Yeah, I know, ridiculous isn't it?
But that's how it feels sometimes when I'm trying to improve my shotgun shooting. Just think about how the shotgun works - how your face has to fall comfortably onto the exact same spot on the stock every time. Then think about how hard it is do to that when you've got a stupid giraffe neck like I do.
Watching Boyfriend mount his shotgun with the greatest of ease once last year, I declared, "I bet my neck is an inch longer than yours!" I actually measured our necks. Mine is two inches longer - 6 inches to his 4. Giraffe neck.
I've been grumbling about this to my shooting instructor, Harv Holcomb, who invites me out to his Sunday morning skeet shoots with the guys. "You might want to try an adjustable-comb stock," he said a few weeks ago. Read more...
An adjustable comb allows you to actually move just the part of the stock where your face rests when you're shooting - you can move it up or down, left or right, until it's absolutely perfect. Competition shooters use them a lot.
Honestly, a good gun fitting can do the same thing. Mostly. With an adjustable comb, you can move the comb without moving the butt even farther to the left (in my case) or right (for normal people).
Harv called me last week and asked if I was going to be shooting on Sunday. He had a gun with an adjustable comb that he wanted me to try - a 20 gauge Remington 1100.
Quite honestly, I just wanted to get out there and practice with Sarah Connor (that would be my new 12 gauge Beretta 3901 - black synthetic stock, hence being named for the bad-ass heroine of Terminator and Terminator II). But I decided to humor Harv.
He adjusted the comb for left-handed shooting and had me shoulder it. Meh. I wasn't moved. My gun felt better. I spent the rest of the morning shooting Sarah.
Then, before we wrapped up for the day, Harv asked one of his buddies for an Allen wrench and he tinkered with the comb some more, got it cranked as low and as far to the left as he could get it. "Try this," he said.
Hmmmmm. It felt better. Not natural - I still had to think about it, as I seem to have to do with all my guns - but better.
"Let's try it," he said.
So we went out, and all coaching stopped, he just let me shoot, and I'll be damned if I didn't just kick some butt. I nailed two sets of doubles, where one clay flies from the left, followed immediately by another from the right. And one of them was at what Harv says is the toughest station for doubles. No thinking at all. Didn't think about where my face was on the stock. Just raised it and shot. I was in heaven.
"That's the best I've ever seen you shoot," Harv said.
The next day I ordered an adjustable-comb stock for Sarah. It's not that I had $260 lying around, but I would do almost anything to make my shooting routinely feel like that last round did on Sunday.
And hey, the gun was free - I won it at a duck dinner - so $260 was a small price to pay... Oh yeah, I can rationalize anything.
Anyway, I'm trying not to get too excited about it. The stock is from a different company than Harv's stock. My gun is a different gun. But the guy I ordered from said I could return the stock if it didn't work well for me, so what have I got to lose?
I'll let y'all know how it goes when I get it all put together next week - it won't be in time for the cottontail opener, but there's a long season on cottontails.
And, hey, Walter B! Yes, it will have a Kick-Eez pad on it.
© Holly A. Heyser 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Yeah, I know, ridiculous isn't it?