Your technical questions answered by our technical experts, including help with gun maintenance, questions about how guns work and advice on buying guns

Rizzini RBEM Deluxe 20-bore

Do 20-bore guns recoil less than 12-bores?

Q: Over the last three seasons, more of our syndicate members have switched from 12-to 20-bore guns. They’re nice and light and I’m thinking of following suit. Or does the 12-bore still have advantages? Do 20-bore guns recoil less? A: My word, you’ve opened a can of worms here! Entire…

The Leica CRF 2000B

Laser range finders

Q: Could you recommend 
a laser range finder to help me accurately judge distances? 
I shoot over large fields and hills, so knowing the correct range would be useful. A: Laser range finders are very handy for showing the range to your target, allowing you to adjust your aim or…

Gun bore

What’s the right shotgun bore for you?

I  have received a letter from a reader wishing to buy a shotgun which will be used mainly for vermin control (pigeons, crows, magpies and rats), together with rough shooting and the occasional crack at clays. He recalls that a lightweight Baikal  gave him a hefty whack on his shoulder, which…

ribless game guns

Ribless game guns – the downside

Adam Calvert writes: The main purpose of removing ribs is to reduce barrel weight and, as a result, improve speed of handling or reduce the overall weight of the gun. Some would say removing the top rib also makes the gun more elegant. There are, however, several drawbacks that need to…

Hatsan Escort Magnum Xtreme

What makes a gun a magnum?

A: With regard to the proofing of shotguns, “magnum” is a legacy term that is no longer current. Under the 1954 Rules of Proof, 3in 12-bore shotguns were proofed at either 3½ton or 4ton per square inch, the abbreviation MAG being applied to the latter. However, the word magnum is now only used in relation to proofing rifles of…

Man with shot load in field

Pellet size and shot load – due an increase?

A: The debate on shot size is always an interesting one and many people, particularly of my father’s generation, grew up shooting nothing but Eley Impax 28gram No.7s at everything. Now I come across lots of people who shoot nothing but 36gram No.4s as their standard load, from September partridge to January pheasants! Cartridges must be fit for purpose The…

Antimony in cartridges

What’s antimony content?

Mike says: Antimony is a metallic element, which, in its pure state, is rather brittle. However, it has a low melting point and mixes readily with lead in small percentages. Lead-antimony alloys are harder than pure lead, and this extra hardness gives shot two desirable qualities. First, since pellets containing antimony tend not to get squashed out of round…

rifle and bullets

Why has my rifle suddenly become inaccurate?

A: Some problems can be complex to diagnose but others are simple and can be rectified at home. Barrel fouling or damage to the muzzle of the rifle can cause these problems, but sometimes a dried piece of dirt pressing against the barrel, changing the barrel harmonics on ring, or dirt in the bedding of the action will cause…

choke

Fixed chokes or screw-in chokes? What’s best?

A: Personally, I don’t think that most of us shoot well enough to get any real benefit from choke. Consequently, I would always go for fixed chokes and ones that were very open. However, if you become a very good shot, then screw-in chokes may help. The first wave of screw-in chokes…

Remington Versa Max

Can you date a gun from its serial number?

A: In an ideal world, all manufacturers would agree to incorporate the date in the serial number, in a mutually-agreed formula using plain language. For instance, at the end of the number the figures 03.2016 could indicate manufacture in March of this year. The fact we have to live with,…