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					72                                              PRODUCTREVIEW


                                                                        MARK ARIE CROSSED THE ATLANTIC
                                                                        WITH FELLOW AMERICAN TEAM
                                                                        MEMBERS FOR THE 1920 OLYMPIC
                                                                        GAMES IN ANTWERP, BELGIUM,
                                                                        CAPTURING THE INDIVIDUAL
                                                                        GOLD MEDAL FOR TRAPSHOOTING
                                                                        BY BREAKING 95/100.




           HIGH RIB                                                                                                        Benefits


           SPORTERS                                                 A REVIEW BY DANA FARRELL
                                                                                                                           Trap is a game shot with a pre-
                                                                                                                           mounted gun, and it doesn’t take a
                                                                                                                           deep thinker to come to the
                                                                                                                           conclusion that it’s easier to see
                                                                                                                           the trap house when the gun
                                                                                                                           barrel is lower, out of the shooters’
                                                                                                                           line of vision – the sight picture a
                                                                                                                           high rib gun can provide. With a



     A
               rie, a six time All                Times have changed, shotguns      reluctance to stray from the sport’s   higher rib, peripheral vision
               American, also recorded       have evolved and ventilated ribs       game field roots, or the               improves, especially on targets
               the first ever 100 straight   are standard on today’s shotguns.      comparative youth of the sport         coming from below, making a tall
     in Trap Doubles and twice               Trap shooters have favored tall        itself. Regardless of why it’s taken   rib a natural fit for trap shooters.
     captured the Doubles title at the       ribs for years, but for the most       so long, one thing is clear. Looking       Two eyed shooters can see
     Grand American. The list of his         part, sporting clays shooters (until   at recent sales figures, high rib      through a high rib gun more easily,
     shooting accomplishments go on          recently) have stuck with lower rib    target guns are now more popular       improving target acquisition,
     and on, but what’s remarkable isn’t     guns. If it’s worked so well for the   than ever. According to Kurt           which naturally translates to better
     just his scores, but what he shot       game of trap for all these years,      Grates of Great Lakes Sporting         scores. Proponents claim the more
     those scores with – a plain             why has the sporting clays crowd       Arms, 60% of the sporting clays        upright head position associated
     barreled model 28 Marlin pump           been so slow to catch on? Maybe        guns he now sells are high rib         with a high rib lessens muscle and
     gun with no rib.                        it’s due to tradition and the          models.                                eye strain – a significant

     CLAYSHOOTINGUSA
74                                             PRODUCTREVIEW



     consideration, especially for aging    to looking down the top surface of                                    BILL McGUIRE        plates, recoil reducers and
     shooters whose flexibility and         the rib. So, De Vault went home,                                     SHOOTS A HIGH        adjustable comb hardware.
     visual acuity is less than optimal.    thought it over and fabricated his                                   RIB BLASER F3.       Braun’s machined
         Shooting a standard rib gun        own tapered rib, which corrected                                                          aluminum, non-tapered,
     often necessitates craning the         the ski slope sight picture. He ran                                                       epoxy painted ribs are user
     head far forward in order to place     into Kruger again a few months                                                            installed using high quality
     the eye over the rib, forcing the      later and Kruger liked the gun                                                            3M tape. Ribs come in seven
     shooter to peer through the top of     enough to say he’d like to try a                                                          heights, from 3/8" to 1 1/2"
     the eye socket, which in addition to   similar set up someday. Kruger                                                            high and in two lengths,
     adding to muscle and eye fatigue,      sent him a barrel and De Vault put                                                        with models specifically
     can lead to problems for shooters      a 1/4" to 5/16" high rib on the gun –                                                     crafted to complement
     who wear prescription shooting         “just enough to get Jon’s head up                                                         different shotguns.
     glasses. Prescription lenses are       and not jammed down into the                                                                  Craig Sheaffer, owner of
     commonly designed with an              stock. I sent it to him to use that                                                       Montlake Classic Clays
     upright head position in mind, with    weekend at a DU shoot in Atlanta                                                          outside of Chattanooga,
     the corrective prescription            and he said he’d call me on              clays champion Robbie Purser used       Tennessee, does stock alterations
     centered on the lens. When             Monday and let me know how it            a De Vault Delrin rib to win the        and fittings and has recently
     shooting with one’s head far           went.” De Vault was a little             gold medal twice at the Goodwill        installed around a dozen Add-A-
     forward, the user is not looking       nervous to hear how Kruger did           Games in Lake Placid and Bill           Ribs for customers. His ‘head up’
     through the optical cylinder – the     with the new set up, but was             McGuire had one put on the Beretta      philosophy echoes many others.
     part of the lens where the             relieved to hear he had broken           686 he used to shoot. McGuire           “When you drive down the
     prescription is typically ground.      back to back 99s!” Kruger’s been         later switched to a standard rib        highway or walk on the sidewalk
                                            shooting a high rib gun ever since.      Krieghoff, but not seeing the success   you have your head in a straight up

     Aftermarket
                                                De Vault’s ribs are made of          he was used to, asked De Vault to       position – so why not shoot that

     Conversions
                                            Delrin, a trade name for a               install one on his K 80. McGuire has    way?” According to Sheaffer,
                                            thermoplastic also known as acetal,      since moved to a high rib Blaser F3.    adding an aftermarket high rib to a
     Back in the early 1990s, Dennis De     a material known for its stiffness           There are plenty of other           gun is not without its complications.
     Vault of De Vault Industries wanted    and workability. They are colored        gunsmiths able to provide               It’s not as simple as just adding a
     a higher point of impact on his        throughout, so a nick or scratch         aftermarket high rib conversions –      rib to a gun without making other
     Perazzi, so he raised the comb         does not produce an unsightly mark.      including such companies as             adjustments to the stock. Point of
     until he got the result he wanted.     De Vault installs the ribs himself, by   Simmons, Money Maker Ribs,              impact will be too low if a rib is
     He admits raising the level of the     attaching it on top of the existing      Keen Sights, Meadow Industries          added without also raising the
     eye high above the rib can cause       rib with high quality double sided       and Add-A-Rib. The latter is the        comb. Shooters usually need
     “a little bit of a dissociative eye    adhesive tape and custom cutting         brainchild of Ray Braun, a 69 year      longer comb posts in order to raise
     function” as he puts it. “On really    the rib blank after it’s installed on    old entrepreneur from Holbrook,         the comb enough to get their
     tough birds, your brain just doesn’t   the gun to the slope and width the       New York, who also owns                 desired POI back, often creating a
     know where the gun’s at.” He           customer desires. They range in          aftermarket shotgun parts company       large gap between the comb and
     showed it to Jon Kruger who            price from $375 to $425.                 Stock Positioning Systems,              stock, which is a turn-off for some
     thought the gun felt awkward due           Two time National sporting           manufacturer of adjustable butt         shooters. One way to alleviate this
                                                                                                                             is to have a larger comb piece built,
                                                                                                                             effectively making the adjustable
                                                                                                                             comb into a Monte Carlo.


                                                                                                                             Factory Sporters
                                                                                                                             Gun buyers have spoken and
                                                                                                                             leading manufacturers have
                                                                                                                             listened, with Krieghoff, Blaser,
                                                                                                                             Caesar Guerini, Kolar, Perazzi and
                                                                                                                             Zoli all adding high rib sporters to
                                                                                                                             their product lines. Industry
                                                                                JON KRUGER SHOOTS A HIGH RIB K-80.           heavyweights Krieghoff and Blaser
                                                                                                                             both report that at least 50% of new

     CLAYSHOOTINGUSA
76                                                 PRODUCTREVIEW




     TOP: PERAZZI HIGH RIB SPORTER. BELOW: KRIEGHOFF HIGH RIB K-80.




                                                                                          DAVID RADULOVICH (ABOVE) AND ZACH KIENBAUM PREFER STANDARD RIBS.


                                                                                            WITH SO MANY TOP
     sporting guns are of the high rib          – it was a very easy transition from      SHOOTERS EXTOLLING
     variety, and with list prices              my 34" low rib Perazzi to the 32"         THE BENEFITS OF HIGH
     somewhat higher than their low rib         high rib Krieghoff,” says Miles.
                                                                                          RIBS, WHY AREN’T ALL
     equivalents, shooters have proven               Zoli has perhaps come up with
     they are willing to pay extra for          the most creative approach when it        SHOOTERS MOVING TO
     them. Being more expensive to              comes to hedging their bets on            THEM? THE ANSWER IS
     manufacture, the high rib Blaser F3        what the shooting public wants in a        SIMPLE – THEY DON’T
     Sporter lists for $1025 more than          target gun. Effectively playing both
                                                                                             SUIT EVERYONE.
     its low rib version, but that doesn’t      sides of the fence, the new Bilanx
     seem to deter buyers. Rich Kaysa,          VCS (stands for Variable Clays            to be an extension of your hand
     Vice President of Sales and                System) comes with a removable            and eye and to minimize any error
     Marketing at Blaser USA, says, “I          clamp-on high rib and two                 in movement by being very sleek
     hate to call it a trend, because           adjustable comb pieces that make          and low-profile,” says Radulovich.
     trends go away. I think high rib           it a snap to convert from a low rib           Zach Kienbaum switched to a
     guns are here to stay due to the           to a high rib and back again in           high rib Perazzi last year and his
     fact that it’s an easier way to shoot,     minutes – while keeping the same          scores tanked – coming to a head
     with less felt recoil and because it       point of impact. It will be interesting   at the World English Sporting
     makes visual pick up of the target         to see if other manufacturers             Championships, where he shot
     easier, translating into better scores.”   follow Zoli’s innovative lead.            poorly in the 5-Stand, Pre-lim and     not, I’d miss trap targets – anything
          Alex Diehl, General Manager at                                                  first half of the Main Event. “Other   really low or in a dark background

                                                Suit Yourself
     Krieghoff International claims                                                       top shooters were in the mid-90s.      – and the frustrating part of that
     manufacturing costs are a little                                                     They’re not 10 birds better than       was not just missing, but I wouldn’t
     higher for the K-80 Pro Sporter,           With so many top shooters                 me – but I was consistently 10         know how I missed or why…
     which translates to $300 more per          extolling the benefits of high ribs,      birds behind. I felt I had to change   everything felt right… I know I was
     gun at the retail level. Diehl credits     why aren’t all shooters moving to         something and went back to my          looking at the target and properly
     Jon Kruger, who now shoots a Pro           them? The answer is simple – they         standard rib gun and shot a 48 or      focused, so it was really frustrating.”
     Sporter, with providing very               don’t suit everyone. Some top             49 in Super-Sporting and a 93 in           With so many choices available
     valuable input into the high rib           shooters claim raising their eyes         the Main Event on Sunday,” he          for the shooter to consider, it’s
     design, but perhaps the best               so far above the gun causes a             says. Kienbaum admits shooting         easier now than ever to have the
     endorsement Krieghoff had for the          mental disassociation with the            with two eyes you can see around       gun that fits your idea of what the
     high rib K-80 came from Gebben             barrel. David Radulovich, winner          the high rib gun easier, but that      perfect target gun should be.
     Miles, who started shooting it just        of the 2009 Sporting Clays US             didn’t keep him from switching         Standard rib, factory high rib or
     one month before the 2009                  Open, shoots a standard ribbed            back to his standard rib after only    aftermarket conversion – the sky’s
     Sporting Clays National                    Blaser F3 and thinks after the            nine months. “My experience with       the limit. One can only wonder,
     Championship. “I didn’t plan on            market is saturated with high rib         a high rib was that I could see the    with all of the options currently
     shooting it at the Nationals that          models, the pendulum will swing           target really well, but on the flip    available to shooters, what would
     year but tried it a couple of times        back in the other direction. “In my       side of that I wasn’t as sure of       Mark Arie have been shooting
     and the feel suited my style so well       opinion a gun should be designed          where the gun was. Believe it or       today? We can only wonder. I

     CLAYSHOOTINGUSA

				
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