Are Your Shotgun Barrels 100% Regulated?

Shotgun barrel regulation refers to the process of ensuring that two barrels on a double-barreled shotgun both hit the same point of aim at a certain distance. In simpler terms, it means that both of the barrels shoot to the same point. This is a critical aspect of manufacturing double-barred shotguns as it determines the shotgun’s overall shooting accuracy.

In the manufacturing process, the shotgun barrels are usually soldered together in a way that they converge at the intended range, typically 40 yards for field guns and longer for trap guns. The process of regulation is no easy task; it requires high precision and specialized skills to ensure that both barrels align perfectly. Furthermore, the distance at which the barrels are regulated can vary depending on the shooter’s preference or intended use of the shotgun.

Importance of Regulated Barrels in Shotgun Performance

A shotgun’s performance is heavily influenced by its barrel regulation. If a shotgun is well regulated, it ensures that the pattern of pellets from both barrels overlaps significantly at a specified distance, essentially providing a single point of aim. This can be extremely beneficial when shooting at moving targets, such as in hunting or trap shooting, where a shooter may need to fire two shots in quick succession.


A poorly regulated shotgun, on the other hand, can lead to missed shots and inconsistent shooting. If the two barrels do not align, the shot from each barrel will hit at different points, making it challenging for the shooter to predict where the shot will land accurately. This makes the regulation of shotgun barrels a crucial factor in the performance and accuracy of a shotgun.

How to Check if Your Shotgun Barrels are Regulated

To check if your shotgun barrels are regulated, you will need to perform a pattern test. This involves shooting at a target from a fixed distance (usually the distance at which the shotgun is regulated) and observing where the shot from each barrel lands. The aim is to see whether the shot patterns from each barrel coincide or overlap significantly.

For this test, it’s best to use a large paper target and fire from a steady rest to minimize other variables. After firing, examine the target and see if the patterns from each barrel are aligned. If they are significantly off from each other, it suggests that your shotgun barrels are not well regulated.

The Impact of Unregulated Shotgun Barrels on Accuracy

The absence of proper barrel regulation can drastically affect a shotgun’s accuracy. If the barrels are not well regulated, the pellets from each barrel will not hit at the same point. This discrepancy can be a serious disadvantage in situations where precise shooting is essential, such as hunting or competitive shooting.

Imagine trying to hit a moving target with an unregulated shotgun. If one barrel shoots to the left and the other shoots to the right, your chances of hitting the target accurately with either shot are significantly reduced. The unpredictable shot pattern of an unregulated shotgun can lead to missed shots and inconsistent performance.

Shotgun barrel regulation, while an often overlooked aspect of shotgun handling and performance, plays a fundamental role in ensuring accurate and predictable shooting. Understanding how shotgun barrels are regulated, the importance of this regulation, and how to check for it, is essential for anyone who owns or uses a double-barreled shotgun.

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