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 Post subject: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:52 am 
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Last year my friends Susan, Melanie and I loaded up for a day trip to the Nationals in San Antonio to shop and try chick guns; a report on that trip is on the CG Lovers thread. We had a lot of fun and decided to go again this year, with the specific intent of trying out the two new chick guns from Zoli and Blaser. We loaded up yesterday morning in my new car, a Toyota Highlander, otherwise known as the Rolling Barcalounger. It's the biggest car I've ever owned, having moved up through a couple of Subara Foresters from a really swift Mini Cooper. I applaud Melanie for her admirable fortitude in not jumping out of her skin ever time the "you've veered out of your lane" beeper went off. I'm getting better, 'nuff said.

The three of us shoot CG guns, Susan and I Syrens and Melanie a CG Compact, but we were all impressed with the new Blaser Intuition, a lightweight, sweet shooting gun designed for women. I brought a box of the shells I currently shoot, Herter 1 oz, 1060 fps, so we could do a true side-by-side comparison of the Blaser to our CG/Syrens. Despite the Blaser's light weight there was little felt recoil and for me there was nothing about the gun's handling that compounded my numerous shooting inadequacies. I was puzzled by the ambulance red glowing front sight, anything that has me looking at the barrel even more than I already do is not helpful. Fortunately this is a problem easy to remedy. Susan and Melanie can both shoot the Intuition out of the box, I'd have to have a from-the-get-go adjustable comb added as there was a noticeable gap between the back and front beads. I do fault both CG and and Blaser for not adding a factory installed adjustable comb as an option to their women-directed guns.

Comparing the Blaser to the Syren, the Italians could not build an un-elegant gun if they tried. You can tell that Blaser has worked very hard to get the Intuition price point down to match the Syren, it is very plain, what I call an Amish gun, with pedestrian-grade wood as standard. Of course, the mechanics are Blaser, which simply can't be faulted. It is definitely a gun worth considering if you are in the market for an O/U chick gun.

We saw the Zoli rep we encountered last year down on the demo line when we first walked in, but she'd disappeared when we got back to the Zoli store. We put off trying the Zoli Bella until next year because we want the pleasure of having the woman who emphatically told us last year that Zoli doesn't do chick guns and sees no need for chick guns explain to us why the Zoli chick gun is so good. Though it will take a lot of selling for me to ever buy a gun with rhinestones, excuse me Swarovski crystals, set into the receiver.

We stopped by the CG/Syren booth to say hello, and as always Lynne Green and her bunch were welcoming. She is a grand representative for the Syren brand and a definite keeper. We are all looking forward to CG adding the lower gauges to the Syren line and look forward to shooting them.

We saw our friend and shooting buddy Dianne Wiltz while walking between booths. She has finally come over to the O/U side, and waxed lyric about her new Kreighoff K-20; she's already a good shot and will be a deadly competitor with her new gun.

The now-traditional stop at Lonesome Charlie's was next on our list, with each of us making purchases. Such great customer service, and they remembered us from last year. My kidney recipient and I exchange "birthday" gifts on 11/6, the anniversary of the transplant, so this year I got Charlie a beautiful carved leather shell carrier with his name on it. I usually get really good single malt Scotch from him, so it's a fair exchange. Stopped in at the SGS Precision Eyewear booth and was impressed that they have one day turn around for single vision prescription shooting glasses, they'll be on my shopping list next year.

We got out of San Antonio a little late and came back the 281-220-67 route to avoid the post-football game traffic in Waco and Austin on I-35. A beautiful drive but it was a little bit white knuckle to be driving a rural Texas road at dusk on the first cool day of the fall with the deer out and active. We saw several dead ones and a lot of big red splats. As usual, the poorly marked split from 281 to 220 in Hico caught us, we missed the turn and almost ended up going to Waco; that added about 20 minutes to the trip. We were kept awake by Susan giving us every five minute updates from the puppy cam in her house focused on her new Lab puppy. "He's sleeping on his right side." Five minutes later "He's sleeping on his left side." The puppy is, apparently, an aggressive sleeper.

Unlike Susan, aka Ms. Speedy, I drive like the little old lady I am, speed limit + 5, so we sailed by the speed trap outside of Cleburne that caught us last year. And yes, the little fella had someone pulled over.

A good trip, lots of fun, and looking forward to next year. Mary Ann



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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:07 am
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Location: near Pittsburgh, PA
Great post.

Did you happen to see / hold / try the Beretta Vittoria?

My wife currently shoots a 28ga 686 (Beretta), I'm looking for a parallel (or at least more so) comb 12 for her.


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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:33 am 
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kjs wrote:
Great post.

Did you happen to see / hold / try the Beretta Vittoria?

My wife currently shoots a 28ga 686 (Beretta), I'm looking for a parallel (or at least more so) comb 12 for her.


We did not. If you want to have an adjustable comb installed, talk to Ken Rucker at SpeedBump Stockworks. MAJ

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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:25 am 
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MJ, another one of your wonderful posts, always an enjoyable and informative read!

My wife said she saw you at the complex. I looked at the Blaser without her, but as you said, their wood selection has the figure and elegance of a toothpick. They just don't understand the visual relationship most of us have with our firearms. You eluded to no adjustable comb, in my opinion another absolute for women's guns, should be standard equipment. Any woman that really enjoys the shooting aspect would rather have the adjustable comb over the Swarovski bling, at least that's Dianne's opinion. Ask her what she wants, nice wood and a bare receiver.


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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:40 pm 
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Eric, actually I like the Blaser, I just recognize the philosophical design differences between Italian and German guns. For instance, I don't care how elaborately Keighoff carves its receivers, their guns are big old planks. As to the Blaser Intuition, Blaser worked hard to get a price point that competes with Syren, but the overall esthetics are not that different from other Blasers; across the board they make visually plain guns and put the money on the inside. I will go Syren over the Blaser because (1) they are pretty and I like pretty guns, (2) I can shoot the Syren out of the box, and I can't do that with the Intuition, and (3) in the words of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Syren "got there firstest with the mostest." MAJ

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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:10 am
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I agree, I like the Blaser, BUT what I don't like about it is the lack of figure on the base model and having to pull $1,000+ to upgrade timber to walnut with a little figure. I think they would be further ahead to offer the gun with a higher grade of wood as standard. If they paralleled CG's wood quality they would sell more guns. I can't speak for others, but the shooting women I know have an eye for things that are pretty, if not pretty beautiful, and some will go for elegant.

The money you talk with this level of firearm should come with at least more than a plain walnut timber stock. I'm kind of a wood junky, from the stump to the drying pile. I cut walnut in Iowa that was called, furniture grade/cabinet grade, (clean board without knots blemishes etc.) that wood was superior to what I saw on the entry Blaser.

Nice guns, but I think they're missing a fair part of the market because their wood's lacks figure. Husbands of shooting wives more often than not have a great deal to do with gun selection for their wives. I told my wife she should not only like the feel of the gun, but should like the look of the gun because it's an extension of ourselves. When I see a gun with a fine wood stock with a quality finish I want to pick it up and feel it; I think the shotgunning woman has the exact same emotion+/- .
CG/Fabarms hit the home run when it comes to marketing and I think their wood has added to their success. My first CG was $3,800 a great gun and a beautiful gun and I had a wonderful relationship with it. Lifeless walnut timber doesn't call many of us when you're talking about 5-10K.
Just an opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:13 pm
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MAJENKINS wrote:
I do fault both CG and and Blaser for not adding a factory installed adjustable comb as an option to their women-directed guns


Great post! So sorry I missed Nationals this year. I went last year with my wife for our first time and had a blast! She shoots a Syren and loves it. I shoot a CG.

Just wanted to give you a heads up, the CG made Syren 12g sporting models DO come with an adjustable comb option and you can buy it standard. Well, as long as the shop stocks them in this config which most of the sporting shops are. At least the ones I checked when getting my wife her Syren because she needed the adjustable comb as well. It's listed right on their website, but if you shoot a subgauge then it may take a custom order for the adj comb but 12g is a standard option config for the Syren Magnus and Syren Tempio sporting's.

How are their new apparel items? I noticed they have a bunch of new shirts and gear on the web store. I'm thinking about Christmas gift ideas. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Good to know. I asked while I was in SA, and they told me they were not available on the Syren! I sent both my 12 and 20 gauge Syrens down to Ken Rucker who put adjustable combs on them.

They did not have most of the new gear at SA, but they did have an example of the new Syren cap, a really nice grey (as I recall) with the Syren purple highlights. MAJ

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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:13 pm
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MAJENKINS wrote:
Good to know. I asked while I was in SA, and they told me they were not available on the Syren!


If it was the Fabarm made Syren's (XLR5, Elos) then yep no factory adjustable comb option, but the CG/Syren's (Tempio, Magnus) in 12g does. Maybe whoever you spoke to was referring to a specific model? I can tell you for sure they do since my wife's Syren has one, factory option, right off the shelf. Pretty sure you can send it to their Custom Shop in MD and have one put on for you as well.

Thanks for the heads up on the new gear!


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 Post subject: Re: Road trip to the NSCA: 2017 edition
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:49 pm 
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I looked at the website, and saw the $355 "adjustable stock option," which must be a recent addition for the Syren since Lynne Green didn't mention them when I asked her about adjustable combs while in SA. An adjustable comb wasn't available, even for the 12 gauge, when I bought my gun. My girls will be staying in Texas as I like my Ken Rucker adjustable combs, especially since their trip to see Uncle Ken included a slight shortening of the stock and a Kickeze sporting clay pad. I am content. MAJ



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