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How can you tell if a gun is shooting loose?

MIKE GEORGE says: First of all, does the jointing feel slack? Do you feel it flops open all too readily and feels ‘sloppy’ when you push the top lever over?

Another check is to take off the fore-end, clamp the stock firmly under your arm, then, with the gun closed, try to move the barrels both side-to-side and up and down. If you can feel any free movement at all, it’s time for a visit to the gunsmith.

When the gun is closed, the ideal clearance between the breech ends of the barrels and the standing breech is absolutely nil.

However, few guns other than London ‘best’ actually achieve this ideal. However, if you close the gun on a single sheet of paper – the paper should remain firmly trapped.

Thinking about your gun, if it hasn’t been serviced in 10 years then a gunsmith’s check sounds a good idea, even if it does pass your tightness tests!

Got a question? Contact: [email protected] or Sporting Gun, PO Box 157, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 9FU