The High Way
You may love them or hate them but this week we look at high rib shotguns and the main purposes of shooting a high rib.
Originally only seen on heavy trap guns over the years but now making their way onto sporting guns and semi automatics what is this new craze all about? The rib on any shotgun is often overlooked and of great importance. Although you don’t stare or look at the rib, it is your very reference point of where your gun is pointing so very essential. So, what would you use a high rib for I hear you ask? A lot of people assume that a high rib gun is exclusively for trap shooting or always shoots high, but that is definitely not the case.
There are several different purposes to having a high rib on your gun. Gun mount and head position are both very important and this is something a high rib can help with. For any gun having a high rib the accompanying stock will certainly be higher in the comb height, most likely a Monte-Carlo style which is also parallel. Importantly this allows the shooter to mount the gun with a much greater head up position which is more natural for the body. Not only that but with the parallel comb of the Monte-Carlo any deviation forwards or backwards will not alter the shooter’s comb height. Often shooters who suffer neck or back issues would consider a high rib gun for this very reason alone of comfort.
Another purpose of the high rib is target vision. To shoot any type of target first of all you have to see it clearly. For anyone who shoots with both eyes open the high rib offers something quite unique, but even a one eyed shooter will still gain some benefit. Having moved the main sighting plane away from the barrel it gives you a much greater peripheral vision around the rib itself, therefore allowing you to see any target much sooner. For trap disciplines where from the moment of calling pull the target is getting further away this is a huge help indeed. Not just with trap disciplines but sporting targets like rabbits or battues this extra vision is a very welcome addition.
The adjustment of high ribs is something most manufacturers offer with their guns supplied from the factory. Many models have an adjustable system of some sort which allows you to either lower or raise the rib both having several effects. The movement of the rib up or down alters the point of impact of your pattern moving it either higher or lower, allowing for real fine tuning. Some ribs are lifted parallel whilst others pivot in the middle having a see saw effect but they all achieve the same end result. Having this movement in combination with an adjustable comb can allow you to have the same sight picture whilst the point of impact can be adjusted from 50/50 up to 8/20 for those who like a high shooting gun.
Above all if you have a high rib and aren’t sure how it’s shooting we strongly advise you seek professional advice as once explained their adjustment is relatively simple. This is something we can offer here at Bywell with your gun purchase to make sure it’s shooting exactly where you want it to.
So next time you are out shooting some practice or maybe even a competition and see someone carrying a high rib don’t assume they’ll be heading for DTL or ABT…. They might just be heading to Sportrap perhaps, to see those targets quicker than you could ever image.