Shotgun slap

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#1
Looking for some wisdom here please.

I have a Beretta 12g over and under that I rarely use, but with the game season approaching I’ve been thinking about getting it out of the safe.

Essentially it occasionally gives me a whack on the cheek. Now I have had two fittings – one at West London and one at the Fenns and bar changing the recoil pads to make it a tad shorter, I have been advised that the fit is fine, and I shoot ok with it (60-70s at monthly registered clay shoots) but still after every session I use it I come back with a small lump on my face.

Shooting gun up compared to game gun down seems to make little difference, leading me to think that my mount is ok.

So speaking to a few pals about what it could be, I am left rather confused with the differing opinions;

• Im lifting my head – no idea how to solve that
• Comb on the gun is just too high
• Comb on the gun is too low causing it to rise

I do clays for fun, but will admit that I do lose concentration due to queuing 15 minutes to get on the stand.

Essentially I bought it as a game gun for life, but after a couple of years of being smacked around by it im waning. I have have someone interested in buying it and so I don’t know whether to sell and start again it or have it totally fitted.

Any advice gratefully received.
 

Haggis Hunter

Well-Known Member
#2
I am an occasional shotgun user too. I've had the same issue with some guns in the past and flogged them. I eventually found one that fitted, more by accident than anything else. The one I have now feels just 'right', without any messing about bending the stock. So I doubt your problem is unsolvable.

I think I tended to lift my head with certain targets only and that's what did the damage. The gun(s) didn't fit, I couldn't see some targets as I would like, I lifted my head slightly and 'bam' a smack on the cheek was the result.

Like me, you've probably lost confidence in the gun and that's a major issue. Maybe try a few of the guns your mates use and see if you like the 'feel' of them any better? I've ended up buy a make of gun I'd never really seen/used before and its great.

I'm sure a decent gun fitter could sort things out if you have a gun that's nearly there but if you've coughed up for this twice and it's still not working that's a pain.

Best of luck!

hh
 

BryanDC

Well-Known Member
#3
I remember when I first started clay shooting with my old Baikal. Shooting rabbits and pigeons etc I had never noticed how short it was until I started clay shooting. Every time I went home I had a bruised top lip from my thumb knuckle. I added a huge spacer (about 32mm) to the butt and fixed the problem. When I got my Beretta I also found that to be a little short so replaced the standard 12mm butt pad with a longer 22mm one and it feels perfect for me. I'm 6'3"

You really need someone who has some experience to stand and watch you shoot from different angles. They should be able to see if you are lifting your head just before the shot or if the fit is not right. Were the fittings you had in the shop or actually shooting?

Haggis Hunter makes a good point about not seeing some types of target. Is it worse on some than others?
 
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FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#4
Unfortunately all of my pals shoot with Berettas and the cast seems to be the same across the range. Lol - need some new friends.

Both my fittings where two hour sessions on numerous targets.
 

John_R

Well-Known Member
#5
Whilst it's never easy to diagnose these things over the internet it does sound like you are lifting your head bit, probably not on all targets but enough.

Sometimes I get a slap if haven't been using a shotgun for a while so I concentrate that bit harder on mount and keeping the stock pressed to my face.
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
#6
At best the stock would need a bend for my money, if they say it fits the ask for you money back lol

Harry who shoots with me get a nice mark on his cheek from his own gun but not using his brothers.
They are both very close is size and make of gun but Matts has a 3/16 cast in the stock.

Tim.243
 

BryanDC

Well-Known Member
#8
Like John R says, it sounds a little like you are lifting your head a little on some targets but its really difficult to say with certainty. It may be worth just trying it at one more shoot but think about each stand as you do it. Did I get wacked on that one or not. Maybe then you can see a pattern.
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#10
At best the stock would need a bend for my money, if they say it fits the ask for you money back lol

Harry who shoots with me get a nice mark on his cheek from his own gun but not using his brothers.
They are both very close is size and make of gun but Matts has a 3/16 cast in the stock.

Tim.243
I spoke to a gunsmith and he said that it was nie on impossible to change the cast on an O/U.

I have tried concentrating on not lifting my head but it still seems to happen.

Sounds like a few have solved this problem by getting a different make of gun with a different cast - any recommendations?
 

Tim.243

Well-Known Member
#12
I spoke to a gunsmith and he said that it was nie on impossible to change the cast on an O/U.

I have tried concentrating on not lifting my head but it still seems to happen.

Sounds like a few have solved this problem by getting a different make of gun with a different cast - any recommendations?
Both my 325's and my 425 Browning's have just under 1/4 cast.....which were done by Frank Poole from Leech and Son's in Chelmsford!

After 26 years my first 325 has gone back a bit after 1000's of rounds getting wet soaked marsh mud and any thing else on it...

Put up the name of the shop who said you cant cast a O/U lol


Tim.243
 
#13
Hello FB. The only place that does fitting worth a damn and gets it right are Holland & Holland. I wouldn't waste your money at West London. Been there, seen it, done it twenty years ago. Realised even as they were doing it that it was a waste of time. So went as I should have done in the first instance to Holland's.

I don't know about your other place. Did they have a try gun? And did they have you use it on a pattern plate and then a simple going away bird? With final check on a simple driven bird? Before then letting you go around on other stands on their clay layout? Anything else (such as a fitting in a shop) won't work if you've poor mounting technique when bringing the gun up on a moving bird as it won't be easily apparent to the fitter.

I have had three fittings there over the years with Holland's. First was many years ago in the 1990s with Ken Davies. Then in 2004 again with Ken Davies and latest in 2015 with Nathan Dudley and they know what they are doing. I know this as I can compare the measurements given by them over the years and bar changes in cast they don't vary.

Cast will change as a shooter ages as the person puts on/or loses weight on the chest and on their face. As most people age their cheeks on their face change. Usually getting thinner as you go into early old age. So my fitting from Ken Davies' time reflects how my face has changed.

Stock length usually doesn't. But too long a stock will also cause problems. You'll mount the gun on the arm instead of the shoulder. And be looking effectively down the barrels at an angle. You'll kill crossers going one way with panache! Beak shot every one. LOL! But you'll miss behind crossers behind going the other way and get a slap now and again to.

Any gunsmith that says it is impossible to change cast on an O/U is talking nonsense. It isn't possible to do it to the same extent that it can be done with a gun that does not have (as do most O/U guns) a through bolt (the same as you can't alter the cast on a side-by-side with a through bolt as much as you can alter the cast on a traditional side-by-side) but it is still possible.
 
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BryanDC

Well-Known Member
#14
Sounds like a few have solved this problem by getting a different make of gun with a different cast - any recommendations?
Unfortunately not. I love my Beretta. :)

But seriously, go to the gunshop and have a good look and don't rush into it. I don't personally get on with Brownings as I find them to chunky compared to my Beretta but others love them and don't like Beretta styles. If you are in Kent. Countryway Gunshop in West Malling always used to have a good selection. Although I haven't been there in quite a while.
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#15
Both my 325's and my 425 Browning's have just under 1/4 cast.....which were done by Frank Poole from Leech and Son's in Chelmsford!

After 26 years my first 325 has gone back a bit after 1000's of rounds getting wet soaked marsh mud and any thing else on it...

Put up the name of the shop who said you cant cast a O/U lol


Tim.243
Funny enough I was in there the other day getting some 30-06 rounds. I might add it was not the gunsmith who said you cant cast a O/U.

Will have a look at Holland and Holland
 
#16
Lots of good advice already given above. Another option is to go into a gun shop that stocks lots of different makes of shotguns. You will be amazed at the difference in stock dimensions between different manufacturers.
If you choose somewhere that have facilities to allow you to try a few shots, then so much the better.
If you get up this way fishing in the fens, pay Simpson Brothers a visit. Marcus or Ian will be very helpful Marcus' brother Matt is an excellent gunsmith who is on the premises too. Matt also does stock alterations if needed.
 

potshotpat

Well-Known Member
#18
FISH BOY I had the same problem with my Beretta O/U years ago, had small alterations to the stock but it still caught me out now and again. I then started to put a small amount of Vaseline on my cheek(on my face :lol:) before I started shooting and problem solved. :tiphat:
 

FISH BOY

Well-Known Member
#20
FISH BOY I had the same problem with my Beretta O/U years ago, had small alterations to the stock but it still caught me out now and again. I then started to put a small amount of Vaseline on my cheek(on my face :lol:) before I started shooting and problem solved. :tiphat:
Thanks fella - been doing that for a while but it still happens.
 

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