Small gun, big bag
QI have a .410 shotgun that I really enjoy shooting. I’m only a teenager and not very big and find a 12-bore a bit heavy and tiring to shoot when I have borrowed my dad’s for clay shooting. I love pigeon shooting and am worried that I am under-gunned. Am I better off swapping my little over-and-under for a bigger automatic?
AANDY CROW replies: If you shoot your gun well, there is no reason not to use it. You can get 19g No.6 shot cartridges quite readily and these will be more than up to the job of killing pigeons cleanly at sensible ranges if you do your part.
If you trade up to a big heavy gun, you may find it has a negative impact on your shooting, so what’s the point? As you get a bit older and stronger, you might want to look at a 20-bore semi-automatic. These are light, soft on the shoulder and capable of matching a 12 in pretty much every circumstance apart from throwing large payloads of steel when wildfowling. Most of the popular brands offer 20-bore versions of their best sellers and although cartridges are more expensive than 12-bore stuff, it is not prohibitive unless you shoot lots of clays and pigeons.