When you’re out on a day’s roughshooting or spending a morning walking hedges the last thing you want is to be lugging around a heavy gun.

The downside to light shotguns

Q: I find my 12 bore is getting a bit too heavy to carry gameshooting all day so I’ve switched to a lighter 20-bore. It’s a lovely little gun but I find I’m shooting fewer birds than I did with the other gun. Do I need to give them less or more forward allowance with the new gun? It seems to move a lot faster than the 12.

A: Pellets from standard game shooting loads, regardless of bore size, travel at the same speed so the forward allowance needed to hit the target is the same.

This means you can discount the cartridge you use as being the cause of your misses.

The only proviso here is that small bore guns can print fairly tight central patterns so there’s a need to be a little more accurate where placement of the shot column is concerned.

Gun speed, too, needs to be taken into account and you have already noticed that the lighter gun moves more quickly than your 12.

In this case you might find that, when game shooting, you are missing birds in front. Try reducing your lead to see if that helps.

The downside to light, fast handling, guns is that their lack of weight means you can just as easily stop or slow the swing, poking at the target and causing a miss behind.

It takes time to get used to any new gun so keep at it and don’t despair, things will drop in to place sooner rather than later.

  1. 1. A lightweight shotgun or a 12-bore?
  2. 2. Churchill Utility shotgun
  3. 3. The downside to light shotguns
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