Pro Tip - Sergeant Jeff Holguin - Adjusting to a New Shotgun
Whether you’re an Olympic medalist or a novice shooter, chances are, sooner or later you’re going to have to switch shotguns. In today’s Pro Tip I’m going to tell you how to avoid some of the pitfalls in making that switch. To do that I have two of my shotguns. First is my competition shotgun. It’s a Perazzi 12 ga. over and under, elevated rib, ported barrels, finished wood stock, and an adjustable rubber comb. Now I’m not going to take this duck hunting with me, so to do that I’m going to take something more like this. Field grade 12 ga. polymer pump action shotgun from Winchester. Now these two shotguns are going to shoot and feel a lot differently and I’m going to show you why.
The first difference we notice is the porting. Because of the gas ports, the Perazzi has a lot less felt recoil. You can see that as I shoot. Another difference is the weight. The Perazzi is heavier and therefore absorbs more recoil. The weight will also affect the swing of the gun. The field gun is lighter and will swing faster than the heavier Perazzi.
Another element that goes into how these shotguns feel is balance. I can balance the Perazzi just forward of the trigger guard. But when I pick up this Winchester, most of the weight is up front. If I try to do the same thing, it falls forward. Because of that, once you get this gun moving it’s quicker and harder to control. So the mistake we are trying to avoid is picking up this Winchester and expecting it to shoot just like that Perazzi.
Now let’s say that you’re feeling pretty comfortable shooting both shotguns, but you’re not putting enough shots on target. It may be necessary to compare your two guns’ points of impact. To do this, use sandbags or a lead sled to ensure accuracy downrange.
Compare patterns from the two guns side-by-side in an attempt to discover any major differences. Make adjustments as needed to get your second gun’s point of impact as close as possible to your old gun.
As you can see here, the points of impact of my two shotguns are pretty much the same, so I won’t have to make any changes. After doing this simple test you may find out that you need to make adjustments to get your points of impact as close as the same as possible with your two shotguns. Until next time, stay Army strong.