Well, I have today given a new meaning to the term ‘half gun’. I have literally taken a half gun on a day’s pheasant shooting.
I was a guest on a friend’s day in Leicestershire, on a shoot I had not visited before. I always use a motor case to transport my game gun because, 1) I’ve got one and 2) less chance of breaking the gun than if it was in a slip. So, I took the gun from the cabinet and broke it down. I looked through the barrels and noticed a couple of streaks I had not noticed after last use/cleaning. So I put a rod through them and made them right, then closed the case.
I would love to have seen my face when, after a raucous breakfast which set the tone for the day, I got booted up and went to put the gun in it’s slip only to open the case and find.......just a pair of barrels! I had left the stock/action on the bench.
Of course, the P***taking was merciless all day, and will be for the rest of my life.
Fortunately, a non-shooting guest had his 20bore Browning with him and was able to loan me that with a bag of cartridges. The gun felt really strange to me and only came up properly with great care, unlike my own which I can throw up with impunity. I was very grateful for the loan but went to the first drive not expecting much success, more so when I saw the steep bank of trees over which the pheasants were about to fly.
I was pleasantly surprised when the first bird folded dead. Then another, and so on throughout the day. More P***taking, saying I should buy the gun (not a chance), but I was astounded at how well I did with a gun that just did not feel right.
The day was only a smallish 100 bird day, with six small drives. The bag was 107. I managed 4/7, 3/6, 0/2, 5/9, 5/8, 1/1. This is just about spot on what I have averaged this season with my own gun. But I still won’t be buying an O/U, because, during a flush I know I would have likely got off 50% more shots with my regular gun. No matter, an excellent day with good food, good shooting (the team just beat 3 for 1), well presented birds, and above all great company, (the p***taking ********!)