Article 1 – 2016
Question: I have read with interest your previous comments on what you consider the best all round shotgun is to shoot clay targets is and I certainly agree that a sporter with an adjustable stock is great advice. What I am torn about is barrel length and shot size. If you had to choose one barrel with one set of chokes in it I am curious what you believe the best all round barrel and shot size would be?
Peter Campbell, Wangaratta VIC
Answer: Peter it is your lucky day. Not long after I received your email I was speaking with the man whom I consider to be the greatest shotgun shooter the world has ever seen, England’s George Digweed MBE, and I asked him if he would answer your question for me and If he has agreed to let me publish his response;
“I would 32 inch barrels as they are harder to start, but also harder to stop. I would use full and full chokes because you have to be honest with yourself and if you miss it is down to operator error and not cartridge or choke. My ideal shot size would be 7 ½ as this to me is the best all round size. Basically with the above I used this combination to win both the World All Round Championships that were conducted in the USA a decade ago. These were events over nine hundred targets.”
When George talks everyone listens and his wealth of knowledge about shotgun shooting, whether it be clays or in the field, is second to none. He is also far too big to argue with. I hope this answers your question.
Question: What is your opinion of wearing a cap and blinders on the side of shooting glasses? I find it very uncomfortable at times, but everybody tells me it is essential to compete both of these accessories.
Randall Holmes, Rockhampton QLD
Answer: I did compete with both of these items for most of my career, but bear in mind the majority of my shooting was on a trap range where everyone is lined up standing closely along side each other so even the slightest movement from the competitor standing either side of you can be very off putting particularly if it is at the moment you are calling for the target to be released.
I note that you are from northern Queensland where the heat is far more of a factor and I admit I hated competing in a fully covered cap in these conditions and often used an open back tennis visor instead just to control sweating. Blinders in humidity often cause glasses to fog up because the airflow is severely restricted by blocking up both sides of your lenses. If you are a sporting or skeet shooter then blinders can be a huge disadvantage as it can delay target recognition on clays that are coming across in front of you released at acute angles from beside or behind you.
Question: Is there any advantage of using one of the new “Adler” lever action shotguns on clay targets? My brother told me the single barrel would make me shoot more accurately than an over and under shotgun.
Ken McKenzie, Katherine NT
Answer: Your brother is a funny man Ken. No there is no advantage I can think of. Only disadvantages as your hand will need to move off the trigger and grip between shots, which can’t help you shoot accurately. This gun has its uses I am sure, but competitive clay target shooting isn’t one of them.