Shotguns with the Best Target Vision

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I don’t very often speak out and challenge some comments both to me via ‘facebook’ or however including general comments through the media etc but just lately I have heard and read few things that I feel need to be corrected

1. I was reading a magazine recently when I saw a comment by a writer, ‘all over/under shotguns shoot high.’   This is miss-guided probably conceived from some old ideas. A shotgun barrel is hopefully straight and in 99.999% cases the top rib has nearly always been designed and fitted to be parallel with the centre of the barrel (apart from my designs) and with the shooters eye adjusted to be flat along the rib the gun in question will shoot exactly where it is pointing and not high.  This means that if the gun is fitted to any particular shooter and the fit of the gun allows this flat picture viewed along the rib, then the gun will shoot to point of aim and wont/cant shoot high.  So with the correct head position the point of aim (POA) equals point of impact (POI).   It is solely the stock fit which determines whether the gun shoots to point of aim or not, therefore it is incorrect to say or put in print ‘over and under shotguns shoot high’.  I have always felt as do many good shooters that a dead flat eye sighting position is wrong as it hinders good target vision and with a std designed gun like my SR1, a small raised head position to the tune of about 1 to 2mm above the breech over the rib will give a much better target vision and only shoot about 3 – 4″ high at 40 yards, which is inconsequential.   Everything to do with this point on fitting and sight picture is also down to shooters preference as to just how they position their target.   I have of course with my designs taken this sight picture even further by offering a special rib that allows for an even higher head position offering a substantially better sight picture without the gun shooting high.  Further explanations of this are in the ‘about my guns’ section of this website.

2. The statement  ‘my barrels are 32′ but they have long extended chokes which make them become the same as 33″ or 34″ barrels’  is wrong.  The main purpose of longer barrels is to assist point-ability mainly on long or awkward targets that are not so easily referenced by the front sight or front end of the rib on barrels with a shorter length. This reference point using longer barrels (although eyes must of course be fixed on the target and not the front sight or muzzle) makes it is easier to connect and correlate with the target and it is only down to the way the eye sees this connection that makes longer barrels come into their own.  Having extended chokes which can not be seen by the shooter means that the extra length does nothing to make the gun appear longer or point any better. I have over the last few years introduced 33″ barrels (alongside my 34″ ‘s) with very few other 33’s available from other manufacturers and although I totally understand that they are not for all, my opinion is longer barrels offer advantages in the right hands over shorter.  I do of course do all barrel lengths for those who prefer a shorter barrel.  For any shooter interested in longer barrels, individual trials to establish one way or another are imperative to ascertain their value but if you can make them work, I believe they are unbeatable.

3. Another magazine comment,  Longer barrels just mean that you are 2″ or whatever length you are using closer to the target.  (32″ 33″ 34″ or whatever.)   With target distances both on the clay and game circuit becoming more and more difficult and for game shooters higher (another subject which warrants further discussion) and although one must always keep within shotgun and shooter capabilities, longer barrels definitely offer an advantage.  They are steadier, more balanced, they don’t run off line so easily and they allow a much more controlled shot.  Try pointing a short barrelled gun at a 60yd static object and then try the same experiment with a longer barrel.  The longer barrel, the muzzle of which being further from the eye, seems to give you better connection. Of course, as in every development and relatively new idea, there are always some shooters who have perfected long range and high bird shooting with shorter barrels but in my experiences when demonstrating the differences between shorter and longer barrels, the latter in 90% of cases wins the day.  Out in the game field longer barrels have become dominant with some top shooters making a name for themselves using longer barrels, many of my customers too.   Once again, its down to the individual, longer barrels are nothing to do with being 2″ closer to the target, it’s solely the pointability that counts.  I am sure though that the comment above ‘your just closer’ was more in jest than serious.

4. “I see the new Perazzi Hi-Tech has copied your RSR rib”.  This is wrong.  I have an excellent relationship with the Perazzi factory and indeed, Mauro Perazzi the boss.  I think his Hi-Tech is a very good gun offering special features that many other manufacturers are envious of.  He has designed a sideways reversed rib from breech to muzzle which offers the shooter a sight picture that looks as if the top rib is the same width down it’s entire length.  It is very attractive and will of course satisfy many customers to a great degree.  Some 6 years ago based on an idea I had some 30 years ago, I worked with Mauro to develop my reversed rib the RSR but it is totally different to the Hi-Tech or indeed, any other gun currently available.  My RSR or DSR ribs are sloped in a different way from front to rear and this coupled with a standard gun fit makes the gun shoot low which is of course, not a good idea.  To compensate this the height of the comb on the stock has to be higher than normal to the tune of about a 6mm eye height above the breech.  The object of this design is to give an even better target vision than all other guns currently on the market and without doubt, it has proved it’s performance. I now have a great many very satisfied shooters throughout the world benefitting from these designs affording me comments like,  ‘I can now see the target so much better and I can see what I am doing better too’. One top reviewer in the UK commented on the RSR, “perhaps all guns should have been designed like this”. When correctly fitted they offer vastly superior target vision, they are easier to shoot, they shoot better than standard and traditional guns and they do not shoot high !!

Don’t believe everything you hear or read in the press.  Believe in facts.