Of Shooting Shotguns

I think I have established my love for the 2nd Amendment in several posts already, and I came to that place in my life fairly late. Firearms were not part of my upbringing, not surprising having grown up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but then my job took me to the Wilds of Maine.  It was while living in Maine that I started shooting – small bore rifles, then pistols, big game rifles and finally shotguns.  For accuracy, I love all my rifles; for pure coolness and convince, my pistols; but for pure all around fun and versatility, my shotguns.

My all time favorite firearm has to be my Browning Grand Prix Sporter 12-gauge shotgun.  Now, I would be remise if I did not mention my hand-build AR platform rifle, that firearm is special because I ordered all the parts and assembled it by hand – and it shoots!  Anyway, I love the Browning because it’s a shotgun that I have used to shoot Skeet, Trap and sporting clays with both my father-in-law and my youngest son.  There are many fond memories that come timing every single time I shoulder the shotgun.  It’s not the prettiest shotgun, nor the most expensive, and it’s a jack of all games.

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Early on I discovered I do not shoot the game of Skeet very well.  I like the concept and the multiple gauges that are used, so I suspect at some point I will learn to shoot it better, just as an excuse for another shotgun.  Sporting clays is extremely fun, when shooting it with family and friends, but not so much when shooting with strangers.  Mostly, because I don’t shoot the game well, better than Skeet, but not much more than 40% targets broken.

Now, Trap, that is a game I really love.  What I like best is the randomness of the target presentation.  The other two games, either thrown the exact same bird from each station or you get to see a presentation and/or other shooters take the targets.  In Trap, all of the targets are presented going away from the shooters, but the angle the clays are thrown is completely unpredictable.  When you get set on the line and call “pull”, my brain has to work instinctively to acquire the clay, move the shotgun in the correct path and trip the trigger in time for the shot to intercept the clay bird in a 3 dimensional space, all within a second or two.

After shooting in the rain: Doc Bob, Julie, Scottie and Eric

I shot lots of recreational Trap while in Maine, and two years as a registered shooter, I have never broken a perfect 25, but I have shot many 24’s and my registered average hovered around 90%.  However, my favorite day on the Trap field was October 7th, 2012; that was the day I organized the “Shoot Out Cancer” event.  It was a single day event, and we raised a little over $1000, which I donated to my cancer clinic in Augusta, Maine.  The guys in the Trap circle in the local little town of Monmouth, Maine are some of the best folks around.  They came out early, shot many rounds of overpriced Trap, drank and ate inflated Dunkin Donut coffee and donuts; then they all pitched in to clean-up.

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I miss having a fun club to go shoot Trap, but I am sure I will do so again.

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