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

“Real” Clays Practice for the Field

Posted by Bill Miller on Sep 4, 2018 10:19:00 AM

 

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There are two kinds of clay target shooting. You can go out and shoot clays for the sake of the games themselves. Trap, skeet, and sporting clays are all fun in their own right. They can stoke the competitive flame and compel shooters to renown. Or they can be pursued as family fun, a wonderful introduction to firearms, and challenging lifelong pursuits.

Then there is clay shooting in preparation for hunting. It’s practice to make you a perfect shot in the field. The goal is to create mental pictures and instill muscle memory you’ll call upon when you’re hunting.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

One-Gun or the Golf Bag Approach?

Posted by Bill Miller on Aug 30, 2018 9:55:00 AM

 

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There are two different ways to look at shotguns for hunting … and to some extent for shooting clay targets. Neither is right. Neither is wrong. They are just different.

The first view considers a shotgun as a tool, and a means to an end. Nothing more. Nothing less. In this philosophy, a shotgun is simply the implement used to make it possible to take game – most often birds, but sometimes furred-critters or even big game. As a craftsman recognizes the importance of maintaining his tools, this shooter is just as pragmatic about maintaining his shotgun.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Hunting - Turkey, Hunting - Upland, Hunting - Duck

Basics of the Shotgun Games: American Skeet

Posted by Bill Miller on Aug 24, 2018 2:08:48 PM

 

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A quiet skeet field, where the new student and a competent coach can work together uninterrupted, is the best tool for teaching wingshooting skills. The flight of each target is the same, so it eliminates the variable of the new shooter having to figure out where to look.

Low seven is a straightaway launched just a few feet from the shooter. It can be learned quickly and is a great confidence builder. This is really important when working with a new shooter whom you had to convince to give shotgun shooting a try. They need some near-instant success to build enthusiasm quickly and the realization, “Yes, I can do this!”

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Laser Guided Shotgun Training? Almost…

Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 23, 2018 9:24:00 AM

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Wingshooting skills would be so easy to learn if we were shooting laser guns. You know, the ones aliens carried in the “B” movies to project a continuous beam of disintegration at earthlings who refused to take them to their leader. With these mythical shotguns, we would just watch the beam and easily adjust for lead on any target no matter how evasive its maneuvers.

If you’ve ever set foot on a shotgun range, you know it doesn’t work that way. Learning to consistently center a shot pattern you can’t see on a moving target is to master physics, muscle memory … and a good bit of art. It takes time.

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

What Is a Shotgun Target Load?

Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 19, 2018 9:53:00 AM

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All boiled down, a target load is any shell you drop into your shotgun with the intent of breaking a clay target. That can be anything from the most bargain basement, off-brand promotional load to a $5.00-per-shell exotic metal non-toxic variety.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

The Great Shotgun Bead Debate: Part Two

Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 17, 2018 10:19:00 AM

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The debate over beads is so great, it cannot be contested, or even in explained, in one post, so we’re giving it a second. In Part One we learned the difference between single-projectile firearms which you aim and a shotgun which you point with a lot more margin for error. We also learned a shotgun will work perfectly well without beads and that some folks think it’s best to learn to shoot one that way. And finally, we covered front beads and mid-beads on modern shotguns.

Now it’s time to explore why many … make that most … top shotgunners consider highly visible beads so crucial on both target and field guns.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

The Great Shotgun Bead Debate: Part One

Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 16, 2018 9:24:00 AM

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Rifles and handguns are aimed. Shotguns are pointed. But what does that really mean?

It means shooting any firearm with a single projectile is precise. It requires time and attention to align the sighting system – whether open sights or optical sights – on the intended target. Alignment and steadiness are so critical that the best shooters control breathing and heartbeats to press the trigger at the absolute proper millisecond.

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

Shooting Glasses for Shotgunners

Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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There are two reasons every shotgunner needs to wear shooting glasses. First, and most important is for protection of your eyes. Second, is to enhance your ability to see the targets quickly and clearly.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Basics of the Shotgun Games: American 16-Yard Trap

Posted by Bill Miller on Jun 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Semi-Auto: First & Forever Shotgun

Posted by Bill Miller on Jun 22, 2018 9:38:00 AM

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Spend a pre-hunting season Saturday afternoon at a sporting goods store, and chances are pretty good you’ll witness this scenario.

A parent, seeking a first shotgun for a son or daughter, walks in and makes a beeline to the single-shots, maybe with a glance at the pumps on the way. The youth points at the semi-automatic rack but is ushered away quickly. Eavesdropping, you’ll hear: “Too expensive,” “Too big for you,” “Adult’s gun.” Or the worst, “Those are dangerous!”

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Topics: Clay Shooting