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your opinion on switching guns...

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by samthompson, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. samthompson

    samthompson Member

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    Mar 8, 2012
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    193
    I would like to get your opinion on switching guns - at what point should someone consider switching guns and why would one consider it. Let me explain and then I will read your replies…

    I have been shooting the same shotgun for years and have some very good scores on a semi-regular basis. However, lately my scores have been stagnate - with more scores below my average occurring than above my average. While I don’t consider myself the type of shooter who is constantly looking for higher scores by constantly changing equipment, I need to determine if/when there is a right time to take that step.

    In the January/February issue of Trap Shooting USA Sean Hawley indicated that a few years ago it was time to find a different gun. That got me thinking… if someone as accomplished as he would consider switching guns – why do I feel as if I am looking for the ‘easy-way-out’ or looking for the ‘quick-fix’.
    Then the next question – if I do decide to go for a switch << and I have access to 3 different trap guns that I am considering switching to>> do I (a) shoot a different gun alternating each week for a 3 months or (b) shoot the same gun for a month then a different one for a month and finally the 3rd one for a month - and then decide which I like better.

    Lastly, if do decide to switch guns what should I do with my ‘old/current’ gun??? I know that the first time I shoot a truly disastrous score with my new gun I will be VERY, VERY tempted to go back to my ‘old/current’ gun.
    You input is appreciated.
     
  2. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

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    When switching, you have to give it a fair trial. It used to take me up to a year. Practice all that you can. A few gifted shooters can shoot most anything on the rack. The Pro-Amateur shooters are pretty much obligated to shoot the model their sponsor dictates. Allthough Leo pretty much balked on the funky Berretta double single barrel a few years ago.

    Clyde
     
  3. pfofml

    pfofml Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    130
    Samthompson,
    Please let me share some of my experiences with gun change. As I've been shooting for more than 40 years, gun switch is familiar.
    First let me post what the late, great Frank Little said of the same. "Learning a new gun will require 10,000 rounds". Also he stated that "trapshooting is 10% equipment and 90% mental". That being said, there may come a time when a differnt gun will change your shooting.
    In my experience, I went from a field stock to a trap stock on an O/U. Resulting in improvement. I then traded for a combo Win 101. Improvement.
    Shot a Md 12 for perhaps 5 years. OK Traded this off for 2 P gun, TM and O/U. Improvement. This gun trading took place over 20 years and I perhaps reached my skill plateau. I Then traded for a K gun whivh I still shoot. With the exception of the P and K gun the learning curve was long. Also durning this time I picked up and tried several other guns. Some were impossible for me while others only worked for a few hundred targets. Be mindful that some new guns will shoot very well at the start because the shooter may pay more attention to shooting because of the new gun. I call this shot live love affair the new gun syndrome. Be mindful of this. Also, there are shooters who are able to handle about any gun they handle. I certainly do not fit this catagory.
    That is my experience. Looking back I did the right thing.
    Peter Falk
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
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    6,266
    Upgrading to a new (or slightly used) shotgun is one of the fun parts in the game and more often than not it is a matter of want as opposed to need.

    This isn't to say that an upgrade won't help you - it very well may. Your so called slump could be a result of many things like gun fit, maybe you are developing a flinch or some other bad habit which could all be addressed with a new gun. Think of it as a 'reset' and once you push the reset you will probably need to work hard to get use to the new setup.

    That being said, don't fool around with a bunch of different guns hoping that you will just magically find the perfect one. Buy one that you think will allow enough adjustment such that you can dial it in and has a trigger that is going to work for you. Are you shooting release or pull trigger now?

    Keep your old gun around for awhile. Can't have too many shotguns.
     
  5. slick50

    slick50 Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    OOOOOOHHHHHHH no. I have switched guns a few times and I hope I will NEVER have to do it again. As stated Frank Little was right again 5-10,000 rounds to get aquanted and comfortable with a new shotgun. My advise (take it for what its worth)is to take a class with one of the recognized traveling trap shooting gurus, may be one that stresses gun fit and the basics before you consider changing guns.... A gun change should not be taken lightly....
     
  6. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    1,934
    I recently went through this change. I had an MX-6 that I shot well. I shot a 98 in handicaps at the end of November and went from the 25 to the 26. Then I bought my current MX-15. I had been using a BT-99 as a back up, but it took me a couple of rounds to get used to it so I couldn't just walk to my car, pick up the BT and finish an event if the MX-6 went down.

    The main difference was that it was an unsingle versus my Mx-6 top single. How could that be a problem. So I shot it through the season, the Dixie, the shoots in February, then the Southern and the Florida State Shoot. The gun had been fitted to me and shot where I looked. It seemed, however, that I wasn't looking anywhere near the target. I patterned it, counted the little holes, did everything but hit the targets.

    I shot worse than I did when I first started. I often said that if I wanted to shoot myself, I'd need a box of ammo to do it. Even some of the scorers said I should put the new gun in the safe and get out the MX-6. But I knew if I did, I'd never get around to learning the new gun. So I shot it and shot it and hung my head then shot some more. Practice, practice and more practice.

    Finally, finally, it came together. After 4 months I started to hit pretty well. I'd still have a few misses I didn't expect, but it kept getting better. I got punched to the 26 1/2 a month or so ago, then to the 27 two weeks ago.

    I expect I shot a lot more than the 10K rounds Little said it would take, but I love the new gun and hope to shoot it for many years to come.

    Bob
     
  7. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    You can reduce the conversion time as much as possible by putting your gun on paper...that is, documenting the POI at 13 yards and setting your new gun up to shoot to the exact same place. If you have the same sight picture then it just comes down to swing dynamics.
     
  8. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT LET GO OF YOUR OLD GUN> In have read so many people who traded in or sold their old gun and wish they didn't because the new gun didn't work out. Keep the old gun till your happy with the new gun.
     
  9. Bueno

    Bueno Member

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    Apr 5, 2011
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    Rather than focus on any future performance, or better scores than the new gun could bring to the table,
    you could instead concentrate on shooting a finer gun, or an upgrade from what you have now.
    The more expensive guns have a quicker and crispier trigger, and that could be a big advantage, they also have the pride of ownership that goes along with them, and the show factor.
    Just like having a jalopy or a nice car, both will take you where you want to go, but the nicer one will do so with more comfort, and it could raise your amount of pleasure and self esteem.
    Many of us shoot cheaper semi-autos just as well as $20 thousand dollar guns, and I have been there and done that. But again the between hands feel, balance, point ability of finer guns, is an acquire taste.
    I love my Blaser, and I am used to it, the other day I shot a new K-80 Parcours demo, just for curiosity's sake, and I couldn't miss a shot with it. And honestly if I could have afforded it now, I would have jumped in.
    You rarely lose money when you buy a gun and hold on to it for a while.
    To me having different guns, and switching them on a whim is one of the pleasures of the shooting disciplines. Many times I long for a gun that is long sold and gone, but then, like women, you move on, lol.
     
  10. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    No balls, no glory. Go for it.
     
  11. ebsurveyor

    ebsurveyor Member

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    Location:
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    I've been shooting trap for 42 years and probably have changed guns more than most. I've been through these that I can remember: Four M12's. three Browning O/Us, five BT 99s, five TM 1s, three TM Xs, one SX 1, three 1100s, three or four 870s, two Bretta autos, four silver Seitzs, two K-gun combos, three P-gun O/Us, ten P-gun combos. In 1987 I got a AA 27 AA pin shooting a BT 99 and a citori O/U, but after the BT failed at the Grand I bought a MX3 combo and broke some good scores with it. My neighbor Frank Little was shooting a TMX by then and I thought they felt better. So I got one and shot better averages in singles and handicap for about five years. Next I thought a Silver Seitz felt better and I had one made for me. Not good, after about three or four years of poor scores I made a visit to see Jerry Philips and got a second new SS. I won the non resident singles at the DE State Shoot with it the second day that I owned it. I shot my highest ever average at 27 yards that year. That gun worked very well until I thought a K 80 Trap Special felt better and I traded the SS. Well the TS was the first gun in more than 25 years that I couldn't stay on the 27 with. Bye Bye K-gun and hello SS #4. I'm currently shooting a P-gun combo and a SS. After a few years of shooting you will know if a gun feels good. After one round you will know if you will be able to shoot it. Expect to shoot well at the beginning and to improve over time. For what it's worth I would never buy a gun that wasn't hanging "ink balls" the first time I shot it.
     
  12. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Switching guns is hard work. Most people I know go through a love affair period with a new gun. They try really hard and may possible shoot some good scores than reality sets in.

    Best advice I ever got about switching guns was from the former owner of the Boxhorn's gun club in Muskego Wisconsin, Dick Bennett.

    He said give your old gun to a trusted friend and tell him no matter how much I beg to get my old gun back do not give it back for at least 6 months.

    You can not go back and forth between your new gun and your old gun. After you have shot your new gun for 6 months, if you still can not shoot the gun as good as your old gun, then have your friend return your gun to you.

    This site is filled with stories from shooters that are looking to get their old gun back and can not either find the gun or the new owner will not sell it back to them.

    I learned a long time ago that switching guns is way to much work for me. I hope you will consider what I just told you as it comes from experience.
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
     
  13. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    You need to determine what is causing your inconsistent and stagnant performance before you make any move. Has your vision changed? Has your physique changed and the gun no longer fits you? Did the gun never really fit you and a gun that fits you better would be of genuine benefit? Have you gotten sloppy with your execution of the basics?

    You can't fix the problem if you haven't determined what the problem is.
     
  14. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    I use a different gun just about every outing ; ))
     
  15. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    wireguy beat me to it. What changed? In addition to what he suggests, how about equipment. Did you change choke tubes? Do they all shoot to the same place? Did you change your shooting form? Are you shooting faster? Slower? Do you need to change your POI.

    I've had similar troubles in the past. Sometimes it has been easy to fix, sometimes not. The surest way is to start from the beginning and take it one step at a time.

    Above is a link to an earlier thread where I offered advice on how to make sure your gun shoots straight, and so do you.
     
  16. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    When I borrowed a demo Blaser and shot it, I had a great day from the first shot.

    I bought that demo and never looked back. Scores and consistency went up instantly. Acquiring extra barrel/tubes, upgraded stock, and putting rounds through the gun verified the wisdom of my purchase.

    This simply means the gun fit, dynamics, and handling qualities were on spot for me.

    Don't forget confidence, since much of this game is mental. I KNEW the gun fit, handling, swing, and overall quality was simply better than anything I had shot up to this point, so the total confidence in equipment was and still is total.

    I would submit that it took no maiden cruise or period of time to improve my shooting with this gun. Yes, they are THAT good.
     
  17. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Change your hat, change you gloves, change your wife, but never change your gun or your shells if you shoot them well. That piece of advice came from Phil Ross about 35 years ago.
     
  18. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Phil Ross is a very wise man.
    Steve Balistreri
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin