Husqvarna Model 17 side-by-side shotgun: can't hit the broadside of a barn
This past winter I purchased a Husqvarna Model 17 side-by-side shotgun from Allan's Armory. It's a gorgeous gun and in great condition, even considering its 1942 vintage. I tore it apart and completely cleaned everything - from a mechanical perspective it functions as well as any Swedish long arm would be expected to function.
Took it out to the range for some clay bustin' in preparation for the pending upland bird seasons here in North Dakota. I took along some 2 1/2" shells I picked up from RST (Falcon Lites, loaded with 7/8 oz of #8 shot) and had two boxes of clay pigeons. There were three of us shooting and I went first - couldn't hit a damned thing. 0 for 5 in the first 5 tosses. Managed to squeak out a couple of partial hits after that (I know - a hit is a hit) and then handed the gun off to my friends to see if they could do any better. Nope. One friend did about as well as I did, the other did worse. Picked up my 12 gauge Citori 725 Field O/U and the standard Winchester target loads I brought along and proceeded to dust one clay after another.
This was my first time ever shooting a side-by-side shotgun. And the first time I've ever used 2 1/2 shells. Are side-by-sides really that much more difficult to shoot? My initial thought was that I was spending too much time concentrating on manipulating two separate triggers (this is the first gun I've ever shot that had two triggers), but after the first couple of shots it seemed pretty natural to me. It really had all three of us scratching our heads because none of us were very good with the thing. Does anyone have any ideas or tips/suggestions for shooting a side-by-side? Or is it really just a matter of getting out there any doing it? I've never had such a hard time with a new firearm before - usually they're all somewhat similar. Variations on a theme, as it were. But this was completely different and unexpected.
I love having the Model 17 in the collection but now I think I'll be sticking with the Citori 725 for field work this season. But I would like to give this Husqvarna another chance since I think it would be most-excellent to take some pheasant in North Dakota with a shotgun made in Sweden in 1942.
~ Greg ~
"Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." -- Abraham Lincoln, 4 July 1848