How to Check For Loose Shotgun Ribs in One Minute or Less


How to Check For Loose Shotgun Ribs in One Minute or Less

So you’re feeling nostalgic and want to buy a double-barrel side-by-side shotgun — or you’re wondering if the one you got from grandpa might have some problems. Well, here’s a short video showing you how to easily tell whether the rib is loose.

A loose rib isn’t the end of the world, but repairing it will probably cost a lot… so this is a good test to perform before buying a used double-barrel shotgun.

A loose rib on a side-by-side shotgun is easy to spot if you know how to look. Most loose ribs are visible to the naked eye and can be identified using a simple inspection process. A surefire way is to hold the barrels by the hook and lightly tap them using a brass hammer. If the rib joint is solid, the barrels will make a nice ping sound, while barrels with a loose rib will produce a low ‘thud’ noise.

  • Check for high spots on the outside of the rib by looking down it from both ends of the barrels.
  • The rib should be smooth and straight.
  • Inspect the rib at either end; you can sometimes easily tell easily when it’s loose at the end.
  • Hold the barrels by the hook and let the barrel assembly hang free while you tap them gently with a brass hammer, listening for a ping or clunk. Pings are good; clunks are not.

Check out this short video for more.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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