In The Gunroom •
Famars • do it yourself gun fit
Castore - Combining Tradition and Technology
There is no stronger wingshooting image than
that classic silhouette, long embedded in every game hunter’s
mind, of the cocked Hammer Gun. Nothing can match the heritage instilled
in this, the original upland bird gun. Each time the hammers strike,
history is repeated for yet another unforgettable shooting experience.
Despite their inherent beauty and history, the Hammer Gun can be
an impractical option for the modern hunter. There may be many a
missed opportunity to shoot when a bird bursts unexpectedly from
cover and there is no time to cock the hammers. And hunting in rough
cover with a cocked hammer gun is fraught with a multitude of potential
drawbacks can make owning a Hammer Gun impractical, no matter how
historical and romantic it might be. That is, until now!
Famars di Abbiatico & Salvinelli have
created a classic Side by Side Hammer Gun that is as at home in
the field as any modern Over and Under. The Castore has the heritage
and classic lines of the Hammer Guns of the 1800’s, but is
equipped with all of the essential shooting capabilities required
by today’s upland wing shooter.
The Castore is self-cocking so no valuable seconds are wasted
when the birds are flying your way - plus, there is the always-welcome
benefit of it being an ejector.
These features, combined with an auto
safety, allow the hunter to honor tradition without sacrificing
the modern advances in safe-shooting technology.
Once again, by combining the traditional
designs of the past with the technical knowledge of today, Famars
has created in The Castore Hammer Gun another unique choice for
the discerning gentleman hunter.
Waiting for a Gun Fit? In the Meantime,
Like all time-served craftsmen, good gun fitters are scarce and
someone who can put the specified dimensions onto a gun for you
in a timely manner are equally scarce. But do not despair! There
is a great deal you can do for yourself to achieve a workable
gun fit - one that allows you to shoot instinctively and comfortably,
without fighting the gun during your mount.
It will take a little patience and trial and error on your part,
but it will be well worth the effort. Please do not use the family
heirloom for these experiments! Find a cheap used gun –
preferably one with a too-short stock and too much drop at the
comb. This will give you room to extend the length of pull and
raise the height of the comb.
Use your Club’s pattern plate
or make a temporary one out of cardboard - old refrigerator or
television boxes are excellent for this. If you can, enlist the
help of an experienced shooting friend.
people who shoot Skeet and Trap well or shoot Sporting Clays in
the mid-eighties or higher, have more than enough understanding
of gun fit and its requirements to assist you.
The required alterations can be determined from the pattern placement
on the plate. Using the sixteen-to-one ratio, your eye is one yard
or 3 feet from the end of the gun, and by shooting from the 16 yard
mark at the plate, you create the equation in which 2 inches on
the pattern plate is an 1/8 inch on the gun. For example, if you
are perfect horizontally but 2 inches to the left of the mark, and
you are right handed, you need 1/8th of cast off.
There are two alteration options - temporary and permanent: let’s
take the temporary option first.
By using extension pads, comb raisers,
blue tack and mole skin, you can add to and remove from various
dimensions. Double-check your handiwork at the pattern plate until
you are happy with the fit and comfort of the gun. Then you can
build the stock up with a car repairer’s Bondo, then file
and sand the gun to the required dimensions.
Or, you can have an adjustable stock
fitted, which will allow you to make the alterations needed.
Now, you should shoot a few targets. This is where the input of
your experienced friend is invaluable. He will be able to recognize,
if you miss, whether it is gunfit or operator error. Once that
is determined, you can correct your errors and proceed to the
final step of measuring the gun. This can be done with a straight
edge, a protractor, a ruler and a piece of string.
Use these measurements and your temporary
alterations to shoot your gun for awhile. You can see if the measurements
need a tweak or two before settling on the final dimensions. This
is often the choice method of the top shots.
Finally, you can use the measurements
you’ve decided work the best to order a new gun or have
your gun altered to them .The nice thing is, if your gun is bent,
lengthened or shortened it can always be re-done if you did not
get it 100% right the first time.
In any case, you will have learned a
lot about how you shoot and what you need and want in the size
and shape of a gun that you can use to shoot your best.