Worth The Weight
April 2009 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Sorry. Couldn't help myself with that title.
Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn't ask me which shotgun to purchase. Nice to be asked.
Shotgun quality costs and better quality costs more. So a moment or two pondering what you like and what you will use your shotgun for makes good sense. There are already a zillion words in print on the pros and cons of the over/under versus semi-auto's, so let's review two other considerations often overlooked, and one I feel crucial to we sporting clays shooters.
First is recoil, an abundance of which causes untold problems.
Lighter guns are a joy to carry and more agile, but are much harder to control. And light guns + heavier loads = more recoil. While the heavier gun is a bit slower, it is more stable. For target guns, I urge you go with stability over agility. The heavier gun also reduces felt recoil. Recoil does not bother you? Sorry, I've seen too many Paul Bunyan types walking around with serious neck, shoulder and retina problems, many of which were the cumulative result of excessive recoil. It's not a matter of whether recoil will get to you, it's when.
The other consideration speaks to gun dynamics, i.e., swing feel and precision. Here I'm referring to gun weight. The simple fact is, the clay target disciplines require shotgun precision. Here, more weight is king. The more weight, the more stable, especially when the hands are being pushed around by very demanding sporting clays targets. I would put a nicely balanced 8 1/4 lbs as the minimum for a true sporting clays gun. 8 1/2 is better. More? That depends on your shooting style and tempo, but for many of us, the answer is yes. My Perazzi is 9 1/4 lbs and I wouldn't have it any less. It may take a little time to find the weight that suits you best. But, IMHO, a little more is definitely worth the weight.
We've come to the end of our shooting method series. I hope you've enjoyed your time here as much as I have. I've purposely saved for last what I consider to be the best, most reliable, all around shooting method,...Pull-Away.
The pull-away method is a superb foundation method for multiple reasons. First, it starts the muzzle on the target. That's a great reference point..............
First, let me say that I don't like missing a target any more than you do. Watching a target sail to it's final resting place intact and untouched is always a bit unnerving and too often gives rise to thoughts of some personal shortcoming. Not my idea of fun and I doubt yours as well.
Most commonly, I see this phenomenon when I am teaching. Missed targets are the catalyst for a host of negative emotions and reactions from my student, none of which by the way are conducive to breaking the next..............