Where can I go that there are a large selection of guns to use - i.e. Beretta, Browning, etc. - and that a professional can observe, recommend, and fit me so that I can purchase and proceed with being an active and regular participant in sporting clays?
Your best bet would have been to attend the Sporting Clay Nationals in San Antonio back at the end of October. Every gun brand you can think of has rep's there and gun fitters are everywhere. I would think you could have the same results by going to any of the really big shoots(US Open, World Skeet shoot, in San Antonio, same reps there, etc.) ....Jack
Thanks for the suggestions. I have talked about this until I am almost "blue in the face" and am ready to "pull the trigger". But seem to repeatedly hear the same thing - "try different guns and make sure it is a gun that fits". I think right now that I like Beretta, Browing, and Ceaser Guerini with adjustable comb - 12 gauge, O/U, with 32 inch barrel but would like the opinion of a professional "fitter" watching me use all three.
It will be very difficult to find a gun-seller who knows much about stock fitting/gun fitting and even more difficult to find one who will give you honest answers. They are gun sellers, not well-fitting-gun sellers.
The simplest (and probably useless) answer to being able to try guns and determine how well they fit you is to try various guns and see if you can use the correct shooting form (stance, gun mount, body posture) for the shooting disciplines for which the gun will be used, e.g., skeet, trap, sporting clays.
Being new, you will not know the correct shooting forms. That fact, coupled with gun sellers who are not very concerned about how well the guns he shows (and wants to sell) you actually fit you, gives you some idea of the challenge you face.
I could recommend you buy my book but that would seem very self-serving.
Not to be simplistic but there are other factors involved in successful shooting than a well fitting gun, e.g., visual acuity, reaction time, eye/hand coordination, shooting form, e.g., stance, body posture, gun mount. All play a part in how well we are able to shoot.
Identifying the problem or problems that prevent success can be a matter of good, professional coaching or a process of elimination, accompanied by an open mind and willingness to change.
That is what so great about your book, Rollin. Gun fit is only one aspect of finding the key to high averages. Your book is comprehensive including form, balance and approach considerations. The mental side of shooting is also as important as physical gun fit. There is no magic in gun fit, but without it, the shooters form, consistent POI, and proper mount will suffer for all time.
Over the years my gun fit has changed based on stance, gun and pesonal balance, weight change and a head up approach. Allowing for cosistant moves to the target. So....a professional fit today could change for next year.
Learning to fit yourself and to evaluate your form at the same time saves time, and gets the shooter on target sooner. Coach, clinic, gun fitter/stock smithy, or Rollin Oswald's book read several times to comprehend all of the information and detail are good choices. Learning to evaluate yourself and the gun for a shooting carreer the best answer. Its not rocket science, only common sense.
Was visiting my brother in Knoxville a few weeks ago
and went to Chilowee Sportsmans Club outside of Maryville
for a very enjoyable round. The folks that ran it were quite
nice and the course is great. You might visit with them and
talk about your needs. I might be wrong but I bet they could help
tennbigdog - Welcome to the shotgun game. Thinking back to my own beginnings, sera russell makes a good point - we tend to put a lot of thought into getting that first gun (and there is nothing wrong with that) but you won't be able to really understand whether you would be happier with one gun as opposed to another until you finally get that first gun and get some experience. Starting off with some lessons, and a fitting, will help you ramp up the learning curve quickly. Starting off with a good used gun from a reputable dealer will allow you to move on to another gun later without a second thought.
There are lots of excellent books out there which can also help - a lot: Rollin Oswald sells his book on his web site, and amazon.com has reader feedback ratings that can help. I often recommend Gene Hill's "A Shotgunner's Notebook" and Bob Brister's "Shotgunning: The Art and the Science" to beginning (and some advanced) shooters. Hope this helps.
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