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tmlynch
January 22, 2011, 09:36 PM
I am a lucky guy.

My wife's cousin does not like shotguns, so this Christmas he gifted some of the ones he has inherited to family members he felt would appreciate them. I have been trusted with an L.C.Smith 16 gauge side by side.
http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab337/tmlynch/Guns/Photo0046.jpg

I have been eager to get this gun out to the range. 16 gauge ammo is harder find. It is also more expensive. On top of that, the age of this gun makes it likely it was originally chambered for 2 9/16 inch shells. I had to have a gunsmith check to make sure that 2 3/4 inch shells would not unduly raise pressure.

Finally got to the range this week. After at least 20 years since my last round of trap, I matched my personal best. WOO HOO!

What did I learn? That the lock lever is unforgiving, and you best keep the point of your thumb off the top of the wrist. OUCH! Also, don't thumb the safety with the bruised thumb tip. Still didn't wipe the grin off my face, though.

I got good about keeping it out of the way until I was shooting doubles in skeet (did NOT match my personal best), and I shifted my grip when I switched triggers. Gotta work on that.

Regards,
Tom

a7mmnut
January 22, 2011, 10:02 PM
If that lever is moving that much, I'd get another gunsmith to inspect that lock. It sounds weak to me, since all you were shooting was target loads. Use caution! I have an old 12 gauge Field that is loose and shows a good bit of gap at the breech. It's a safe queen for sure.

-7-

tmlynch
January 22, 2011, 10:19 PM
Thanks, 7.

The lever isn't moving. My thumb slides forward on the stock under recoil. Until it hits metal.

Leaving my thumb on the tang-mounted safety is an absolute no-no. When I lay my thumb along the right side of the wrist of the stock, I'm fine. I found that I sometimes repositioned my thumb because it felt more secure when I was moving my trigger finger around.

Clearly the mistake is mine, because those levers have been in that spot for 150 years. If it were a problem for everyone, they would work differently. :D

Regards,
Tom

Hawg
January 23, 2011, 09:59 AM
Maybe the recoil pad is making the LOP too long for you.

Hawg
January 23, 2011, 10:06 AM
I have an old 12 gauge Field that is loose and shows a good bit of gap at the breech. It's a safe queen for sure.

A good gunsmith can fix that. It probably just needs a new hinge pin.

zippy13
January 23, 2011, 10:28 AM
Shooting a shotgun with your thumb just behind the lever is akin to shooting a pistol with your thumb behind the slide -- they are practices you quickly learn to alter.

zippy13
January 23, 2011, 10:33 AM
Maybe the recoil pad is making the LOP too long for you.
Or, he's mounting the gun with his elbow held too low. Raise the elbow, the wrist rotates and the thumb gets a proper grip.

oneounceload
January 23, 2011, 11:43 AM
I shifted my grip when I switched triggers. Gotta work on that.

Double triggers require that - which is why many folks prefer the straight English-style stock for guns with two triggers.

Keep your elbows out - think like wings, try using your off hand as long as you can, even if it means holding the barrels (wear a glove)

My 20 SxS scores went up when I started holding like it was meant to be held........;)

tmlynch
January 23, 2011, 04:12 PM
I appreciate all the thinking you guys are putting into this.

Maybe the recoil pad is making the LOP too long for you.
I don't think LOP is too long. If anything, this shotgun seems to have been cut down at some point to make it more youth friendly. This could also contribute to the problem by making me scoot my hand forward to keep my thumb away from my nose.

Or, he's mounting the gun with his elbow held too low. Raise the elbow, the wrist rotates and the thumb gets a proper grip.
I rate this most likely. I am definitely not a very good shotgun shooter, and I sure don't practice much. Here recently some friends and I have tried to stop off after work to shoot a few, and it can only help.

try using your off hand as long as you can, even if it means holding the barrels
This gun has a VERY slender forearm, so I probably wasn't grabbing as big a handful as I could.

I'll spend some time practicing mounting it to find a good spot for my thumb, and to get my chicken wings up, before the next outing.

Thanks again for all the help!
Tom

oneounceload
January 23, 2011, 04:38 PM
This gun has a VERY slender forearm, so I probably wasn't grabbing as big a handful as I could

Correct - it's called a "splinter" forearm and its ONLY function is to hold the barrels on the gun when you open the action. In correct English game gun fashion, you will hold the gun with a long off hand - I like to use my "pointer" finger alongside the barrel as my finger curl under the barrels - one reason I always wear a glove. A golf glove will suffice as will any thin leather work glove. This is the hand that points the barrels where you want them.

Try practicing pointing with just your offhand finger pointing at something (no gun) - It should be easier to do it with your are fully extended, than with your arm bent and held close to you........especially try it while closing your eyes - this is the same idea about when I said to hold a long arm

tmlynch
January 23, 2011, 05:15 PM
Thanks, oneounceload (say, that wouldn't be a square load reference would it?).

I was not aware of the barrels being hot enough to be uncomfortable as we were shooting. It would be easy enough to keep a cheap golf glove with that gun, though.

More than anything, I need more shotgun practice with any of my guns. I am getting that message from clays and the 16 gauge, as well as doves and my 12 gauge.

Thanks!
Tom

Mike Armstrong
January 23, 2011, 06:24 PM
I'm glad the opening lever isn't moving back; that would be a real sick pup. Elsies are renowned for NOT shooting loose; they are like Colt New Service revolvers in that regard--no matter how abused they are otherwise, you almost never (never in my case, and I've been looking at them and shooting them for over 60 years) find either that doesn't lock up like a bank vault.

Elsies have one design flaw and that is the stock has a tendency to crack behind the lockplates. Any decent shotgun stock man can cure this with a little Acraglass around the INSIDE of the lock plate.

A free Elsie 16! About as good as it gets.....

oneounceload
January 23, 2011, 07:20 PM
I was not aware of the barrels being hot enough to be uncomfortable as we were shooting

It doesn't take but 3-5 shots to make the barrels hot enough if shoot fairl;y quickly, like you might do shooting sporting clays

(The screen name comes from what WAS my favorite reload...now it is a 3/4oz load) ;)

zippy13
January 23, 2011, 07:51 PM
I was not aware of the barrels being hot enough to be uncomfortable as we were shooting
With high firing rates, the barrel/s can get so hot that heat waves will distort your view of the target. That's why the ventilated rib was developed. Also, if you're in an area where you shoot in really hot weather with a bright sun, you may appreciate the difference between a shiny target gun that reflects sun light and one with a sun-soaking matte finish.