Beretta Blog

Bill Miller

Bill Miller is an outdoor writer/editor who has hunted and/or shot competitively and recreationally in 41 states, 9 provinces, and on 5 continents. While he enjoys all kinds of hunting and shooting, at the core, he's a shotgunner - ever since his youngest days when his parents issued his allowance in shotshells rather than cash. He shoots trap, skeet, sporting clays regularly and has shot the international clays games, FITASC, helice, ZZ bird, live pigeons, StarShot, and more. His writing has appeared in North American Hunter, Delta Waterfowl, Clay Target Nation, Waterfowl & Retriever, Game & Fish Publications, Quebec Outfitters magazine, and many more. He hosted hunting and shooting sports shows on ESPN, espn2, ESPNU, Versus, the Outdoor Channel, FoxSports, Sportsmen's Channel, and Pursuit Channel, He is currently the Executive Editor for 50Campfires.com - the world's largest media platform for family campers.
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Recent Posts

Can You Hunt with a Sporting Shotgun?

Posted by Bill Miller on Nov 15, 2018 10:08:00 AM

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What is the ultimate purpose of a hunting shotgun?

It’s not a trick question. Don’t overthink it.

The purpose of a hunting shotgun is to solidly hit the flying game at which you are shooting it.

So then … what is the purpose of a sporting clays shotgun?

Again, it’s to solidly hit the moving target at which you are shooting it.

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Topics: hunting - waterfowl, Hunting - Upland, Hunting - Duck

Thoughts On Securing Your Home Defense Shotgun

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 31, 2018 9:14:00 AM

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Choosing a shotgun as the “tool of final resort” to defend yourself, your family, and home can be a wise decision. A light, short-barreled shotgun has a lot going for it as a defense weapon. We’ve looked at the pros and cons versus a handgun, and there are many reasons the shotgun can come out on top.

However, there’s one big question that must be answered: How are you going to store that shotgun securely and safely yet keep it accessible in a fraction of a second should you need it?

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Topics: Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting, Firearms Safety

Does How You Break Targets Matter?

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 24, 2018 9:04:00 AM

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In trap, skeet, and sporting clays breaking 100 out of 100 targets in a round is a perfect score. It’s an accomplishment any shooter (especially a new shooter) can be proud of. Heck, don’t even worry about 100 straight – 25 and 50 straights are pretty sweet, too. Gun club websites and bulletin boards are justly cluttered with pictures of shooters holding those 25, 50, and 100 straight patches. Each one is a memorable milestone in the development of a competitive clays shooter.

You’ve probably walked off the range with a shooter who just shot a straight. He or she will almost always wear a big smile, but despite the accomplishment might say in feigned humility, “Boy, that was ugly!”

Ugly!?! How can a perfect score be ugly?

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Topics: Clay Shooting

The Shotgun Fear Factor of Home Defense

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

 

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There’s a great deal of debate when it comes to creating and training for a home defense plan. The decisions you make and the tools you select will come down to what you personally believe you’re trying to accomplish.

Do you believe the best plan is to silently “retreat, retreat, retreat” and hide in hopes either the authorities will arrive or the bad guys will leave on their own before they find your hiding spot? Or are you of the mind to aggressively confront and repel the intruders … shooting if necessary in the process? Or is it your goal to more passively repel them – scare them off – hopefully, without a shot being fired?

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Topics: Dynamic Shooting, Self Defense

As Easy As Pointing Your Finger

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 16, 2018 9:44:00 AM

 

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On some days – all too rare days – wingshooting seems so easy. It’s as easy as pointing your finger and thinking, “bang!” When that happens, it’s because the clays seem as big as trashcan lids or the pheasants seem to fly in slow motion.

While such days are the ultimate in shotgunning fun and the stuff of the best glory days’ memories, at some point I usually remember that glory never happens without paying for it!

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Hunting - Upland, hunting - waterfowl

Basics of the Shotgun Games: Sporting Clays

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 12, 2018 8:49:00 AM

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At the conclusion of a particularly humbling round, sporting clays has been called a lot of things by a lot of people. Many of them are not suitable for a family website like this Beretta Blog. However, I vividly remember the two things I said after completing my first ever round of sporting clays in 1984.

The event was media day at the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club. They had just finished installing their first sporting clays course, but not yet opened it to the public. Members of the press were invited to shoot the “new game” in hopes of providing some pre-grand opening publicity.

As I walked back to the clubhouse, the manager came up and asked, “So, what do you think?”

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Home Defense: Why I Choose a Shotgun

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 3, 2018 8:08:00 AM

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The instructor of the course I attended to acquire my first Minnesota Permit to Carry was a goofball. The six-plus hours of classroom instruction were heavy on his tales of bounty hunting adventure and his personal political and religious views. They were vapidly light on meaningful content. Though this was nearly a decade ago, and I have attended much better “thinking man’s” carry training since, one piece of good advice from “GI Joe” still rings loud in my head:

“There is nothing worth killing for that isn’t worth dying for.”

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Topics: Self Defense, Dynamic Shooting

Familiarity Breeds Success

Posted by Bill Miller on Oct 1, 2018 9:08:00 AM

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Our weekly Wednesday night sporting clays league was a welcome respite from hectic days at the office. All of us on the team – the regulars, anyway – worked at the same mid-sized company. Though we focused on different departments, we were all under the thumb of the same “Man.” You know, “… working for The Man.”

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Topics: Clay Shooting

4 Quick Adjustments to Break More Targets

Posted by Bill Miller on Sep 10, 2018 11:36:00 AM

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Breaking more targets. Achieving higher scores. From the Tuesday night league shooter to the high school team member to the occasional weekend-with-buddies plinker to the hardened competitor -- these are the goals of every clay target shooter. Break more birds!

Sometimes reaching these goals takes a revamp. You need to go to a professional coach for a tune-up, or maybe a total makeover starting with rebuilding the basics and working your way back up. You know, like when a pro golfer has to go back to his or her swing coach to get back on top.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

On the Job Training for Wingshooters

Posted by Bill Miller on Sep 6, 2018 10:38:00 AM

 

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There was a time in North America when it was possible to learn the skills necessary to become a great wingshot by shooting live birds. But we’re talking a long time ago – think of the heydays of the passenger pigeon, which was the early- to mid-1800s. Think of the days of market hunting for waterfowl, which ended in the early 20th century.

The bottom line is, it takes a lot of shooting to become good at it. Championship caliber shooters in any shotgunning discipline shoot tens of thousands of shells a year to develop and maintain their skills.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland