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Article 4 – 2022 (May)

Australian Shooter Magazine

Question and Answers

Article 4 – 2022 (May)

Question: I can remember a few years back where you mentioned that you would only buy and use an Italian shotgun. Do you still feel this way? I am considering buying a German made Krieghoff Sporting Clays shotgun and was interested if you still wouldn’t recommend this purchase?

Garry Cole, Upper Ferntree Gully, VIC

Answer: I won’t deny I may have said that, but in my defence, I can’t remember the circumstances I would have made that statement. In my competition days, the International Shooting Sports Federation events that I competed in, where largely dominated by two Italian brands of shotguns. This was the case because both of those companies’ made shotguns with models specifically aimed for use in these events. Well balanced, reasonably light and responsive to use and above all else they were very well made with brilliant back up service for those that competed at international competitions.

I understand for ninety nine per cent of the shooting population that “back up service at international competitions” is not a selling feature that may even be considered when purchasing a new or second hand shotgun, but the fact that these companies offer this feature and go to great lengths to show off their customer service sure doesn’t hurt in the long term.

Krieghoff make fine shotguns. In some disciplines of clay target shooting they are world leaders. American Skeet is dominated by Krieghoff K80 users. It has been for years. However in the ISSF disciplines this brand, until very recently, has been

hardly used. Why can one particular brand of shotgun dominate one discipline and be virtually extinct in another you may well ask? In American Skeet heavier shotguns are favoured for a variety of reasons such as recoil consumption and better balance if heavier barrels are used. The slower targets offered in American Skeet makes these features advantageous whereas in the ISSF disciplines where fast and explosive movements are needed makes using a bigger shotgun can more problematic.

Things have certainly changed as far as being able to produce lighter weight responsive shotguns. As steel technology has progressed so has the ability to make lighter and longer barrels without compromising the balance of the shotgun. These days Krieghoff, and many other shotguns, produce models that are more than capable of handling any of the ISSF disciplines whilst still offering models that are heavier and perfectly suited to the tamer targets offered in the domestic disciplines of Trap, Skeet and Sporting Clays.

Blaser is another quality German shotgun on offer that is worth considering. Well made with plenty of features on offer. German shotguns are like German automobiles. Well-made and made to last, but in saying that always take into account the after sales service you eventually will need. We all like to think that paying extra dollars will mean that you never will need to talk to a gun smith ever again, but that simply is not the case. Sooner or later all your firearms will need servicing and repairs. There is nothing sadder than seeing a ten thousand dollar shotgun sitting in a gun case with a broken firing pin because nobody knows how to get the side plate off the shotguns mechanism or there are no spare parts available nation-wide. Consider this point when purchasing any brand of shotgun in my opinion.

Question: I enjoyed a video you made about the comparisons of steel and lead shot. If I only use small shot sizes, will it really make any difference what choke I use in my barrel?

Ken Tang, Moonee Ponds VIC

Answer: Yes it can! Stop whatever you are doing, put the shotgun down and slowly move away until you receive further instructions. If you have a choke size greater than half choke (modified) then many of the big manufacturers will strongly advise not to use steel shot regardless of size and in some cases, you will void any warranty you have on your shotgun. If you blow a barrel apart you may not only hurt yourself, but anyone standing near you. I have no clue what shotgun you have or what shot size you consider to be “small’, but I strongly suggest you seek advice from a reputable gunsmith or contact the agent for the brand of shotgun you are using.

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