump gun is a run of the mill 870 Express that I have steadily upgraded to get it into about as close to ideal defensive/deer hunting use as possible. One of the modifications performed was opening up the forcing cone (often referred to as back-boring) with a reamer. A local gunsmith performed the service for me and I perceived a noted difference in the recoil characteristics of the shotgun when shooting slugs as a result.

    When I shoot slugs for accuracy at distance I'm typically not using recoil mitigation so the gun is free to "kick" as much as it can. This can be annoying if one is, say, shooting slugs for groups at 50 yards from prone looking for maximum accuracy as part of a class. On gravel. With one's elbows nakedly into the gravel.

    I'm actually probably the worst case for testing this theory as any other time I'm mitigating recoil using isometric tension and the more than 100 people I've handed my teaching gun to as a loaner have all been taught recoil mitigation from the very first shots they've fired, and generally have very limited experience on shotguns in general so they are unlikely to know the difference.


    Barrel Geometry & Patterning - The higher end manufacturers seem to be convinced there is real return by lengthening the forcing cone on a shotgun's barrel. Beretta uses that approach on their shotgun barrels and apparently their customers in the skeet and sporting clays world are extremely fastidious about the size and density of patterns at various distances. Briley seems to have a good business improving on products that we would already consider premium offerings in the market with barrel length chokes.

    For buckshot, after having patterned hundreds of shotguns with dozens of different types of buckshot, I can tell you that the guns that have had the process done either aftermarket or by the manufacturer tend to have a smaller overall pattern size and a better pattern density. The concentration of pellets tends to be more centered on the point of aim and the instances of wild flyers are reduced.

    Buckshot being buckshot and the nature of smoothbores being what they are, it's not a guarantee that any particular load is going to perform well in any particular gun. Using my own gun as an example, I found the process dramatically improved performance with S&B lead buckshot, especially in the concentricity of pattern. Remington's 8 pellet LE load performed much, much better as well. Fiocchi's nickel plated buckshot saw tighter patterns and better concentration of pellets as well. Some other buckshot loadings from PMC or Rio didn't seem to be much impacted.


    "Tight" Patterns & Versatility - For defensive use of any firearm, making sure we only hit the dude who is making us shoot him is a priority. On a multi-projectile weapon that takes on a whole new dimension of importance. To borrow from my buddy Ashton, when we are out hunting with a shotgun we're looking to cast a "net" of shot to nab an animal. When hunting deer, we're typically doing it from an elevated position firing down into an area where all we are hitting is trees and the earth, and doing so with projectiles that readily shed energy in an environment where a human population is scarce at best. The traditional thinking is that we hope to hit the animal in something good with a couple of pellets and then it runs off, lays down, and bleeds out.

    In reality I'm not a fan of that model for hunting. I don't like tracking deer. Especially in my area where the woods are thick, the hills are steep, and finding blood is difficult due to leaf litter and the general reddish brown-ness of the woods in deer season. I would much rather anchor the animal right where it stands when I hit it. I have found over the years that very little we can hold in our hands will reliably anchor a Virginia white tail. (And our deer aren't very big) Not even a .30-06. The only cartridge I've seen reliably drop deer in their tracks is a .300 Win Mag, which many would consider "overkill" for deer. Even so, the temporary stretch cavity it creates seems to completely overwhelm the animal instantly.

    I've also seen that effect when a full pattern of buckshot is delivered to the vitals of the animal. It literally is pop/flop. I actually hunt with the exact same ammo I use for defense if I'm in a spot where I can expect a close range shot.

    In defensive use we're looking to stop the hostile actions of a violent criminal as quickly as possible. With a tight pattern of buckshot delivered to the vitals of the dude trying to kill me or my family, I have the maximum chance of accomplishing that goal. Buckshot's multiple simultaneous impacts overwhelms the elasticity of tissue, increasing the damage beyond that of individual wound tracks of buckshot pellets...even though the multiple individual wound tracks of pellets as they cut through blood vessels, nerves, muscle and bone isn't exactly a bad thing to have on your side either.

    I'm looking to deliver as much fight stopping potential to the most vital anatomical structures of the dude that made me shoot him as I can in as rapid a time frame as possible. To accomplish that I'm actually aiming at those structures when I fire the shot.

    With a buckshot that spreads out a lot, I'm not getting a concentration of pellets around my point of aim. If I'm lucky a couple of pellets might hit the area I aimed at (the same area I'd aim at with a pistol or rifle) and the rest of them are off hitting less important stuff. These other pellets might deal lethal damage. Or they might deal a debilitating injury. A couple of pellets hitting dude in the shoulder socket of the arm holding the weapon might be useful. The overall result of multiple bleeding wounds spread across a threat's upper body is highly likely to prove lethal.

    Or, with a better performing buckshot that puts out a tight pattern concentrated to the dead center of my aim I can guarantee that the lethal capacity of that payload is going to hit the most vital structures on the person who is trying to kill me or someone I care about. And if, under stress, an error in aim or execution is made it's more likely that the full payload still ends up in the anatomy of the guy causing the problem instead of going off into an innocent person rich environment in the typical urban and suburban worlds.

    Another under-appreciated aspect of the defensive use of firearms in the home is entanglement and proximity. Generally speaking when bad guys force their way into the house they are going to be in very close proximity to innocents either in the foreground or the background.

    For me, this doesn't hinder the versatility of the weapon in any way. I want essentially the same thing in a defensive or deer hunting shotgun. I want to be able to fire a single aimed shot and put the critter on the other end down as quickly as possible. Either to give the best shot at harvesting the meat I was out looking for in the first place, or to ensure that the dude who was trying to kill me doesn't get the chance to succeed at it.

    Will the shotgun I use for that be versatile enough to do other shotgun things? Well, no. It won't be. My improved cylinder 870 barrel on my teaching/hunting/defensive shotgun isn't going to be a great wingshooting tool. I've killed squirrels and birds with it, but it's not as good at the task as, say, a 28" Wingmaster with screw-in chokes. But I can always put a 28" Wingmaster barrel with screw in chokes on the gun and it'll handle that job just fine.

    Friend of mine just got an order back from Vang with two additional barrels. One is a normal Vang barrel for use with defensive buckshot. The other is their Flight Control modification to a barrel, which I've seen shoot flight control into smaller than fist sized groups at 25 yards. That barrel will be used for hog hunting...because extending the range at which you can give a hog a full payload of buckshot might come in handy during a hunt.

    Screw in chokes certainly give a lot of versatility to a shotgun...but if you aren't restricted by finances to just one barrel you can have specialist barrels that will let you do just about anything you want.

    If you want one gun that is an all around performer, the Beretta 1301 shotguns with the screw-in chokes are hard to beat. They'll do everything from defense to wing shooting very well.
    3/15/2016

  6. #26
    Member LHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    A lot of good questions. My 2 drachmas:

    Barrel Geometry & Recoil - The process of opening up the forcing cone on the barrel seems to have important implications to the patterning and recoil characteristics of shotguns. My main teaching pump gun is a run of the mill 870 Express that I have steadily upgraded to get it into about as close to ideal defensive/deer hunting use as possible. One of the modifications performed was opening up the forcing cone (often referred to as back-boring) with a reamer. A local gunsmith performed the service for me and I perceived a noted difference in the recoil characteristics of the shotgun when shooting slugs as a result.

    When I shoot slugs for accuracy at distance I'm typically not using recoil mitigation so the gun is free to "kick" as much as it can. This can be annoying if one is, say, shooting slugs for groups at 50 yards from prone looking for maximum accuracy as part of a class. On gravel. With one's elbows nakedly into the gravel.

    I'm actually probably the worst case for testing this theory as any other time I'm mitigating recoil using isometric tension and the more than 100 people I've handed my teaching gun to as a loaner have all been taught recoil mitigation from the very first shots they've fired, and generally have very limited experience on shotguns in general so they are unlikely to know the difference.


    Barrel Geometry & Patterning - The higher end manufacturers seem to be convinced there is real return by lengthening the forcing cone on a shotgun's barrel. Beretta uses that approach on their shotgun barrels and apparently their customers in the skeet and sporting clays world are extremely fastidious about the size and density of patterns at various distances. Briley seems to have a good business improving on products that we would already consider premium offerings in the market with barrel length chokes.

    For buckshot, after having patterned hundreds of shotguns with dozens of different types of buckshot, I can tell you that the guns that have had the process done either aftermarket or by the manufacturer tend to have a smaller overall pattern size and a better pattern density. The concentration of pellets tends to be more centered on the point of aim and the instances of wild flyers are reduced.

    Buckshot being buckshot and the nature of smoothbores being what they are, it's not a guarantee that any particular load is going to perform well in any particular gun. Using my own gun as an example, I found the process dramatically improved performance with S&B lead buckshot, especially in the concentricity of pattern. Remington's 8 pellet LE load performed much, much better as well. Fiocchi's nickel plated buckshot saw tighter patterns and better concentration of pellets as well. Some other buckshot loadings from PMC or Rio didn't seem to be much impacted.


    "Tight" Patterns & Versatility - For defensive use of any firearm, making sure we only hit the dude who is making us shoot him is a priority. On a multi-projectile weapon that takes on a whole new dimension of importance. To borrow from my buddy Ashton, when we are out hunting with a shotgun we're looking to cast a "net" of shot to nab an animal. When hunting deer, we're typically doing it from an elevated position firing down into an area where all we are hitting is trees and the earth, and doing so with projectiles that readily shed energy in an environment where a human population is scarce at best. The traditional thinking is that we hope to hit the animal in something good with a couple of pellets and then it runs off, lays down, and bleeds out.

    In reality I'm not a fan of that model for hunting. I don't like tracking deer. Especially in my area where the woods are thick, the hills are steep, and finding blood is difficult due to leaf litter and the general reddish brown-ness of the woods in deer season. I would much rather anchor the animal right where it stands when I hit it. I have found over the years that very little we can hold in our hands will reliably anchor a Virginia white tail. (And our deer aren't very big) Not even a .30-06. The only cartridge I've seen reliably drop deer in their tracks is a .300 Win Mag, which many would consider "overkill" for deer. Even so, the temporary stretch cavity it creates seems to completely overwhelm the animal instantly.

    I've also seen that effect when a full pattern of buckshot is delivered to the vitals of the animal. It literally is pop/flop. I actually hunt with the exact same ammo I use for defense if I'm in a spot where I can expect a close range shot.

    In defensive use we're looking to stop the hostile actions of a violent criminal as quickly as possible. With a tight pattern of buckshot delivered to the vitals of the dude trying to kill me or my family, I have the maximum chance of accomplishing that goal. Buckshot's multiple simultaneous impacts overwhelms the elasticity of tissue, increasing the damage beyond that of individual wound tracks of buckshot pellets...even though the multiple individual wound tracks of pellets as they cut through blood vessels, nerves, muscle and bone isn't exactly a bad thing to have on your side either.

    I'm looking to deliver as much fight stopping potential to the most vital anatomical structures of the dude that made me shoot him as I can in as rapid a time frame as possible. To accomplish that I'm actually aiming at those structures when I fire the shot.

    With a buckshot that spreads out a lot, I'm not getting a concentration of pellets around my point of aim. If I'm lucky a couple of pellets might hit the area I aimed at (the same area I'd aim at with a pistol or rifle) and the rest of them are off hitting less important stuff. These other pellets might deal lethal damage. Or they might deal a debilitating injury. A couple of pellets hitting dude in the shoulder socket of the arm holding the weapon might be useful. The overall result of multiple bleeding wounds spread across a threat's upper body is highly likely to prove lethal.

    Or, with a better performing buckshot that puts out a tight pattern concentrated to the dead center of my aim I can guarantee that the lethal capacity of that payload is going to hit the most vital structures on the person who is trying to kill me or someone I care about. And if, under stress, an error in aim or execution is made it's more likely that the full payload still ends up in the anatomy of the guy causing the problem instead of going off into an innocent person rich environment in the typical urban and suburban worlds.

    Another under-appreciated aspect of the defensive use of firearms in the home is entanglement and proximity. Generally speaking when bad guys force their way into the house they are going to be in very close proximity to innocents either in the foreground or the background.

    For me, this doesn't hinder the versatility of the weapon in any way. I want essentially the same thing in a defensive or deer hunting shotgun. I want to be able to fire a single aimed shot and put the critter on the other end down as quickly as possible. Either to give the best shot at harvesting the meat I was out looking for in the first place, or to ensure that the dude who was trying to kill me doesn't get the chance to succeed at it.

    Will the shotgun I use for that be versatile enough to do other shotgun things? Well, no. It won't be. My improved cylinder 870 barrel on my teaching/hunting/defensive shotgun isn't going to be a great wingshooting tool. I've killed squirrels and birds with it, but it's not as good at the task as, say, a 28" Wingmaster with screw-in chokes. But I can always put a 28" Wingmaster barrel with screw in chokes on the gun and it'll handle that job just fine.

    Friend of mine just got an order back from Vang with two additional barrels. One is a normal Vang barrel for use with defensive buckshot. The other is their Flight Control modification to a barrel, which I've seen shoot flight control into smaller than fist sized groups at 25 yards. That barrel will be used for hog hunting...because extending the range at which you can give a hog a full payload of buckshot might come in handy during a hunt.

    Screw in chokes certainly give a lot of versatility to a shotgun...but if you aren't restricted by finances to just one barrel you can have specialist barrels that will let you do just about anything you want.

    If you want one gun that is an all around performer, the Beretta 1301 shotguns with the screw-in chokes are hard to beat. They'll do everything from defense to wing shooting very well.


    Matt Haught
    SYMTAC Consulting LLC
    https://sym-tac.com

  7. #27
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    I have a Vang Comp barreled 590 that I bought from the estate of an esteemed co-worker over ten years ago. A quick range outing demonstrated, to me, its ability to pattern standard nine pellet 00 buck in a much tighter pattern than my then issued 870P with IC choke.
    I need to spend some quality time with it and have enough Flite Control 00 and standard 00 to do a few comparison shots between my IC bored 18" 870 and the 590. Just need to get some suitable Q targets or equivalent somewhere.

  8. #28
    I Demand Pie Lex Luthier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LHS View Post
    Me: I can r type gud

    TC: /vomits eloquence at a whim
    Some people have a way with words. Others *not have* way.

    I get a ton out of each of your input, @LHS & @TCinVA; it's all gold for me.
    "Roy, have ye got the hammer?"
    "Always got the hammer, Tommie."

    You should always have a second granola bar in case the first one jams!

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    The variability in buckshot is still a factor even with the Vang barrels.

    The Vang modification was originally tailored to working with Federal's plated "tactical" buckshot that was the go-to prior to Federal licensing the FC wad. Combined with the barrel modifications the patterns ranged from good to outstanding. With other types of buckshot the patterns could be more hit-or-miss...but that is the nature of buckshot. Every barrel has its own favorite flavor, even if the barrel has had work. Generally the patterns would be worse with that particular buckshot if the barrel hasn't had the work done.

    Federal's recently introduced split-shot ammo is, as best I can tell, very similar to the old school "tactical" buckshot load Federal produced. I'm going to test some this weekend to see how it fares in different guns.
    Any luck with the X2 buckshot? I found some Federal P156 today. Plated and buffered shot, but not split in half like the X2. Watching for some P154 which is a plated and buffered 9 pellet load.
    Last edited by 167; 03-15-2021 at 10:52 PM.

  10. #30
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 167 View Post
    Any luck with the X2 buckshot? I found some Federal P156 today. Plated and buffered shot, but not split in half like the X2. Watching for some P154 which is a plated and buffered 9 pellet load.
    We shot some of it out of a number of different guns and the results are what you'd expect from conventional buckshot. At about 15 yards the spread from a 1301 is enough that you'd call that a hard limit for accountability with the pellets.

    My Vang SBS performed significantly better. Not as good as FFC, but good enough that I could probably go back to 20-25 yards without losing pellets off the intended target. In my Vang gun the patterns were more vertically spread with a very narrow horizontal spread.

    Overall just based on pattern I didn't see a reason to swap from my usual FFC loads.

    For a typical home defense shot (10 yards or less) in a typical shotgun, if it delivers on its terminal ballistics claims the lessened chance of overpenetration might be worthwhile.

    Putting those pellets in an 8 pellet FFC configuration would likely be a very, very nice package for defensive work. Why Federal didn't lead with that I don't know.
    3/15/2016

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