When we think of Orvis for shotgun cases, materials that come to mind are leather, fleece and canvas. With the beginning of the 2013 bird-hunting season, though, Orvis added plastic and suddenly that new green shotgun case vaulted to “The Best 5 Upland Products.”

To judge lead shot quality objectively there are five areas of concern: shot size designation, shot diameter uniformity, roundness or sphericity, hardness, and plating or lack thereof.  In Part 1 here we’ll look at size designation, diameter uniformity, and sphericity.

Perazzi’s MXS Sporting 12 gauge lets you tap into a long vein of Olympic trap and skeet victories at the same price of mass-produced shotguns from manufacturers with competitive aspirations and also-ran engineering.

During the ICTSF World English Clay Shooting Championship held August 3rd and 4th at Galt Sportsman Club in Ontario, Canada I had the opportunity to shoot Beretta’s new 486 Parallelo side by side in 12 gauge.

The 486 Parallelo is Beretta’s first round action side by side. The model made available to me featured stunning, hand-rubbed oil Turkish walnut for a shotgun in this price range (around $5,300) on its straight English grip. The Beretta 486 Parallelo sported matching selected wood for the stock, forend and checkered butt plate. Beretta ensures that the balance point on each Beretta 486 Parallelo is the same regardless of wood density. In addition to the English grip with splinter forend, the shotgun can be configured with a pistol grip and beavertail forend.

All shotshell manufacturers now have them: high velocity steel loads. You probably already know that most steel loads have higher instrumental velocities than most lead loads. Well, each company now offers even faster steel loads.

My Dad, who enjoyed hunting and shooting sports all of his life, passed away on June 5, 2013 at age 95.  Franklin Lee Marten was living on the farm in the same house where he was born. He was still shooting skeet and hunting doves by his grandson’s pond the year before he died. When I was a little kid, my dad had a 16-gauge Stevens hammer gun. I remember handling it, but Dad sold it to his good friend and hunting buddy, Harry Moore, in 1949 or 1950 before I was old enough to shoot it.

If you’re a right-handed shooter who stands 5-feet, 9 inches, weighs about 165 pounds, has a 33-inch sleeve length and wears a size 40 regular suit coat, you probably think you don’t need to worry much about “gun fit” or even consider ever needing a custom gun fitting.

Evil recoil – both actual and felt – and their causes and solutions have been detailed in the previous two installments of this column. I’d like to finish off this treatise on recoil by examining some important ammunition specifics.

There's good news for Zoli fans, and it goes by the name of Norbert Haussmann.

The former president of Blaser USA, 20-year Krieghoff veteran and former owner of Alamo Sporting Arms is now heading up a new joint venture with Antonio Zoli of Brescia Italy — the duo intent on boosting the presence and desirability of Zoli shotguns and rifles in America.

In the June installment of this column we examined the first form of recoil called actual recoil. I pointed out that all actual recoil comes from the shotshell load itself. As the shotshell load shot charge weight increases and as the velocity of the load increases, so too does the total value of the actual recoil force generated by that shotshell load. Gauge is irrelevant.

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