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A day at the range - Just a Story

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Johnm1, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    The Evangelist Cowboy posted a story in the Revolver forum titled 'Revolvers and Milk' that was a nice bit of prose. So, I thought I'd try my hand at just a story with no point other than to tell a story.

    I went to the clays practice range last Saturday to see if my new 20 Gauge Sterlingworth would fit me better without the recoil pad that was installed on it when I bought it. The 20 Gauge has the same length of pull as my 12 gauge Sterlingworth but has a much higher comb and I don't shoot it anywhere near as good as the 12 gauge. Removing the butt pad had no real impact and it was going to be a short day.

    Now it is hot this time of year in Mesa Arizona. It is a suburb of Phoenix and I try to shoot when the range is not so busy. That means it is often over 100 degrees when I shoot. I drink lots of water, carry a towel to dry my brow and rest often. While resting a younger man and his son, I'm guessing the son is 9 or 10 years old, walk off the clay course and set up at the other practice station. The father proceeds to shoot his 12 gauge pump with his son operating the controller to launch the birds. Eye and ear protection in place and both show safe gun handling. After a while the father asks his son if he wants to shoot and as expected he jumps at the chance. Now the shotgun looks to be something along the lines of an 870 with a longer barrel. The son picks up the gun and instead of shouldering it he tucks the extra length of the stock under his armpit. There is just no way this kid could shoulder this gun by several inches. After some instruction the son says 'pull' and not only hits the first bird but turns it into nothing more than a cloud of dust. He continues to shoot hitting around 30-40% of his shots. How, I'm not sure. But when he hit them they just disappeared.

    Now my 20 gauge has a pretty short length of pull just at 13 1/2" at the rear trigger. And I thought that without the recoil pad he just might be able to shoulder the gun. So I asked the father if he would like to have his son shoot my shotgun. They both agreed. Lo and behold the youngster could shoulder the gun somewhat normally though it was obviously too long for him. I shoot the 2 1/2" RST Low Pressure shells, so recoil wasn't going to be an issue. And it wasn't. After the first shot/miss we changed to the left/modified barrel rear trigger so he didn't have to reach so far with his trigger finger.

    Lo and behold the youngster has some talent and turned that target into dust. I don't know exactly how many he broke but like his father's 12 gauge, when he hit them they just disappeared. And he just loved the gun and its history. The youngster was very appreciative and thanked me on the way out with a respectful 'Thank you Sir'. There is hope for the younger generation.

    But, I believe I just cost that Dad some money.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    Good on ya! We need more mentors in this arena, there's alot more to be said by offering to let them shoot your gun than just giving unwarranted instruction at a gun range. And we need more shotgunners. The art is kinda slowing down more and more people abandoning them in favor of ARs or PCCs or AKs (and in most instances rightly so) but the shotgunner who learns that 870 or 500 in and out through thick and thin and through buck and bird loses nothing in an HD situation. Anyone that can shoot a 12 ga good can also shoot a 20 ga better. A very unwise woman (she shall not be even given the courtesy of being called by her Christian name and I use the term Christian extremely loosely) once said "it takes a village" to raise a kid... No it takes a father.
     
    Johnm1 likes this.
  3. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
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    283
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Thanks Cowboy,

    Your storytelling was much better than mine. I haven't written just to write in decades. Its hard to write a story that the reader enjoys reading. As far as sharing with the youngster, I figure most on this forum would do the same.
     
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  4. George P

    George P Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Messages:
    3,684
    There's a young sporting clays shooter out of south central Florida named Joseph Fanizzi. He competed recently at the World English Sporting Championships which were held this year at Northbrook near Chicago. This young man, a sub-junior (under 16) came within 1 target during a super final shootoff of becoming the World Champion. Now I am sure it helps that his parents own one the premier sporting clay facilities in Florida; but to go up against the sponsored pros who make their living at this game and besting all but one - and only missing by 1 target, that is something. The other thing is he is a polite, respectful kid who is not full of himself like so many can be.

    He went up against over 1000 of the best; even wound up winning almost $8K for his hard work. It's nice to see stories about young kids getting into these games, whether just for the first time, or going after World titles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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