I am about to take part in my first day’s driven pheasant shooting. Several friends and I have bought a day and would like to maintain the tradition of using side-by-side 12-bores. However, I’ve only been shooting for two years and this has been mainly at clays, using an over-under. Can you offer any advice on making the change from an over-and-under to the more traditional side-by-side?

A:

Though I have used a side-by-side all my life, I would strongly advise you not to change from your usual over-and-under, commendable though your aspiration may be.

You want to enjoy your first day’s driven pheasant shooting, and to find yourself suddenly shooting a strange gun, built in a style to which you are not accustomed, is more than likely to ruin an expensive day’s sport.

Certainly, there was a time, perhaps 30 to 40 years ago, when side-by-sides dominated the gameshooting field, but today the over-and-under is used by an ever-increasing number of gameshooters, who find that its single sighting plane is preferable to that of the side-by-side gun. One of the most popular guns in the gameshooting field today is the 20-bore over-and-under.