Too Many Guns?


Your advice in the past has been spot-on, and I thank you. However my questions have been a day late and I was properly chastised about using the Search engine. I tried it last night and it was down, and I don’t recall ever seeing this topic, so I thought I might ask.

I recently inherited several firearms from my father-in -law. A 12ga Browning Superposed, a 12ga A5, a 16ga Model 12, a 28ga Remington 1100. Add those to my battery of 12ga Beretta 686, 20 ga Remington 1100, 12 ga 870 trap, 12ga Miroku. Now that I have an embarrassment of riches my shooting has gone to pieces.

I believe I have the right gun and gauge for all occasions. I shoot in a trap league, informal skeet and sporing clays, and hunt birds and rabbits. I believe my problem now is my timing is off when I change guns. The weights range from 8 lbs to just under 6. I feel awkward and uncomfortable for a time. By the time I feel all’s well the hunt or shoot is half over.

Do you have any regimen or tricks to help speed the adjustment period. More practice time is in the hands of the lottery folk. A well outfitted fellow like yourself must have conquered this many years ago.

and Wellies are on .


Dear Robert,

Well, there it is. You have an embarrassment of riches and that has its downside, as King Midas found out. However, it is always better to have too much than too little.

Like you, I also have more guns than I deserve (or commons sense dictates). And no, I don’t shoot them all equally well. That said, I don’t own a gun that doesn’t suit me pretty well. It is just that there is no way that you are going to shoot a Winchester Model 42 as well as you are going to manage a Beretta 303.

The one thing that I have done to each and every one of my guns is fool with them until they fit me properly for their purpose. Each one. Every one. I also don’t keep any gun, no matter how neat or interesting, that I don’t shoot well. I was really sorry to see my 28 gauge two barrel Parker Repro set go, but I just plain couldn’t hit a barn from the inside with it. Same with a nice little Beretta 28. Nice gun, but it just never worked for me. Life is too short to put up with dogs that won’t hunt or cats that won’t rat. Find them a nice new home and go on with your life.

The other thing that I do, in come cases, is to limit the gun’s use to particular situations. I have a SxS and a Superposed Superlight that I use strictly for hunting. They are too “fast” to be really good at clays, but they are heros in the field and allow me to eat more grouse than I deserve. I have an A-390 Beretta that works very nicely on tower releases and waterfowl. It is a bit low and short for clays, but it works nicely with extra clothing and high angle shots. While I prefer an 870 for waterfowl, I don’t have any in my arsenal at the moment.

The other chink in my armor is a dedicated American-style trap gun. Virtually all my clay target gun stocks have identical trap stocks because I have high cheek bones, but these all shoot almost flat for me, which is ideal for sporting and skeet. If I shot more ATA trap, I would get a dedicated 32″ AL-390 trap gun and set the stock on this one gun up high enough so that I could hold under the constantly rising ATA bird. As it is, I have to cover ATA trap targets and this isn’t ideal. Works great for Olympic Trench and wobble which is what I shoot mostly when I shoot trap, but not for ATA.

I think that what it comes down to is that if you set up each gun for a particular game and only pursue that game with that gun, different guns will work out. If you are going to use several guns for the same game, then they had better fit you the same and have roughly the same weight and balance.

Much of clay target shooting is a muscle memory sport. There is no need to make it harder than it has to be by introducing extra variables. Unless, of course, you are a fortunate man with those extra variables just waiting in the gun cabinet.

Best regards,

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

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