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What is a Purpose-Built Shotgun? (Page 2)

The author got into serious trouble with the idea that one shotgun can do it all, so now he looks at shotguns designed for specific purposes.

    -Weight Rearward: A muzzle-light gun carries easily in one hand and points very quickly but is a poor choice for long crossing targets. They are great for carrying in the brush.

The stock is the “sight” of a shotgun, and its dimensions determine not only how well it suits an individual, but where the gun shoots.

    -High Shooting: The height of a gun’s comb determines whether it shoots high or flat. A gun that shoots slightly high—60 percent above point of aim, 40 percent below—provides built-in lead for rising upland birds.

    -Flat Shooting: A gun with a 50-50 impact is best for waterfowl, which are often dropping into decoys.

Other Considerations
A gun chosen specifically for waterfowl might have a stock shorter than an upland gun to compensate for all the layers of clothing worn while duck hunting. It might be synthetic, even camo-dipped, which is great for battling the elements. To my stuffy way of thinking, however, a synthetic stock disqualifies a gun for upland shooting, which should be done with walnut-stocked guns only. I also like sling swivel studs on my waterfowl guns so I can keep both hands free to carry gear and pick up decoys while remaining armed, just in case the ducks finally come just as I’m calling it quits.

How you put those pieces together depends on the purpose of your purpose-built gun. Take my grouse gun, for instance: It’s an SKB 100, a 20-ga. side-by-side with 25" barrels and fixed, open chokes. It weighs 5 lbs., 12 ozs., and with a weight-rearward balance, carries effortlessly in one hand as I fend branches off with the other. The lightweight and rearward balance also means it kicks hard for a 20 and swings with the authority of a drinking straw. It’s a fine gun for close cover, poke-type shooting with light loads, but I wouldn’t use it for anything else.

Actually, that’s not entirely true: I’d use it as an excuse to buy additional guns for other purposes.

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1 Response to What is a Purpose-Built Shotgun? (Page 2)

Tom Emard wrote:
September 22, 2011

The article is great for several reasons. Hunters often rely on things they hear around the campfire rather than investigating their choices of weapons. I recently started shooting again after retirement and enjoyed reading about the actual setup on the shotgun sighting. Happy hunting!