All-Around Shotguns for Clay Target Sports

“Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!” – Clint Smith, President of Thunder Ranch There are some shooters in the world of clay target sports, who prefer to concentrate on a single clay target discipline – be that American Trap, Olympic Skeet, Sporting and so on, and there are others, who love to shoot various shotgun games and for whom the act of pulling the trigger is fun regardless of the kind of target being thrown. The former group usually opts-in for more specialized shotgun models because some disciplines demand a particular configuration and features in order to achieve the ultimate success. The latter group however frequently favors so called “all-around” or “crossover” type of shotguns, most of which are purposed, or can be easily adopted, to nearly all games shooters choose to participate in. But what is an “all-around” shotgun? Generally, these shotguns are over and unders, weighting between 8 and […]

Top 5 Upper Mid Range Sporting Shotguns

For nearly all of us involved in clay sports, shooting those fast flying targets is a lifetime passion. We are moving through the ranks; some with more success, some with less, but always with an undying enthusiasm and persistence, which push us to strive for that flawless technique and that consistent mental performance. As we advance in skill our knowledge of what it takes to deliver grows to be more and more nuanced, and the equipment we use becomes one of the more important components of our success. Experimenting with various brands, models and the myriad of features they offer, often lead us to a good understanding of what works best for our style of shooting. Fit, weight, balance, swing dynamics, trigger pull weight and quality, rib design and sight picture, the amount of felt recoil – those are among many aspects that now come into play. Finding the right combination of the above might be the major contributing factor […]

Top 5 Mid Range Sporting Shotguns

The first shotgun you buy will be unlikely your last. Most of us shooters have come to this realization on our fascinating journey into clay target sports. As we progress, our shooting style and taste in equipment usually change as well, and such change often demands an upgrade. Whether you have been shooting clays for a while or simply have the means to buy into a higher tier of sporting shotguns, the following list of top choices in the mid range pricing category may help you find the right one: Blaser F16 Sporting MSRP $4,195 * Blaser, one of the leading gun manufacturers in Europe well-known for their phenomenal F3 platform, needs no introduction. In 2016, continuing with the model denomination that corresponds to year of release, Blaser has unveiled the F16 – its newest line of game and sporting over-and-under shotguns. Despite its lower price tag, this gun has inherited many engineering innovations from their flagship F3 model, among […]

Top 5 Entry Level Sporting Shotguns

So, after a few trips to a sporting clays course, you realized that you are hopelessly addicted to this great sport and ready to take it to the next level. You also realized that shooting borrowed or rented guns is starting to feel counterproductive and you are all set to get a sporting shotgun of your own. But, which one? With so many brands and options out there, and with all the endless advice from fellow shooters, club members, and numerous internet sites, finding the right one for you can become quite a daunting task. To help narrow down your choices, here are the top 5 entry level sporting shotguns available today: Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon I MSRP $2,100 * It’s hard to overstate the popularity of Beretta Silver Pigeon I and the 686 series. Introduced over 30 years ago, it is one of the most well-known and respected over-and-under shotguns out there, with a proven design and a long […]

Vintage Articles by Derek Partridge

Not so long ago, we have published a series of vintage shotgun related articles written and contributed by Derek Partridge. Mr. Partridge hails from Great Britain, is a veteran International shooter, and has been widely published in various magazines from 1962 to 1995. Here are all the articles from our Vintage Weekly series in one place.   Think Safe » International Style Clay Target Shooting, 1976 The Challenge Of Olympic Trap » The American Shotgunner, January 1986 Confessions Of An International Trapshooter Part 1 » Popular Guns, November 1971 Confessions Of An International Trapshooter Part 2 » Popular Guns, November 1972 Championship Clay Busting » International Style Clay Target Shooting, 1976 The Trapshooter And How He Stands » Gun Digest, Annual 1973 A Rifleman’s Conversion Kit To Shotgunning » International Style Clay Target Shooting, 1976 Claybirder’s Survival Kit » Gun World, November 1970 The Eyes Have It » Shotgun Sports, March 1987 Up-Tight Overchoking » Gun World, August 1970 Release Triggers […]

Championship Clay Busting

An International competitor gives a guided tour through the complex simplicity of breaking one clay – the only way to break 100’s. Competitive clay busting is one of the loneliest games in the world. “What?” you say, “with all my buddies around me?” Yes, they’re there to talk to of your hopes, their fulfillment – or, your excuses! They’re even with you when you’re shooting. But are they really? If they’re serious competitive shooters and not just out for fun with the boys, they, like you, should be in such complete isolation that even if one dropped dead on the line, the only thought of those remaining should still be the next target. Such is the degree of oblivious concentration required on the firing line during your “moments of truth”. An extreme example, I admit, but that detachment is what it takes to be a top clay buster. I have often shot through a day with out knowing that a […]

Confessions of an Int. Trapshooter – Part 2

Author shows correct stance and hold for International-style clay-birding. A shotgunning champ describes the toughest, most frustrating of all smoothbore shooting matches – and discloses clay-busting guns and methods! I hear many reasons why more American trapshooters don’t attempt to shoot International trap. They range from the claim that it’s too expensive and requires special equipment, to an admission of a general ignorance of its existence – what it really is – to a lack of facilities for it. And so on. I have no doubt as to the real reason for most trapshooters. I lived with the reason for many years in England, which is one of the very few other countries that shoot a form of American trap – the others being some of England’s former colonies and those countries where American troops are currently based. The rest of the world shoots International. The reason is simple and based firmly on the delicate nature of human ego. Sadly, […]

Confessions of an Int. Trapshooter – Part 1

Author’s pet trap gun is this Perazzi; note detachable trigger assembly. Here’s why the world’s greatest shotgunners become addicted to “skyrockets,” “grasscutters,” “jet-propelled aspirin tablets”. “Pu-u-ul”, I yelled. I had got about as far as “Pu…” when jet-propelled aspirin was ejected from a barely visible slit in the ground out in front of me. Just about the time I was completing “…u-ul”, what I had to presume had been a clay pigeon was smashed – by its return to earth! I lowered my unfired gun, turned around and somewhat shakily informed the world in general: “You must be joking!” That was my first International Trap target, back in 1958. At that moment, on the beautiful grounds of the Circle du Bois de Boulogne, Paris, my whole shooting world fell apart. My reputation disintegrated, my confidence vanished! I had been hunting since 1950 and had won a reputation for naturally speedy reflexes when hunting the canny English wood pigeon – a […]

The Trapshooter And How He Stands

Some champion claybirders spite of their bad form mounting. Our European shows the way to better the fundamentals of good bust ’em well in and worse gun smoothbore editor shooting via stance and style. As in other aspects of life there are many shooters, including some top-flight competitors, who shoot well in spite of having basically bad stances and gun mounting techniques, rather than because of good ones. As the success of each shot is largely determined by these two factors – before you even call for the target – they are of vital importance. Under “normal” conditions such faults can be got away with, but in bad weather, bad visibility, or when heavy competitive pressure is on, these faults can begin to tell – with disastrous results. If, however, you have a firm base in these fundamentals such additional strains will have far less adverse effect. Most new shooters develop their stances and mounting forms in two ways: untrained […]

Fine-Tuning The Perazzi

Author (left) is shown with Daniele Perazzi and Ennio Mattarelli at Perazzi factory in Italy. Behind them is photo of Mattarelli’s 1964 Tokyo Olympics gold medal win. “Italy’s best shotgun” caught my eye in a magazine article I read while I was working in Los Angeles in 1968. Roger Barlow described a high-quality, competition gun, designed purely for ISU Olympic Trap (bunker). I handled one at Pachmayr’s and it felt like a magical shotgun capable of breaking targets all by itself! By coincidence, a few days later, I flew to Milan to shoot a second series of sporting TV commercials for Fiuggi mineral water… and I was on the way to my first Perazzi. Daniele Perazzi, a lithe, smiling, energetic 35-year-old, met me at Brescia station and we were off to tour his kingdom. That was where I watched chunks of wood and metal being transformed into my dream shotgun. I described Daniele then as a “shirt-sleeve dynamo, who appears […]