One of the changes I particularly enjoy, especially on a hot day when it’s tough to be comfortable at a shooting bench is shooting clays. It’s pretty cheap, and you can quickly amass a rolling collection of shotshells suitable for hunting (or busting clays). The going rate is $20 for a box of shells (100 shells) and $6 for a flight of clays. But, like any decent hunter, I’ve got four different brands of shotshells and four different sizes from 8 to 7. Generally shooting for me is cheap since I’ve just got disgusting piles of odds and ends, and the weapon investment only needs to happen once. Unlike rifles, it’s really hard to shoot out the barrel of a shotgun and generally the chokes die long before the barrel does. Unlike shotguns, rifles are only as good as you are. Your mileage may vary.
I’ve found that the local gun club is empty Sunday afternoons when people are generally sticking to Church. Since they don’t open until noon now (an entirely separate complaint), it’s good to know that there’s still time when you can get on the line. Maybe it’s the heat, but the place was a ghost town last time. We had our pick of the clay throwers. Jon brought his Remington 870 Murder Party Edition. Jon will probably kill me for this later, but I’m not impressed with it. Out of box it wouldn’t cycle a spent shell I cut the skirt off of, and the tolerances are so tight on the chamber that it will jam. I had to hammer it on the ground once to open the action. It may improve, but there’s little reason for all this on a shotgun. It’s not to say my Remington Spartan 320 – oops, IZHMASH Baikal IZ-27 – is perfect, but at least the tolerances are correct. Also whoever owned it before me did so with love, the wooden stock has pretty typical field wear but the bore is bright like mirrors. Anyway, I just enjoy clay shooting, and I think that instant feedback is well and good for developing skills. Next time I’m up there I plan on shooting the motorized traps for epic wins.