Informative Article No.1
Yes, it’s that time of year again, well almost! The deer are just starting to rub their velvet off and in no time at all the onset of ‘the roar’ will be upon us. And not long after that comes the highlight of the year for many of us – the opening of the gamebird season on the first weekend of May. ‘So what’ you may say, well how about checking your gear now to make sure you have everything that you are going to need in your gear bag. Leaving behind things like your waterbottle, camera, torch or knife, etc. could cause a bit of unnecessary frustration later when you’re out with your mates on that long awaited hunting trip. But don’t forget those two most important items of your kit, your rifle (or shotgun) and ammo.
Shotguns especially are the ones that get forgotten about. Be sure and check that everything is functioning as it should. Did something break or play-up at the end of last season and you just didn’t get around to repairing it? Taking your guns out to the range and sighting your rifle in to check that the sights are still properly aligned might just save a whole lost of dispair as you miss an easy shot at that deer ” ‘cos the scope was out “. Taking your shotgun out to the range also and shooting it against a patterning board or large sheet of cardboard to check the pellet distribution and centre of pattern impact may help to avoid a lot of consistent misses not due to the fault of the shooter. It amazes me how few people ever shoot their shotguns to check these things. It really is as bad as never sighting your rifle in! The FACTS are that if you change the load through your favourite shotgun, either by manufacturer, shot type, shot size, wad style, or velocity the patterning performance will change. Altering the choke constriction, barrel length, or forcing cone in the bore will also affect the performance. Some multichoke guns with the chokes poorly installed have even been found to shift the ‘mean point of impact’ by simply changing choke tubes. Doesn’t help if your ‘extra-full’ shoots in a different place than your ‘modified’!
And the other fact that is often overlooked by the average shooter is that need for your shotgun to fit you properly. It is hard to pick up a shotgun off the store shelf and find that it fits you perfectly, unless your name is Joe Average. If you happen to be 6’5″ or 5’1″, or a ‘lefty’, your chances just got a whole lot slimmer! A shotgun has to fit the shooter just right for him/her to hit the target consistently, especially when snap-shooting. Remember, with a shotgun there is no rear sight like on a rifle to assist with target alignment. With a shotgun the rear sight is your eye! In most cases for a field gun the shooter sees too much ramp or rib and ends up shooting high. In a lot of cases this can happen if the stock is too short and is remedied by lengthening, or in other cases by altering the bend or cast. But that’s a whole article in itself. What it all comes down to is that it may look great in the shop, but it’s on the range where the truth is.
So, now you have your gear inspected you can get those things that are missing or lost and hey, how about getting those gun repairs done now! It never ceases to amaze me year after year, the last two weeks before duckshooting season guys suddenly realise it must be time to get those repairs done! Even just before the roar we get a few last minute panics. We always do our absolute best to help guys out so they can get on and enjoy their trip, but if your repair means we have to order parts, etc. then sometimes two weeks just isn’t enough time. So how about helping ‘yours truly’ to keep his stress level down and start bringing those guns in now for your pre-season repairs or clean and service. We are glad to help you have success and enjoy your shooting.