Article 8 – 2012
Question:I was intrigued with some of the shotgun stocks being used at the Olympic Games in London. There was one particular stock that looked like a skeleton. It had virtually no wood. Can you tell me anything about it and what the advantages are?
Peter Kennedy. Sunshine Coast QLD
Answer:The stock you are probably referring to is a German Stock called the “ergosign”. It is becoming increasingly popular amongst many of the world’s elite competitors. It is relatively easy to adjust and weighs about the same as a normal conventional walnut stock. It can be adjusted in terms of the height of the comb, length of pull, cast, pitch and even weight.
Rifle shooters have had similar stocks on their competition firearms for many years so I guess it was only a matter of time before shotgun shooters adopted something similar. There are advantages of this system for not only elite marksmen, but also beginners. It arguably takes tens of thousands of round before a shotgun stock can be perfectly custom fitted for an individual. Once it is perfectly adjusted we then make the assumption the user will not change his technique and then more importantly his or her physical body shape won’t change shape. Experience tells me that neither of these assumptions is correct.
The fact that the stock is adjustable is a great attribute if our body changes or we are changing techniques. It is a terrible attribute if you have a tendency to look for a “quick fix” or a “magic” solution. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen shooters adjusting their stocks by half millimetres which in real terms wont physically alter anything. Mentally of course may make huge differences. The “Ergo” stock is so adjustable in so many different ways it can either “make” or break you, but as far as adjustable stock systems are concerned it is in my opinion one of the better ones on the market. They are not cheap. The last I heard they are worth around three thousand dollars.
Question:Why is there such a huge difference in the price of shotshells on the market at the moment? I am seeing target shotshells anywhere from $65 to $110 per 250.
Doug Chalmers, Wodonga VIC
Answer:Doug the answer is largely in the components that the shot shells are made from. Top quality ammunition generally has the best grade of gun powder and of course the best quality shot pellets. Premium shot is perfectly round and the lead has an additive called antimony in it. Most shot that is considered perfect for trap shooting has about five to six percent antimony in its composition and of course is perfectly round for uniform pattern dispersion and long distances.
Perfect shot and premium grade shot shells are not essential for all clay target events. If I was shooting clays over a hand thrower in my back paddock I would be looking for the cheapest grade of ammunition I could get my hands on provided it didn’t boot my shoulder too much. Field shooters generally don’t need the same quality as competition clay target shooters, but some people think that the more expensive the ammo is then the better their chance is to shoot a perfect score or hit a duck at fifty metres. All that sounds good in theory, but as I say time and time again, there is no substitute for accuracy!