Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shotgun Shells: The Ins and Outs of Selection (Part 2)

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

In the last segment we talked briefly about a few different factory loads and hand loading.  We saw a few examples of how different characteristics work in different loads and how those characteristics determine how the load performs when it comes to ballistics. Now let’s tie all this together and find what works best in our guns….

...after the jump.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Daddy's Little Girl

By Carrie Lightfoot, Guest Contributor

Have you ever wondered where all of these women shooters are coming from? They are everywhere; at the range, at gun stores and they are even going to gun shows! It’s like they are crawling out of the woodwork. Even the color and shape of gun gear is  changing because of them all. They are EVERYWHERE. 
Did they just appear out of nowhere, are they some new form of creation?  Where did they all come from and how did they become such good shots?  It actually isn’t all that mysterious. Many have just been busy being girls and since the world of shooting for the most part, has been a “manly” culture,  they have left it to them. But as with most things, the times have changed. The door has swung wide open for women and they are skillfully and happily - stepping over the threshold. 
Many in fact aren’t new to shooting at all.  If you ask them you are likely to hear that their father showed them how to safely use a firearm when they were young. They will share their fondest memories of falling on their behinds because of the recoil, or of hitting the bullseye on their first shot and the shocked look on their dad’s face at the sight. Time with dad is a very special thing to a young girl and they remember every minute of their times shooting together. For many it was one of the few places where they could really connect with their fathers. They will lovingly give him the credit for teaching them about safe gun handling and for making them such good shots. Many share that they had put these times and the guns behind them to move into womanhood to assume their roles as wife, mother and/or professional. But, as I said, the times have changed. Necessity drives many of these women to return to their roots and pick up a gun again to protect themselves. 
What great gifts for a father to give his daughter; precious time with him and the skills to safely handle a firearm. As so many women are sharing their memories of shooting with their fathers this Father’s Day and how grateful they are because of it, I hope the dads of today continue to invest in their little girls and realize that it is about so much more than guns.   

Happy Father's Day!

Carrie Lightfoot is owner of The Well Armed Woman and quest contributor for the Beretta Blog. Join the dynamic group of women shooters on Facebook orTwitter and visit www.thewellarmedwoman.com

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shotgun Shells: The Ins and Outs of Selection (Part 1)

By Brad Wilson - Guest Contributor

How I love my hand loads!
In a previous entry by fellow blogger Adam Brassfield titled “Shell Selection for Waterfowl”, Adam talks about what size shot he would typically use for different types of waterfowl.  What he based everything off of was the size of  bird he would be chasing that certain day.  Adam laid down some great groundwork for new and old hunters that sometimes get mislead on what size shot they should be using.  This is the first thing everyone should take into consideration when choosing shot.  I would recommend reading that post as he has some great information in it.

For the next few segments we will take it a step further now that you understand that using 3.5” BB during early teal season is akin to bringing a SCUD missile to a boxing match.

I could honestly go on for hours and probably lose your attention with everything I am about to throw at you so for the sake of time and attention I will break this up into 3 different segments.  Factory VS hand loads, patterning, and what you can do to manipulate variables to achieve the outcome you are looking for.

After the jump I will talk briefly about factory ammo as well as hand loads….

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Clay Shooting, a Beginner’s Thoughts

By Keith Hollar – Guest Contributor

I wanted to chronicle some of the things that I have been learning as I start my journey into the world of clay shooting and bird hunting.

Even though I’ve been shooting for over 20 years I’ve only shot at flying targets a couple of times before.  I had some friends that enjoyed clay shooting that took me along a few times and gave me some basic instructions, but it didn’t really help me understand what I was doing, wrong and right.  I wasn’t very successful at breaking the clays those times.  Recently I’ve been able to go with someone who has been shooting at clays for a while and was able to explain things to me that made a light bulb go off in my head.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned while shooting trap and skeet; when shooting a field gun in trap you need to cover the clay with the barrel to get a hit, also in trap you want to hit the target while it is still rising, in skeet the leads are for station 1 = 1 foot, 2 = 2 feet, 3 = 3feet, 4 = 4 feet, 5 = 3 feet, 6 = 2 feet, 7 = 1 foot, and of course with both keep the barrel going.  Now these may not be huge revelations to most of you but I’ve never had anyone explain these things to me in such clear terms.

The next lessons have to do with the shotgun itself.  Since I’m used to shooting rifles I got into the habit of bringing the weapon to my shoulder and then bringing my head down to the sights.  That works fine for a rifle, but not a shotgun.  What you want to do is bring the shotgun up to the eye, then mount it to the shoulder.  I’ve found this works lots better getting the sighting rib aligned correctly.  Also you need to make sure the shotgun fits you.  I purchased a nice used side by side shotgun and took it to a local guy who was recommended to me to have the butt stock shortened to fit my arms.  Now that I’ve had it cut to a length of pull of 14 1/8” (including the new recoil pad) it now mounts quicker and feels more natural.

Now I’m not ready to be taking on a competition but I have noticed my scores improving each time I go.  I hope to be able to get more proficient and consistent and also try sporting clays and other more difficult clay sports.

One last piece of advice, don’t worry too much about not breaking all of the targets at first, even if you’re shooting with guys that complain about shooting a 24.  Everyone started at the beginning.  I know that is something that was difficult for me to do at first.  I know I need to concentrate of making sure I’m doing things right in order to hit the target.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent those of Beretta.