Hit More Than Miss With Case’s Shotgun Theorem #4.
Missing is part of shooting, just as sure as death and taxes. Missing keeps shooting instructors and gun writers employed and ammunition companies in business. All of us like to go shooting and spend a day at the range, none of us likes to miss. Let one of your buddies make a Hail Mary shot on a mallard or pheasant and you may have to hear about it for months. See how much he talks about it if he misses.
Shooting magazines and web sites have offered advice columns on how not to miss almost to ad nauseam; they may have beaten this dead horse to a pulp. I know, I have written a few of these myself. Like most shooters each time I see a “How to break more clays at the range,” or a “How to bag more ducks this fall,” article I read it with great interest.
These articles will discuss most of the tried and true recommendations to shooters. Don’t look at the barrel, keep your cheek welded to the stock (don’t raise your head), keep both eyes open (then some will say to put tape on your glasses over your non-dominant eye), and of course move your body to the direction the bird is flying (while your feet are mired in a grouse thicket or pheasant bog).
I read each bit of advice carefully and commit all I can to memory and proceed to the uplands or the Trap range, trusty shotgun in tow. Without fail I look at the barrel while raising my head, shut one eye (or both), and trip while trying to move in a mass of briers when a grouse flushes. Falling with my shotgun scares me until I realize I had neglected to load it anyway.
The type of shotgun you shoot and how it fits you have as much to do with your success as anything. A gun that does not fit you, just doesn’t “feel right” or kicks you like a rented mule is no fun and you will miss more than hit. We gun writers often like to go on about the “man with one gun” syndrome where you use the same shotgun for trap, skeet, ducks and keeping the crows out of the garden. It’s a nice thought but in truth most of us need a different gun for different jobs.
No doubt some of you loyal readers will remember Case’s Shotgun Theorem #4 which in part states “If you know how many shotguns you have, you don’t have enough.” Now this theorem is a proven scientific fact (at least me), so any wives, girlfriends, significant others or whatever that want to protest dragging another firearm in the house, don’t look at me, its science. As always your humble outdoor scribe is trying to be of service in your eternal quest for the right shotgun. Herewith are a few suggestions for your consideration.
CZ-USA 712 Target. I have always felt that the game of Trap shooting is a gentleman’s sport and the most civilized of the shotgun shooting games, much more so than Skeet, Sporting Clays, and some of the more recent games. (The fact that I do much better at Trap than the others has nothing to with it.) To be successful at Trap you need a gun dedicated for this and CZ-USA has a dandy for you to consider.
CZ’s 712 semi-automatic shotgun comes in several configurations, but the Target model is made with Trap in mind. The rib on this shotgun is “stepped” which means it is raised from the barrel and the gun will shoot high about thirty yards. Trap shooters want this as Trap targets are shot on the rise. The 712 has a durable matte finish, a chrome lined barrel, and a soft shooting gas operating system which will not kick you like the aforementioned mule. If you are a new shooter or you are introducing one to the wonderful world of Trap shooting give the 712 Target model a look, and I double dog dare you to find a better entry level Trap gun for less than the $680.00 suggested retail price. www.cz-usa.com
Savage 301 Single Shot. I pretty much cut my teeth on a Winchester Model 37 single barrel shotgun as this was the traditional first shotgun for a young shooter in my part of the world. This type of firearm is safe, almost bombproof and teaches young (and old) shooters the lesson of being conservative with ammo and making each shot count.
Winchester doesn’t make the Model 37 anymore but Savage has come out with the 301 Single Shot, an economically priced single barrel shotgun that deserves a look. The stock on this break action shotgun is synthetic and I like it. I like the looks of it and it is “grippy “meaning you can hold on to it easily. The push button lever on the receiver makes for easy loading and unloading. 20 gauge and .410 models are available in compact versions with shorter length of pull and shorter barrels than the 12 gauge models, perfect for the young and smaller stature shooters. At the MSRP of $173.00 a kid should be able save his nickels from his paper route or mowing lawns (do kids still do that?) or Dad and Mom can get one and not break the bank. www.savagearms.com
You haven’t bought a shotgun in a while, go back and read Case’s Theorem #4 again, don’t argue with science buddy.