When I have the opportunity to write a review on a shotgun, one of the areas of information I like to include is the choke constriction as it relates to the bore size of the shotgun in question. After all the years I have been involved with smoothbores, it still amazes me how many shooters do not understand or actually comprehend that choke value is only determined when the bore size is known. So many gun owners think all they need to know is the size of the muzzle exit. Somehow they do not get it that you must have the internal diameter of the bore as well as the I.D.
I began shooting registered skeet in 1989, and the Cosmic Cowboys had already made their mark and gone their separate ways by the time I started.
On the 40th anniversary of the inception of the Cosmic Cowboys, it seems only fitting we travel back in time and recall the famous five and recap a little about who they were and what they accomplished.
Federal Gold Medal Grand
Each year’s SHOT Show visit promises more than a few days respite from the clutching grip of winter. It brings with it an opportunity to see a broad array of new things: guns, ammo, reloading equipment, cartridges and assorted components and tools designed to make life a little bit better. And, occasionally, a surprise.
In 2004 the competition clay target aficionados of the U.S. began seeing a new kid on the block in the form of a new, low profile over/under from a German company previously known for its high-performance rifles. Blaser of Isny, Germany, began to export their innovative over/under shotgun known as the F3.
“What you see is what you get.”
The vast majority of competition shooters are, well, old. By old, I mean 40 or older, and this is important because one of the problems that occurs at this time in our lives is that our vision starts to fade.
Many sportsmen consider President Theodore Roosevelt the father of our modern conservation movement. At a minimum, he was our first Conservation President, and one of the most influential in developing federal programs to preserve our forests, game habitat and all wildlife species. Like all of us, he loved the great outdoors and cherished his time afield harvesting our panoply of game animals which dotted the American landscape at the turn of the 20th century.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”
While doing research for a book I am writing, I came across a number of papers that studied how people prepare for projects or develop business plans. There were a lot of good ideas offered, but one of the most interesting things I found out is a lot of businesses are failures in spite of good plans and good execution of those plans.
Clay target shooting has many disciplines. Among them are American Skeet, International Skeet, ATA, PITA and Olympic Trap, Helice, Sporting Clays, Crazy Quail, Powder Pigeon and others. People who shoot these various disciplines do so because they like the way the various games are played. I believe their preferences stem from the unpredictability of the target presentations while others emulate hunting situations.
The most important fundamental in shooting or any hand-eye coordination sport, for that matter, is the focusing of the eyes on the object, in our case the target. Even though it is the most important, it is the least understood and perfected of all components of shooting.
Like a lot of shooters who participate in the clay target games, I will often shoot with over/unders some days and semi-auto shotguns other days. I thoroughly enjoy shooting my over/unders. They fit me well, are comfortable to shoot (primarily because they do fit me), are attractive and, admittedly, there is a level of pride I feel when shooting an over/under. But, if I had to be brutally honest, and someone asked me which design I shoot better, I would have to say the semi-autos. Why is that?