By Lewis Potter
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Game shooters are sometimes a bit apprehensive about taking part in a clay shoot.
Guns for clay & game shooting.
Partly because they feel it is a highly competitive sport and that everyone is likely to be watching their performance with a critical eye.
The important thing from the game shooter’s point of view is that a good Sporting layout is great practice for the real thing, as anything that goes towards a clean kill is to be encouraged.
Also, success on the shooting field contributes greatly towards the pleasure of the day.
A SUITABLE GUN
Another thought at the clay ground is whether your shotgun is suitable. After seeing dedicated clay shooters with heavy-stocked, long-barrelled guns, some even fitted with extended chokes, your game gun may look dainty.
There are guns that will suit both purposes. It is also a question of what you are used to: the old adage “beware the man with one gun” is true — practice and familiarity bring good results.
Of the guns tested, three are current models (also available second-hand).
The Winchester, while not in production, is regarded as a classic.
They qualify as what might be termed crossover guns, suitable for clay shooting and at home on the shooting field, and fall into two price ranges, which is an increasingly important factor.
Needless to say, the Beretta handled like the game gun it is, though it shot a bit high and a little to the right due to the high and rather wide comb.
On the plus side, however, it felt lighter than its 7.1/4lb due to its good balance.
With careful choice of cartridge, recoil was not a problem and fixed chokes on a sporting layout, especially with a single selective trigger, are no real handicap once one gets used to the gun’s performance.
While the Beretta would be my choice for a game gun with occasional use at clays, the Miroku would be the gun for regular clay shooting with use for live quarry in the game season.
The multi-chokes allow for a wider variety of clay shooting disciplines and the bit of extra weight helps to deliver smooth swing and follow-through.
Between the two more economically priced guns there was little to choose, though the Lanber felt a little heavier than its 8lb and for some clay shooters this might be felt to be an advantage.
As a traditionalist, my first choice would be the Winchester, but I can fully understand why most shooters would opt for the Lanber with the better availability of spare parts and ready option of different stock styles.
If I had to have one gun, my choice, based on performance and price, would be the Miroku.
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