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Shotguns

  • May 2, 2013

    Champion Re-Stick Turkey Target

    3

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Thanks to high winds, high water, and one sneaky hen, this was as close as I was able to bring F&S senior editor Colin Kearns to an Iowa turkey last week. The target is a Champion Re-Stick turkey target and it is a small, slick improvement to the life of a turkey hunter, which can be hard (see high water, high winds and hen, above). [ Read Full Post ]

  • May 1, 2013

    Shotgun Tip: Read the Manual

    By Phil Bourjaily

    I know, real men don’t read manuals. I do. Granted, it’ usually as a last resort, but I am not afraid to read a manual when I’m stumped. It can answer all kinds of questions.

    The other day a friend and I were test-shooting a new Turkish semiauto I had just received. It was a model I had never shot before and I was completely unfamiliar with it.

    It wouldn’t cycle. We tried heavier loads. It still wouldn’t cycle. We took it apart and looked at the gas system. It all looked fine to me. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 26, 2013

    How the Benelli Shotgun Factory Uses Robots and A Hint at a New Model

    9

    By Phil Bourjaily


    Last month I traveled to Urbino, Italy, home of Benelli, to tour the factory. Urbino itself is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, an almost perfectly intact walled renaissance town on a steep hill in Italy’s Marche region. The building behind me is the palace of the Duke of Montefeltro, begun in the mid-15th century.

    The old part of the city is made of brick and full of narrow, medieval streets and views of snowcapped mountains around it. There is a university in Urbino, so it’s a lively place with many sidewalk cafes and gelato shops. Deer and boar live in the woods and there's a very nice gun club nearby with international trap bunkers. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 19, 2013

    Gun Video: Shooting Dimes (And Other Stuff) from a Shotgun

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    Along with “splitting Oreos,” “shooting odd stuff out of shotguns”  is now a YouTube sub-genre. In this clip it’s dimes and pounded pellets. Others have bits of wire, hot dogs (seriously), washers, .22 pellets, and almost anything else you can fit in a 12 gauge hull. Don’t try this at home. Let other people try it at their homes and watch the results instead. It’s safer. These particular guys seem to sort of know what they are doing, but, to no one’s surprise, many YouTube reloaders do not. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 15, 2013

    Non-Toxic Shot: Why I Don't Use Lead In The Uplands

    By Phil Bourjaily

    In the comments to the 28 gauge Mystique post, HogBlog asked me why it is I shoot non-toxic shot almost exclusively in the uplands. The goose in this picture is a big part of the reason. I was pheasant hunting on a place I often hunt geese and suspected one might fly over too low for its own good.  One did. Because I had my waterfowl stamp, and my gun was plugged and loaded with HeviShot and goose season was open, I was able to legally add the goose to the rooster I shot that day, and there is nothing I like better for dinner than goose. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 12, 2013

    The Remington 1100 Turns 50

    By Phil Bourjaily

    This year marks the 50th birthday of the Remington 1100, one of the handful of shotguns you can truly call revolutionary. The soft-shooting, reliable 1100 changed the way we thought about semiautomatic shotguns. This movie, the 1100 story, was produced internally at Remington and has not been seen much until now. It shows just how cutting edge the 1100 was in 1963. Plus, the narrator has the “60’s narrator” voice down pat and it is just fun to watch and listen to. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 8, 2013

    Pump Action Slingshot: Jorg and the Oreo Splitter

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Because my kids are out of the house now, I am not as current as I used to be. Therefore I had no idea splitting Oreos was a Youtube thing. Personally, I eat Oreos whole, or, you know, twist them apart with my fingers.*

    That brings us once again to Jorg Sprave of the Slingshot Channel, who has invented a pump-action Oreo splitter. And, while his pump action splitter does a terrible job of splitting Oreos if having an edible cookie at the end of the process is your goal, the pump mechanism he came up with is very clever. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 4, 2013

    Shotgun Ammo: The 28 Gauge Mystique

    By Phil Bourjaily

    The “Pheasants: When Your Hunting Truck is a Plane” post led to some discussion of the effectiveness and mystique of the 28 gauge. I became a 28 gauge believer when I shot my first-ever straight at skeet years ago with a 28 gauge BPS. The heavy (7 pound) pump didn’t kick at all even as the ¾ ounce payloads crushed targets.

    Since then, though, I’ve changed my view a little: there is nothing magic about the 28 gauge. It is a very effective smallbore within its limitations. Its combination of low recoil and target-breaking, bird-folding efficiency makes it fun to shoot. However I don’t think it necessarily “hits harder than it should,” as many believe. If anything I think the 28’s reputation for ballistic overachievement stems from the fact that it is often compared to the .410, which underperforms miserably with its skinny bore and light payloads. [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 2, 2013

    34th Edition of Blue Book of Gun Values: No Prices Listed for New AR Models

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    The always-awaited new edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values came out on April 1. The Blue Book, is, of course, the standard price reference for anyone buying or selling guns for one simple reason. “I am more thorough than anyone else,” says Steven P. Fjestad, the man behind the book. That is, in the words of Will Sonnet, no brag, just fact.

    This year’s Blue Book runs 2,408 pages long and includes both values for countless guns in every condition from new-in-the-box to 60% as well as 80 pages of illustrations showing how to grade gun condition.

    This year marks the 34th edition of the Blue Book, but it has not always been the single-source indispensible bible of all used gun prices. In the beginning, it was geared toward collectibles only, lever action rifles and that kind of thing. Then Fjestad went to SHOT Show, saw all the new guns and thought, “Why not list new and recently discontinued guns, too?” The book grew from there. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 22, 2013

    Shotgun Ammo: Do You Have to Relearn to Shoot After Switching to High-Velocity Loads?

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Deadeye Dick asked an excellent question in a comment on the high velocity ping pong ball post: Do you have to relearn how to shoot when you switch to very high velocity loads?

    Others will disagree but I will say no, you don’t have to learn to shoot all over again. I haven’t recalibrated my leads consciously or (as far as I know) unconsciously when I shoot high velocity ammo. Remington’s website says the difference in lead between their 1,675 fps Hypersonic and other steel is 11 percent — about eight inches at 40 yards. That would be on a true 90-degree crosser at 40 yards, and most makeable shots in the field occur at shorter distances and shallower angles. On, say, a 20-yard quartering target, the difference in lead between a super-fast shell and a normal velocity shell is negligible. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 19, 2013

    Franchi Affinity Shotgun

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    by Michael R. Shea

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 11, 2013

    Shotgun Ammo: Supersonic Ping Pong Ball Shows Why Steel Shot Needs Speed

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Time for a special “Science Monday” Gun Nuts post. Steel shot, we know, is ballistically challenged because it’s light. Driving it at very high velocities is inefficient because it loses velocity quickly, but it’s the only way to make steel hit harder without going to a larger size pellet. Field experience among waterfowlers generally shows that high velocity steel does outperform slower steel shot.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 6, 2013

    Shotgun Shooting Tip: Slow Your Hands Down, Stop Missing Behind

    By Phil Bourjaily

    The basic advice “Head on the stock, eye on the rock” covers the two most essential rules of hitting a flying target with a shotgun.

    Moving the gun in time with the target is the often overlooked third essential.
     
    Moving the gun too fast when shooting a shotgun is a mysterious and frustrating cause of misses. Slowing your hands down can be a magical cure.

    I was reminded again of the importance of matching the speed of your hands to the speed of the target the other day. We started high school trap practice for the season and one of the kids who showed up had never fired a gun before.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 28, 2013

    Shotgun Shooting: Youth Pump Guns Can Have Harder Recoil Than You Think

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Here’s a controversial statement: recoil sucks.
     
    In the short term it hurts your shooting, in the long term, it hurts your body.

    Here’s a more surprising statement: one of the worst offending guns in terms of recoil is the 20 gauge youth pump.

    Youth guns aren’t brutal, like 3 ½-inch 12s are, but they kick much harder than you would expect. I see it every year when we start high school trap practice. [ Read Full Post ]

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