Beretta Blog

Dick Jones

Dick Jones is an award winning freelance writer living in High Point, North Carolina. He’s an NRA Certified Instructor, a Distinguished Rifleman, former High Master, and teaches shotgun, rifle, and pistol as well as the North Carolina Concealed Carry Certification and Hunter Safety at Lewis Creek Shooting School. He can be reached at offtheporch52@yahoo.com or on his Lewis Creek Shooting School facebook page.
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Recent Posts

One step to improve your shotgun accuracy

Posted by Dick Jones on Mar 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM

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Sometimes when I’m trying to emphasize the value of shooting instruction, I use the analogy of riding a bicycle. I ask the individual or group which way you turn the handlebars on a moving bicycle to turn right. Over 90% respond you turn the handlebars right to turn right. They look stunned when I tell them they’re wrong. Then I explain.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Will You Shoot Better with an Improved Trigger?

Posted by Dick Jones on Mar 6, 2018 11:42:23 AM

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Since I was a skinny, pimply faced kid behind a gun counter I’ve seen people check a gun for clear, look down the sights and check a gun’s trigger pull. Often the next statement is, “Nice trigger.” Gun companies are constantly upgrading their trigger systems, and sometimes offer competition triggers. I’ve certainly done the same thing thousands of times. I do like a crisp and light trigger pull, but does a light and precise trigger always result in better shooting?

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Topics: Handguns, Competitive Shooting

Knowing Your Limitations and Choosing the Right Choke

Posted by Dick Jones on Mar 6, 2018 11:23:21 AM

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I was at the Northeast Side by Side Classic Shotgun Championship and shooting with one of the best shooters in competition. While only a few of the target presentations on the course were long-range shots, J.D. was shooting a gun with modified and full chokes. Classic shotgun competitions do not allow choke changes because those old classic guns didn’t have interchangeable choke tubes. He was clearly a better shooter than I, but I was outdoing him on the close shots. I was shooting a gun with improved and modified chokes. The rules do allow using different loads for different stations, and I was using RST Spreader loads for the really close targets.

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

How to Sight in Your Rifle

Posted by Dick Jones on Oct 16, 2017 1:41:53 PM

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It’s a scenario I’ve seen dozens of times: a frustrated shooter with spent cartridges all over the shooting bench and still no zero. Sighting in can be frustrating if not properly approached, but if done correctly, it’s a simple and painless process.

The first objective is to remove all variables possible. That means making sure the scope is properly mounted to the rifle, using a steady and solid rest to allow repeatable shots, and setting up a target large enough to record any shots fired. Once this is accomplished, check the scope for parallax by moving your eye back and forth behind the ocular lens and watching to see if the reticle moves across the target. If the crosshairs move, you have a parallax problem that will affect your ability to fire accurate shots. If your scope has adjustable parallax, make sure it's set to the proper distance.

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Topics: Hunting, Rifle Shooting

Perfecting Swinging Through in Shotgun Training

Posted by Dick Jones on Oct 4, 2017 10:41:26 AM

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Sometimes in life, you look back on something and realize there was a lesson you should have learned, but you missed the opportunity. Recently I was instructing a new shooter on how to shoot crossing targets, and I remembered an important lesson I missed.

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Topics: Clay Shooting

Gun Training - The Conditioned Response

Posted by Dick Jones on Oct 2, 2017 2:49:45 PM

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This week, I spent an hour or so in the car with my 15-year-old grandson who has his learner’s permit and is learning to drive. As we drove, I explained to Charlie the importance of conditioned response in driving. His mom had an accident shortly after getting her license. Her tires ran off the pavement, and she snatched the wheel, causing the car to veer across the road on the other side. It could have been a life-threatening accident, and she asked me to teach him how to avoid her mistake of snatching the wheel when her tires ran off the pavement. Charlie is fast becoming an effective shooter, and most of our visits involve some pistol training. I explained the process was no different than the training we were doing with his pistol shooting.

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Topics: Competitive Shooting, Concealed Carry, New Shooters

Shoot Accurate or Shoot Fast?

Posted by Dick Jones on Aug 11, 2017 9:06:33 AM

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I was shooting a defensive pistol match at my home club. The guy who’d set up this stage was clearly a masochist because the stage was designed to create an opportunity for failure. Defensive pistol matches are scored on the basis of the lowest time with penalties for misses and serious penalties for shots that hit "hostages." The course of fire required the competitor to fire two shots at three targets with only the head and shoulders of the USPSA target visible behind a hostage. This was repeated at three, five, and seven yards. This meant the only way to shoot the stage clean was to make head shots only.

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Topics: Dynamic Shooting, Concealed Carry, Handguns

The Beginning Wingshooter

Posted by Dick Jones on Jul 20, 2017 1:10:10 PM

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I watched from my position on the dove field as Trey stepped out from behind the blind and raised his 20-gauge shotgun. The dove came in close and turned slightly. The gun came up smoothly, and I saw the feathers fly before I heard the report. The dove plummeted to the ground, and I watched eight-year-old Trey do a celebratory victory dance. He’d taken his first dove. He got two more that day.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Hunting - Upland

Does The Gun Fit?

Posted by Dick Jones on Jun 29, 2017 7:04:00 AM

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My client was an accomplished pistol and rifle shooter. In college he shot on the rifle team, he’d been an AAA class Metallic Silhouette shooter, and he’d taken game all over America and Africa. Now, he wanted to improve his wingshooting skills when shooting sporting clays. He was having trouble.

We began shooting the easiest target on my course, a straightaway target that was almost like shooting a tin can on a fence post. He’d brought two guns, one an excellent over-under and the other a high quality semi-auto. After a series of misses trying both shotguns, we checked how well the guns fit him, and I discovered that the comb of both guns was too high to allow him to see directly down the rib. I fetched one of my guns with a lower comb, and after missing the first shot, he crushed every target from that station. He was amazed at the difference, and we joked about the price I wanted for that gun.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, Hunting - Upland

The Beginning Pistol Shooter

Posted by Dick Jones on Jun 28, 2017 1:11:07 PM

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As an instructor, I see more and more people wanting to learn to shoot who have zero experience with guns. This is a tremendous blessing for our industry because all these new shooters are not only recognizing the value of firearms ownership and the ability to defend themselves, they’re likely to convince the people around them to reconsider their previous position on guns. Unfortunately, I also hear horror stories about the training (and lack of training) some of them have experienced. Learning to shoot is a serious undertaking and shouldn’t be approached in a haphazard fashion. Early success is important to a new shooter and bad habits established early must be overcome for a new shooter to reach his or her potential.

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Topics: Handguns, New Shooters