At the recent 2017 SHOT Show, Fabarm, the Italian gunmaker known for their unique flair in the design and appearance of their firearms, debuted a new model over/under shotgun that is gathering considerable attention. Officially, the full moniker of this new model is the Fabarm Axis Allsport QRR (Quick Release Rib). However, for the sake of saving ink, in this review we will call it the Axis Allsport.
If you have been competing for any time, you probably have a pre-shot ritual. For most shooters, it consists of lining up your feet, choosing the start and end point for the shot, visualizing the path of the target, making a pass along the line of flight with an unloaded gun, loading and taking a deep breath just before calling for the shot — just like your coach taught you.
Probably the one question I have been asked more than any other has to do with what design and gauge of shotgun I would recommend when trying to get someone started in shotgun shooting, in particular, a young person with little or no experience in shotgunning. Better than 80% of the time, my suggestion is a soft-shooting, semi-automatic in 20 gauge. The rest of that response normally includes the names of Beretta, Winchester, Remington or Benelli as the gunmakers who can help you along your way if you follow my suggestion.
Writing articles for Shotgun Sports has made me pretty introspective about my own shooting. I started off my 2014 Skeet Shooting season in San Antonio at The Blaser Skeet Classic. Unlike years past, I did not shoot well, and I struggled to figure out why. I began to try to put together the rationale for my poor performance.
“I never hit a shot, even in practice, without having a sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.” —Jack Nicklaus
We all know competition shooting consists of the good, the bad and the ugly. And, if you are having one of those days in which everything seems to go wrong, the good is not very obvious. Match stress messes everything up, and it will do it every time if we don’t prepare for it. But even if we do, there is the potential for disaster.
Like most boys my age in the early 1950’s, my first gun was a single-shot .410. It didn’t take very long for me to find out it wasn’t much good on flying targets or even running rabbits for that matter. My only source of income was a paper route, so funds were pretty scarce. A new Model 870 or a Model 12 was just a dream.
While attending the NSCA Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, in October of last year, I took a few moments to visit the Perazzi building. I was greeted by Perazzi USA’s Managing Director, Al Kondak. We spoke for a few moments, and I asked what new item he might have we could review. He took but a moment to consider his choices. Then Al showed me what I thought was a unique looking over/under. I held it in my hands for a better look and something about it just looked a bit…off. Aha! There was no ventilated rib atop the barrels. Hmm. What’s the deal?
Syren, a division of Caesar Guerini, the Italian gunmaking firm, continues in its production of over/under shotguns designed specifically for women. The latest model in the line of Syren offerings is aimed to attract the female trap enthusiast, the Syren Tempio Trap Combo.
The buttstock and forearm of Mossberg’s new 930 Sporting are made of American walnut. Color is medium brown with good, strong grain. It’s not likely you will ever see one of these stocks or forearms crack under the stresses of normal use. The areas of the wood typically checkered are laser-etched with what I would call a stippled effect, sort of thousands of tiny, shallow craters. This effect works rather well, as I had no trouble holding onto the 930 Sporting under recoil or even with slightly sweaty hands. A 1” medium-soft, black rubber recoil pad is mounted on the rear of the buttstock.
As for the trigger group of the 930 Sporting, I found my test sample’s sear initially broke at just under 6 pounds. However, with just a few boxes of shells, it broke consistently afterward at just over 5 pounds. This might seem like a heavy trigger, but while take-up was a bit longish, it was smooth and offered no hitches that proved detrimental to the feel or consistency of the trigger. One feature I liked was the cocking indicator housed within the trigger guard. The indicator is a small pin that protrudes when the hammer is cocked and sits virtually hidden within the trigger housing when the hammer is uncocked.
While the monetary rewards for teaching kids how to shoot may be small, your heart will be overflowing when you see the huge smiles they will give you the first time they break a target.
It has been over six years since I wrote the original Kids and Clays article which appeared in Shotgun Sports. This is the 11th year I have been teaching kids to shoot clay targets through the auspices of the 4H program and the cooperation of the Paris, Texas, Skeet and Trap Club. The following are some of the lessons I have learned over the past years.
Until you participate in an effort like this, you will not believe what a rewarding experience this can be. So if you have an inclination toward teaching and have paid your dues by shooting in the clay target sports, you really should consider getting involved through your local 4H program.