This past August, I shot in a trap league in order to stay off the streets and out of trouble, and on one Sunday I shot on the same squad as a fellow who could really shoot. His scores were as follows: 16 yards, 49×50; handicap, 49×50; doubles, 49×50. In big-time ATA meets this sort of thing is the norm, but for a social shooter like me it’s highly edifying. He was very fast, and he was also incredibly consistent. He pounded every target, and I doubt there was a difference of 3 feet, shot to shot, where each one met its end.

His gun was a Winchester Model 12. It had fancy wood and lots of engraving, but it did not have a screw-in choke, an adjustable comb, or an adjustable butt. It did not have that abomination known as a release trigger. It did not have a super-high rib. There was nothing you could change, alter, or fiddle with. When I asked him if he didn’t feel deprived, he said,

“I can make the gun do what I want it to.”

The lesson here is one that’s repeated over and over. The people who can really shoot find what works for them and stay with it. They do not screw with it, alter it, or tune it. If they get into a slump they recognize that it is they who are messing up and not the gun. Say amen.

Phil can now write a post on rifles.