Short but sweet

Sporting Shooter - - Readers’ Letters -

I found Dig­gory Hadoke’s ar­ti­cle about short­bar­relled shot­guns most in­ter­est­ing, es­pe­cially as my first and favourite shot­gun has 25" bar­rels.

It’s funny how things tran­spire to work out in di­rec­tions you’d never imag­ine. I have a lovely, in my eyes at least, black Labrador bitch called Lady. We’ve had her since she was a pup of six months old when we in­her­ited her from my daugh­ter who died quite sud­denly from a bad bout of pneu­mo­nia. Lady is now seven years old and has turned into a very nice steady dog, but as a pup she was a night­mare. As Lady was 100% work­ing stock I started her on gundog train­ing, more in des­per­a­tion than any­thing else, as a way of keep­ing her oc­cu­pied so she’d hope­fully stop wreck­ing the house! I was out in a farmer’s field do­ing a spot of train­ing with her one day and tech­ni­cally tres­pass­ing. I thought I was go­ing to get a telling off when I spot­ted the farmer com­ing to­wards me in his Land Rover across the field. In fact, he asked if she was a good gundog and would I like to try her on his farm shoot. She was two at the time and the rest, as they say, is his­tory. We went from beat­ing to pick­ing-up and for the last two sea­sons I have been a Gun on that shoot with Lady at my side as a peg dog.

I bought my first shot­gun two years ago while I was wait­ing to see if I would be ac­cepted on the shoot af­ter a Gun dropped out through ill health. I bought the gun from a friend for £500. It’s a BSA Spe­cial Game model with 25" bar­rels and was man­u­fac­tured, I be­lieve, in the late 1930s, and I love it. It had been re-proofed in the late 1970s.

I spent an­other cou­ple of hun­dred pounds on her, do­ing some es­sen­tial refurbishment. The stock had some move­ment in it and there was a very mi­nor dent in one of the bar­rels. Even though it’s got a right-hand stock and I’m left-handed, it fits like a glove and it’s quite nat­u­ral to use. It’s very light at a few ounces over 6lbs, and per­fect for walked-up shoot­ing and for driven shoot­ing, es­pe­cially in wood­land. I also have a new Browning over-and-un­der with 30" bar­rels that I use as a work­horse, and al­though it’s a lovely gun in its own right, it’s nowhere near as ag­ile as the lit­tle BSA.

So yes, I’m with Dig­gory all the way on this. It’s dif­fi­cult to beat the charm and el­e­gance of a good old English gun, even if it’s got un­fash­ion­able short bar­rels.

David White, via email

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.