Fit­ting a “choke” to the com­pet­i­tive shooter

Field and Game - - NORM LAWLER’S TALES FROM THE SWAMP -

One day at the Mel­bourne Gun Club pigeon shoot, a par­tic­u­lar chap was com­pet­ing and shoot­ing quite well. After his shot an old friend who had been watch­ing re­marked on his suc­cess. “My God, that gun must be well choked. Ev­ery bird that you have shot is stone dead. What type of chokes do you use?”

His friend replied: “I don’t know, let’s go around to the pat­ter plates and find out.”

After fir­ing at the plates, you could see the chokes were very sim­i­lar and in the top right cor­ner of both bar­rels there was a small space with no pel­let marks. With that knowl­edge both shoot­ers re­turned to the club­house.

When the suc­cess­ful shooter was called for his next shot his friend sat on the fence to watch.

When the trap was re­leased the bird took off, both bar­rels were fired and both missed.

When he re­turned off mark his friend com­mented that it was a “top tar­get” to which the shooter replied: “Al­though it was a very good bird, I still should have shot it. Do you know what I be­lieve? “He es­caped through the two holes in the chokes!”

After this rev­e­la­tion, the shooter, who was usu­ally a good re­li­able shot, went down­hill. The ‘es­cape holes’ in his pel­let spread wor­ried the shooter so much he ended up sell­ing the shot­gun. Ev­ery time he raised the gun to shoot a pigeon he wouldn’t see the tar­get, he would only see the holes in his choke pat­terns. This is a true story and the les­son is that per­haps some­times it is bet­ter not to know.

It wor­ries me to­day that tar­get shoot­ers have such a wide range of chokes and are of­ten more con­cerned with the type they should be us­ing than the tar­get they should be hit­ting.

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