Q: Would you advise something smaller than a 12 bore for partridge shooting?
A: Itâ€™s great to be back writing my Dr Watson article again and helping the readers with their questions; many of which are so often asked both at the shooting school and out in the field.
I have to say that the red legged partridges are the easiest game bird to shoot by far. The reasons for this are their size and the speed that they fly. But does this merit shooting a smaller gauge shotgun, such as a 20 bore or 28 bore? I would say NO.
Many of my clients over the years have moved from their trusty side by side 12 bore to an over and under 20 bore and started their shooting season on partridges and everything seems to have gone ok. However by the end of the full shooting season they are asking the inevitable question; â€œshould I move to a 12 bore over and under to keep my shooting consistentâ€?
Most men over a certain height and stature over time move to a smaller gauge shotgun, (what I am describing here is not a gun that has not been fitted properly); a gun that does not fit your size and stature causes your timing and tempo to go away. Timing and tempo are the two key factors of shooting. The weight and size of the gun makes you move faster than the bird and then everything disconnects. Missing starts and your confidence goes.
Connection, Timing and Tempo; three key words I use when teaching. Without them, shooting can be one of the hardest sports, making everything become very frustrating.
If you compare this scenario to another sport, such as cricket and you were to use your 10 year old sonâ€™s bat, (even with an extension on the handle), the bat will feel wrong and your timing and tempo will be all over the place. As a result you will miss the ball bowled â€“ now youâ€™re watching the game not playing!
My advice to you; shooting is a hard sport without you making it even harder. It is always best to shoot with a gun that gives you the most confidence and suits you both in fit and overall size ratio.
20 bore and 28 bore guns are perfect for the young shots and women!
You can get very good at shooting but you will never master it.
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