Ask Before Touching
A few years ago, I was at a gun club when I saw an unusual shotgun in the gun rack. The shotgun had a significant modification to the rib on the barrel.
The gun turned out to belong to a member of the California Golden Bears Trap Club, a gentleman that I knew. He had lost the vision in his right eye, and he was right handed. He was in his early eighties and, rather than learn to shoot left handed, he chose what I called a canary ladder. That’s what it looked like to me.
He could still mount the gun to his right shoulder but use his left eye for alignment—an unusual but great idea for this gentleman.
I was looking at it in the gun in the rack when someone else came up, picked the gun up to look at it and dropped it! Luckily, he dropped it on his foot so there was no damage to either the gun or to its special rib.
He had not asked permission to look at, touch or take it from the gun rack. The shotgun’s owner read the riot act to this guy.
A courtesy that most of us have been taught is to ALWAYS ask permission before touching anyone else’s shotgun.
Almost any shooter will, if asked, allow you to look at, pick up, mount and sometimes shoot their shotgun. Many like to talk about their guns. There are times and places where the owner may not want their guns touched, such as just before shooting.
Remember, ask first, and be understanding if the answer is no.
Always try to respect others’ equipment.
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.