Q: I am color deficient (blind) and have a hard time picking out targets at times. I have tried various colors but just wanted your advice.
A: I am partially color blind in the red and green part of the spectrum. I could tell you what color lenses that I use, but that may be useless information to you. You need specific colors that for “you” bring out the red part of the spectrum (orange targets), and “push” back others parts of the spectrum, on the east coast, green backgrounds. The best way to do this is to go to someone one like Allan Lehman who has an inventory of every color in the spectrum and, through trial and error, see which color achieves the above desired effects for you.
Q: Do competition shooters use fiber optic sights? Or would this tend to pull your eye away from the target?
A: Bingo! I am not a fan of anything that is bright and at the end of my barrel that would draw my eyes to it. However I have had two students who told me that the sight gave them the confidence to look away from the barrel and focus on the target. And during the day they truly did maintain focus on the target, but that’s only two guys. Generally I am not in favor of these. The top shooters using these products are paid to do so, and they are top shooters because they pay little attention to the front sight, no matter what color it is. If they were looking at the front sight, it is doubtful that anyone would want them promoting their products.
Q: How do you feel about shooting an auto-loader in the 12 gauge event and Doubles?
A: All of my 12 gauge World Championships were won with a Remington 1187. All of my highest HOA averages have all been shot with one gun, K80, shooting the 20 gauge in the 12 gauge event. I think shooting two guns in a game of perfection adds variables. Over the years, I have tried all of the above. Years ago, a gentleman asked me, “Don’t you think you are giving up something by shooting the 20 in a 12 gauge event?” I told that if I thought that I was giving up something I wouldn’t be doing it. Recently I have gone back to my Krieghoff 12 gauge Over/Under, I did so mainly for Doubles and because I do not receive a lot of recoil due to the mass of the 32″ barrels. Should you shoot an auto-loader? Should you shoot the 20? 12 gauge Over/Under? Bottom line, shoot what you have the most confidence in, that’s what you’ll shoot better.
Q: I currently shoot a 12 gauge Browning 325. The gun seems to fit me well. Although after 50 plus rounds with Winchester 1 1/8oz. light target loads, my shoulder feels somewhat sensitive. Winchester Xtra-lites extend it to about 100 rounds. What would be your recommendation regarding the purchase of a dedicated skeet gun. I have thought about a 12 gauge Browning XS Skeet or 12 gauge Beretta 391. I do not shoot in registered events and consider myself a serious recreational shooter. The Browning is appealing due to the possibility of purchasing sub-gauge tubes.
A: There is nothing wrong with the gun that you are presently shooting, although a gas operated gun such as a Remington 1187 or the Beretta 391 certainly would reduce recoil. You have a number of options to reduce recoil in the Browning you are shooting. Adding weight to the gun will help. Most tubes set weigh in at the 8.5 to 9.5 lb range. The addition of tubes will immediately add around 14 oz should you choose the standard weight option. A recoil reducer can be effective. Also the porting of the barrels reduces a lot of perceived recoil. This means that (these are the numbers that I have heard) porting only reduces recoil by 15%, but reduces muzzle jump by 50%, which lessens perceived recoil. Any of the above, or combination thereof will help. I am presently shooting a Krieghoff K-80 in the 12 gauge, the weighs in at 10 lbs., and his ported. Recoil is negligible, shooting 2 3/4 dr, 1 1/8oz loads.
Q: I am contemplating purchasing a Krieghoff and would like a step rib. I noticed that you use one in your video. Did you have any problems with the point of impact being different on the step rib? Did you just change the hangers or not worry about it?
A: Believe it or not the only reason I shot a step rib is because I think that it looks cool. As for the point of impact, that varies between barrel to barrel and depends on how each barrel is set into the mono-block. I have two 32″ barrels, one for shooting the 12 gauge, and one for my tubes, both hangers are different, a 4 and a 7, but both barrels have the same point of impact.
Q: I am considering buying a set of the short sub-gauge inserts so the kids will have something to practice with until they make a decision to stick with skeet and warrant a better gun.
A: Short tubes/Chamber Mate’s work well for what they were designed for, allowing the weekend warrior to have fun shooting smaller gauges. You will not get the same performance as their bigger brother the full-length high-end tubes, especially in the .410. If you are looking for something to have fun with and knock around with, cool. For scores and performance, I think they fall short.
Q: Should a person be concerned about the lead change between 1145 feet per second and 1200 feet per second in the 12 gauge?
A: No. The differences in speed and subsequent lead changes are so small, considering the given distances, the results are negligible. I am not good enough nor sensitive enough to worry about it.
Q: I normally shoot #9 shot when shooting skeet. I shoot a Remington 1100 with a Cutts. I was wondering if I shoot #8’s, is it effective? I seem to hit targets better with the larger shot. What do you shoot skeet with? I was figuring that 1 1/8 ounce #8 shot are as effective as a 1 ounce of #9 shot.
A: I shoot Remington STS, 1 1/8 ounce 8 1/2 shot. Remington tells me that the antimony content in number 8 or 8 Â½ shot is higher than number 9’s, 6% vs. 4%. That’s why you are experiencing better breaks which is why I shoot them. The 8 1/2 gives me a little larger pellet count while retaining the hardness.
Q: I’ve recently bought a new 28 gauge Over/Under, and am currently shooting 2 3/4″, 2 Dram Eq. 3/4 oz., number 9 shot target load. I’m on a learning curve and am wondering if number 9 shot is the best choice.
A: I prefer 8 1/2’s, because there is high antimony content in 8’s and 8 1/2’s than in 9’s. My experience on the field coincides with this statement. The only down side as that as you go to bigger shot, you lose pellet count which relates to pattern density. This is why I do not shoot 8’s in the 28 or .410. Although 8 1/2’s can be difficult to find in the 28 gauge, Remington makes a wonderful 8 1/2 .410 target load.
Bottom line, it doesn’t much matter. You could be shooting 6’s, but you still have to put the shot pattern in the right place. People spend too much time worry about ballistics and chokes when they should be more concerned with fundamentals and technique, which ultimately controls where the shot goes.