Up-Tight Overchoking

Posted Posted in Olympic Trap, Shooting Equipment, Shotguns, Tips and Tricks, Vintage

Most shooters, especially clay busters and live pigeon shooters, are aware of the standard method of assessing choke, but to recapitulate briefly, choke is the degree of constriction between the diameter of the barrel, just beyond the chambers and forcing cones, and the diameter at the muzzle. The resultant patterns produced are graded in terms of the percentage of pellets from the original shot charge, which find their tortuous way on to a sheet of paper forty yards away and into a thirty-inch circle circumscribed upon it. Full choke has 70 percent, improved modified 65, modified 60, improved cylinder 50 percent and cylinder 40 percent. It often is stated erroneously that cylinder indicates a complete lack of constriction. English barrel-chokers found that a barrel totally devoid of choke produces uncontrolled and widely varying patterns. Therefore, almost surreptitiously, they put .003 to .005-inch constriction into the guns of customers, who specified true cylinder. For new scatter gunners, the simplest analogy to […]

Claybirding The Hard Way

Posted Posted in Sporting Clays, Vintage

Head coach Percy Stanbury (left) and head trapper watch, as author tries new Perazzi skeet gun for the first time. A visit to the West London Shooting Grounds, Britain’s leading shooting school, reveals a clay pigeon layout unknown to American shooters – one which simulates the flight of every common game bird. Jack Lewis asked me another of his unanswerable questions: “How do those Limey shooting coaches make people who can’t shoot, shoot?” – “Dunno”, I replied, an unoriginal reply which I recall using before, when he asked me how to say something new about gun safety. I was going back to the old country and he reckoned I might as well do something useful to pay for my tea and crumpets. When I embarked on this assignment, I really felt it was doomed to failure. As a shooting coach myself, I am well aware of the impossibility of laying down a formula to insure instant success for each individual. It […]

The Eyes Have It

Posted Posted in Tips and Tricks, Training, Vintage

Without your eyes in good working order, you’ll not be breaking good scores. Shooters blame guns, shells, gun fit, chokes, pullers, and weather conditions. Maybe it’s your vision that needs training. Without the eyes, you have nothing. Stating the obvious? Of course, but sometimes that’s necessary, especially when it concerns matters like good health and good eyesight. Many of us tend to take it for granted. Over the years I’ve coached shooters who had lost an arm, a hand, fingers or the use of their legs. All were able to overcome their handicaps, with varying degrees of success. Even shooters who had lost their master eye have been able to either switch shoulders or shoot a cross-eyed stock. But a person with severe visual problems is going to find it very difficult to shoot. Our eyes control how, when and where we see the target, where it’s going and how we compute that movement to get the gun moving in […]

Claybirder’s Survival Kit

Posted Posted in Shooting Equipment, Tips and Tricks, Vintage

If spent hull gets stuck in chamber, this hand extractor can be remedy. There is pry on one end to loosen a particulary tough jammed shell. Ever meet a serious trap or skeet shooter who took his gun out of the factory box and shot it as it was – without altering or customizing anything? Not too many, I’ll warrant. As a race, we clay-busters have a passion for endlessly fiddling with our guns, constantly trying to improve them. We are trying to achieve improved performances by adjusting our guns to produce perfect scores. Long ago, I realized that, if I could get the one behind the gun properly adjusted, only then would I be on the road to those perfect scores. But it wasn’t until I began to follow my own advice that half-way decent scores resulted. In Europe, where many guns are custom-fitted, initially there isn’t too much excuse for gun fiddling. The American shooter, relying mainly on mass-produced, standard-dimension […]

The Challenge Of Olympic Trap

Posted Posted in Olympic Trap, Vintage

The American Shotgunner coverage of recent World Championships and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games in International Clay Pigeon shooting led to the the making of this feature. We invited Derek Partridge, a veteran International shooter for Great Britain, to write a detailed comparison of American trap and International Trap, to help our shooters appreciate the game that is the world standard in Olympic and World Championship shooting. The bunker is an underground, trench, equipped with 15 traps, divided into 5 groups of 3 traps; each group located 15 meters (16-1/2 yards) in front of the five shooting stations. The shooting stations are in a straight line, not the trap curve. Thrown targets appear at ground level, directly in front of the shooter. Angles and heights: Each group’s three traps are set to throw a left, right and a relatively straight fixed angle target. The angles span a 90 degree arc (vs. trap’s 45), and are thrown between 15 and […]