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Old May 19, 2012, 08:00 PM   #1
wildfan
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Advice on field gun

Quick background:
I've shot trap competitively for 20 years. Always been in the running for Top Gun at our club, and won it three times. So I'm a pretty decent shot. When I first started, I was a poor 19 year old, so used one of my dads guns. He had a Browning Citori Lightning Sporting Clays O/U that I used. Shot decent with it, carried about a 22-23 avg at 16 yards, and 21-22 at yardage (22-23 yards). One year I was in the top spot for the Top Gun award with 5 weeks to go. Not sure what happened, but I shot TERRIBLE one week, like a 17 handicap and 16 yardage. This dropped me out of contention for Top Gun. So I thought what the hell, might as well dig out my hunting gun and make sure it was shooting well for the last 4 weeks of the season. Last 4 weeks, 50 rounds a night, 200 rounds total. With my hunting gun I missed 2 of 200. I used it for trap every week from that point on, and won Top Gun 2 of the next 3 years with it. My hunting gun is a standard camo Benelli Nova pump with 28" barrel, 3 1/2" chamber, using full choke.

With that known, I am going to begin hunting pheasants again this fall (took the last decade off due to being a major fatboy and not physically able to walk enough, but better/skinnier now). My question/feedback request: do I stick with the proven Nova, or get a nice O/U (because I want one for the collection). I should clarify...I will likely get one anyway, but do I hunt with it, or stick with the Nova I am deadly with?
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Old May 19, 2012, 09:34 PM   #2
smokin' barrels
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buy a good double and see how well you shoot with that compared to the nova. if you are better with the nova still, you have a nice double as a wall ornament!
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Old May 20, 2012, 06:20 AM   #3
Slugo
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go for a nice 20 gauge, 28" barrel Browning or Beretta field gun. Works for both hunting and targets. Just my 2 cents...
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:01 AM   #4
darkgael
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Do I?

Quote:
do I hunt with it, or stick with the Nova I am deadly with?
The answer is in the question. Perhaps.
As you are, as you say, likely to buy an O/U in any case (what happened to the Citori??) ...buy one and shoot Trap with it. Use the Nova for hunting.

Now to contradict myself a bit......birds made of clay and birds of a feather are way different propositions. Trap....your gun is mounted already....not so in the field. Trap....you are most likely using the bead as a guide to a break. The "birds" are on relatively predictable paths, same speeds, same distances. No trees or brush in the way. Not so with live birds, is it? In the field, your shooting is even more likely to be instinctive or at least Churchill style "eyes on the bird".
Get the O/U, shoot it and decide which is the more "lively" gun in your hands, that or the Nova......take the lively gun to the field. That's what I'd do. YMMV.
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Old May 20, 2012, 11:04 AM   #5
wildfan
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Slugo, I might add a 20 or 28 as well. Always wanted one. Or even a 16

darkgael, great suggestions. I have hunted goose, duck, and pheasant with the Nova, and am just as good with it in the field as I am at trap. In all honesty though, I just enjoy shooting O/U more. And I think it would be quicker on the swing than my long, slightly heavier Nova for live game. And I enjoy shooting them at trap. Simple shoot, thumb the lever, pop in a new shell, and shoot. Maybe I'm a purist, but working the pump action at trap seems archaic to me. Not to sound like a snob, I just enjoy shooting trap with the O/U more, even though I am more accurate with the Nova. Although, I might have to give an O/U a try again, as its been years.

Thanks for the feedback!
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