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Article 11 – 2018 (December)

person aiming shotgun at target range

Russell Mark

Australian Shooter Magazine, Question and Answers

Article 11 – 2018 (December)


Question: I have recently got the clay target-shooting bug and recently bought a Model 10 Deluxe Miroku with an adjustable comb. My question is with this adjustable comb should I be moving it up and down for the different trap events? I am hearing mixed opinions and thought I would ask what you do.

Kevin Donald, Sunshine VIC


Answer: That is a tough question to answer without really knowing the level of expertise you are at within the trap shooting sports. The answer in theory may also be different than what should take place in practice.

I guess I can best answer your question based on my own personal experience. First of all I am a great believer in the adjustable comb. Your body shape and your technique will evolve over time so the best and most economical option to cope with this change is to slightly move your stock comb to cater for it. As an example if you put weight on the first place you will notice this is in your face and often this will mean your stock will need more cast and less height to cater for the extra fat on your face. The opposite can happen when you lose weight. To make a new stock each time you change something will cost you thousands of dollars in no time.

Even if you are maintaining your health and fitness at a constant level the advantages of an adjustable comb on your competition shotgun are significant. It is a brave shooter that never alters their technique in the quest for better scores. I honestly think this process never stops throughout your career. Mounting the gun ever so differently can alter many things and the variable comb can help to keep your eye to barrel relationship perfectly centred.

When I was shooting my best Trap I personally liked a shotgun that threw its shot pattern eighty-five per cent above its aiming point for fifteen metre shooting. In handicap shooting off twenty-five metres I liked the shotgun to shoot higher and added three millimetres to the comb therefore making the gun shoot a full one hundred per cent high. Why you might ask? It is simple mathematics. The extra distance means more horizontal lead is required. Adding height to the comb achieved this for me. For Double Rise shooting I liked to lower the comb ten per cent (or two millimetres) and have it pattern seventy-five per cent high. I found the second target was being broken just short of the targets flight apex where the targets are flattening out so the lower shooting pattern helped me in my opinion.

For a new shooter all of this adjustment can be quite confusing and unless you are very technically correct you may be just adjusting the gun for the sake of helping you mentally. Often if you are confident in any change you make and you truly believe that this change will help you break more clay targets then that is a bonus in itself. You see this all the time when somebody tries a new cartridge for the first time even though ballistically there may be very little difference between the new and the ammunition that the shooter has always used. The placebo effect is proven every day at a shotgun range somewhere.

My advice is this. Until you are a well accomplished A or even AA class trap shooter I believe you are best to concentrate on perfecting the gun and your style from the fifteen metre mark on single targets without worrying about adjusting the gun between events.

I have seen many champion shooters pick a gun up “out of the box” and win a wide range of events from different distances and often in different disciplines all with the same gun, stock and chokes. As I always say; “there is no substitute for accuracy”.

Good luck with the new shotgun.

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