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Article 3 – 2020 (April)

person aiming shotgun at target range

Russell Mark

Australian Shooter Magazine, Question and Answers

Article 3 – 2020 (April)

 

Question: I was really pleased to see the Olympic Clay Target Trials “live streamed” on the internet recently. I thought that was a terrific move forward for our sport. I have never been much of a shotgun shooter, but watching this made me interested. What really amazed me was the great variety in body shapes for those competitors making the finals. Is there a perfect physique for a Trap or Skeet shooter?

Lance Johnson, Pascoe Vale, VIC

 

Answer: I think one of the most appealing aspects of our sport for many people is that there really are no physical barriers to entry. As long as you are tall enough and strong enough to lift a four-kilogram twelve-gauge shotgun to your shoulder then you are good to go. Obviously strength and endurance will help if you need to be at the top of your game over a nine-hour competition, but to be honest for every physically fit Olympic Medalist I can name, I could tell you two that couldn’t run a lap of their local football ground.

I am certainly not suggesting that obesity is a pre requisite for success in clay target shooting, but neither is the ability to run a four-minute mile. I am constantly amazed at some of the people that I have coached over the years that defy logic by being at the elite level of our sport whilst harbouring some of the weirdest body shapes. Hand to eye co-ordination in my opinion is one of the greatest attributes to possess for success closely followed by a burning desire to win. If you are willing to persevere and learn how to gain knowledge from the days you lose then I believe you can eventually go all the way in our sport.

In saying that in a perfect world if you possess all of those previous attributes that I mentioned as well as a reasonable level of fitness and strength then I think succeeding will happen quicker and easier than someone who isn’t fit. It all comes down to the persons desire and how much time and money they are willing to sacrifice to get to the top.

 

Question: I am curious on your opinion of shotguns with two sets of barrels. I have the option to buy a Browning “D” Grade that has a thirty-inch Trap barrel and a twenty-six-inch Skeet barrel.

Albano Digichino, Sunbury VIC

 

Answer: In its day Browning “D” Grades, or “B2G’s” as they were commonly known, were one of the most popular competition shotguns in the country. A good quantity of the Belgium made firearm found their way to Australia. Many were “shot to death”, but they seemed to be able to be magically retightened to appear and work as good as new. If the shotgun you are looking at has been well looked after, and it’s probably at least forty years old, there is no reason to think it won’t last for another forty years. Be careful if one barrel has been used on the mechanism of the firearm significantly more than the other as you may find that one of the barrels will appear far sloppier than the other.

My only other concern would be if the Trap stock is too high in the comb to shoot Skeet effectively. From my experience and memory (I owned one also) was that the Trap stocks were not all that high therefore shooting Skeet with it should not cause you too much grief. It is interesting how times have changed though as once upon a time twenty-six-inch barrel Skeet guns were all the rage. Now you would be hard pressed to find one anywhere as thirty and even some thirty-two inch Skeet guns have taken over as the popular barrel of choice.

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