Choke Chooser™

Choke Chooser™ now available.

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American Skeet Leads

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The Front Sight

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American Trap/DTL

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Hi Technoid!

I have a B.C Miroku O/U 12ga which has some problems with it. I am not sure as to what model it is, because it has a Stirling barrel, but is a single selective trigger model and has a gold plated trigger. It also has a gold plated sighting bead on the barrel. It has a checkered stock, and is a Japanese model.

The problem I was talking about was that we left the gun in storage for quite a period of time (It was oiled) and the next time we went to use it, the gun didn’t fire anymore. I opened the gun and examined it and it looks as though the springs which are cocking the hammers are either not engaging correctly, or something else is wrong. The trigger functions correctly, releasing the latch which fires the gun, but this latch is free to move and it offers no resistance when it is cocked manually.

Your help would be greatly appreciated, as I am thinking of joining a clay target club, and wouldn’t like to use a Beretta s/s, which has enough recoil to knock the wind out of a cow.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Dear J.C.,

“Enough recoil to knock the wind out of a cow?” Geez, you guys have a way with words. Not as good as your great Aussie phrase- “Stands out like balls on a dog.”, but pretty good anyway. The furthest I ever got was “balances like a pig on a snow shovel.”

You shouldn’t have the slightest trouble getting your Miroku fixed. It is one of the most popular current O/Us in the world. The Japanese Browning is made by Miroku and the guns are virtually identical. Just about any gunsmith ought to have either Browning or Miroku parts.

Generally, the Browning/Mirokus are quite reliable so once you get it up and running you’ll have a full trough in hog heaven. Couldn’t resist.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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Where Do I Look?

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The Basic Shotgun Stance

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Skeet Hold Points

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Recoil Pads

Dear Sage of the Shotgun,

Would like your opinion on recoil pads. I need to replace a pad on a Suhl 12ga SxS. The gun weighs approx 6 3/4lbs. I intend to use it mainly as an upland field gun but as a new SxS shooter will probably shoot quite a few targets in the beginning learning to handle it. 3 dram 1 1/8oz will be about max load.

I think I will need to add 1/4-3/8in to LOP, the current pad is a ventilated Pachmayr that is 1in thick including the base. The gun balances just in front of the hinge pin as it is and this suits me fine.

I know in the past you have liked Kickeez pads and I have used these on a couple of O/U’s with great results (very soft shooting & smooth mounting-these are both important criteria for me). More recently I thought I read that you now give a slight nod to Terminator pads.

Can you give a quick….sorry, I should know better than that; make that a thoroughly exhaustive comparison of Kickeez vs. Terminator and throw in any others that you deem apropos.

With boots, beer, bated breath and many thanks, I await the eruption of knowledge and sagacity.

Okla. City

Dear Bruce,

You have it right. More is always better. I mean, which would you rather have- the Encyclopedia Britannica or some comic book. Information is the currency of life, even if you don’t spend it right away. Knowing stuff is just as important as having stuff, except that your relatives don’t inherit it by the garage full when you die.

For me padding a game gun is a very different thing than setting up a target gun. You don’t normally shoot a game gun as much as you do a target gun unless your hunting is a lot better than mine. Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about the recoil absorbing qualities of one pad vs another. Most of them are sort of close while they are fresh and new. Gun fit has far more to do with recoil anyway.

So, having established that the absolutely, positively most recoil absorbent pad isn’t a requirement, we can look to other criteria such as weight and appearance.

Appearance first. Pardon me for suggesting something that is in the realm of taste, not mechanics, but you really ought to use a solid pad or solid looking pad on a nice little German gun like that. Egg crate pads with white lines just don’t look right on snappy little SxSs. You are on the right track with the solid look.

Since your gun sets up the way you want with that 1″ egg crate Pachmayr, we ought to stick with that weight. That leaves the Kickeez out. Kickeez makes a good pad, but they are heavier than normal.

Terminator is relatively light weight (for a solid pad), but they are incredibly “sticky”. I haven’t owned one long enough to know if they slick up with use and age. Also, the Terminator, for some odd reason, does not come in 1″ thickness. It is closer to 15/16″. Finally, the Terminator may be too soft for use on a light gun. If a pad on a light gun is too soft, it will collapse too much on firing and actually increase your face slap. That is why only guys with scope scars shoot soft pads on magnum rifles.

The Pachmayr Decelerator has a nice solid look. It is egg crate design, but hidden inside. It is made of miracle goo just like the Terminator (sticky- but the Decelerators do slick up with use and time). Personally, I just hate the plastic insert. As the pad ages, they stick out like a sore thumb, though they do help clumsy mounting when the pad is new. Also, the Decelerator has a lot of give, like the Terminator, and may have too much movement on a light gun.

My light field guns are a 6 3/4# Belgian Superlight and a 6 1/4# Webley & Scott. Both have standard black Pachmayr Old English pads. I like the old fashioned material on these guns because it has less give. Enough, but not too much. The pads also clean up much better than the new sorbothane Terminators, Kickeezes and Decelerators.

There it is. More than you ever wanted to know once again.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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Adjusting Point Of Impact

Dear Sirs

I have a Browning Special Sporting that patterns its barrels at 2″ and 5″ high at 40 yards, respectively and would like to have my top barrel altered to shoot 2″ high. I would like some advice on what is my best option to achieve this along with approx. cost and where to find a company to have this performed.



Dear Dan,

Well now, there it is. Shotguns will just do that. I don’t know how you checked your point of impact, but the usual way is to use the same Full choke tube in each bbl and whack away at 40 yards. You can also do it at 20 and double the readings. This is probably easier and full choke gives you a more definable pattern for easier measuring.

3″ variance at 40 yards is not very much and would be considered pretty good by most gun makers. Remember, Browning is quite proud of the fact that their Japanese guns have bore measurements of “only” +/- .003″. If you gang that with the same variance in chokes, you can go .006″ either way. That is an entire ton of variance, but with modern production that is the fact.

If they have that much variance in bores and chokes, it stands to reason that point of impact can vary a bit too. And- Browning Japan (alias Miroku) has pretty good quality control too when compared to other makers. Shotgun are not rifles and you may have to learn to live with it. Very, VERY few shotguns will have perfectly aligned bores at 40 yards.

The basic design of the O/U shotgun “wants” to toss the top barrel a little high. It is far more the rule than the exception and is due to the fact that the top barrel sits higher in the action. Do you think 3″ high at 40 yards is a lot? I had a Perazzi Comp 1 trap gun that shot its top barrel 18″ higher than the bottom at 40 yards! I had a Belgian Browning 12 gauge Superlite that was almost as bad. I shot a whole bunch of grouse and woodcock with that Browning until I found out about the barrels. It destroyed my confidence in the gun and I sold it.

What is the fix for improper barrel convergence? The usual fix is to take a piece of paper, tape it to the stock and write “Gun for sale” on it. If you just can’t live with it, there are two other approaches.

The easy way is to use an eccentric screw choke. In the old solid choke days (good old?) the choke on the offending barrel would just be recut slightly on a bias. This was a very common adjustment and could influence the pattern a small amount in any direction. I had this done to a 28 gauge Parker Repro that threw the left barrel half a foot to the left. I lost a bit of choke, but the convergence was perfect. Today, with screw chokes, you just get Briley to cut you an eccentric choke. I have never used one and imagine that you would have to be quite careful in seating the choke by an index mark, but Briley does offer the service.

The other way of adjusting point of impact- the right way- is to pull off the side ribs and reset the barrels just like they originally do at the factory. It is expensive and takes and expert with a test range. It also requires rebluing. It is much easier to take out that piece of paper and write “For sale” on it.

One last thought. When possible I ALWAYS try to buy my O/Us used. This gives me the chance to test before buying. The first test that I make is always to check barrel convergence. I can change point of impact by altering the stock, but barrel convergence is built in. I have been burned by improper convergence enough to be very wary of it. Welcome to the club.

Of course, if you shot gas guns, you would have no trouble getting that single barrel to converge properly, now would you.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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Report Pair Problems

Dear Technique-oid

There’s nothing more frustrating than consistently missing the second bird in a report pair. If I can hit the first, what’s going haywire on the second? It’s exactly the same presentation. Is there any such thing as a “typical” error in form that causes this to happen?


Dear Mike,

Well, it is tough to tell without seeing you in action, but I can make guesses as well as the next guy.

On the first bird of an identical report pair you are probably starting with a low gun, or at least one off the face. On the second bird, you may be leaving the gun up in your face and shooting a fully mounted gun. If your stock is a touch too low, the additional cheek pressure of a mounted gun might cause you to miss that second bird.

Just a guess, but check your gun fit. You could also try dismounting and remounting for the second bird when timing of the pair permits it.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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