Beretta Blog

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 - Upland, Hunting - Duck, hunting - waterfowl

The Nose Knows: Reading your Birddogs' Signs

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 20, 2018 8:43:00 AM

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If you own a bird dog, let alone a string of 'em, then the odds are you're a fanatic. You know what their every movement and noise means. But if you're hunting over a buddy's dog, then you might not be as keyed into their tells. That's not a problem unless they're on point and you're far away. Here are some of the many different ways dogs give us clues about what's going on when they're hunting.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

It's Just a Walk Through the Woods. Or Is It?

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 18, 2018 9:41:00 AM

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The bell clanged as Rebel carved up the alder run. He blew through the pass-through cover, slowed and zig-zagged in the thick poplar, and picked up speed when he entered the alders. That last patch typically held birds, both he and I knew that. I wasn't surprised when his bell went silent, and his beeper began to sing.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

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

Overcoming a Shooting Slump

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 13, 2018 10:59:00 AM

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I remember the dark time like it was yesterday. I missed very few birds in the early season heat, full foliage, and tough shooting conditions. But later on, when the leaves dropped and the first frost killed the thick understory I couldn't hit boo. Every time a dog went on point I was excited, and after every flush I missed. When the last day of the season game I considered taking up another sport.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Position is the key to upland birding hunting

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 6, 2018 9:45:00 AM

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It was a perfect fall day, with frost on the ground, a light variable wind, and hardwoods bursting with color. The dogs easily differentiated between foot and body scent and were handily tacking down birds. All was right with the world except for my buddy's miserable shooting. His shooting reminded me of a season I had many years ago, one where I didn't know if I should wrap my gunning iron around a tree or take up another sport.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Staggered Shells

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 5, 2018 9:25:00 AM

Staggered shells

There is nothing quite as satisfying as walking up on a staunch point, seeing a bird flush, and dropping it with one shot. The dog gets feathers in its mouth, you smile, and your buddies slap you on the back. But missed opportunities are as much of a part of wingshooting as hits, and by matching your loads to your chokes you'll have more successes than failures. That includes staggering your shells.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

Don't Overlook the 28-Gauge

Posted by Tom Keer on Jul 3, 2018 9:13:11 AM

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I don't know if there is any one correct order of buying shotguns. That said, my own purchases seem to mirror that used by a lot of folks with whom I shoot and hunt.

Oddly enough, the first shotgun I shot was a .410 which was considered a 'boy's gun.' The recoil was certainly light for an elementary school kid, but the small amount of shot in each shell really meant that I'd have to be an experienced shooter to hit with one. In essence, the .410 is a 'man's gun,' but that description was reserved for the shotgun I first bought: a 12 gauge. I chose that shotgun for use on clays, pheasant, turkey, and waterfowl. A few months later I added a second shotgun which was a 20 gauge. The smaller bore was better suited for grouse, woodcock, quail and other smaller birds. Along the way, I added a 16 gauge, a 28 gauge, and even a .410.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland

It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got the Right Swing

Posted by Tom Keer on Jun 28, 2018 9:05:00 AM

Tom Keer Swing landscape

Recently, Beretta columnist Bill Miller explored different types of wingshooting techniques from a practical perspective of hand-eye coordination and mechanics. Now it's time to look at how those techniques apply in the field for different situations. Tom Keer explores the topic in more detail.

I didn't mind that the week of snow that fell in knee-high drifts ended my grouse season. It had been a great few months of snap shooting over solid points. While inland coverts were now a frozen tundra, the nearby ocean hadn't yet iced over. Add to the fact that the cold snap pushed big flocks of sea ducks, Canada geese, and Brant into the bay it was easy for me to make the switch. All I had to do was to trade my 28 gauge for a 12-gauge, my lead shot for steel, and my blaze orange for camo.

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

Shooting Singles Versus Flocks

Posted by Tom Keer on Jun 26, 2018 9:03:00 AM

Tom Keer Bird

Two braces, one pair of pointers and another pair of setters, carved up the field like there was no tomorrow. They all arrived at the same place at slightly different times. A pointer locked up followed by a setter's honor followed by a pointer's honor and then the back by the final setter. This covey was likely to be a hatblower, a term I learned from long-time bird doggers Ed and Sheila Hart. Hatblowers are big coveys, with some ranging between 50 and 75 birds strong. When they flush all a once there is a rush of air so strong that it nearly blows your hat off of your head.

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Topics: Hunting - Upland, hunting - waterfowl