Well, for whatever reason I’ve never taken pictures of my guns before. I posted up a “stock photo” of a Mossberg similar to mine last week, but here’s photos of the actual gun. Also, I took a few shots of my SKS w/ folding stock and scope.
Mossberg 500 Tactical 12 gauge pump
I’ve been having an absolutely great time with the Mossberg. I’ve gone shooting both of the past two weekends at the John Sevier Hunting Education Center, where the TWRA officers have been incredibly helpful for a newbie getting their feet wet with shotguns and sport shooting.
Two weekends ago was Trap Shooting with Emmett, and we were the only ones there so it was a nice slow start and no pressure from other shooters to get into the rhythm that they normally rotate through for Trap (5 stations, 5 shots per station, rotate through). The short 20″ barrel on the Mossberg definitely limited its useful range, but we still both managed to hit a number of the clay pigeons and had a blast doing so.
This past weekend, I just went shooting by myself. I’d bought a couple more boxes of ammo (#7.5 this time) and took enough cash with me to shoot two rounds of 25 pigeons at the Trap range. When I got there I was greeted with a PACKED parking lot. Apparently the University of Tennessee has a girl’s shooting club and was having a tournament on the Trap ranges, so the only thing that was open to the public was the “Sporting Clays”.
I sadly didn’t take a camera with me Sunday, as I could have gotten some cool pictures, but here is an example of a small Sporting Clay field. The one at JSHEC has 6 launchers, and 5 stations, and there is a placard at each station showing which launchers will throw for each round. Again it goes in rotation through each station, but it’s a hair different from trap shooting. Goes something like this:
Station 1 starts. Shoots a single 6 (# of the launcher that throws). Then Station 2 shoots a #1. etc etc through Station 5.
Back to Station 1. Shoot a #1 and a #2 in succession but with a short break between each launch. Station 2 fires at a #4 and a #3. etc etc through Station 5.
Back to Station 1. Shoot a #3 and a #5, launched simultaneously. Think you’ve probably seen the pattern by now
After those 3 rounds are done, everyone moves down one spot, and the person at Station 5 moves back to Station 1. Then you go through the whole rotation again until everyone has shot 5 shots from each station.
It’s quite challenging as some rounds there are two pigeons in the air at the same time and you have to sight, lead, fire, pump, sight, lead, fire in rapid succession. Most of the guys who did that regularly use an Over/Under shotgun so there is no reloading. just pull the trigger for the first barrel, then I think there is a little switch and the trigger will fire on the second barrel.
I didn’t do very well, but it was the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. Shooting at a moving target is vastly more entertaining than shooting at a stationary target/silhouette with a rifle. And the extra computing it forces your brain to do at a rapid pace feels great. And nothing is so satisfying as seeing a bright orange clay pigeon explode into a ton of tiny pieces when you get a clean hit. After 50 shells in about 2 hours though, my shoulder had about had it, and I came home, thinking during the entire drive back, “When can I get up here again next?” I am thoroughly and undeniably hooked on this sport now, and as Tiff and I were talking about last night, it’s one of my cheapest hobbies yet
One cool thing I did see while I was there on Sunday though was a Saiga 12ga. Semi-Automatic Shotgun. It looks just like an AK-47, but shoots 12gauge shotgun shells/slugs. Was quite the beast. I have a picture on my phone, and I’ll post it up sometime when I get it off.
Here’s the other pics….
SKS with Folding Stock and 4x Scope
Mossberg 500 and SKS