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Article 8 – 2011

people laughing and chatting at target shooting range

Question: I was recently acquired my late father’s Remington 28 gauge under and over which I learnt to shoot with a few years ago. My brother in law is a very accomplished clay target shooter specializing in trap and skeet, but he tells me that my new shotgun won’t be good enough for competition shooting. It is a beautiful gun and I love shooting it, but is there any reason why a 28 gauge shotgun isn’t suitable?

Paul Grech, Camden NSW


Answer: There is no reason why the shotgun isn’t suitable, but is it adequate should be the question? The 28 gauge has its own event in Skeet events particularly in the United States where scores of 100 straight are quite common. Indeed my wife Lauryn has shot many perfect scores with hers, but Skeet targets are generally shot at no more than 25 metres from the shooter with many shots much closer. Hence lays the problem. Even with the tightest chokes and maximum shot payloads you will start to get great holes in your shot pattern at distances of 30 metres or more so the smaller sub gauges such as 28 and .410 never show their faces in other form of clay target competitions other than Skeet. I know many shooters that enjoy their light weight 28 gauges for hunting, but mainly for close range shots such as those found when shooting quail. I have seen some shooters try and shoot Trap for fun with the smaller gauges and whilst some reasonable scores are obtained I have never seen the same standard reached or even clays “smoked” as you obtain with 28 gram shells through a 12 gauge shotgun.

In short, if distance is your enemy and you have a choice then go for a bigger gauge.

Question: I notice on your shotgun that sometimes you use a choke that extends beyond your barrel and then sometimes you use a choke that is hidden inside the barrel. Is there a difference?

Izmir Singh, New Delhi INDIA


Answer: No Izmir the chokes you are referring to are Beretta’s screw in extendable optima chokes. The only difference between these chokes and the “hidden” chokes are the fact that the extendable ones can be taken out quickly by hand. These chokes are very popular with Sporting Clay shooters that quickly want to change chokes to handle a vastly different target that may have had on the previous stand. Both the internal and external choke perform the same. I often the extendable choke for no other reason than they are easy to keep clean and lubricated.

Question: My only local shotgun club is open just one day a month, but I go there and shoot nearly every time I can. I am about to register so I can shoot competition. I estimate I am good enough to compete competitively in B Grade. How long do you think it will take me to be good enough to win prizes at National events?

Scotty Douglas, Port Douglas QLD


Answer: I would suggest at your current rate of practice Scotty you will be ready for the 2045 Masters Games. Shooting once a month is not enough. I think you need to change your address and move to a place that lets you train a little more regularly.

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