Sometimes I have felt that the “plain” formed by the top surfaces of the SxS barrels (32″ in my case), seen peripherally of course, helps in keeping on line with the “plain” formed by the path of a long crosser.
Often, when shooting my autoloader, I wonder when I miss such a shot, thinking the lead was OK, if I dropped the gun underneath the line or pulled it up above the line. Quite honestly, I’ve thought about shooting this gun almost all the time as I have so much fun with it.
Have you ever “noticed” or “seen” such a relationship?
As to the plane of the SxS barrels helping define the horizontal position on a crossing target, maybe, but it doesn’t do that for me. While it may help in the vertical plain a little, for me the broad plane makes things much less precise in the horizontal plain on the same crosser. What it gives in one dimension, it takes back in another.
Personally, on long targets I find the single “sharp pointing” aspects of the gas gun to be unbeatable. The more bulk of barrels you have out front, the less precise you can be on that long bird. It doesn’t matter as much on the short stuff. Obviously, with 85% or so of the best sporting clays shooters using O/Us, my opinion isn’t universally shared as to two barrels. But none of them use a SxS.
What really matters is that if you enjoy shooting your SxS at sporting, AND if you shoot sporting just for fun, then by all means use it. If you derive your livelihood (intellectual or financial) from the game, use an O/U or gas gun because that’s what wins.
Although some people can shoot the SxS well at sporting, no ranked shooter uses one. That should tell you something. Additionally, in Britain SxS guns are given their own sporting clays shoots because they are not considered competitive with the real target guns. The last guy in Britain who did well with a SxS was Percy Stanbury with his Webley & Scott 500. That was in the ’50s. When I set up the Connecticut Traveler’s handicap system, pumps and SxS guns were given a 5 bird handicap. We have never had a pump or SxS ever win one of our shoots even with that 5 birds.
One of the nice things about shooting SxS guns in competition is that it levels the playing field between the hunter/occasional clay shooter and the avid clay target competitor. The hunter doesn’t know the birds as well, but he knows how to handle his SxS. The clay target shooter knows the birds, but he is wrestling with a borrowed gun or one that he only shoots occasionally. A light weight SxS game gun sure handles differently than a clay target gun. Many pretty good clay bird shooters shot well below their average, while many field shots were pleasantly surprised at how well they did. It’s nice to see that and it is good for the game.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)