February 17th, 2017 by asjstaff

For the shotgun user, we all like to try out different types of slugs, maybe you’ve come across the “needle”. The needle slug is a 3D printed Alumide shotgun projectile. Alumide is a mixture of nylon and aluminum powder. It makes a pretty strong structure, the load was only 4 grams so its a light load.

This was based on a “pen shank” created by Michael Yeh. Greg from TAOFLEDERMAUS Youtuber gets a chance to shoot this needle at a clump of clay and jelly down range. Check out the results below.



There were a few more shots taken at a vest without any level IIIA plates, see the video below.

Video Transcription
[Intro]

Hi this is Jeff of TAOFLEDERMAUS, today we’ve got another submission by Michael Yeh, a 3D printed, oddly-shaped projectile that’s based on a pen shank that he invented. That’s right. And like I said, this is printed with Alumide. Alumide is a mixture of nylon and aluminum powder. It makes a pretty strong structure, but it’s still pretty light. This only weighs four grams.

We’re out here shooting the 3D printed “needle”, the Needle is the name of this round made by Michael Yeh, you’ve seen him before, sending us some great 3D printed rounds. We’re gonna give this a try, you can tell it sorta looks like a rocket-pod on a helicopter. It’s got a couple of little through-and-through holes there, maybe we’ll get a little whistle out of them. So we’re gonna try them against Mr. Grumpy Clay down there, and see what we can get. Alright, Michael, let’s give this a try.

Ok I’m ready!

Here we go!

[Shot] [Laughter]

Wow!

So you can see what we found, here. We found a little plug down here on the bottom, and all its little spires broke off. Then in here, one, two, three, and then the little tip. Right up in here, just the tip. And here’s what’s cool, this tip bent, but didn’t shear.

Wonder how it hit? Probably hit sideways or somethin’.

And then he took the wad to the nose. If you’re taking a wad to the nose, you’re doin’ it wrong.

[laughter]

Now you may have heard how quiet the shotgun was, we had a full-powder charge in there, but when you have a very lightweight load in there, something like four grams, it’s often not really enough to really light the powder and give it full velocity. And as you can see, this projectile never stabilized, flying sideways when it hit the clay. Ok, let’s take a shot at some ballistic jelly!

Ready?

Yep!

[Shot]

Oh yeah! That was better!

Ok!

So the wad was stuck in the front, and you can see the needle round, there’s the point, it actually turned around.

Is that the front or the back? I see– look, you can see the track going through there!

This was the, uh…

No, what the heck happened there?

This…this almost looks like this is the track, but this thing did rotate, so… the wad was stuck in here. I dunno. We’ll have to see. But as I found it, it was still sitting like this.

Ok

Unless it did hit nose-first in there, and spun it around and caught the wad on the back side?

You can see some kind of a track, like, maybe it–wait. It went way in there and then bounced– it’ll spring back.

It’s actually in perfect condition.

Awesome!

Send that back to Michael for a refund!

Yeah! That’s the one I didn’t mark, too, for some reason.

You’ll be able to see it on slow-mo, but it either went in tip first and almost penetrated all the way through, or spun around.

Wow.

Now this shot was noticeably louder, and you can see we have a much higher velocity. Another difference that we can see here is that we can see that the projectile is flying nose-first for most of the way, and then at the last split-second it flips around and hits the gel backwards. It’s interesting to see how the wadding is kind of engulfed in the cavitation hole there.

Home-defense distance!

[laughter]

Ok, I’m ready!

Also, not recommended for home defense! [fire] [laughter]

Wow!

Look at the triangular-shaped impact from that thing hitting sideways and kinda keyholing in there. It’s the almost exact same shape as this flying and going -boom- right there.

So that’s not very stable, but it was accurate enough!

Wad. Accurate enough for home defense!

[laughter] Yeah!

Look at the picture of the wad, it’s a perfect transfer, like silly putty.

Now this shot was noticeably louder, and it was flying at a much higher velocity this time. This is probably at least hitting mach 1.

So this is like, 300 yards, you say?

Yeah it’s about 300 yards, it’s a sniper shot.

Call of Duty 300 yards. Ok. It looks like we plant some hickock seeds. He’s starting to sprout up!

That’s right! It’s Roleplayer gaming 300 yards.

[laughter] Ok! Whenever you’re ready! [Shot] AWWWWW.

Ok that was another weak-sounding shot, but we had pretty good velocity. You can see the slug tumbling end-over-end, it never regained stability, though. But we still had fun doing it. I hope you check out michael’s channel, he does a lot of different stuff. Crossbows, he does some reloading, black powder stuff, it’s pretty
cool, the kid’s really smart, and has always impressed me. And some of the stuff we have coming up, the Australian Fosterless slugs, I’m not sure what we’re calling them there, we have another Tim Hamilton Turban brass slug design, and this is another Tim Hamilton-designed, just like the dumbell design that we shot the other day, and then finally we have the UPK2, a very cool russian slug, and here’s a demo of it.

OK, hit it! [Fire] wow.

I still have a lot of stuff that people have been waiting for me to shoot that they’ve sent to me, some of them waiting a couple months so bear with us, the weather hasn’t been very good, but we’re slowly catching up on this stuff. Hope you guys enjoyed this, thanks for watching.

Sources: TAOFLEDERMAUS Youtube

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: , , , ,

February 8th, 2017 by Sam Morstan

Benelli’s Montefeltro has made the journey from European novelty to the world’s most respected repeating upland shotgun. 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY BRAD FITZPATRICK

 

In 1911, as John Browning was finalizing his semiautomatic pistol stateside, Teresa Benelli was helping her six sons invest in a small automotive repair shop in Urbino, Italy. The brothers did well with their business and eventually began building motorcycles, selling their bikes in the U.S. through Montgomery Ward catalogs. By 1967, the brand had earned enough capital to allow Giovanni Benelli to design and market semiautomatic shotguns, a byproduct of his love of hunting. Little did he know that the gun that bore his name would reinvent the shotgun market in much the same way that Browning’s 1911 forever changed pistol design.

The Montefeltro has a reputation for harsh recoil, but it isn’t abusive. The author fired this field gun – which wore a black plastic butt plate – more than 500 times on this day in Argentina, and although his shoulder was sore it wasn’t enough to keep him from heading to the field at first light the following day.

Although the name Benelli was stamped on the very first gun to leave the Urbino factory in ’67, the real genius behind the gun was an Italian designer named Bruno Civolani. Civolani’s system was different than the gas systems that were becoming popular in the States. One of the hallmarks of the Benelli design was that it was so simple and basic that it rarely broke and, as shotgun enthusiasts quickly learned, it required less frequent cleaning and could go hundreds of thousands of rounds before a failure.

That design was the Inertia Driven System, and it had three basic components: a rotating bolt face, a bolt body and an inertia spring. As recoil pushes the gun rearward, the bolt stays in place for an instant and the inertia spring compresses, eventually developing enough energy to unlock the bolt face. The bolt body is then forced rearward, extracting and ejecting the spent casing. The recoil spring shoves the bolt back forward and slams the bolt body back into place after picking up the next shell. The final step in the process is for the rotating bolt head to lock into battery for the next shot.

 

Waiting on birds in Argentina. The wait was rarely longer than 30 seconds, so this Montefeltro took a beating, and that’s just one day. In addition, it cycled dirty shells and busted hard primers without any issues.

BENELLI WAS ALREADY BIG IN EUROPE before American hunters and shooters started noticing a few of these slim, sleek Italian autoloaders showing up in duck blinds and upland fields. One of those early guns was named the Montefeltro in honor of the Duke of Montefeltro and his family who lived in the region of Urbino. Benelli’s Montefeltro had some similar features to popular American guns at the time, but there were a few obvious differences.

For starters, the forearm was trim and slim, very different than American gas guns that housed pistons and gas systems under the barrel. The Montefeltro was also lighter by as much as a pound, a result of the simplicity of the Inertia Driven System, as well as an intentional design feature – gas guns tend to work better the heavier they are, and inertia guns are quite the opposite. The Benelli was a gun that could easily be carried all day long, and upland hunters liked this.

There were a few other nuances found on the Montefeltro that are different than traditional gas guns. For one thing, the bolt was much lighter. Whereas it was a chore to pull the bolt rearward on a gas gun, the Montefeltro, by contrast, could be racked with a single finger and a slap of the wrist. Another difference – one that I have seen baffle first-time Benelli shooters – is that simply pulling the bolt rearward doesn’t automatically feed a shell from the magazine tube into the chamber.

There’s a very, very good reason for this, though. If you jam a Montefeltro down on the ground, you can actually open the bolt, and if a shell happened to feed during that process, you would be suddenly carrying a shotgun with a chambered shell and not be aware of that fact, which is dangerous. New Benelli shooters have to get used to the idea of depressing the shell release lever and then racking the bolt. It takes some time, but I’m so familiar with my Montefeltro that the order of operations on a traditional gas gun has begun to feel foreign.

This Idaho partridge fell to the Montefeltro with a 1-ounce load of size 6 shot. The Benelli is light enough for allday carry even in this steep country.

The Montefeltro was – and is – a beautiful gun. The curves of its long action, stylized receiver and trim profile were once considered revolutionary, but have now become a blueprint followed by other makers. The rib is quite flat, but the Benelli is so light and well balanced that it is quick to the shoulder and fits a wide range of shooters. Wingshooters liked that, and they also liked the Montefeltro’s scant weight. If you are a serious bird hunter – the kind that climbs mountains in search of Huns and chukars, or who wades through alders and grapevines for a shot at a ruffed grouse – that difference in weight makes, well, a difference.

Serious bird hunters began carrying Montes, and soon something else became very apparent about these guns. Since the Inertia Driven System doesn’t rely on gas to be vented through the gun (these gases are pushed out of the barrel for less fouling), these guns could go for thousands of rounds between cleanings and would fire a wide array of loads without the need for modification or adjustment. Want to break a few clays or walk-up a covey of quail or two? You can use light loads without any problem. Want to follow that up with a hunt for hard-flying roosters or large ducks? Fine, your Benelli will eat those loads as well without indigestion.

The Montefeltro is available as a combo gun with two satin walnut stocks—perfect for a young shooter who is still growing.

Not all semiauto shotguns are available in left-handed versions, but the Montefeltro is. With so many options with regard to stock design and length, as well as action, it’s little wonder that so many shooters like the Montefeltro.

The basic Montefeltro has an anodized receiver and blued barrel and comes with a very nice satin walnut stock or durable black synthetic, and there’s also a Silver version
with AA-grade walnut and a nickel-plated engraved receiver. The trigger assembly drops out and the trigger guard is big enough that I can easily shoot my gun when wearing rather large leather gloves. Crio choke tubes are included, so named because Benelli cryogenically treats both their barrels and chokes to relieve stress on the steel, smooth surfaces, and, as a result, produce more consistent patterns. Additionally, the Montefeltro comes in a left-handed version for southpaws and a compact version for anyone with short arms. With so many options and features, it’s little wonder this gun has won over a legion of shooters in the United States and elsewhere.

THE DOVE FIELDS OF ARGENTINA test a shotgun as brutally as any other place on earth, and among the many lodges that cater to dove hunters, those belonging to the David Denies group are perhaps the finest of all. Denies offers a variety of excursions throughout South America, everything from hunting roaring red stag to fly fishing in some of the world’s most incredible waters to duck hunts with 50-bird limits. But the David Denies brand specializes in dove hunts, and in a land where birds are shot daily by the thousands, I doubt if any outfitter can put you in fields where you will pull the trigger more frequently.

The Montefeltro accounted for these Kentucky doves on the opening morning of season. Benelli’s autoloader is certainly one of the most versatile upland guns you can own, perfect for clay shooting, doves, pheasants, rabbits, and more.

We were hunting Cordoba Lodge, and on our first day in camp we headed to a cutover dove field into which the birds were streaming by the thousands. I doubt that more than 30 seconds passed without a shot opportunity, and since our guns hadn’t arrived yet, we were given the lodge guns. These were, as you might imagine, Benelli Montefeltros. It was the exact same 20-gauge autoloader I carried at home for quail, rabbits, grouse and chukars, but this Argentinian gun had seen tens of thousands of rounds more than my own Monte.

The gun performed flawlessly, coming quickly to the shoulder and crumpling birds that were passing left-toright, incomers, and doves that presented high overhead shots. As fast as I could shoot we reloaded, and by day’s end we had put better than 500 rounds through the gun – a light afternoon by Argentina standards. At the lodge, over a steak and wine (what else in Argentina?), I asked the lodge owner how many rounds the Benelli had gone through. He squinted, tilted his head to the sky, and did some math.

“Probably … 150,000. A hundred thousand, at least.”

I may never press the trigger on my Monte that many times, but it’s good to know that the gun can handle that kind of abuse. But that longevity is only one reason that people buy the Montefeltro. The other is that if you hunt hard, it’s one of the best shotgun options you can own.

The synthetic stock version is perfect for anyone who plans to take their gun through the briars or into flooded timber and who doesn’t want to damage that fine walnut stock.

The Silver version is truly a magnificent firearm with a nickel-plated receiver and AA-grade walnut. MSRP on this gun runs above $1,700, but the quality of this gun justifies the cost.

AMERICA ALSO OFFERS TREMENDOUS wingshooting opportunities on public lands throughout the west. The only caveat is that you’ll have to climb and hike – a lot. In this country, if you’re averaging a bird a mile, that’s pretty spectacular, and the average is probably more like one bird every 5 miles. But for those who love this kind of open range hunting, there’s nothing that can compare.

Idaho’s Tom Loy, famous for his line of superb Gordon setters, introduced me to chukar hunting. The first gun I brought along was a 7½-pound over/under, which was a terrible choice. For one thing, it was too heavy, a real burden when you’re hiking in steep country. For another, I needed that extra shot.

This past year I hunted with Tom again, but I’ve since learned that there are upland guns built for this kind of task and the Montefeltro is one of them. My 20-gauge Monte weighs a hair over 5½ pounds and it carries very well. That’s a good thing, because Tom knows some of the best places to hunt birds in Idaho but you’ll have to walk. We covered a moderate distance on our last hunt, perhaps 5 or 6 miles, and we really had great success, harvesting five Huns and a pair of California quail. The Montefeltro accounted for about half those birds, but my back wasn’t aching when I was finished. The only strain was from a heavy game bag.

I have carried my Benelli to the field in search of a variety of different upland species across the United States, and it has never failed me. But before you run out and buy a Montefeltro, there are a few things that you should know. For starters, gas guns recoil less. I don’t think it’s a lot less, and if you aren’t shooting hundreds of rounds a day, I doubt you would notice. The Montefeltro’s other quirk is that the bolt head must be dropped with enough force to rotate and lock it. Ease it forward and you’ll hear that dreaded “Benelli click.” With a few days’ practice you will quickly learn how to handle the Benelli so that this doesn’t happen, but I still occasionally forget and miss a shot.

The author shooting doves in Argentina with a well-worn Montefeltro. Guns rented by Argentinian dove lodges see more abuse than most any other shotgun, and Montefeltros are one of the handful of weapons you’ll see in regular use here.

Those foibles are minor compared to the Benelli Montefeltro’s many, many strong points. It’s little wonder that this svelte little Italian gun with its ingeniously simple operating system has spawned so many copies, with more and more inertia guns hitting the market each year. But there’s only one Montefeltro, and it’s hard to beat the original.  ASJ

Contact: Benelliusa.com

Posted in Long Guns Tagged with: , , , , ,

February 3rd, 2017 by jhines

Little man rips this and all he has left to say is “I don’t know which is bigger, OO Buck or #2.”

Yeh, just a little kick and most kids his would end up on the ground, this boy leans back only to look at dad like, “Whoa, baby, that had some mustard on it!”

This little tyke has some shooting chops on him with this rifle, a compact shooter with a gun probably taller than he is. He appears to hit his mark in the video, and probably gains a bruised shoulder in the process– which he appears to be used to.

It’s good to teach your kids gun safety and responsible shooting, especially while young. Part of that is having a good set of headphones and adult supervision. Thankfully in the process, this adult supervisor kept the camera rolling. I’m sure this kid will have some fond memories to look back on in a few years, and this will be one of them.

by Sam Morstan

Sources: Miranda Campbell Facebook, Colton Bailey

Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with:

January 10th, 2017 by jhines

Rockin ‘n Rollin’ with a Shotgun

When it comes to rapid shotgun fire, this is just about as good as it gets! Never mind the XRAIL system that this guy is using on his shotgun.
Shotgun fans out there will debate over a better system to use, like one of the comments below and that it has no real world application. (umm, fire power is a huge debate)

But other than that, just the pure fun and excitement of shooting it on rapid is exhilarating, you can’t argue that. This guy puts some mods (XRAIL System) to his shotgun in order to fire 23 rounds in just under 4 seconds! Anyone shoot more than that in one shoot?

See the action below.

Pretty cool, huh! Lets chime in on the subject of firepower, some of school of thoughts think spraying that many rounds from a shotgun is not practical. We’re going to stay neutral on this, but would love to hear what you all have to say about that below in the comments.

Heres the overall of what people are saying about this shotgun:






Sources: Weapons World Facebook, Jesse Males


Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: , ,

January 6th, 2017 by Sam Morstan

Browning’s light and balanced A5 shotgun lets you to shoot the old ‘gentleman’s gauge’ in a technologically updated package.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE DICKERSON

As an aspiring curmudgeon (my wife might suggest that I’m already there), I frown disapprovingly when I hear that someone is remaking a classic. Be it a movie, a song or a firearm, some things are just so iconic that you simply shouldn’t mess with them. If you do, you’d better get it right, or you’ll catch hell from people whose hearts were captured by the original. Sadly, and all too often, “new and improved” translates into “new and cheapened and ugly.”

In its newest incarnation, the A5 Sweet Sixteen weighs just 5 pounds, 13 ounces with a 28-inch barrel. It’s light but well balanced, and swings smoothly, according to the author.

In its newest incarnation, the A5 Sweet Sixteen weighs just 5 pounds, 13 ounces with a 28-inch barrel. It’s light but well balanced, and swings smoothly, according to the author.

I recently had an opportunity to test one such newly made-over gun, the Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen shotgun, and I’m pleased to report that, in this instance, the manufacturer got it right. By right, I mean spectacularly right.

My opportunity to test this reborn 16-gauge classic came during a three-day pheasant hunt with R&R Pheasant Hunting, an 18,000-acre, family-owned farming and ranching operation near Seneca, S.D., with four other outdoor scribes. We were there, along with representatives from Browning, Winchester and the South Dakota Department of Tourism, to test three new shotguns and ammunition from Browning and Winchester.

I spent the first day wringing out the newly announced Winchester SX4 shotgun in 12 gauge, and bagged my fair share of birds. I spent the second day happily shooting roosters with the Browning 725 Citori over-and-under shotgun chambered in 28 gauge. I held off on shooting the Sweet Sixteen until the final day of the hunt, mainly because only two were on hand and everyone wanted to shoot them. As fellow outdoor writer “Uncle Bob” Matthews observed, “The Sweet Sixteen was the prettiest girl at the dance, and everyone wanted to dance with her.”

Production ended on the Browning Automatic 5 in 1998, after a run of nearly 100 years, but the company brought the timeless design back a few years ago in modernized form, adding the Sweet Sixteen to the lineup last year.

Production ended on the Browning Automatic 5 in 1998, after a run of nearly 100 years, but the company brought the timeless design back a few years ago in modernized form, adding the Sweet Sixteen to the lineup last year.

AND WHAT A DANCE IT WAS. On the second drive of the day, I took the left flanker position, outside and ahead of Bob, who walked a few rows inside a field of tall corn. We both carried the Sweet Sixteen, stoked with the new Browning BXD Upland Extra Distance 11/8-ounce load of No. 6 nickel-plated shot, and as luck would have it, most of the roosters that flushed during that drive came our way. The sky was soon raining pheasants. I think only one rooster made it past us. By the time that drive was over, someone had nicknamed us “The Sixteen Dream Team,” and I already knew I would have to own this shotgun.

To understand what makes this new gun so special, it helps to know a bit about its history. Today’s A5 traces its lineage to the original Browning Automatic 5, designed by John Browning in 1898. It was one of the most influential shotgun designs of all time. First produced by FN in 1902, it was later made by Remington as the Model 11 and by Savage as the Model 720 and other variants.

Built on a smaller, lighter alloy receiver, the shotgun retains its predecessor’s iconic squared-off profile.

Built on a smaller, lighter alloy receiver, the shotgun retains its predecessor’s iconic squared-off profile.

The Auto 5 used a long-recoil operating system in which the bolt and the barrel recoiled together, and it had a friction piece and bevel ring to adjust recoil to the load. It was soft-shooting when set up properly, but could thump you soundly if it was improperly tuned. Production moved from Belgium to Japan in 1975, and the guns got heavier. By the 1990s, semiauto shotguns that were cheaper to produce and lighter, and with more modern designs, were gaining dominance. The writing was on the wall: Production ceased in 1998, after nearly 100 years of production, and the Auto 5 was no more.

That changed in 2013 when Browning stunned the shotgun world by bringing back the A5 in 12 gauge, albeit in much-changed form and manufactured in Portugal. The Sweet Sixteen followed in 2016. It’s built on a smaller, lighter alloy receiver with a polished black anodized finish, and weighs just 5 pounds, 13 ounces with a 28-inch barrel, and a bit less with a 26-inch barrel.

It’s one thing to find a lightweight shotgun. It’s quite another to find one this well-balanced that swings so smoothly. The gun simply painted birds from the sky for me, and I had difficulty believing I was swinging a 16-gauge shotgun with a 28-inch barrel.

Internally, the old long-recoil action has been replaced with a reliable, fast-cycling inertia-drive system guaranteed for 100,000 rounds or five years.

Internally, the old long-recoil action has been replaced with a reliable, fast-cycling inertia-drive system guaranteed for 100,000 rounds or five years.

Externally, this gun resembles the original Auto 5, retaining the distinctive “humpback” squared-off receiver. I like it because it affords a slightly longer sight plane, aligning naturally with my eye, and allowing me to shoot with my head up a bit more and benefit from a more comfortable, less-punishing cheek weld.
INTERNALLY, THE SWEET SIXTEEN is an entirely different animal from its predecessor. The long-recoil system has been replaced by an inertia-driven system called Kinematic Drive by Browning. It’s fast-cycling, easy on the shoulder and highly reliable – so much so that Browning stands behind it with a 100,000-round or five-year guarantee that the shotgun will work “come hell or high water.” It’s a clean-running system, because all gasses go out the barrel and away from the action.

A look at the barrel reveals other reasons why this is not your grandfather’s Auto 5. It has a lengthened, tapered “Vector Pro” forcing cone to minimize shot deformation and enhance pattern uniformity. The barrel is also backbored to reduce friction between the shot cup and bore. I’m not convinced that this reduces recoil, as some claim, but I do believe it helps with pattern consistency, uniformity and density. The barrel sports a red fiber optic front sight and white midpoint bead.

The shotgun ships with full, modified and improved cylinder Invector DS choke tubes. These longer-than-usual tubes have a more gradual choke taper, again contributing to more uniform shot patterns. They also have a brass alloy band to help seal out residue, making the tubes easy to remove after a day of shooting.

The Sweet Sixteen carries like a light 20-gauge gun but punches like a 12, helping the 16-gauge shotshell realize its full potential.

The Sweet Sixteen carries like a light 20-gauge gun but punches like a 12, helping the 16-gauge shotshell realize its full potential.

Other nice touches include 18-lines-per-inch checkering on the glossy Turkish walnut buttstock and forearm. The stock has an Inflex II recoil pad, which directs recoil energy down and away from your face. With Speed Load Plus, you simply push the first shell into the magazine, with the action open, and the gun automatically feeds the first round into the chamber. The “plus” part of the equation is a handy little mechanism you can push with a finger, inside the bottom of the receiver, to unload shells from the magazine tube without having to cycle the action repeatedly.

The new Sweet Sixteen honors its proud legacy while enabling you to shoot the old “gentleman’s gauge” in a technologically updated package. The gun has little noticeable recoil. It is fast, yet swings smoothly. It is elegant, but utilitarian. It packs like a 20 gauge, but punches like a 12. With this one shotgun, a hunter would be wellequipped to handle most any type of wingshooting. As one of my fellow scribes observed during our hunt, “This might be the gun that saves the 16-gauge shotshell.”

The author and his new pal, 6-month-old Desert, show off a pair of central South Dakota pheasants taken with Browning’s newly resurrected A5 Sweet Sixteen shotgun.

The author and his new pal, 6-month-old Desert, show off a pair of central South Dakota pheasants taken with Browning’s newly resurrected A5 Sweet Sixteen shotgun.

As I sit here admiring the richly figured wood of the stock on the sample gun sent to me for testing, I suspect he may be right. I also suspect Browning may have a difficult time getting this one back. ASJ

Editor’s note: For more on the A5 Sweet Sixteen and other Browning products, see browning.com.

Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 6th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

Pedersoli’s new side-by-side is a modern shotgun with a classical twist, and it will be right at home for you at the range or afield.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE NESBITT

Dedicated scattergunners have probably realized by now that, although I’ve shot their preferred choice of gun for many years, I’ve never considered myself a shotgunner. It’s not that I have anything against them; it’s just that for me, shotguns have always taken a backseat to rifles and rifle shooting, especially when it comes to using black powder. But after seeing, handling and shooting a fine Pedersoli 12-gauge double with twin outside hammers, I think my priorities might start to shift a bit.

Pedersoli calls this side-by-side their “Bohemienne,” or Bohemian.  Comparing it to the standards of today, this shotgun is definitely nonconformist, and it is good enough that we can refer to it as being somewhat irregular. It is a cut above many others, and for me it is delightful in many ways, especially with its double outside hammers.

I want to emphasize one point right from the beginning. In most gun reviews like this one, contact information is provided so consumers get more information about the gun can described, but all too often the dealers at local gun shops don’t receive guidance about how to stock them. But this fine shotgun is available through the Italian Firearms Group,
a partnership that supplies the U.S. dealer network with the best products of multiple Italian gun makers.

The Italian Firearms Group was established in 2010, and represents some of that country’s top firearms craftsmen: F.A.I.R, Sabatti and Pedersoli. By going directly to IFG, dealers can make rather quick contact to get wholesale pricing and other useful information in regard to getting firearms to sell.

This finely crafted firearm features fine engraving, color casehardening, browned barrels and blued trigger guard.

This finely crafted firearm features fine engraving, color casehardening, browned barrels and blued trigger guard.

THE PEDERSOLI LA BOHEMIENNE is a striking piece, to say the least. It is a classically styled, double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with double outside hammers. The 28-inch browned barrels have 3-inch chambers, and are equipped with interchangeable chokes at the muzzles. The pistol grip and the fore-end each offer checkering for comfort, a good grip and, quite honestly, beauty. And speaking of, the frame is color casehardened and features hand-finished engraving. Overall length of the shotgun is just under 46 inches, and it weighs about 7¾ pounds.

The hammers are rebounding, so they don’t have or use half-cock notches. Rebounding hammers are, in my opinion, a good safety measure. If the gun is cocked and the hammer needs to be returned to its “down” position, you just hold the hammer back, pull the trigger, and slowly ease the hammer forward while releasing the trigger. The hammers cannot go far enough forward to hit the firing pins unless the triggers are held back.

The La Bohemienne is right at home with modern loads and with steel shot.

The La Bohemienne is right at home with modern loads and with steel shot.

In addition to that, the gun is also equipped with a sliding safety, the very same as on a hammerless double, so the gun can be put on safety while the hammers are in the cocked position. The sliding safety does not move to the safe position when the gun is opened.

This gun is not specifically a black powder shotgun, not like a muzzle-loading shotgun would be. Instead, the Bohemienne is a finely made modern shotgun with modern steels in the barrels, so it is right at home with modern loads and with steel shot. While using steel shot, however, the changeable chokes should be used with only cylinder or improved-cylinder at the muzzles because the steel shot is simply not as compressible as lead.

 A cloud of black powder smoke obscures the target, but it was a hit. (JERRY MAYO)

A cloud of black powder smoke obscures the target, but it was a hit. (JERRY MAYO)

At the same time, in my most humble opinion, this gun is such a classic that it had “black powder” written all over it, and my choice for shooting it immediately fell to black powder loads for ammunition. That ammunition came from Buffalo Arms Company in northern Idaho. They offer a variety of shotgun loads with black powder, and the one I selected to use the most was loaded with 3 drams (82 grains) of black powder under 11/8 ounce of size 7½ lead shot.

This close-up of the side-by-side’s muzzles shows the changeable chokes.

This close-up of the side-by-side’s muzzles shows the changeable chokes.

THE BLACK POWDER SHOT SHELLS from Buffalo Arms Company are rather classic themselves. They are loaded in good old-fashioned paper hulls, and are nicely star-crimped at the mouth. Inside, these shells are loaded with what we might call “old style” components.

Dave Gullo, owner of Buffalo Arms, described the loads this way: “An important feature to our shotgun ammo is that it’s loaded with nitro overshot wads and fiber overpowder wads, not plastic wads, so that the shooter is not needing to scrub plastic out of their barrels when they are done shooting.”

The author says, “This fine shotgun can ride my shoulder anytime.” (JERRY MAYO)

The author says, “This fine shotgun can ride my shoulder anytime.” (JERRY MAYO)

At first, I couldn’t help notice what I will call rather heavy trigger pulls. I know that “rather heavy” is a relative expression. I’m most comfortable with the very lightly set triggers on muzzle-loading rifles and my favorite Sharps, so perhaps I wasn’t the best prepared for what this shotgun required. When I called for my first bird on the sporting clays range, I followed it until it was out of sight and the gun hadn’t fired. For my next try, I was more prepared.

The trigger pulls were actually quite fine, breaking very sharp and crisp, while remaining a bit on the heavy side. I realized that one reason for those trigger pulls being “heavy” is so the gun can be fired while both hammers are cocked. In this way, with its associated recoil, the jarring of one barrel going off will not release the second hammer. In other words, this gun will not “double” on you, which could be a memorable experience you wouldn’t want to have.

After I “caught up” with the gun, the good hits began to come one after the other. As you can guess, that’s when the fun really took over, and using this shotgun became a delight.

Our muzzle-loading club has a target known as the “slice of pie” that is used for a particular match with flintlock smoothbores during our Trade Gun Frolic. The slice of pie is used in a luck shoot where each shooter gets just one shot at 25 yards while using buckshot. It’s hard enough just to get some hits on the paper, and a shooter must be lucky to get any score at all.

This shows the “slice of pie” target with the six holes from the buckshot load.

This shows the “slice of pie” target with the six holes from the buckshot load.

Just to give this Pedersoli 12-gauge a chance, I took one shot at the slice of pie while using 00 buckshot. This was done with the Pedersoli’s left barrel, with the modified choke, and six hits are seen on the target (see photo at left) but with zero for a score. That shot was just another part of the fun.

There isn’t a whole lot more I can tell you about the Pedersoli La Bohemienne that wouldn’t simply be echoes of what I’ve already written. It is a very fine classic double-barreled 12-gauge, priced in the neighborhood of $2,100. And with the black powder loads, it provides classic shotgun shooting at its best.

For more information about Pedersoli, the La Bohemienne, and other finely crafted shotguns, visit italianfirearmsgroup.com. To learn more about the Buffalo Arms Company’s black powder shotgun loads in 10 and 12 gauges, visit buffaloarms.com. ASJ

Pedersoli’s La Bohemienne is a classically styled, double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with double outside hammers. Below its trigger is a black powder load from Buffalo Arms Company.

Pedersoli’s La Bohemienne is a classically styled, double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun with double outside hammers. Below its trigger is a black powder load from Buffalo Arms Company.

Posted in Black Powder Tagged with: , , , , ,

November 4th, 2016 by jhines

What if you’re in an emergency situation?

And you’re out of shotgun slugs the only shells available are cheap birdshot shells. Here’s a quick survival hack that allows you to turn that bird shot shell into a slug capable of taking down bigger game.

The hack is quite simple all you need to do is use a pocket knife and cut around the wadding area, but don’t cut all the way through. What happens is when the shell is fired, the full frontal portion of the shotgun shell hull, shot and the wad becomes a fearsome projectile.

Last thing is, this can be very dangerous due to the pressure spikes from forcing the whole chunk of shot shell down your barrel. So only use this hack in only survival situation.

By Eric Nestor

Source: EatalltheBirds Youtube


Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: ,

November 2nd, 2016 by jhines

Practical? Nah, want one? Absolutely

Sources from somewhere in Thailand tells us that this is considered a “Pradit” gun and it is a favorite among the poor gangbangers. This 1911 shotgun pistol is cheap to make and packs a huge wallop in a single shot. Picture below is an authentic piece that was confiscated by the Thai police in a 2013 traffic stop.
pradit-gun
If you’re looking for a practical shotgun, stick with your standard types from Remington or Benellis. Is this a practical piece of firearm? Nah, would some people want one? – absolutely!

Here’s another video with a plastic model, but it’s been modified to fire a single shotgun shell, watch it destroy the slide/barrel, very dangerous, don’t try this at home.

Source: Aekkapong Russamedern Youtube, Best Source of Fun, Defensive Carry Forum


Posted in Just Plinking Tagged with: , , ,

October 19th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

Tac Star’s Slimline Shotshell Carrier increases the readiness factor of every smoothbore.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY DAVE WORKMAN

Recent tragic events have forced a growing number of armed citizens to the realization that while it is still a remote possibility, the potential for finding one’s self in the middle of a terrorist action or a riot has gone up, as has the need for a defensive weapon.

After San Bernardino and Orlando, our comfort zones have shrunk, and for the first time many of us can remember, some in law enforcement have changed their tune from “call 911 and wait” to “run, hide or fight.”

The author’s Mossberg 50 pump shotgun and Tac Star’s handy Side Saddle Slimline accessory prior to easy assembly.

The author’s Mossberg 50 pump shotgun and Tac Star’s handy Side Saddle Slimline accessory prior to easy assembly.

Unfortunately, San Bernardino taught us that we may not be able to run fast enough, and Orlando showed us that hiding and waiting to be saved might not be a survivable option. That leaves the third alternative.

According to a recent report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the notion of carrying a handgun for personal protection has inspired somewhere north of 14 million citizens to arm up, and the number is rising steadily.

To attach the shell holder, start by using the appropriate punch to tap out the rear retaining pin through the trigger assembly, being careful not to let the trigger move.

To attach the shell holder, start by using the appropriate punch to tap out the rear retaining pin through the trigger assembly, being careful not to let the trigger move.

I PREFER A DEFENSIVE HANDGUN because it can always be with me. But it’s just one tool in the box. If it should ever come to pass that something major happens, I’ll use that sidearm to get me to something with a little more horsepower: my Mossberg 500 pump shotgun.

Many of us have good pump guns in the closet for bird hunting or maybe home defense. Mine was purchased some 25 years ago, as a package deal. It has a 20-inch upland bird barrel with a vent rib, and a second 18-inch barrel with an open choke. I ordered it with a “Speed Feed” synthetic stock designed to hold four extra shells, two on each side, in spring-loaded slots. With the plug out, that gave me five shells in the tubular magazine and one in the chamber, plus four spares.

Recently I added something new, thanks to Tac Star’s latest entry in the Side Saddle lineup, the “Slimline” version. Made from a tough rubber compound with a metal backing plate, this worthwhile add-on allows the user to have six extra shells at hand on the left side of the receiver in the event one has to grab and run. What previously gave me 10 rounds now offers as many as 16 shots, provided I start off fully loaded.

Unscrew the small slide screw inside the receiver, through the open ejection port.

Unscrew the small slide screw inside the receiver, through the open ejection port.

INSTALLING THIS ACCESSORY is a snap. First, make sure your shotgun is completely unloaded. Then, using the proper diameter punch, push out the pin on the lower rear of the receiver that holds the trigger assembly in place, being careful to keep the trigger housing where it belongs.

These shell slots are made of a tough rubber compound.

These shell slots are made of a tough rubber compound.

Tac Star provides a two-piece screw that inserts from both ends. One end features a beveled head that fits into the corresponding slot on the Side Saddle Slimline. Two small hex wrenches are also included to tighten this screw from both sides simultaneously.

However, don’t tighten the first screw all the way. Leave enough slack for the mount to rotate so that it can be fastened up front. Remove the interior slide screw with a screwdriver inserted in the open ejection port. Insert the replacement screw that goes through a corresponding hole up front on the Side Saddle and tighten it down. Then finish tightening the rear screw.

It’s also a good idea to use a drop of blue Loctite to keep both screws in place.

Workman recently dressed up his Mossberg 50 for defensive duty with the Side Saddle shotshell carrier. A pistoleer always has a backup plan.

Workman recently dressed up his Mossberg 50 for defensive duty with the Side Saddle shotshell carrier. A pistoleer always has a backup plan.

You can pray to all the Gods in the heavens to keep you safe and out of harm’s way, or you can follow the age-old advice of the Boy Scouts and “always be prepared.” Personally, I’d rather prepare than simply pray, except to pray that all of my preparations never have to be used. ASJ


Posted in Gear Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

October 10th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

CZ-USA’s new All-American Trap Combo was designed specifically to help you shatter more clays.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY LARRY CASE

“Pull!”

A bright orange disc flies out of the trap house at a pace only slightly slower than the speed of light. You were hoping for a lob, a gimme, or a straightaway that you could transform into orange powder and boost your confidence a little. But you don’t get any of those, and instead the demonic chunk of clay goes hard left – your worst angle – and you struggle to catch up with the meteor. Finally, you stop the gun and slowly lift your cheek off the comb in defeat as the intact disc spins away to safety.

From somewhere nearby, you swear you hear a snicker.

This nightmare scenario is played out time and again on trap shooting ranges all over the country, and sometimes we reluctantly find ourselves in the starring role. But maybe, like me, you have a desire to break out of your present skill level for busting clays. Perhaps this will be the year you do what it takes to improve those scores.

I don’t suggest that I’m a rocket scientist in these matters, but in all honesty, it isn’t rocket science. We all know what the experts tell us. If you want to improve, you’ll have to take action to come up in the world on the trap, skeet or sporting clays range. You have to get serious and burn more powder. You have to find some good, qualified instruction, because just listening to the buddy you shoot with every other Saturday ain’t gonna cut it.

Oh, and one more thing – one really important thing. You have to get a good shotgun, one that is built for the task; a shotgun designed to make it easier for you turn those elusive little clays into powder.

Now, I admire the man or woman who shoots trap, ducks and turkeys all with the same shotgun. But if you are going to get serious in this game, you need to start thinking about a shotgun built for the job, and CZ-USA has something new that may be just what you are looking for.

CZ-USA HAS TURNED OUT impressive shotguns for several years, but the brand-new player in their lineup is the All-American Trap Combo. David Miller – CZ’s shotgun guru and the current Guinness Book of World Record holder for the most clay targets broken in one hour – travels all over the country shooting shotguns. He knows a thing or three about them, and between trigger pulls, he told me all about the company’s new smoothbore.

“It’s been a long time in the making,” he said, “I remember talking to Alice Poluchova [president of CZ-USA] on how important it was for us to tap into the American trap market
way back in 2010, but to do so would take a special product.”

Miller finally began working with CZ-USA’s partners at AKKAR, the shotgun makers in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2014. In those early talks, he stressed how durable the gun had to be, and what sort of features a shooter would want in a high-quality shotgun specifically designed for American trap shooting. That list of features soon made their way to Semih Polat, the product manager at the AKKAR factory. It was a pretty impressive list (see sidebar), so I’ll discuss the main features one group at a time.

The All-American Trap Combo in the standard over/under configuration ... (CZ-USA)

The All-American Trap Combo in the standard over/under configuration … (CZ-USA)

THE FIRST GROUP OF FEATURES consists of drop-in replaceable action components, three sizes of replaceable locking lugs, and easy-to-replace firing pins and bushings. The drop-in parts feature is huge. A well-used trap gun will fire thousands of rounds a year, and no matter how well made it is, some parts will wear out faster than others. The ability to quickly replace things like bushings, hinge pins and firing pins will be greatly appreciated by the avid shooter.

Neale Flynn, gunsmith at CZ-USA, provided even more detail on the replaceable locking lugs. “The locking block engages the bites of the barrel underneath the bottom of the chamber,” he said, “and the locking block wears over time. Slowly, the top snap lever will go from the right, when the gun is shut, to center.”

“Once at center,” he continued, “the locking block needs to be replaced. On other over/under shotguns, you have to weld and machine the locking block that was in that gun to begin with. It’s more time consuming, and we have to do it in-house to ensure it’s correct. With these drop-in locking blocks of different sizes, it allows us to send the next size of locking block to a customer for their local gunsmith to replace, no major special surgery required.”

Next on Miller’s list were an unsingle singles trap barrel with full floating rib, and a matching set of midheight rib over/under barrels. “Unsingle” refers to a single-barreled option on this gun to shoot singles, with the barrel being
“under” on the bottom. Opinions vary, but many shooters prefer the barrel to be on the bottom in a single barrel configuration, compared to a “top single” model such as one made by Krieghoff.

... and in the unsingle configuration. (CZ-USA)

… and in the unsingle configuration. (CZ-USA)

HOW THE RIB IS ATTACHED is important, and Flynn advised me that the rib on the All-American Trap Combo is silver-soldered to the barrel. The solder used is 45 percent silver, and is done in an oven at 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to lead- and tin-based solders, or tin and antimony solder, which is more common on less expensive guns, this method is significantly stronger.

And a matching set of over-and-under barrels allows the All-American Trap Combo shooter to compete in all phases of American Trap shooting – singles, doubles and handicap.

Finally, we come to a fully adjustable butt pad plate (also adjustable for length of pull), a four-way adjustable parallel comb, adjustable trigger shoe positing, and select wood grain. Just as Miller requested, everything that can be adjusted on this gun is adjustable. The comb adjusts, but it is also parallel. When your cheek is against the comb, your head will not raise or lower if you move back and forth on the stock.

The butt pad adjusts for length of pull, toe in and toe out (slant of the pad from top to bottom), and even for cast on and off. The trigger is adjustable up to   inch, and the wood in the stock is listed as “select” – it is drop-dead gorgeous.

Byers made the most of his CZ-USA All-American Trap Combo test, scoring a 23 on his first round with the new gun.

Byers made the most of his CZ-USA All-American Trap Combo test, scoring a 23 on his first round with the new gun.

I PUT SEVERAL BOXES of Browning’s new BPT shotgun ammo through the All-American Trap Combo and watched others do the same. The gun seemed lively and naturally pointed, yet was still heavy enough that I saw no problems with recoil.

After putting it through its paces, I offered a few other shooters the opportunity for a test drive. Austyn Byers, a high school 4H shooter from Auto, W.Va., picked it up out of case, walked onto the trap range and shot a 23 on his first round.

The Trap Combo consistently turned heads when the author opened up the gun case.

The Trap Combo consistently turned heads when the author opened up the gun case.

I also trolled the All-American Trap Combo past some of the instructors at the Greenbrier Resort Gun Club in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The gun was very well received there and turned heads everywhere I took it.

“Now that CZ-USA is stepping into the realm of trap shooting,” Miller said, “we will be automatically compared to the shotguns that are already proven to work in such games. For example, Caesar Guerini’s base model is called a Summit Combo and it’s a fantastic gun, but it costs $7,995. There are other great trap guns available, but none will give you more for your money than the AllAmerican Trap Combo.”

MSRP is $3,399. If you can find another shotgun that is as well made and has as many features as this, I suggest you buy it. ASJ

West Virginia high school student Austyn Byers (left foreground) and his fellow 4H shooters liked what they saw of CZ-USA’s new All-American Trap Combo shotgun.

West Virginia high school student Austyn Byers (left foreground) and his fellow 4H shooters liked what they saw of CZ-USA’s new All-American Trap Combo shotgun.

Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

October 7th, 2016 by jhines

Why do you think one shotgun kicks like a mule?
And why another is more accurate than another?

If you own an old single-shot, break-action 12 gauges then you know they aren’t very accurate and the recoil is enough to leave you sore black and bruised. There are ways improve this shotgun to make it better and actually make it more enjoyable to shoot with.

Forcing Cone and Lengthening
There is a section of the gun called the forcing cone. This area is in the barrel of the gun, just in front of the chamber. The forcing cone is slightly taper down to the rest of the bore and is normally less than an inch in length. Its job is to force the shot down to the size of the rest of the bore, this can be a very sharp angle.

shotgun_forcingcone1There is a correlation between forcing cone length and recoil/accuracy. The forcing cone is meant to catch stray pellets and bring them back into the pattern. Lengthening the cone and changing the angle will also prevent the pellets at the back of the shot from being pushed down. With a gradual slope, the shot can condense at a slower rate, resulting in a tighter shot pattern.

Recoil
If you don’t know physics, you probably heard, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This is true in shooting, when a shot is triggered the compressed gas from the shot hit the step angle in the forcing cone and then goes right back into your shoulder. By smoothing this out, this makes it more of a steady compression, thus most of the gases leaves the front of the barrel. The remaining gas that are bounced back will be spread out over a longer distance, this lessens the recoil.

So if you have that old single action shotgun in the closet why not send it to a gunsmith to put some life into it.

Source: Wikipedia, Youtube

Posted in Shotgun Tagged with:

September 16th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

Gettin’ Ready For Shotgun Season

STORY AND PHOTOS BY LARRY CASE

Like many of you, I am much better at just doing stuff than getting ready for it. I guess it’s all about being prepared, and I was never the sharpest Boy Scout in the troop, or something like that.

But some things are too important to not prepare for. Depending on what and where you hunt with your scattergun, your season is either coming up fast, or is already here. September is often the last call for getting shotguns and other paraphernalia ready, so let’s talk about what you need to do to get out there and sling some lead or steel.

First, pull those scatterguns out of the gun safe and look ’em over. I’m sure that you would never put a shotgun away at the end of the season without a thorough cleaning, but if somehow this did happen, now is the time to rectify it.

Open the action and make sure everything seems to function properly – action, trigger, safety, etc. If there are any problems, you may (yes, I wrote “may”) have time to get it to your gunsmith for repair. But if there are any questions with functioning or the safety, do not take
the shotgun to the field.

Most of the time, the only prep our guns need is some old-fashioned cleaning. Pump guns and semiautos need a little more TLC when it comes to this, but don’t neglect the actions on your side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns just because they’re easier to clean. It is, however, easy to be intimidated when it comes taking pump and semiauto guns apart, so if you feel as if you are getting in over your head, don’t do it.

Not that long ago, I needed to disassemble a Browning BPS, and when it came to taking the bolt assembly apart I was unsure about getting it back together. Fortunately, there are multiple internet videos about putting this gun – and many others – back together.

While you are making sure that your guns are ready to roll, here are a few items that will help improve your experience in the field.

ONE GUN PROTECTION PRODUCT I’ve recently come to use is Hopper Spit by Birchwood Casey. The name is derived from – and I am not making this up – the product’s dark brownish-green color. If you caught grasshoppers for fish bait as a kid (as I did), you know what color their spit is.

Hopper Spit from Birchwood Casey is a fine gun protection product

Hopper Spit from Birchwood Casey is a fine gun protection product

Hopper Spit is an extreme rust and corrosion preventative for the metal on firearms. It will protect ferrous and nonferrous metals, and withstand the harshest conditions, including salt spray. This is a good protective spray for long-term storage of your guns (so you’ll be all ready for next season), or before a hard day in the field or the range. The suggested retail price is under $15, so you really can’t afford to not test it out.

For more, see birchwoodcasey.com.

ANOTHER TYPE OF protection that we often neglect in the field is for our hearing. For some reason, we wear it religiously when we go to the trap, skeet or sporting clay range, but we think that banging away in the dove field all day is somehow different. Some of us (like me) have already experienced some hearing loss from years of unprotected shooting, but it’s never too soon, or too late, to protect the hearing you have left.

Any hearing protection, including the simple “jam it in your ear” soft foam type, is better than nothing, but I think the in-ear electronic models work best. They effectively reduce shotgun blast noise while letting us hear what is going around us, and this increased awareness can be very important while on the range or in the field.

Etymotic Research’s Gunsport PRO electronic ear plugs provide excellent hearing protection on the range or afield.

Etymotic Research’s Gunsport PRO electronic ear plugs provide excellent hearing protection on the range or afield.

Etymotic Research’s Gunsport PRO electronic ear plugs are an excellent option for this need. GSP 15 electronic earplugs allow natural hearing when no background noise is present, and gradually protect from loud continuous noise from vehicles, machinery or gunfire from nearby shooters. At the flip of a switch, sound is amplified, improving distance detection up to five times for enhanced awareness.

I’ve used the GunSport 15 model ear plugs in the field and in a shotgun class at Gunsite Academy, and found them to be comfortable, effective and easy to use. The suggested retail for these ear plugs is $299.00, but if you do much shooting (or go to NASCAR races, etc.), they are worth every penny.

For more, go to etymotic.com.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING as too much ammo. Can I get an “amen?” We shotgunners tend to go through a lot of ammunition, and that is a good thing. No matter how many shotgun shells you may have stored at your ranch, you are probably always in the market for more. I know I am.

Before you head off to the dove field for your first hunting expedition, you should put in at least a couple sessions shooting trap, skeet or sporting clays – anything to get you out there shooting.

Browning BPT Shotgun ammo with a CZ-USA All American Trap Combo Shotgun.

Browning BPT Shotgun ammo with a CZ-USA All American Trap Combo Shotgun.

Maybe you’ve heard that Browning has entered the ammunition world, and here are a couple offerings for you to consider.

For the range, Browning offers Browning Performance Target (BPT) Shotshells. A combination of hard shot and a smooth hull make this an excellent choice. Most of you know that round shot will fly truer and hold a better pattern, and the harder or denser the shot, the more it holds its shape and doesn’t become deformed during flight. Harder shot also breaks targets better.

Before you hit the fields, woods or marshes, tune up your aim with some clay targets.

Before you hit the fields, woods or marshes, tune up your aim with some clay targets.

Browning wanted to come in somewhere in the middle on the price point on this ammo, and accomplished this on their BPT line with a brass-plated steel shell head. The brass plating allows for smooth feeding, but the steel head makes it difficult to reload, so Browning does not recommend it. MSRP for a box of 25 is $9.99, but you may see them on shelves anywhere from $7.99 up.

Browning has also introduced the BXD line of hunting shotshells. Along with nickel-plated shot for tighter downrange patterns, the main feature of these shells is speed. The 12-gauge 2¾-inch shell with a 13/8-ounce shot load delivers a muzzle velocity of 1,485 feet per second, and that, my friends, is a screamer. This type of speed should allow for less lead when drawing on that rooster pheasant that flushed a bit too far out.

For more, see browningammo.com.

Browning’s new BXD line of hunting shotshells feature nickel-plated shot.

Browning’s new BXD line of hunting shotshells feature nickel-plated shot.

THIS ONLY SCRATCHES the surface of all the things you need to attend to before you hit the woods or the dove field, but the editors would not give me the 20 pages I asked for to cover this topic adequately. Go figure.

As always, my advice to you is to just go. There will never be a perfect or even a good time to do it. Go to the range, go to where the doves are flying, or go see if the teal are in yet. No matter what you want to go after, just go! ASJ

September means that it’s time to bring your scatterguns out of the safe and into the field. Here are a few of the author’s favorites, including (left to right) his Remington 870 Wingmaster, Browning Superposed, Winchester Model 12, Browning A-5, Browning Model 32, and Remington Model 31.

September means that it’s time to bring your scatterguns out of the safe and into the field. Here are a few of the author’s favorites, including (left to right) his Remington 870 Wingmaster, Browning Superposed, Winchester Model 12, Browning A-5, Browning Model 32, and Remington Model 31.

Posted in Hunting Tagged with: , ,

September 15th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

The Savage 220Y And The Winchester SX3 Provide Accuracy And Power Where Rifled Shotguns Are Needed Or Required

STORY AND PHOTOS BY OLEG VOLK

This 25-yard, three-shot group from a Savage 220Y firing Brenneke K.O. slugs measured 0.5 inches.

This 25-yard, three-shot group from a Savage 220Y firing Brenneke K.O. slugs measured 0.5 inches.

In modern America, rifled shotguns are hybrid creatures spawned mainly by regulatory compliance. Several states require them for deer hunting, with the justifications ranging from reduced range for densely populated areas to deliberately limited effectiveness to give deer a fighting chance. Their technical provenance, however, goes back quite a bit further.

The first bolt-action rifle adopted by Prussia in late 1840s, the Dreyse “needle gun”, used projectiles somewhere between 16 gauge and 20 gauge – a 1-ounce bullet riding a paper sabot at around 1,000 feet per second. As rifle designs improved and metallic cartridges came into use, several 1870s designs in Europe and the U.S. settled around .44 caliber, with ¾-ounce projectiles launched around 1,500 fps, a velocity sufficient to expand soft lead and provide massive stopping power on soft-skinned foes such as humans or leopards. Incidentally, that ballistic envelope is very similar to today’s 20-gauge hunting loads.

Dupleks Monolit 32 produced 0.6-inch three-shot groups at 25 yards with rifled Winchester SX3.

Dupleks Monolit 32 produced 0.6-inch three-shot groups at 25 yards with rifled Winchester SX3.

As people came upon more thick-skinned game, including Cape buffalo and grizzly bears, large-bore rifles gained popularity, culminating in the massive .700 Nitro Express. Similar to the 12-gauge shotgun in bore size, the .700 NE had three times the energy and massively greater penetration. Limited to lower-pressure actions, shotguns could not compete.

Big-bore rifles, however, had their downside as well. They were very expensive, had massive recoil and launched a day’s wages downrange with every trigger pull. Shotguns, while less powerful, were far cheaper to shoot and didn’t beat up the hunter nearly as badly. For most North American game, whether dangerous or merely edible, 12-gauge slugs were more than sufficient at close range.

At distance, some accuracy could be gained with rifled chokes or fully rifled barrels. As game regulations forced rifles out of hunters’ hands in several states, rifled shotguns enjoyed a resurgence. A few hunters even chose them over rifles for close-range use because of the massive payloads available, up to 2 ounces in 12 gauge. In many areas, the rifled shotgun became the working man’s safari rifle.

I TESTED TWO EXAMPLES of such hunting arms, the bolt-action Savage 220Y, a lightweight youth 20 gauge, and a Winchester SX3 Cantilever Buck, a gas-operated semiauto 12 gauge. Both have fully rifled barrels intended mainly for sabot slugs. In addition to sabot loads, I also tried Brenneke-style slugs, which work in smooth or rifled barrels.

Winchester SX3 Cantilever Buck rifled shotgun with Holosun red dot sight.

Winchester SX3 Cantilever Buck rifled shotgun with Holosun red dot sight.

The Savage 220Y has no provision for iron sights, so I used it with a 1-4x Vortex scope. With ¾-ounce Brenneke K.O. slugs, it had moderate recoil and gave consistent three-shot groups at ½ inch at 25 yards, the longest distance available to me during the testing. Minimal muzzle flash, good accuracy and respectable terminal performance – around 18 inches of gel penetration with slight expansion to about 0.72 inches – all combine to make it a very viable load for deer or hogs. Best of all, it’s one of the cheapest slugs suitable for rifled bores, at under a dollar per round! Rated at 1,475 fps at the muzzle, it comes out just a shade slower from the 22inch tube.

The Savage shotgun also did its part to help accuracy. Its Accutrigger is nice and crisp, and the bolt action was smooth. The only catch was inserting the two-shot box magazine: it has to be pressed against the back of the magazine well to lock in. Single shells may be loaded over an empty magazine through the ejection port.

A folding rear notch sight allows use of optics mounted low on the cantilevered rail of the Winchester SX3.

A folding rear notch sight allows use of optics mounted low on the cantilevered rail of the Winchester SX3.

I then tried 250-grain Hornady FTX and 260 Winchester Dual Bond Elite sabot slugs. Streamlined expanding bullets in plastic sabots have a reputation for accuracy, and both are rated at 1,800 fps muzzle velocity for flat trajectory. With the barrel slightly shorter than the test rig, both were in the low 1,700s from the 220Y, with a pronounced muzzle flash.

With both loads, I was quite surprised by the initial results: a bull’s-eye with each, followed by a hit half an inch off, followed by a third nearly 2 inches from the initial hole. I reshot the groups with both, and every time they opened up to nearly 7 minutes of angle with just three rounds.

Reading up on the problem, I discovered that sabot slugs shoot straightest from a cold bore. On the return range trip, I was able to shrink the groups by cooling the barrel for a couple of minutes between shots with the bolt open. Both loads shot within 1 inch at 25 yards, reasonable for 100-yard shots on deer, but not living up to the reputation.

With the flatter trajectory offset by decreased accuracy, these looked less useful than the Brennekes, except for one factor: most deer hunting involves one shot on a stationary deer. The first-shot accuracy – point of impact corresponding to the point of aim exactly – was excellent with both loads, and the flatter trajectory (about half as much drop at 100 yards compared to Brenneke) makes range estimation less critical.

THE WINCHESTER SX3 comes with a four-shot tube and an optic rail cantilevered off the barrel. That way, barrels may be swapped and replaced without a substantial shift in the zero. It also had a set of post and notch iron sights visible through the trough in the optic rail.

While adequate, these sights didn’t strike me as ideal, so I put a Holosun red dot on the rail for accuracy testing. I picked it over a larger magnified optic for two reasons: proximity to the bore line and the unlimited eye relief. I wasn’t sure what kind of recoil to expect.

It turns out that my concern was unfounded. The SX3 had no more recoil than the 20-gauge bolt action, thanks to the gas-operated autoloading. The solar-assisted red dot has two reticle options, a plain 2MOA dot and a dot inside 65MOA circle with hash marks for horizontal and vertical reference. That second reticle proved very useful for testing.

Since the main reason to choose a 12 gauge over a 20 is the raw power available, I went with two full-bore loads, Brenneke Green Lightning Short Magnum and DDupleks Monollit 32. Brenneke 1¼-ounce slugs rate at 1,475 fps, but actually recoiled less than the 1⅛-ounce Monolit rated at about 1,400 fps, which suggest the DDupleks load is more optimized for the relatively short 22-inch barrel. In fact, chronograph reports velocity closer to 1,500 fps.

Downrange, Brenneke Green Lightning expands very little, around 5 percent, but has nearly 35 inches of penetration. Combined with a semiwadcutter profile, it is less likely to glance off such barriers as hog skulls, and that makes it a very viable dangerous-game round.

The Latvian-produced Monolit 32 is a full-machined steel wadcutter supported by plastic driving bands and base. It shows no expansion upon impact and tends to resist deflection by branches and foliage. Gel penetration with it exceeds 40 inches in a straight line. Also, breaking large bones on the way to the vitals will use up quite a bit of the energy.

The two rounds are worthy of each other in terms of accuracy. With just a red dot sight, Brenneke yielded 0.6-inch groups at 25 yards, while Monolit spread 0.67 inches. The groups were extremely consistent and not affected by the barrel heating up. Points of impact moved very little between these two loads, at least at the distance to my backstop.

Direct loading of a Brenneke K.O. slug into the Savage 220Y ejection port.

Direct loading of a Brenneke K.O. slug into the Savage 220Y ejection port.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL FIVE loads I tested were short, 2 3/4-inch shells, and both shotguns had 3-inch chambers. To maximize accuracy, you’d want to use 3-inch-long versions, as the projectiles wouldn’t have to jump extra quarter inch of freebore.

I picked the shorter loads to save wear on my shoulder which, in retrospect, turned out to be excessive caution. The recoil from both shotguns was fairly mild.

As a point of caution, the muzzle rise was fairly pronounced with both, so it’s worth holding onto the forend well to avoid a black eye from the scope eyepiece. Using a hasty sling, rifle style, provides both the stability for aimed shots and the extra resistance to muzzle rise.

For most meat hunting, the first shot matters the most, and each of these rifled shotguns should provide sufficient accuracy and power out to 100 to 150 yards, depending on the skill of the shooter and the size of the game. For dangerous game, the more powerful 12-gauge autoloader would also provide quicker follow-up shots in case the quarry isn’t alone or the first hit isn’t perfectly placed. For stalking meat game, either would work well, weighing in at around 8 pounds with the respective optical sights. ASJ

The Savage 220Y shotgun with 1-4x Vortex scope.

The Savage 220Y shotgun with 1-4x Vortex scope.

Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: , , , ,

September 1st, 2016 by jhines

The shotgun has long been a standard in home defense for obvious reasons. The ability to modify this weapon into a shorter more versatile style has sparked the interest of a large number of shotgun owners. This guy seems to know his stuff when it comes to creating a sawed off shotgun.

Check out the video below to see the steps he used to modify his firearm.


Having a versatile gun like this is important when seeking to be able to protect your family and home from intruders or other external threats.

It seems easy enough. A few simple steps and you are ready to hit the range.

What do you think? Looks like a pretty cool project if you ask me.

Video transcript:

Here is another project combining my hobbies of mahcining and guns. It’s a short video of a little weekend NFA project that came out pretty well. It’s a Bi-cal MP220 side-by-side shortbarreled shotgun. This was a fairly simple project, so I didn’t make any video of the procedures. I’ll explain each step in photographs, and show some video at the end of me shooting it. Let me know what you think about this project in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe.

Here’s how the shotgun started life. It was just a standard 20-inch coach gun, no thrills. Picked it up for about three-hundred bucks at a local gun store. Remember that in the US, if you cut a shotgun barrel down to less than eighteen inches, you need to have an approved form-1 before you start. You’ve gotta pay your $200, get approval from the ATF, and have your form in-hand before you ever start work.

The first step is to cut the barrel down. I measured slightly longer than my form 1 claimed, and marked the spot. In this case I cut the barrel at 10.1 inches. The barrels taper, so getting a straight line all the way around the cut point was a little tricky. Fortunately, this isn’t really a critical step, as I squared it on the mill later. I used the straight edge of a piece of paper wrapped around the barrels at the correct length, and used a marker along the edge to mark the cut line.

Here’s the resulting line, the next step is to get the hacksaw out and start at it. There isn’t much cooler in my book than taking a hacksaw to a side-by-side shotgun.

Well, the hacksaw didn’t last long. In realizing that power tools exist for a reason, I got my trusty angle-grinder out with a cutoff wheel, and made short work of chopping the barrel down. And here’s the result. It’s rough, but it worked just fine. That short barrel’s starting to look pretty good.

The next step was to square off the end of the muzzle using the milling machine. It took a while to figure out how to do that, since there aren’t many surfaces to use for references. I ended up using the bottom of the locking-lug and the breach face as my reference surfaces. I squared them up with a dial test indicator to better than a thousandth in the Y and Z axis across the face of the breach. That should translate to a muzzle that is square with the breach face.

I then made multiple light cuts with a long carbide end-mill until the entire face of the muzzle had some material removed. This could’ve been done with a file with good results, but since I had the milling machine, it probably did a better job than I would have.

The next step is to fill the gap between the barrels. I used a bar of lead solder, propane torch, steel wool, copius amounts of Flux and patience. This was pretty tricky, but it came out nicely in the end. Well-fluxed steel wool was the key in making it look nice. Without it, this process would’ve failed miserably. I then touched it up with some Cold Blue to match the silver solder to the blue of the barrels. It came out really nicely as you can see in the pictures.

With the barrels done, next up was the woodwork. The first thing I chose to do was to cut down the forend. My chosen barrel length of ten inches caused the forend to extend just past the barrel, so I assembled the gun and marked the edge of the barrels on the forend, then used my miter saw to cut it flush.

I debated whether to do as most do, and cut the stock off entirely, leaving only a pistol grip. Ultimately I made the decision just to shorten the stock. Why did I decide on a short stock? Well, tactically, in the end of the world situation, I wanna be able to shoot at least a hundred-and-fifty slugs with this guy without having to take a break, because I’ll be protecting my massive food stores from the mobs of unprepared sheeple. A stock allows me to do that better than a pistol grip. Pistol grip would allow dual-wielding, but I thought that ‘more accurate fire’ argument swung the decision tree matrix over to the shoulder stock.

Yeah, just kidding. Like most of my guns, this is purely a range toy, and something that I made because it’s awesome. I chose the short stock because it was the most awesomest option. Which leads me to the finished gun. When I finished the wood cutting, I stripped the orginal blonde finish, sanded and rounded and re-stained it with a Russian Red and a Dark Walnut stain, and finished it off with some tung oil. I think it looks much better with the dark red wood, Certainly way more tactical. I then ground down a custom limb saver, and called this project done. Which leads me to finally getting the video. Here are the first shots with the shotgun. It’s exceptionally loud, but a LOAD of fun.

Ready?

[Gunshots]

Oh yeah. S’not that bad!

This was a fun weekend project that involved six months of waiting to get approval for. Overall in the NFA world, it’s a pretty cheap and easy to complete project, and would make a great first form-1. Let me know what you think of the gun in the comments, ways I could have done something better or smarter, things you would have changed, and don’t

by Jesse Males
Source: Jim McPherson Youtube

Posted in Shotgun Tagged with: ,