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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/435

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Getting Ready for the Clay Birds

��By Edward (J. Crossman

��A Scene at a Typical Trap Shooting Exhibition. The Man on His Knees Is Releasing the Clay Birds

���OXCE too often we trekked to the place of the flying saucers. The spell of the clay bird is upon us. And so, perforce, we toddle down-town to the mart of the gun sellers and there consider the guns that are suitable for breaking the clay.

By the rules of the game our task is a bit simplified. We may not under the rules use more than one and one-quarter ounce of shot. We may not use a gun larger than twelve-inch bore. By the rules of common sense, desiring to com- pete on equal basis with other clay bird devotees, we cannot go below this allow- ance. We need no such handicap, for a time at least.

Seeking a gun no lighter than seven and one-half pounds for the sake of our shoulder, we find spread out before us divers weapons, all of them represented at the grounds of the cla\- bird. The cheapest is a single barrel, single shot weapon, hanuucrless, cheap in finish, good enough to break cla\' birds, costing about fifteen dollars, but a little under- weight. Unless our contemplation is to

��use such a gun merely until we find our- self, it is not the gun to choose, because it is not quite adequate for the skilled shot. Next in price and most formidable in efficiency is the repeating shotgun of various makes. Thousands of them are in the hands of the most skilled trap- shots in the coimtry. The weapon is not quite so simple for the beginner to handle as the double-barrel gun, and the reach to the slide-handle, b>- which the gun is operated, is a liit long for the short-armed man. The cost in plain qualit>' runs less than twenty-fi\'e dollars. In guns with checked fore-stock or slide handle and checked grip, the cost is about thirty-five dollars. No better weapon is made for breaking the birds, but some people find that they shoot better with the double barrel. Does our choice fall on the repeating shotgun, then it must have barrel no shorter than thirty inches, stock with "drop" or crook from the line of the barrel no more than one and one-half inches at the comb and two to two and one- quarter inches at the heel, which is the

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