A time-testedmethod of measuring a gun's physical point of balance (or center of gravity) isto dangle the gun in a suspended loop of string, shifting it fore and aft untilit teeters evenly. I recently checked out a few of my meager collection'sside-by-side doubles in this manner. Most of them, particularly the older guns,balanced almost exactly on the hinge pin, arousing some suspicion that theirbalance might have been "refined" by their respective makers. One, aseductive nymph of a smoothbore by Farmars, had obviously been jimmied to getthe balance on point. Another one, however, the recently introduced Ruger GoldLabel, balanced about an inch forward of the point of barrel rotation (wherethe hinge pin would be if it had one). Whether the Ruger's forward balance wasdeliberate or not I can't say, but it is consistent with current thinking insome wing-shooting circles, which I'll come back to in a moment.