I’ve been shooting my old Browning BPS for a long, long time. I bought it when I was 14 years old, so it’s been my go-to shotgun for more than half my life.
Please don’t take this as bragging, but when I take it hunting, I don’t miss very often. It has a lot more to do with practice than natural ability. Practice and familiarity with that shotgun.
That said, as the hunting season progresses, I start missing more and more. The same is true at the trap range. I realized that a few years ago. I shot my highest score ever on the first night of the season, and my scores dropped steadily after that. It finally occurred to our team captain’s husband Ken, who serves as our unofficial shooting coach, that I was pulling my head off the stock just before pulling the trigger.
The reason I was pulling my head off the gun was that if I kept it welded to the stock, I’d smack myself with my right thumb. It was all about gun fit. Since the gun didn’t fit me right, I was literally beating myself up. Helen, our team captain, said she once had a beautiful gun that was balanced perfectly and swung nice, but it beat her up every time she fired it. She’s also a shooting instructor, so I took her advice when she told me not to stay in an abusive relationship.
I didn’t want to kick my trusty old BPS to the curb, so I tried lengthening the stock. Ken and Helen helped me lengthen the stock, and that made all the difference. After that, my scores started going up again, and I even shot a couple of perfect rounds.
If you’re not shooting as well as you’d like, you might try taking a closer look at how your gun fits you. If it doesn’t fit, you won’t shoot as well as you could.
And if it’s beating you up, chances are it isn’t fitting you right.