Glorious Game Guns Fit For The Field
The game gun is one which is built for a true purpose. It needs to be light enough to enable the shooter to cover several miles but heavy enough to absorb the recoil from the appropriate game cartridges used. We delve deeper to look at these special features.
Stock & Forend: The stock on any gun is one of utmost importance. The most commonly encountered is the fixed combed pistol grip, allowing the shooter to mount the gun with ease and precision. Some more traditional shooters may have a semi pistol grip stock or even a rarer to see straight hand stock on their over and under. The most important thing is which feels most comfortable. Game stocks are usually slightly slimmer than a competition version. This allows a weight reduction for when numerous miles are walked. The recoil pad on a game gun needs careful consideration. It wants to allow the gun to be mounted snag free with quickness, but at the same time not be slippery. People choose anything from a wooden heel plate to various styles of rubber pads. The forends on game guns can come in numerous shapes depending on the manufacturer. Schnable and rounded seem to be the two main styles currently popular with comfort and control of the gun as the main priorities to the shooter.
Action: The action itself on a game gun is almost always more ornately decorated than its clay shooting cousins. It can feature lavish gamescenes or a delicate scroll as game shooting tradition applies equally to guns as it does with the dress code. On the higher grade guns this engraving is usually done by painstaking hand work carried out over hundreds of hours. Aside for aesthetics the automatic safety is one of great debate with most feeling it would be foolish to be without one on a game gun. This safety catch operates such that once the gun is opened the safety catch automatically springs back to being engaged. With game shooting safety is the most important factor so this is probably one of the major features of the game gun. The barrel selector is something every game gun should have. Usually located on the safety catch it allows you to optimise your choke for your selection with quickness and ease. Some more traditional manufacturers still have these located next to the trigger but are there nonetheless.
Barrels: The barrels on a shotgun comprise various components. The overall length is of great importance in the game shooting world, and varies greatly depending on the requirements. The longer barrels of 32” are the popular choice on the highest, most testing driven birds to keep the swing going and make missing behind a thing of the past. For the shooter on a rough day or pigeon shooting perhaps the 28” or 30” are the logical choice, being quicker to the bird as well as slightly lighter over the course of the day. The other important feature of the barrels is the rib style. A game gun will normally always come with the classic “narrow game rib”. It has several benefits the main one being it reduces overall weight, but also the narrow rib gives good peripheral vision to see clearly around the bird, as often distractions such as vegetation can be in the sighting plane. The side ribs usually come solid, keeping a traditional look and practicality wise to stop bits of twig, branches and other parts of the countryside lodging in those ventilation slots competition guns would have. Moving to the choking, we see both fixed choke and multi chokes on almost all manufacturers. The multi choke just as the clay gun gives full versatility of the quarry being shot. Fixed choke will balance and pattern slightly better but it’s always the shooters choice between which compromises they choose, especially if shooting non toxic at some stage.
So we see there are some definite characteristics and specialities of game guns. One thing to note is game guns are often also in a smaller calibre such as 20 gauge or even 28 gauge. This makes them a joy to carry, especially on a walked up day. So weather it’s a 12 gauge, smaller calibre or you even decide to go against the grain and plump for a competition gun remember take note of all the features you need. With all the guns located in our new gunroom take a look to see what will be your companion on the 2018/2019 season. Time to get some practice in .....