Ray's Technical Corner

Ray responds to questions from readers on technical, repair and maintenance issues with shotguns. If you have an inquiry about an ailing shotgun or just want some tips on keeping your gun shooting as long as it can, send your questions to Ray via e-mail to shotgun@shotgunsportsmagazine.com and watch for his response in a future issue of Shotgun Sports.

Mental Training > Eye on the Rock

“Eye on the rock, head on the stock.”

—wise saying

I started out as a competitive pistol shooter before I decided to dip my toe into shooting clay targets with a shotgun. I hunted most of my life, usually with a shotgun, but when I tried to shoot moving targets, I initially tried to shoot them the way I shot a pistol.

Mental Training > Let Me Repeat That

“Practice makes Perfect.”

—Ben Franklin

I am writing this in mid-April in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have a lot of time on my hands being stuck at home. I’m not able to go to the YMCA (where I usually meet my friend Dave) and our local gun club is closed due to being “non-essential”, so I have to figure out what to do about my shooting.

There is some respite. I just started out working as a physician for the local VA clinic. This gives me some time away from home, but that is only for a few hours a week. I still needed to shoot.

The way I decided to deal with the problem was to go back to the basics. In the most basic way.

Coaching New Shooters in Doubles

For all shooters, and especially new or youth shooters, American trap doubles can be the most entertaining of all the trapshooting events. You can see this in the faces of the youth team shooters as they compete in this event. It can also be the most frustrating for new shooters who don’t understand the basic fundamentals of the game.

Shooting Clinic Expectations

Today there are a lot of individuals putting on shooting clinics all around the country for trap, skeet and sporting clays. If you talk to shooters who have taken clinics previously, you will find some had a great experience and some had a poor experience. In talking to shooters who had a poor experience, I have found most of the time these shooters did not know what to expect prior to taking the clinic and, therefore, were disappointed with the outcome.

Briley Helix Hunter Chokes

Tough Field Testing in the Louisiana Bayou

A week of pattern work at Backridge Ammunition Tennessee, another week in western South Dakota of the same and additional pattern work got the new Briley high-performance Helix hunting chokes up and running for the big swamp test series that would last almost 10 days.

Sandhill Crane Hunt

I was offered a hunt by the Pros at Benelli USA and Franchi to introduce two new offerings available for late 2019 in Lubbock, Texas, baiting me with a chance at Sandhill Cranes and upland birds for a real test drive under the usual dryland conditions out in the South Plain area of west Texas. Never one to pass a first look, I selfishly accepted.

Final Shot - Pictures Don’t Lie

Last fall, I came across a post on an Internet site that included 50 or so photos taken at the 2019 Westy Hogans tournament at Elysburg. They were taken as fairly close-ups of many different shooters in the process of shooting by someone with very good shutterbug skills, and I was amazed at the number of obviously ill-fitting guns that were captured in action, many caught during the shot was exiting or having just exited the muzzle. To say it was remarkable is putting it mildly. I wish I could take pictures like that!