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Article 1 – 2011

person aiming shotgun at target range

Question: I recently watched an episode of “Mythbusters” where they tried to blow apart a shotgun barrel up by obstructing the end of it with different items. In the end they virtually had to weld the end of the barrel shut to force a major explosion. I have often been told that if a wad gets stuck in your barrel it is dangerous to shoot another round behind it to try and blow the old wad out, but after watching this TV show I am thinking that it is safe to try and shoot an obstruction in the barrel out. What are your thoughts?


Answer: If this wasn’t a serious problem I may consider this to be the most absurd question I have ever been asked, but the reality is I did see the TV episode in question and I still cringe when I think of the negligent message that this experiment has sent to shooters the world over. The simple answer is NEVER fire a shot shell, rifle or pistol round through a barrel that is constricted or damaged in any way. The injury and potential loss of life for yourself and anyone standing near you is a very real threat with thousands of documented accidents on record.

Question: I have recently bought a second hand 75 cm barrel Perazzi MX8 Trap gun. The gun itself feels quite well balanced and overall I am quite happy with it except for the pad on the stock. It has a quite prominent curved pad and it doesn’t seem right as it tends to dig into me and leaves a red mark after even the shortest amount of shooting. Also my second shot when I need it seems erratic. I am not sure if this is the original kick pad, but I am thinking of changing it to a flatter one. Is this the right idea?

Barry O’Donnell Southport QLD


Answer: I am pretty confidant to assume the current curved recoil pad on your shotgun that you described is not the original Barry. Most Italian under and over shotguns are built with a fairly straight pad fitted as standard. This is not by coincidence, but by choice. Generally Italian shotguns of this barrel length are designed for the discipline of Olympic Trap. This event features very fast targets with a high reliance on a fast reacting and accurate second shot. A flat recoil pad allows the shooter to place the butt of the gun snuggly on the upper part of the breast bone allowing the competitor to slightly lean “over” the top of the gun with the upper part of the body. This allows for both smooth and fast swinging of the entire body along the targets flight path. By placing the gun in this position it also allows the shooters to easily align the master eye directly over the top of the barrel. Alternatively a curved pad promotes the shooter to place the butt of the gun on the upper part of the shoulder or arm. The curved part of the pad will fit snuggly into this position, but generally is not considered ideal for any discipline where a quick reacting second shot is needed.

Curved recoil pads are very popular in the American Trapshooting disciplines where most events are “single shot” only and a second shot is not needed.

In answering your question I would suggest trying a straight pad or one with a minimal amount of curve. This will no doubt stop the gun scarring you and should improve your second barrel hits.

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