Beretta Blog

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

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

“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

A Clean Shotgun is a Happy Shotgun

Posted by Tom Keer on Aug 27, 2018 9:58:00 AM

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The argument of shotgun cleaning took place in bird camp. In one corner was my buddy who cleans his shotgun like clockwork... which is once a decade whether it needs it or not (it needs it). In the other corner was a pal who meticulously cleans his shotgun at the end of each day. On some days I wonder if he'd like to clean his shotgun after every shot. I'm in the middle and wipe my guns after each hunt and clean them once a month or at the end of the season. My only exception is that I do a thorough cleaning after hunting in a heavy downpour or after use in a saltwater marsh.

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Topics: Clay Shooting, hunting - waterfowl, 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