View Full Version : Just curious, what purpose does the vent rib serve on a shotgun?

March 23, 2009, 09:10 PM
I was just wondering.

March 23, 2009, 09:46 PM
I've heard it helps dissipate any heat waves that may obscure your aim, after the first shot.

March 23, 2009, 09:50 PM
There are those that will tell you it serves no useful purpose.

There are those that will tell you that they can't shoot without it.

I think, along with some well respected shotgun experts, that it helps to naturally guide the eye down the length of the barrel. Due to natural perspective it presents a wide plane that tapers to a more narrow plane and "guides" the eye to the correct point of aim.

Some folks even lightly color the sides with chalk to enhance the effect.

Can you shoot well without one? Sure. Is it easier with it? I think it is.

March 23, 2009, 09:54 PM
I am one of the people who believes it has no useful purpose. I can shoot just as good without one as I can with one.

March 24, 2009, 08:31 AM
It should have no sighting purpose if you are correctly shooting a properly fit shotgun. Your rear eye is the sight, the flat plane of the receiver is only used as a reference for the front sight pin, which is all you should be aware of. Your sight alignment should look like nothing more than a BB sitting on a table in profile, with NONE of the barrel visible. You should also, therefore, not see the rib at all when the weapon is properly mounted.
If you can see any part of the barrel or rib when shooting a shotgun, get your face down tighter on the buttstock, and concentrate on the target, not the sights. You'll hit more, I promise.

March 24, 2009, 12:00 PM
I am one of the people who believes it has no useful purpose. I can shoot just as good without one as I can with one.
I'm guessing that ar15chase has never been in a sustained fire tournament (like a sudden death shoot-off) a hot day when the barrel gets too hot to touch and shimmers with heat waves. It happens. Have you noticed, only budget level shotguns are available without vent ribs?
One aspect of the vent rib that is seldom mentioned, is that of a lead indicator in trap shooting. Some people use special wide ribs as a reference point, instead of seeing the lead with the bead, they put a point on the rib right on the target.

Katrina Guy
March 24, 2009, 01:20 PM
Because they look sooooooooooooooooooooooo kool!, like, duh man.

March 24, 2009, 02:53 PM
You guys are correct ( of course ) - but the cool factor should not be overlooked ...:cool:

Old fat guys need something to make us look a little cooler ...

Mike U.
March 24, 2009, 04:47 PM
Just curious, what purpose does the vent rib serve on a shotgun?

It provides a platform to mount proper sights.:D:D:D

March 24, 2009, 05:08 PM
Old fat guys need something to make us look a little cooler ...

Well, BigJimP, I don't know about you but for me it's gonna take more than the rib on my shotgun.

March 24, 2009, 06:32 PM
I'm a figment of my imagination - Roscoe .....but who cares....

I would have liked to have been as quick as a cat - but I was born like a Buffalo .... so this is as good as it gets.../but if I can catch em, I'll hurt em...

March 24, 2009, 07:52 PM
I always they were there to get caught on trees and shrubs and collect all kinds of crap.....:D

March 24, 2009, 08:40 PM
maybe its used as one big sight... "sight picture" is all about getting your brain to tell the rest of your body how to point the barrel in the right direction... having long definitive lines down the barrel can be a quick way to aim...

shot guns using shot are not rifles, they are shooting at an area of space within a shorter range...so far i think its just been a preferred method of "sight picture":confused:


Dave McC
March 26, 2009, 08:22 PM
Jim, I too am built for comfort, not speed.

Ribs have a couple uses.

Dissipating heat mirage.

"Leading" the eye to the target.

Fine tuning the focus.

The Cool Factor.

And giving the makers an excuse to make a few more bucks.

Few sporting guns get fired fast enough to need mirage relief. Even a good dove shoot in hot weather doesn't have that kind of action unless you're in Egypt or Argentina.

For competition, they're universal.


When I put Frankenstein first together, two barrels were in my parts stash.

First was a stock 18", plain bead riot barrel, choked Cylinder.

Second was an Express barrel, cut to 21" or so and fitted with Truchokes. it had a rib of course.

I shot much better with the ribbed barrel though it was a trifle heavier at fast targets, usually quail or handthrown clays.

Might be something to it.

As for worth, the folks that find 99/100 unacceptable have ribs on their Money Guns. Tall ribs, short ribs,wide ribs, they all have something up there.

March 26, 2009, 11:27 PM
I think everybody has pretty much covered it as far as heat dissipation and it really shouldn't affect you aim, but I've got a Franchi 48 20ga w/o a rib that I can't shoot worth a damn b/c of the front sight. That's right I said sight, this thing had a ridiculous tall blade sight instead of a bead. I can shoot a plain barrel A-5 w/the base and bead but I can't shoot this goofy thing at all. Please help if you have a vent rib franchi 20 ga barrel! hope i didn't hijack thread, but I was illustrating that vent ribs can sometimes be important to sight picture.