Africa is in the blood of Joe Coogan and now that he’s left shotgun maker Benelli USA he’s returning to the place that shaped him as a man.
Mr. Coogan, one of the last witnesses to the Golden Age of African safaris, is teaming up with his old-time friend and colleague Soren Lindstrom of Soren Lindstrom’s Africa to offer wingshooting adventures in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia along with other hunting safaris. Mr. Coogan recently started Africa All Ways from his base in Merritt Island, Florida to support and represent Soren Lindstrom’s Africa here in the U.S.
The drive from Denver had been uneventful, which was good. I listened to a stack of CDs hoping to learn how to say ‘good morning’ in Italian and trying not to spill Diet Pepsi all over the box, while anguishing as the gas gauge plummeted down like weights at the gym. On the rural roads the weathered buildings and farm houses with sharp angled roofs reminded me of my family car trips from Long Island to Miami Beach when my age was written in single digits.
In Part I, we met Charlie Mincey, former Georgia moonshine runner who would be our host for evaluating the new Ruger Red Label on sporting clays courses that we visited in a restored 1939 Ford Sedan moonshine car. In Part II, we shot sporting clays with the Ruger Red Label at the Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club as well as Barnsley Gardens — delving deeper into Charlie’s incredible story. Now in our final installment, we stress test the Ruger Red Label at the ravine-intense Etowah Valley Sporting Clays followed by a visit to Dawsonville, which is the heartbeat of the state’s moonshine culture.
In Part I, we met Charlie Mincey, former Georgia moonshine runner who would be our host for evaluating the new Ruger Red Label on sporting clays courses that we visited in a restored 1939 Ford Sedan moonshine car.
Inside a canvas and leather gun slip, the new 12-gauge Ruger Red Label looked at home beside me leaning across the spacious back seat of the 1939 Ford Sedan moonshine runner.
Beneath a Texas mesquite tree, I sat on the camo bucket seat with a 20-gauge Zoli Expedition EL resting across my lap, watching skyward for doves.
On an Indian summer afternoon, the mule-drawn wagon swayed in a slow lullaby here in the cradle of the South as we followed guides on horseback in pursuit of the next quail covey to hunt.
I was stunned. Pleasantly stunned. Roberto Ferrata uncased his new titanium Fabbri 12 gauge shotgun and handed it to me. “I want you to use my gun today.” I received the magnificent firearm and held it as gently as if it were a newborn baby. Bringing it to my shoulder, I noted with conflicting emotions and thoughts that it fitted perfectly.
Griffin & Howe’s 8th Annual Showcase & Sporting Clays Invitational held September 13-15 at the spectacular Hudson Farm in Andover, New Jersey will once again host a silent auction to benefit the Wounded Warriors in Action.
The late Robert Churchill’s book “Game Shooting” is legendary for introducing wingshooters to “instinctive shooting,” which forgoes any notions of measured forward allowance as you swing the shotgun to down your quarry.
Does gun fit really matter? Well, I drove 1,320 miles to find the answer.
I wouldn’t make the grueling round-trip drive from Maryland to Georgia just for anyone who claimed to be a gunfitter. This guy was the real deal — by all accounts the best: Chris Batha.
At an elevation approaching 3,000 feet, the high-desert terrain cut a razor-sharp horizon across Highland Hills Ranch. A chukar flushes, you wheel around, experience the rush of a game bird escaping against the silk-blue sky and when the stock of the 20 gauge touches your cheek a single detonation punctuates an indelible instant high on the threshold of eternity.