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Our story - part 5...     back    next

Big guns Yawn

Whilst at Southdown one day Pete suggested that I try his gun. I was reluctant at first due to it being a 12g and heavier/longer than mine but hey... what harm could it do?

We were on a practice stand and the targets were relatively easy so I gave it a shot.

6 straight kills later and I was starting to question everything!!

We tried this on several occasions on different targets and I was finding my results were notably improved.  We thought that maybe I was swinging the gun more steadily due to the weight difference.  I was now used to the weight of my gun - it actually felt light and I was flailing it through the air like there was no tomorrow with (it seemed) little control. By this time I had grown so attached to my little gun the prospects going forward seemed bleek to say the least.

Completely disillusioned there was nothing else for it ...... a Shotkam for Pete for Christmas (I knew he would share cheeky)

I decided both Pete and I could benefit, he couldn't seem to find his old form from 25 years ago and probably (mistakenly) was trying allsorts to try and improve without knowing quite where he was going wrong either.

Shotkam

The Shotkam was expensive but I couldn't resist, it was coming from the US and I was shocked when it turned up within a couple of days! This made life difficult since Christmas was still a good week away!

Completely hopeless at keeping secrets out it came and we were on a mission!

We fitted the shotkam on Pete's B125 and suddenly were able to see exactly where the gun was pointing when he took each shot frame by frame in very high resolution.

This was so helpful, I now had to memorise and replicate the amount of lead and approach he was giving on the targets I was finding most difficulty with. He could see where he was going wrong on the ones he missed and his scores were Improving steadily.

In my haste to get it, I hadn't realised that you needed a different bracket for a 20g so that was ordered and after a few days it arrived and we fitted it to my gun.

Oh dear!! what an eye opener!

I was indeed flailing the gun around so quickly, I was not steady in any fashion and I was picking up the clay way too early, losing patience waiting for it and in the meantime losing concentration and missing by a mile.

I was rubbish!!

We went out many times, concentrating on certain things and analysing the video's later to see what could be done. The worst thing was I would periodically pick up his gun and shoot much better with it. We thought this may be a result of removing the pressure because the Shotkam was not on his gun... so off it came.

Sadly this made little difference and I found Pete offering to give me his favourite gun so I didn't have to part with my beloved Beretta in part exchange for something else.

 

New Gun!

I had read and had been told that most people shoot better with a either a Beretta or a Browning and came to the conclusion I must be a Browning girl.

Having had it drummed into me that the older versions are better in terms of longevity and beauty (read Petes article cheeky) I could hardly go for anything other than an old Browning.

If I was going to part company with my beloved beautiful Beretta it had to be something I could love equally as much.  I had always admired his Citori and the B325 was almost identical.  The B325 originally came in 6 grades (how deep is the engraving, how special is the wood and is there any gold embellishment?)  Guntrader always had a few on offer, so over the next week or so, after much soul searching, I made up my mind that I would bite the bullet and try to part exchange against one....  It had to be a grade 5 or 6 though cheeky

Pete took the news well and we both kept looking to see what was available.  The grade 6's on average seemed to weigh in a lot heavier than the 5's and many of both grades had problems like fixed chokes; left handed, barrels too long, cracked wood, too expensive or a million miles away, but I eventually found a grade 5 that, although the stock was a bit long (better that than too short) it was multi choked, 28inch barrels, the engraving and the wood looked good, it had just been tightened and re-blacked and it was only in the Nottingham!! cheeky 

I had a chat with a nice chap called Lee at Orston Shooting ground who said he would be happy to look at my gun with a view to part exchange and that if I wanted to, I could try the B325 on their ground.


Road Trip to Orsten

We loaded the car up and off we went.

The roads were grim but it was a nice day and a full English breakfast at Orsten was calling.

On arrival I was itching to see the gun, Pete was itching to eat, so we ordered breakfast and I found Lee to tell him we were there.

Breakfast done, we headed into the gun room. There were some scratches on the woodwork but everything else was perfect, it felt tight, maybe a little heavy but I knew I could get used to that and of course the stock would need shortening so the woodwork could be refreshed at the same time.  It was exactly how I remembered Pete's Citori and I could see he was taken with it too.  Now all there was to do was try it...

The Gun Shop at Orsten

So off we went with our non members Promatic card and our own cartridges to find a stand.  The ground is very flat and very well manicured, it would have been nice to stay a while and do a round of sporting but we had the long journey home so will probably return another day.  We both shot the gun and decided that it would be a good exchange if we could make it happen.  Thankfully Lee (Spud) liked my gun and the deal was done, very sad but also very excited we headed home. 

We can't count this gun since it was an exchange....

We were now the proud owners of 3 Brownings!  

 

Browning Evolution

B25, B125 & B325

My new B325 The darkest of the 3

Team Browning... Team Browning

Shooting this new gun took a little getting used to, it was longer, heavier and quite stiff to open but I knew it would get easier with practice.

Due to the differences I couldn't say that my scores improved much instantly but there was certainly a more controlled feeling about my swing. My movements seemed much more fluid and less eratic. I guess I couldn't afford to waste the energy cheeky

I was exhaused after the first outing so lots of dry mounting needed to re-train my muscles.

I missed the little Beretta but had definitely realised that it was simply too small for me

Shotkam time next time out! what difference could another couple of ounces make lol

Shooting HighTeam Browning

Well I did get used to the weight and fell in love with my B325, her look, her feel - my scores were slowly improving, but more importantly my consistency.

I was shooting consistently high lol!

 

She was a little worn and battered as previously mentioned, but she handled smoothly and never missed a beat.

After several outings and having studied the Shotkam footage in infinite detail the only thing to do now was to consider having her fitted to me.

It was clear she was to be my favourite 'forever' gun and this would then also mean I could save my pennies and have her restored to her formal glory once properly fitted ... but that's another story.

Online Traders

Guntrader
Gunstar
Just Cartridges

Gun Shops

Reigate Gunmakers

Reigate Surrey
RH2 0AD

F A Andersons

East Grinstead Sussex
RH19 3AF

Chris Potter Country Sports

Tunbridge Wells Kent
TN1 2QB

The Gun Shop, Botley

Southampton Hampshire
SO30 2GB


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Greenwood Gunsmiths

Tern Hill
Shropshire

Tony Sorrell

Northall Clay Pigeon Club
Northall Farm
Fletching, East Sussex
TN22 3SA


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The Tea Shop Reigate

Reigate Surrey
RH2 0AA


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Southdown Gun Club and Shooting School

Our first impressions

Findon, West Sussex
BN14 0RQ


Headley Clay Pigeon Shooting Club

Our first impressions

Headley, Surrey
KT18 6LD


Mill Farm Clay Pigeon Club

Our first impressions

Mill Farm, Hankham Hall Road
Westham, Pevensey
BN24 5AG


Northall CPC

Our first impressions

Northall Farm
Fletching, East Sussex
TN22 3SA


Not so local but recommended

West Kent Shooting School

Old Hay
off Pearsons Green Road
Paddock Wood, Brenchley
Kent, TN12 7DG

Lains Shooting School

Quarley
Andover
SP11 8PX

West Midlands Shooting Ground

Hodnet
Market Drayton
Shropshire
TF9 3LH

Orsten Shooting Ground

Bottesford Lane
Orston
Nottinghamshire
NG13 9NX

Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground

Windmill Road
Markyate St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL3 8LP


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