February 14, 2007
If It Ain’t Broke...
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
When entrusted with the education of a new shooter, I try to point out three great truths about successful marksmen:
Back in my formative years, I left several fortunes in the hands of gunsmiths who were constantly diddling with my rifles and shotguns. I wanted them lighter or heavier. I wanted the stocks shorter or longer. I wanted a new trigger. I wanted a new chambering. I wanted different sights. In the end, I doubt if any of it was even remotely worth the money.
I began to catch on to this when I was shooting registered trap, and noted that the guy who won everything at the shoots I participated in used a plain-vanilla Remington 870 pump. He beat the hell out of all the guys with Perazzis and Berettas and Kriegfhoffs. He did not own choke tubes, never adjusted his comb height when he shot yardage, and did not get a release trigger or any of that stuff. All he did was break targets.
I once asked “Smoker” Smith, the Brit was the world Sporting Clays champion back in the 80s, which choke tubes he used.
“’Ow the ‘ell would I know?”, he said. “And it doesn’t make any difference anyway. The bloody things have been rusted in place for years.”