Article 10 – 2011
Question: I have a Miroku Trap gun which has a set of barrels with adjustable screw in chokes for each barrel. Lately I have been experimenting, but as yet have not decided on the perfect combination. I am mainly shooting Trap (DTL) and I was wondering what I should use, especially in the top barrel for the second shot? Can you also tell me what you use?
Bill Lowden, Newcastle NSW
Answer: Bill any choke is fine for the second shot in all forms of trapshooting as long as that choke is marked “full”. There simply is no debate. Even somebody that shoots relatively fast is going to be firing their second shot at thirty to thirty two metres away and this starts to fall in the perfect zone for a full choke. Now we have that barrel sorted let’s talk about your bottom barrel or first shot. Do you have another choke marked “full’? If not then try an improved modified or three quarter choke. This will be ideal for shots taken up to thirty metres. From the 15 metre line in Trap this three quarter and full combination is by far the most popular set of trap chokes in the world. There are of course always going to be exceptions to the rule, but they are rare.
I don’t shoot a great deal of DTL these days, but I prefer the above combination off 15 metres and I tighten my barrel to full and extra full (forty two thousandths of an inch) when I shoot handicap from the 25 metre mark. The only time I lighten my choke in the bottom barrel is for Double Rise shooting where you can shoot the first target much faster because you know its direction. For this I use a modified or half choke.
Question: I am a little confused about the terms relating to cast. I am a right handed shooter and I was told by several experienced shooters that I need some more cast added to the stock as I am looking significantly down the left hand side of the barrel. Can you advice me on this?
Ken Redman, Mossvale NSW
Answer: Lack of cast in your stock may be one of several reasons why you are not looking down the centre of the barrel of your shotgun Ken. It is hard to make a definitive judgment without actually seeing you mount the gun to your shoulder. I will make the assumption that your technique is correct and are not significantly canting the gun to the right which can cause your eye to be off line down the left hand side of the barrel also. Canting simply means the barrels are not perfectly horizontal and are slightly tilted after the gun has been mounted to your shoulder.
For right hand shooters cast “off” is the term used which means the shotgun’s stock is angled from the mechanism of the gun towards the right shoulder. Cast “on” is the term used when the stock is twisted towards the left, obviously for a left hand shooter. Most averagely built people have a small amount of cast at the front of their stocks comb, about double at the rear of the comb or heel and about double again at the toe or bottom of the stock. The dimensions of 3mm cast off at the front, 6mm at the heel and 12mm at the toe are not uncommon, but are certainly not the same for everybody due to different body shapes. It sounds like adding a couple of millimeters of cast “off” will help push your eye alignment closer to the centre of the barrel.