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Old December 30, 2004, 06:50 PM   #1
Bullrock
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Join Date: November 25, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,624
My first shotgun

I have never owned a shotgun. I have used my son's 20G. a couple of times, and shot trap twice with a browning. Today I purchased a Winchester Model 1300 Sporting Field Compact. I hope to be able to use it for trap shooting.

I'm a little long in the tooth so I wanted a shotgun with a shorter barrel for easier swing (24"). I'm not concerned about recoil. My dealer (handguns) didn't have it in stock and he had a difficult time finding one.

Does anyone have experience shooting this one? It will take about a week for it to arrive and it would be nice to know what I'm in for....

Much Obliged,
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Old December 30, 2004, 08:52 PM   #2
HunterTRW
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Join Date: December 3, 2004
Location: The Lower Forty of Hill Country
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Winchester makes a fine shotgun, and yours should be no exception.

Regarding barrel length, I believe that you will find that a longer barrel will be preferable for trap shooting, particularly as you become increasingly proficient at the game. The late Gene Hill had this to say about barrel length in his Shotgunner's Notebook, "Most AA trapshooters will shoot a barrel as long as they can handle, as likely a 32-inch over-under, and a single barrel of equal or longer length is routine. A gun that's too easy to start is also too easy to stop. Or put another way, 'there's no such thing as a free lunch.'"

(Note: AA trap shooters have a scoring average of 97% or better at 16 yards. This means that on average they consistently break at least 24.25 of 25 targets per round!)

I admire your moxie, and wish you good luck and good shooting!
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Old December 31, 2004, 06:39 PM   #3
Bullrock
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Hi HunterTRW,

Thank you for all of the information and advice. Did you know that Moxie (soda) is/was a Maine product..?

My first time out I was pretty bad with that big Browning (under 50%). I will look forward to the Winchester, try the 24" barrel initially, and replace it as needed.

Happy New Year!
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Old January 2, 2005, 07:56 PM   #4
HunterTRW
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I knew that Moxie was a Maine product, and am pleased to learn that it is still manufactured. What does it tastes like? (I've heard that folks either love it or hate it). The next time I am down East I plan to try a bottle.

As for your initial success at the 16-yard line, take heart. The very first time I shot trap (which, in fact, was the very first time I shot a shotgun) I hit only four of 25 targets.

"So that's how it's done," said my father-in-law, Gary, who witnessed this embarrasing feat.

"No," I replied, "that's just how I do it. Now let's see what you can do."

Gary rolled his eyes, and called for his first target which puffed into orange powder at an admirably short distance from the trap. He turned to me, grinning, and said, "I'll do better on the next one." Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. He did do better--on the next 17, missing only numbers 19, 21, and 23 of the 25! During the round he experimented with his stance. "If I had stuck with my original stance I think I could have gotten them all," he said.

"When was the last time you went shooting, Rudy?" I asked, having to explain the joke.

He furrowed his brow and studied on the matter for a moment, then said, "I can't remember, except that it was a long time ago."

My first reaction to his outstanding performance was the desire to tear my hair, roll on the ground and eat dirt, and then run screaming into the brush, never to be seen again...at least in the company of trapshooters. Next, I considered that perhaps I had been witness to one of those rare collisions between nature and fate that entitle some folks to be featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not. (I can see the headline now, "62-year-old man takes up trapshooting on Saturday, becomes high-over-all champion at Grand American the following weekend.") Finally, I had to acknowledge the inevitable, that this man was the possessor of a natural, God-given, capital "T" talent for breaking targets with a shotgun, one that I will never possess, but that I could aspire to.

I think of Gary every time I step up to the line, and I'm encouraged...and a little humbled, too.

Good luck, and good shooting!
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