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Q: have shot a second-hand Krieghoff 30 gun for DTL since h 2018. It came with ½ and ¾ chokes, and my best score with this was 86. I then bought two Muller 3/8 and ½ chokes, and not long after was getting 90 or more.

I met a dealer and discussed chokes; he told me about CompN Chokes.  I bought four from him: one Imp Cyl, on¼, one 3/8 and one ½. At the moment Im using Imp Cyl in the bottom and 3/8 in the top, with good results – I havgot to 96 with a few second barrels. Im shooting 8.5 cartridges in the bottom barrel and 8s in the top.

Are the chokes really making a difference, or am I just lucky? If thformer, how much further can I go?

 

A: Of course, no one but  you can

know for sure whether you shot better one day than another. What I can tell you is that in my own experience, too many folk use too  much choke fotheir DTL shooting.

My O / U trap gun has a multichokbottom barrel and fixed (full) choke top  barrel. The top  is much too tight for DTL, but  I have yet to have it bored out. I originally tended to use half choke in my bot tom barrel. One day, with a count y championship coming up, I had a set of aftermarket choketo try.

Having pat terntested them with a new cartridge I was also testing, I decided that the 3 / 8 choke would be worth trying. And so it transpired, I shot 98 / 289 to take my class by several points. I was well pleased with this score, especially the 25 / 75 an25 / 74 along the way.

This told me that there was indeed plenty of pat tern power with this choke and cartridge combination. I strongly suspect it is plenty for you (and many others) too.

As for shot size, much the same applies : fairly small shot will consistently break DTL targets. You tried 8.5 shot first (bot tom) barrel and 8 top  barrel. Note that if these are Italian cartridges, they are likely to be equivalent to UK 8 and 7.5 respectively.

You have had your best results with Imp Cylinder in your first barrel and wonder if less choke will improve scores. In honest y, I doubt it. Imp Cylinder with small shot is working for youbut  from here I would concentrate on improving your trap technique (stancehold points, calling for the target).

Become more accurate and consistent because, helpful as selecting a more open choke can be, it is sadly not  the answer to ever y situation.

If you get the chance to pat tern your cartridges and chokes, do so. Watch a few DTL lines being shot and determine the distance at which they are being shot. It will be around the 30 yard mark for the first (and most important) shot, as big scores are built on these.

Faster shooters will take them closer anvice versa, but  testing your gun/choke pat terns at 30 yards for first barrel and 8 to 10 yards further for the top  barrel (in case you let the second barrel go’ a bit) should be fine.

Interchangeable chokes do not all per form the same – only a pat tern  test will tell you if you are actuallcomparing like with like. You will soon see if your pat terns are up to itBear in mind the considerable rolcartridges play in pat tern performance. As the tests I have done for Clay Shooting magazine show, the cartridge can make a big difference.

A budgecartridge can open up a tight choke, and a premium cartridge can tighten an open choke. The range of pat tern percentages can var y by over 25 per cenfrom the same barrel and choke – equivalent to a range of five choke constrictions! If you change cartridgespat tern test again. RA


Q: I’ve been thinking about seeing a vision specialist for the first time. Iit really worth it? Convince me

A: Hopefully my articles and Q&As over the years have underlined thwidespread benefits of getting a visual assessment for shooting. But if that hasnt convinced you, heres a story that might.

One client came to see me a couple of years ago before that years competition season. A keen DTL shooter, he had booked in because he, like so many others, felt his eyesight had gone ofthe pace over the last few months, and wondered if he needed prescription shooting glasses.

He was also experiencing headaches, which he put down to eyestrain due to lots of driving, and blurring in the bottom-right hand side of his vision.

While his eyes were good, I did quickly work out that prescription glasses were definitely a good idea in his case. But I became  concerned, as hisymptoms indicated something more serious. A full peripheral vision check quickly showed up the ‘blurringdefect

An eye test can not only help your shooting, it could literally save your life he had referred to. It indicated a complete loss of visual function in two  particular areas, generally caused by either a stroke or a brain tumour.

In this case, it transpired to be the latter. Three days later, the client was in his local hospital oncology department.

Thankfully, I soon heard that the tumour was treatable.

So a good eye examination by any optometrist can not only set you up for the season, make you see better and more comfortably; it can sometimes be a literal lifesaver. EL


Q: Having ventured into my local gun shop for the first time this year to stock up, I find that everything seems to have got more  expensive (and not for the first time). I am resisting bending their ears about it because I assume  there are wider legislative or economic forces at work behind all the price rises. But am I right?

A: Pricing of any product can be a very sensitive topic, but the gun trade has its own unique factors to consider. First of all, it is waistdeep in regulation and restriction. As for products generally, gun shops need to cater for a shooting community with a very broad range in terms of spending power, which means they need to stock a huge number of products to enable their customers to feel like they have bought something bespoke to their needs.

There are numerous variables involved in this – when I shot clays competitively I do not recall ever seeing two  individuals using exactly the same gun (make and specification) with precisely the same ammunition. Everyone strived to acquire something different.

So shooting is bound to have a certain price associated with it, and this is by necessity of the high cost of stocking a gun shop, not by anyones greed. But when it comes to pricing strategies, all shops should conform to the Chartered Trading Standards Institutes new Guidance for Traders on Pricing Practices.

One notable change in these guidelineis that products advertised as discounted should have been on sale at full pricfor the same amount of time they are discounted for (previously there was a five months on, one month offrule).

Also discouraged are using reference prices’ on seasonal products when they are out of season to give the impression of a discount when the produccomes back into season; and using a reference price when only a small amount oproduct has been sold at that price. SF

 

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