We are all living in a different world today. It’s always changing but the latest changes like cancellations, restrictions, lockdowns etc. because of the virus sped up this process to a level of change that has not been seen in a long time, if ever.
The events where people could try CZ shotguns were initially postponed then cancelled altogether. I absolutely love going to these events and representing on behalf of CZ-USA. You not only get the shotguns into hands of people who, sometimes, never heard of the world renowned firearm manufacturer before, but most importantly you meet and talk to so many people from all around the country.
I have found out that shotgun sports or bird hunting brings together great company. Through the years I have noticed there is no shortage of older, experienced shooters more than willing to help others, especially the young ones . And that is little problem with the sport. Plenty of older, experienced shooters but not enough young people who love shooting sporting clays, skeet, trap or ultimately bird hunt.
Few weeks into the “pandemic” and few cancellations of events, some of them oriented specifically towards youth, I have decided to create my own “events”.
The spring in Wyoming can be little like late winter and some clubs were careful about full opening. So we put clay thrower in the back of the pick up, loaded shells,clays,shotguns,plenty of warm clothing and drove to any public land clear of snow to shoot clays. I did not realize it at the time but being “out there” without distraction helped most of the young shooters before going to the club with other people shooting around them or actually watching them shoot. Some of them were fine in the club later that spring but most of the less experienced ones were “overwhelmed”. So the only thing we could do to head back to National Forrest and keep on practicing in the privacy of hundreds of thousands public land acres.
Two things in teaching/coaching youth are extremely important. Knowing when the players/shooters are becoming too fatigued for continuation of progress and recognizing when challenging exercise is turning into discouragement. These thresholds are very different to each individual kid.
Once the summer arrived and we had access to multiple shooting facilities I started working with smaller groups of adults as well. It is not always easy to give advice to adult shooter who thinks they know everything yet have very little experience and lack safety knowledge(we all know those guys).
I decided only to stick to recommending shotgun for each shooter depending on their ability or lack of it. And most importantly keeping everyone safe.
It is hard to believe we do not have more gun related accidents in this country. The lack of safety amongst certain group of men is mind blowing. But they need new shotguns as well so with their demo they also get a quick safety lesson.
These groups were 4-8 people on average.
The last group I focused on this summer was families. Parents who grew up shooting, hunting but busy life took them away from it. They want their kids to at least try and learn the basics of shooting shotguns and then decide for themselves whether they like it or not. I believe we had lot of success “convincing” everyone that any form of shotgunning is great way to spend some free time.
The families loved it and some enough they decided to shoot clays at least once a month as a family outing. After buying couple CZ shotguns of course.
Here is handful of the most popular shotguns this past spring, summer and early fall.
CZ Supreme Field truly reigned supreme for its quality, balance and accuracy. It comes in very esthetically pleasing package. The 20 ga version impressed everyone from my daughter who is just getting into sporting clays to experienced shooters and bird hunters. It it a perfect balance between sport and field gun. There’s also models in 12 and 28 gauges.
CZ Drake .410 was probably the most used gun throughout the summer. Great little gun that good shooters enjoy for its terrific accuracy and novice young ones for the lack of recoil. As mentioned earlier the most shot gun all summer because no shooter had to worry about flinching or fatigue even after few boxes of shells.
CZ 1012 Walnut stock or synthetic camo stock. The latter one was heavy favorite amongst waterfowl hunters. Light guns do not handle recoil too well but this inertia driven semi auto shoots softly. The walnut is beautiful and people who only want one gun (not sure why) really should and they did look into the 1012. A gun that does it all.
There were others like the 20 ga side by side Sharptail, that has become my designated grouse gun or Redhead Premier All-terrain with 30” barrels to reach out.
Last but not least was the All American combo. There is so much to this gun. I personally found the most helpful for finding clays was the stepped up rib. All I had to do was put my cheek in the proper spot and it seemed the barrel found the bird without much effort. It allowed me to have more time to find the right lead and pull the trigger.
The single barrel set did not compromise the gun’s balance at all. It is a great advantage to go from sporting clays to trap with one stock but two different barrel sets.
You can find more information about these shotguns at CZ-USA.com