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Article 2 – 2015

person aiming shotgun at target range

Question: I want to buy a second hand shotgun just to shoot trap with. The two I have looked at both have “fixed” chokes. I am told this could be a problem as the choke in the bottom barrel is an improved modified choke and the choke in the top barrel in full. What is your advice? Should I look for another shotgun with “interchangeable” chokes?

Adam Plant, Brunswick VIC


Answer: If it is only trap you want to shoot then both of these shotguns will be fine. The combination you are referring to of improved modified (three quarter) and full would be my recommended choice for any trap event whether it is Down the Line or Olympic Trap. The only event where the bottom barrel may be questionable would be Double Rise where the first target is generally taken a little sooner because of the known target trajectory.

Most of the world’s popular gun manufacturers make their fixed choke trap shotgun barrels with the three quarter and full combination. They do this for a reason. They believe it is the best mixture for majority of the shooting population.


Question: I bought a shotgun just to shoot over a clay thrower on my farm, but I notice that it rubs my face to the point it bleeds. My friend has a similar gun and it doesn’t touch me. The only real difference is that my gun has a lacquer finish on the stock and the other has an oil finish. I think my skin sticks to my stock. Is that a logical reason why I am drawing blood?

Peter Fletcher, Ballan VIC


Answer: My first reaction Peter is to say, “harden up princess”, but to be honest your problem is quite common. You have nailed the cause. You have two choices. The first is to strip the lacquer of your stock and then refinish it in oil. This isn’t too difficult in theory, but it will take some time to do it right. My gut says to simply use a small amount of Vaseline on your face where you are getting opened up. This will act as a lubricant allowing your face to slip instead of stick. I had the same problem for many years and a small tube of the product in my top pocket lasted for months. On very hot and humid days I often reapplied the gel in the middle of a round of twenty-five targets.

Another alternative is simply to grow a beard, but this may affect your love life. That is a last resort. Good luck with it.


Question: I want to try some faster shot shells to stop me from shooting behind many of the targets that I am missing. At present I am using twenty-eight gram shot shells that are travelling at around thirteen hundred feet per second at the muzzle. I have some very fast shells to try that I am told do around fourteen hundred feet per second. I am worried I will now miss targets by shooting in front of them. Is that possible?

Keith McDaniels, Lismore NSW


Answer: No its not. Stick to your original loads and just shoot further in front of your targets. Shot shells that are going at fourteen hundred feet per second (if measured at a metre from the muzzle) will pattern wider than Kim Kardashian’s leather pants and probably kick you just as hard as her also!

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