By Phil Bourjaily
This time every year I get to participate in Aiming for a Cure, a local celebrity preserve hunt/sporting clays shoot that benefits our hospital’s pediatric oncology patients. It’s a great event for a very good cause. I look forward to it every March.
I took a survey of the gun rack at the lodge where we all milled around before hunting or shooting clays. Semiautomatics far outnumbered O/Us and Benellis were the most numerous brand by far. This was mostly a hunting--as opposed to target shooting--crowd, but I was still struck by the number of Benellis, every one of which had a synthetic stock. In my group there were two O/Us and four Benellis: two SBEs, an M1 and a Vinci. Maybe Benellis are only popular in eastern Iowa, but I suspect it’s the case all over.
Among the other semiautos, there was such a scattering I’m not sure I could pick a runner up in popularity. There were a few Berettas, a Browning Maxus, an SX3 and a couple of 11-87s. One of the Berettas belonged to Haley Dunn, Iowa’s best international shooter. Having switched from international skeet to sporting clays and teaching, Haley, who shot skeet with a Beretta DT10 O/U, was shooting her new sporting gun, a Beretta A400.