After Buying a New Shotgun
There are a lot of articles in print regarding getting a new shotgun. There may also be some about what to do after you have that new shotgun, but here are my thoughts on what you need to do.
Many of the new guns these days have a multitude of adjustable components built in — adjustable comb, adjustable rib, adjustable recoil pad. That doesn’t mean you should make all the adjustments yourself, and you’ll get a better fit with help from a professional.
For my 75th birthday, a few years ago, I bought one of these new guns. It has an adjustable comb and an adjustable rib. When I got it, I started looking at these adjustments and knew immediately that I had no idea what I needed to do to get it where it worked for me.
I actually did the smart thing and went to Larry Garroutte of Corkel Arms, one of the best stock-fitters/makers I know of and had him evaluate how the gun fit me. The first thing he did was to have me shoot the 12 gauge on several pieces of paper, to ascertain the pattern and point of impact that the shotgun would give me.
After several shot analyses of sheets of pattern paper, we found that the gun fit me relatively well without any adjustments.
This will not happen to many of us as we’re all built a little differently. Some of the young people we teach with the SCTP have long necks and need those adjustments.
After I visited Larry, I took my reloads and my personal pattern board out to the back 40 and patterned my sub-gauge tubes. They looked pretty good, too. Patterning will give you confidence in your shotgun’s point of impact.
After you get your new shotgun, make sure you have it where you can shoot it and where it fits you to optimize your shooting. Go to a professional; do it right the first time.
Shoot often, shoot well and stay safe,
Barry Hartmann is an NSSA Master Level and NRA Certified shotgun instructor who can help you improve your skills at American Skeet and wingshooting. To contact Barry, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (918)803-2393.