Slipping Butt

Dear Technoid,

I recently requested your advice on the proper choke for a Model 42 that I was buying for skeet, trap, and 5 stand. I picked up the gun and shot six rounds of skeet this weekend. After this test run, I have more inquiries for the Swami of Shootsmanship.

The gun is a Grade V, with beautiful unblemished wood. It feels too long, but I will solicit the advice of a respected local fitter. A bigger problem is that the stock tended to slide, which I assume is due to the lack of grip with the hard butt plate. One friend suggested non-skid material similar to the stuff used in a shower. A second said to get a rifle pad. What is the correct answer?

An unrelated problem occurred with the pump. It was rough and would not always close for the second shot on doubles. Part of this was due to my unfamiliarity with the gun, but is there a breaking-in period with a new pump? Are there any parts I can polish to smooth the action?

Besides these two areas, the gun definitely fulfills my needs. I learned that many of my broken targets with a 12 gauge were created by pattern effectiveness which compensated for poor swing fundamentals. I will have to refine my technique to hit with this gun. I eagerly await your advice.


Dear Robert,

Plastic butt plates were invented by a committee from the Audubon Society and installed by weekend workers for the Friends of Animals. They slide off shoulders and gun racks. Fancy checkered butts on those neat English guns are even worse. Even the gorgeous little skeleton butt plates and checkering on the Parker Repros made a gun that was already difficult to shoot well, just about impossible. Good looking girls aren’t always great cooks. I guess that goes for guys too.

Those 42 repros are little jewels though, so you want to be careful what you do. Slippery butts are even worse in pumps than in other guns because you have the additional movements involved in working the action.

If I were you I would be VERY slow to cut the stock, especially since you are pretty new to the gun. You friend who suggested the “shower star” has a good idea. Buy one of these non-skid plastic shower flowers and stick some on the back. See how it feels. You can always take it off without hurting anything. You may well find that as you get used to the gun, you will be able to remove the shower plastic and shoot it fine just the way it came from the box.

One of the “problems” with your M42 is that it has a curved plastic butt piece. Looks pretty, but curved butts on shotguns really only have a practical application if you shoot premounted games like trap. I had some M12 28 ga repros and on those I needed more stock length. I used Pachmayr Old English black pads and cut the stock just enough to true up the curved line and give me correct pitch. The rubber recoil pad is nice on a pump as it gives just a little extra “grab”.

Since lengthening the stock isn’t your concern, I would really just try to learn to shoot the gun the way it is with the non-skid stuff on the back. Later on you may find that you don’t need the non-slip stuff and can shoot the stock gun just fine as you become more familiar with it. If you put a rifle pad on, you will have to cut the stock to square up the rear. When you do that you had better know what amount of pitch you want (2″ is normal) or you will have to cut again.

As to your problems pumping, give the gun a little while. If you are new to pump guns, you will find that both the gun and you require a little breaking in. The M42/M12 repros are not as smooth as the original guns (especially with those darn interrupters Miroku installed), but they are slick enough. The stickiness is generally on the opening cycle, not the closing one. I think that the gun will smooth out as you get used to it. You might try positioning your left hand in different locations on the forend. That often cures pumping problems. You really shouldn’t have to polish anything. Shooting it a whole bunch will take care of that.

[By the way, have any of you SR readers out there found a good way to remove the trigger interrupter Miroku put on these M12 and M42 reproductions? That is the one thing that keeps them from being just about perfect. Your “Swami of Shootmanship” would just love to hear from you.]

Best regards,

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

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