July is Carroll Time as 24-year-old Californian Claims Pan Am Gold Too | USA Shooting

Source: July is Carroll Time as 24-year-old Californian Claims Pan Am Gold Too | USA Shooting

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Pitch And Point Of Impact

Dear Technoid,

Does pitch have an effect on point of impact(either high, low or just recoil? Thanks for your help.


Dear F.B.,

Well, sort of, maybe, sometimes. Here’s the deal. If the gun is properly mounted to the shoulder, then pitch has no effect on point of impact (POI) because the shot is out of the barrel long before the muscles of the shoulder compress and can redirect the muzzle due to pitch.

However, if you are shooting a low gun, excess pitch might make you mount the gun slightly muzzle low. This will obviously cause a low POI because the gun will be aiming low. If your gun mount is good, it won’t, but if it is a bit sloppy then it might.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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Get A Safe

hello again,

As I indicated in my letter to you, things are going well with my montefeltro. However, as a result of buying a couple of guns this year, I am in need of some advice as to storage and thought you might be able to shed some light on the subject.

I now have four shotguns and one pistol and my “under the bed” storage space has run out. On one hand, I like the idea of an attractive oak and glass gun case (locking) to sort of display my guns and on the other, have some concern of theft and think a gun vault could be better. I don’t live in a high crime neighborhood but you never know. None of my guns are collectibles, in fact, they are only worth about $2000 or less in total. I am leaning toward the oak show case but thought you may be able to help. Also, if I go that route, where can you find that kind of stuff. I have searched locally (orlando, florida) and can’t find anyone who sells anything but the vault.

Anyway, anything you can offer in terms of pros and cons of each would be appreciated. I probably would have purchased the oak case if I hadn’t come to realize that so many people actually use the vaults. Of course, many have lots of expensive guns. I will likely get 3-4 more guns over the years but don’t expect to collect anything too special.


Dear David,

First of all, please use proper capitalization and punctuation. I makes the email much easier to read. I get a lot of emails each day and can give the best answers to stuff that I can actually read.

Someone or other makes a theft proof glass display case, but it costs a ton. Personally, I would love to display my guns in a glass case, but I feel MUCH safer storing them all in a humongous Browning gun safe. My wife and I are often away from home for weekends and I feel better knowing that my guns and other valuables are safely locked away.

If you do decide to get a gun safe, I recommend that you get the largest one you can afford. You will be amazed at just how fast it fills up. I don’t think that the brand of gun safe is as important as the size. Anything of decent quality is fine. In spite of all the advertising hype, the larger ones are all pretty much the same.

A friend of mine was a state trooper and used to give lectures on “burglar proofing” your house. He said that the average robber takes about five minutes inside the house. They know that the longer they stay in there, the better the chances of getting caught. If a burglar sees a safe, he will usually just ignore it and go on to the easy, quick stuff- like your wife’s jewelry in the sock drawer.

Get a safe. It is one of those things that you hesitate to buy, but then wonder how you lived without once you have it. In your area of Florida, also make sure to get a “golden rod” heat source to prevent rust. The guy who sells you the safe will know all about this little $25 rust preventer.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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Sloping Stock Theory

Dear Bruce,

I have seen Monte Carlo stocks, which have no drop, at the trap fields. I have seen parallel stocks in magazines and catalogs, which also have no drop. These stocks make intuitive sense to me. It seems that you would have a constant eye/rib relationship, and that you would minimize the variability involved in poor mounts, creeping the stock, and overhead or under foot targets.

However, the vast majority of shotguns have some drop in the stock. It would seem that with these stocks, there is only one place to put the face to have the proper eye/rib relationship. What is the value in the drop?


Dear Bob,

Your gut reaction- that a parallel comb would eliminate most “cheeking” errors- sounds good, but in practice it doesn’t really work out quite as well as it sounds.

The famous British game gun, the paradigm of field guns, virtually NEVER has a parallel comb. Trap and skeet guns often do. Think about the difference in the targets they are shooting and position of the gun start.

In field shooting and in sporting, targets are presented at all angles. I was once shooting driven grouse in Scotland from a butt high on a rocky outcropping. The grouse curled around the mountain thirty yards below me. I had never before shot down at grouse.

The advantage of a stock with some drop at comb is that it sort of auto-adjusts to the angle of the head position and angle of the barrel. Here is what I mean: when you are shooting a high overhead shot, your head automatically tips forward in relation to the stock- like you are very much crawling the stock. Yes, your head is straight up, but the stock is even more so. As the stock becomes vertical, the distance between the pupil and the line of the rib decreases. This would make you shoot low if it were not for the fact that, when shooting overheads, the face is pushed forward and thus higher up on a sloping stock. The tipping forward of the head on the stock decreases eye to rib distance, but the increase in height of the stock as it goes forward compensates for this.

It is the same on a low shot. On a low bird, say those grouse sweeping through below, the head is automatically more erect in relation to the stock (no matter how much you try to bend from the waist to compensate). This increases the distance from eye to rib line. However, on those shots, the head is normally a bit further back on the stock where the stock is lower and that helps compensate.

Naturally, this is all a matter of degree and each shot is different, but you get the idea. The angle of your head and placement on the stock vary slightly depending on extreme target presentations. I believe that the slightly down sloping comb helps even this out.

That said, too much downslope (such as on the current Beretta 390 sporting clays stocks) just causes me miserable face slap. It doesn’t bother some others, but it gets me pretty badly.

I shoot a Monte Carlo stock, shimmed slightly down, on my 303s and I shoot standard trap stocks with a slight drop at comb on my O/Us. These guns are used for wobble trap, International Skeet and sporting clays. Nothing is parallel, but there isn’t much drop either. For me that is the best compromise. In clay target shooting, I know what the bird is doing and I can get in proper position to deal with it. This makes me much more consistent than I am in the field where I usually don’t have the vaguest idea what is going to happen next. When I know what the bird is going to do, I can be more careful in my gun mount and thus can afford the luxury of a more parallel comb and less face slap.

Stocks are like suits and come in different sizes to suit different people. What works for one person may not work for the next. Still, I believe that most target shooters would shoot a little better with slightly more parallel combs than with steeply dropping ones, regardless of the clay target discipline. That doesn’t mean that sporting clays combs should be dead parallel, but they certainly shouldn’t have as much drop as some of them do. At least to suit my face, they shouldn’t.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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Center Ocular

Source: Center Ocular

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Chipmunk Cheek


I have a story to tell and a problem to solve. A few months ago I bought the Krieghoff I always wanted, a nice used K-80 Sporting (why buy new when used is cheaper), it was early model, 1985 manufacture w/K-32 30″ light barrels, threaded and choked by Rhino for Sporting Clays. I really tried to like this gun, but, I kept seeing a pig grinning at me from the end of barrel. But anvil like handling and port holes on the chokes (reminiscent of a Buick Electra) where only the minor problems. The major one was mondo face slap. Slap so bad that within 100 shells I developed severe “chipmunk cheeks” (K-munk??) i.e. swollen face.

I rounded up all the usual suspects; I lengthened the stock, installed a negative 1/2″ to 1/4″ pitch spacer (to bring it up to only 1″ of down pitch), and installed a 1/8 ” Cheek-eze pad (to take off the cast). Well, 1,500 shells later, it was a little better, but I still had swollen cheeks after 200 or so rounds shot at my local five stand in an afternoon.

After many mutterings and much soul searching, I found a kind and willing soul (who wanted the K gun more than I now did) to take the pig, port holes and all, off my soiled hands and sore cheeks. I then tried numerous other used guns ( usually “borrowing them” for a try-out 3 or four day period). I even tried several 30″ Browning Superposed Trap guns (all w/Broadway rib and beavertail forend), an “approved” Technoid favorite, but I still got slapped after a hundred rounds or so (now not a bad as with the K-gun, but cheeks still sore if not swollen) and I just couldn’t warm up to that fat forend.

Then my local gun emporium called (I keep a want list at all the shops in the area) to inform me about a used (only one careful owner) Perazzi MX 8 he just took in on trade. Now this gun was originally bought as a “Live Bird Gun”. Its former owner just couldn’t live without a new Piotti or such (wish I had that problem, not to mention the cash) to whack away at pigeons.

Anyway, the critical dimensions of the gun, are as follows:

– Perazzi MX 8 Trap, Serial number in the 92XXX range
– Flat Rib, w/ 1.70 Kg barrels, 31.5″ long
– Slim Forend
– Trap stock, 14 1/2″ over the glued-on Perazzi Sporting Clays type pad
– 2.5″ down pitch
– Cast off 6mm at toe, 10 mm at heel (yeah, I know it’s metric, but the
Technoid knows everything right?)
– Removable trigger 3.5/3.5 lb. pulls, internally selectable switchers
– Perazzi flush chokes tubes in both barrels
– Matched .725 bores, 2 3/4″ chambers
– Eye popping dark chocolate and black marble cake wood
– and 24 line per inch (or it’s metric equivalent) checkering

My critical dimensions are:
6″ in stocking footies
205 lbs soaking wet
33″ sleeve
slim face with high cheekbones
this gun is for sporting clays!!!

Technoid want details, he gottem details.

Now I haven’t yet bought the thing yet (but I am weakening by the minute) and I shot 400 rounds through it on Sunday at Five stand. Cheek was swollen and sore, but at least it took 4 times the number of rounds to do the same or less damage that the K-gun did.

Being the Technoid, and an expert in gunfitting via the ether (ethereal gun fitting??) what are my options to exorcising the dreaded K-munk cheeks. Do I; 1) Buy it and have the gun fitted? 2) Buy it and have that gorgeous wood violated and have a soft adjustable comb put on? 3) all of the above? 4) none of the above? 5) Something else, maybe?

Please advise, boots on, beer in hand, breath baited,


Dear Bob,

As JTOP(3), your question goes directly into the “Priority” pile.

You definitely have a gun fitting problem- or a shooting stance problem. Yes, I know it is always easier to blame the equipment (I generally do), but consistent chipmunk cheek requires traveling down other avenues. Stock crawlers get cheeks pounded more than “heads up” shooters.

Have you ever had a gun that didn’t beat you up? If you did, what were those stocks like? Perhaps you could copy those measurements.

Like you, I have high cheekbones and am simply savaged by guns that have any cast off at all. Installing a pad on the side of the stock really doesn’t remove the cast off in the sense that the angle of the inside of the stock doesn’t change. It is the angle of the cast off stock that gets you, not the absolute measurement vis a vis the rib.

Same with the angle of the comb. More drop at heel compared to drop at nose is bad, less (closer to a Monte Carlo) is good. Ideally, the stock would have reverse drop a la Weatherby rifles, but in a shotgun that would make cheek placement too critical. I tried it. Don’t do it, especially on a sporting gun where your cheeking point may vary with different types of presentations. Forget about porting and the other gimmicks like backboring. That won’t help face slap one tiny bit.

Pitch can be a factor, but those B-25 trap guns that you shot are close to zero pitch if you get rid of the hook butt pads. Hook pads are very critical as to shoulder placement and can easily produce positive or negative pitch depending on the mount. The closer you get to zero pitch, the better the face slap situation will be.

So, the standard stock fixes for face slap are 1) zero pitch; 2) parallel comb; 3) zero cast. Finally, you must make sure that the stock is long enough. A short stock sort of builds up speed and rearward movement during recoil because it isn’t as solidly placed on the shoulder. This is never good. Try a stock that is just a little too long- perhaps one approaching 15″ for your 33″ sleeve length- and see if that helps. By the way, proper stock length really depends on the distance from pistol grip to butt, not from trigger to butt as is commonly assumed. You can easily flex your finger forwards or backwards an inch. It is harder to move your hand forward and backward a full inch on the pistol grip.

You may be tempted to try a Soft Touch or G-Square hydraulic stock. Just be aware that these don’t work very well in situations where the gun is not firmly placed on the shoulder. They are great for American-style skeet, ISU and ATA trap, but not so hot for International Skeet or low gun sporting clays. You mount has to be perfect and solid to the shoulder to derive their full benefit. If it isn’t they will kick just like everything else until the butt comes to rest in the shoulder pocket.

Adjustable comb: Well maybe. If nothing else works, that would be worth a try. Just make sure that the comb is adjustable laterally too. Like you, I just hate to hack of a pretty stock with one of those gizmos.

One last thing to remember: your problem is face slap, not pure recoil. Anything that you do to lower recoil may lessen face slap, but it won’t cure it. Spongey recoil pads actually increase face slap by causing more movement along the cheek as they collapse. Light loads only hide the problem of a poorly fit gun.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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Benelli For Clays

Dear Technoid,

Can you handle one more question about the Benelli’s? I hope so. Would or can a Benelli M1-Super 90 hold up over 30-40,000 rounds,trouble free,as well as a Beretta A400? Here’s why I ask. I currently own one with a 24″ barrel (taboo I know)that I hunt with and have for 5 years now. I love the way it feels and operates. I also shoot some sporting clays ,strictly recreational and for a hunting tune up….maybe a 100 rounds a week March thru October.

I’d like to purchase a “for clays only” gun and I’m leaning towards purchasing the same gun with a 28″ barrel. If I was going to be a competition shooter, I’d get a A400,have it fitted, and be over with it. As they are, A400’s don’t fit me well (Even with their shims). Recoil and the ugly rib of the Benellis don’t bother me. I am not knocking the A400 in any way. I just shoot my Benelli well and want to keep that same “feel” as the gun I hunt with.

Also, I’m lucky in that my current Benelli shoots 1 oz. loads happily. Again,what can I expect to wear out after 30,000 rounds? Has anyone you know with Benelli’s ever done it?

Thanks for your time and opinion.


Dear Craig,

Tough question really. I don’t know of any high mileage Benellis because I don’t know anyone who has used them in clay target shooting for any length of time (though many give them a try for a short period of time). The Benellis have much more recoil than a gas action gun. You may not notice it in the field, but you will when you start shooting any clay target game seriously. I note that you use 1 oz loads now, but if you are serious about clay shooting you will want to use all the shot that the law allows and kick will become a factor.

Clearly, the Benelli action is strong and simple. I have heard of no secret flaw in the guns (like the receiver splits on the pre-1100 Remington gas guns). I wouldn’t worry too much about the durability of the Benelli. It is easy enough to stick in an extra part or two. You have to expect some maintenance on any gun. Even my FN B-25s need to be tightened up every 50K or so. My Beretta 303 currently has about 45K through it and has eaten one link, two hammer struts and has had four prophylactic main spring replacements. None of these operations took more than ten minutes and all were easily done in my cellar. It shouldn’t be any different with the Benelli.

Like you, I have trouble with the stocks on the Beretta A400 sporting clays models- even with all sorts of shims-, but found that their trap stocks shimmed down fit me perfectly and that their field stocks, shimmed up, do almost as well. All the Benelli stocks seemed like miniatures to me, but I just love that forend on the synthetic one. Fit is where you find it.

One point though. You may well find that the fit that works so well for you in the field will not be “tight” enough for sporting. In clay shooting you know the flight path in advance, so the tendency is to take a more reliable and firmer cheek position. This is why clay guns are usually higher and longer than field guns.

I guess that the bottom line is that if you want another field gun, get another Benelli. If you want a dedicated clays gun, get the one everyone else uses (and cut and plank the stock so that it fits). Just because everyone else does something, doesn’t mean that it is wrong.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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