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  #1  
Old 06-09-2019, 8:17 PM
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Default Updated*** A400 XP **New 3.5" duck gun, 26"

This question may have been answered but I can't find any specific answer, only a bunch of people on duck boards arguing over it with no actual answer.

I Finally got my budget for an A400 duck gun, Deciding if I want to go 26" or 28". I currently shoot a 28", my other two shotguns I use are Mossberg 500 field with Modified choke for Duck and Quail, and A300 for clays and trap with an extended Light mod choke.

Since I'll be adding the A400 Extreme plus to the mix, what barrel length should I get? As I understand it, the 26" will swing faster and be more versatile, but the 28" is more what I'm used to and perhaps will get me more range. Also this will be my first 3.5" chamber shotgun, so the receiver may be a little larger. Both guns felt very similar in the store when I hold them and mounted them. Will a 3.5"rcvr 26" gun feel similar to a 3"rcvr 28" gun due to the extra weight and receiver length?

I know better than to assume I can have one gun do everything but it would be nice to be able to use my duck gun for clays as well sometimes, especially since A400 is an expensive gun and I'm not sure I'll ever afford two of them, one for clays and one duck. perhaps I'll just keep the A300 for clays even though it is technically a field gun.

Anyone have any input on this? Please help me decide, I plan on using this gun for many years and not replace it any time soon. I'm more of a buy once cry once guy.

Also, Black or Camo? Will camo really help fight rust better? Or is it a marketing ploy... . just curious on input, thanks everyone!!
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Last edited by etwinam; 07-11-2019 at 7:28 PM.. Reason: bought the 26"
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Old 06-09-2019, 8:54 PM
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What do you expect the A400 to do that your A300 canít?
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Old 06-09-2019, 8:56 PM
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You will likely end up shooting 3 inch shells 98 % of the time.

I think 3.5 inch shotguns offer very little increase in performance, with a big weight and price penalty.

If you get one, get the 28 inch barrel.

Have fun!
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Old 06-09-2019, 8:58 PM
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Also, the ONLY difference between a 26” and 28” barrel is in the swing feel (and maneuverability in a blind if that’s where you shoot). The 2” difference in length will make absolutely no difference in range.

Now 2-3/4” vs 3.5” may be a noticeable difference in performance, but likely not.

Last edited by trapperjohn; 06-09-2019 at 9:01 PM..
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:00 PM
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Originally Posted by trapperjohn View Post
What do you expect the A400 to do that your A300 can’t?
Shoot 3.5" shells mostly, but also the stepped vent rib and patterning should be more an upgrade on the newer gun.
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trapperjohn View Post
Also, the ONLY difference between a 26” and 28” barrel is in the swing feel (and maneuverability in a blind if that’s where you shoot). The 2” difference in length will make absolutely no difference in range.

Now 2-3/4” vs 3.5” may be a noticeable difference in performance, but likely not.
Yes, mostly blind shooting. Thanks for all the help,

I guess I'm confused then.... why do so many people shoot 28" barrels in sporting Clay's? Strictly for the weight balance and swing? I would think those factors all relate to duck hunting even more. Is it sight raduis?
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Last edited by etwinam; 06-09-2019 at 9:29 PM..
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Elgatodeacero View Post
You will likely end up shooting 3 inch shells 98 % of the time.

I think 3.5 inch shotguns offer very little increase in performance, with a big weight and price penalty.

If you get one, get the 28 inch barrel.

Have fun!

Thank you. I'm leaning towards the optifade marsh 28" currently.
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:44 PM
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I don’t notice the difference between the two. Go with the 26”. You can put on an extended choke that will add a little length and weight. 3” hevi shot and a good choke will kill birds. Too much recoil with the 3 1/2 shells for me, even with the kick off stock. I’ve thought of shooting 2 3/4” shells for ducks and keep the 3” shells for geese. Sold my a400 and primarily shoot my a300.

Good luck.
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Old 06-09-2019, 9:46 PM
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26 vs. 28 inch, it's personal preference. I like 28 inch barrels, the extra length and weight should help you follow through with your swing. Training and practice are the only real cure however. That being said my duck gun is a 26 inch Nova, it feels about as long as my 28 inch barreled 16s and not as long as my 30 inch barreled 12 gauge pump gun. I can't comment on the balance compared to the 28 or 30 inch barreled guns because they are all different brands/models.

Black or camo, it's personal preference. Camo guns that are dipped are often slightly more rust resistant than plain black/parked/blued/whatever guns.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:41 PM
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Oy vay, I'm at a loss here. The difference between a 26" barrel and a 28" barrel IS TWO INCHES.

The difference between an A300 and an A400 is a marketing ploy, nothing more. How many times have you been duck hunting, and what is the A300 not doing for you, that you think an A400 will?

Now if you want a new gun because you want a new gun, go for it. But if you think it's going to be any different then the gun you already have, you're deluding yourself.
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Last edited by ysr_racer; 06-10-2019 at 9:07 AM..
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:51 AM
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Paul Harrell just recorded a video in which he concluded that;
Using number 6 shot, there was less than 100fps difference in velocity between his 14 in and 20 in shotguns. So one might speculate that the velocity difference between a 26 in and 28 in Barrel would be completely insignificant.
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Old 06-10-2019, 5:34 AM
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Geometrically speaking the longer barrel may point a little more accurately at far targets. I would be opting for the longer barrel.
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:13 AM
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Most people myself bbnincluding with 3.5 guns have only shot a handful of 3.5 shells 3" and 2-3/4 high brass is plenty.
The only nice thing about a 3.5 gun to some is the added weight reduces recoil a tad but that's personal preference at that point.
IMHO barrel difference between 26 and 28 is more about feel and balance for you as you dont get any extra range or velocity.
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:39 AM
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Longer barreled guns have a better resale value.
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATEWA View Post
I donít notice the difference between the two. Go with the 26Ē. You can put on an extended choke that will add a little length and weight. 3Ē hevi shot and a good choke will kill birds. Too much recoil with the 3 1/2 shells for me, even with the kick off stock. Iíve thought of shooting 2 3/4Ē shells for ducks and keep the 3Ē shells for geese. Sold my a400 and primarily shoot my a300.

Good luck.
Interesting, thank you
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post
Oy vay, I'm at a loss here. The difference between a 26" barrel and a 28" barrel IS TWO INCHES.

The difference between an A300 and an A400 is a marketing ploy, nothing more. How many times have been duck hunting, and what is the A300 not doing for you, that you think an A400 will?

Now if you want a new gun because you want a new gun, go for it. But if you think it's going to be any different then the gun you already have, you're deluding yourself.
In all honesty, I just want a new gun Haha. I know it wont make me a better shoot or anything but having capability for 3.5" shells is another reason. The A300 is great though, I'll never sell it. I find my self only ever shooting my shotgun and never my other guns, so why not have the nicest shotgun I can afford, I can't afford a K90 or Guerrini so A400 it is
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:48 AM
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Longer barreled guns have a better resale value.
Great point
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Old 06-10-2019, 7:27 AM
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28" will be easier on your hearing aid.
Camo guns are easier to clean and disassemble.
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Old 06-10-2019, 7:30 AM
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My experience is that there is a marginal difference between a 26 and 28 inch barrel. Having said this, for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would want to shoot 3.5 inch shells. My limited experience and that of friends who duck hunt exclusively is that the 3.5 inch shells beat the holy crap out of your shoulder. I was raised shooting ducks and geese as a kid using Super X 2 3/4 inch shells. When 3 inch shell became popular we tried those as well and went back to 2 3/4' shells as there didn't appear to be much of an advantage. I don't know if it made a difference, but most of my duck hunting as a youth was jump shooting. I killed a lot of ducks and many geese hunting around the Sutter Game Refuge. I understand that 3.5 inch shells give you a bit more range, but is it worth it? I guess I'll never know because I wouldn't shoot 3.5's. JMO

Last edited by Bull Elk; 06-10-2019 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 06-10-2019, 7:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
26 vs. 28 inch, it's personal preference. I like 28 inch barrels, the extra length and weight should help you follow through with your swing. Training and practice are the only real cure however. That being said my duck gun is a 26 inch Nova, it feels about as long as my 28 inch barreled 16s and not as long as my 30 inch barreled 12 gauge pump gun. I can't comment on the balance compared to the 28 or 30 inch barreled guns because they are all different brands/models.

Black or camo, it's personal preference. Camo guns that are dipped are often slightly more rust resistant than plain black/parked/blued/whatever guns.
All great info thank you very much
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Old 06-10-2019, 8:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull Elk View Post
My experience is that there is a marginal difference between a 26 and 28 inch barrel. Having said this, for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would want to shoot 3.5 inch shells. My limited experience and that of friends who duck hunt exclusively is that the 3.5 inch shells beat the holy crap out of your shoulder. I was raised shooting ducks and geese as a kid using Super X 2 3/4 inch shells. When 3 inch shell became popular we tried those as well and went back to 2 3/4' shells as there didn't appear to be much of a difference. I don't know if it made a difference, but most of my duck hunting as a youth was jump shooting. I killed a lot of ducks and many guess hunting around the Sutter Game Refuge. I understand that 3.5 inch shells give you a bit more range, but is it worth it? I guess I'll never know because I wouldn't shoot 3.5's. JMO
I buy cases of 3.5 inch when they go on super sale at the end of the season because no one else was buying them. That being said, I have to run out of 2.75 and 3 inch before I use them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 8:45 AM
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I have a 28" 870 express magnum that shoots 3 1/2". Only shoot those for geese.
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Old 06-10-2019, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bull Elk View Post
My experience is that there is a marginal difference between a 26 and 28 inch barrel. Having said this, for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would want to shoot 3.5 inch shells. My limited experience and that of friends who duck hunt exclusively is that the 3.5 inch shells beat the holy crap out of your shoulder. I was raised shooting ducks and geese as a kid using Super X 2 3/4 inch shells. When 3 inch shell became popular we tried those as well and went back to 2 3/4' shells as there didn't appear to be much of a difference. I don't know if it made a difference, but most of my duck hunting as a youth was jump shooting. I killed a lot of ducks and many guess hunting around the Sutter Game Refuge. I understand that 3.5 inch shells give you a bit more range, but is it worth it? I guess I'll never know because I wouldn't shoot 3.5's. JMO
Yeah I may not use a 3.5" shells as much as I think I will, but it still would be nice to have the option.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:19 AM
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I have a 28" 870 express magnum that shoots 3 1/2". Only shoot those for geese.
I do intend to hunt geese this year, and eventually get in to Turkey too.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:07 AM
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From somebody who grew up duck hunting and does it every year a lot.

The difference in barrel length is personal preference. I've had both. I actually wanted a 26" when I bought my Sx3 but I got the 28" and have no complaints. 3.5" shells don't give you more range. It's simply more BB's packed into the shell. More bb's can in theory mean a denser pattern or in practice you can still get a ****ty pattern depending on the shell/choke combo. With that said I've patterned my guns in the past but not my current one. Part of that is I shoot like 4 or 5 different shell manufacturers and a number of different combos. If I miss it's a safe assumption it's me.

I have some 3.5" shells in #4 (black cloud clearance) but I only bought them b/c they were like $120/case. Keep the A300 if you buy the A400. If you hunt a lot guns will break down or something can happen and you don't want to be SOL.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:01 PM
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From somebody who grew up duck hunting and does it every year a lot.

The difference in barrel length is personal preference. I've had both. I actually wanted a 26" when I bought my Sx3 but I got the 28" and have no complaints. 3.5" shells don't give you more range. It's simply more BB's packed into the shell. More bb's can in theory mean a denser pattern or in practice you can still get a ****ty pattern depending on the shell/choke combo. With that said I've patterned my guns in the past but not my current one. Part of that is I shoot like 4 or 5 different shell manufacturers and a number of different combos. If I miss it's a safe assumption it's me.

I have some 3.5" shells in #4 (black cloud clearance) but I only bought them b/c they were like $120/case. Keep the A300 if you buy the A400. If you hunt a lot guns will break down or something can happen and you don't want to be SOL.
Good lookin out, great info.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:23 PM
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I do intend to hunt geese this year, and eventually get in to Turkey too.
All my turkeys have been killed with a 20 gauge 2 3/4 shells at between 25-35 yards.
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Old 06-10-2019, 6:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for the input....
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Old 07-09-2019, 5:16 PM
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Just got her out of jail today... Can't wait to bust some birds and clays
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Old 07-09-2019, 6:12 PM
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Nice, which barrel did you go with?
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Old 07-09-2019, 9:32 PM
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Nice, which barrel did you go with?
26"

Now I need to get some professional lessons and fitting.

I've been practicing my mount all afternoon and its been lining up great each time. I can't wait to shoot it I might cut out of work early tomorrow and hit the range.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good sporting Clay's instructor in San Diego ?
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:09 PM
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Is there any place to shoot sporting clays in San Diego?
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Old 07-10-2019, 6:52 AM
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Thank you. I'm leaning towards the optifade marsh 28" currently.
If you already have 28Ēs get the 26Ē.
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Old 07-10-2019, 6:53 AM
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Originally Posted by etwinam View Post
26"

Now I need to get some professional lessons and fitting.

I've been practicing my mount all afternoon and its been lining up great each time. I can't wait to shoot it I might cut out of work early tomorrow and hit the range.

Anyone have any suggestions on a good sporting Clay's instructor in San Diego ?
Doh
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Old 07-10-2019, 7:40 AM
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Is there any place to shoot sporting clays in San Diego?
Lemon Grove Rod and Gun does Sporting Clays the first Sunday of the month and I'm already planning on being there for that.

Escondido Rod and Gun does 5 stands on Tuesday but I'm not a member there. They do pot shoots another stuff on the weekends too I wouldn't be surprised if they do Sporting Clays.

It might be worth it to go up to Triple B or raahauge one of these weekends just for a lesson or two.
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Old 07-10-2019, 7:51 AM
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Doh
Ya the 26" swung a little better and felt more balanced to me.

It Could be in my head but after trying both the 28 the 26 in and the store back to back a few times that was my final impression. Either way I own it now so I need to get it fit to me and shoot the crap out of it.
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Last edited by etwinam; 07-10-2019 at 7:53 AM..
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Old 07-10-2019, 8:35 AM
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therealnickb therealnickb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etwinam View Post
Ya the 26" swung a little better and felt more balanced to me.

It Could be in my head but after trying both the 28 the 26 in and the store back to back a few times that was my final impression. Either way I own it now so I need to get it fit to me and shoot the crap out of it.
Well, just in case there was confusion, see my post just prior. I voted 26Ē AFTER you made the choice.

The was on me for not reading the whole thread before offering my 2 cents.

You did good. Have fun!
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Old 07-10-2019, 9:06 AM
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Well, just in case there was confusion, see my post just prior. I voted 26Ē AFTER you made the choice.

The was on me for not reading the whole thread before offering my 2 cents.

You did good. Have fun!
Yes sir, good looking out.
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Old 07-11-2019, 7:15 PM
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So I made it out to P2k range near me since they do 5 stand and trap 7 days a week and my local rod & gun I'm a member of only does clays on weekends.

I should have patterned the gun first but they don't have a patterning station.

rough start for sure, I hit 2/25 in 5 stand, I thought my fit was way off or I just just sucked extra bad. Turned out I just wasn't used to the new gun and still working on my fit.

I proceeded to try my hand at trap and changed to an IM choke.... busted 19/25 then 21/25. Found my POI being just underneath or leading the clay depending on the shot. It was a lot easier to find my POI in trap apparently and that's where I should have started.

I noticed my shoulder had a bit of sore feeling after shooting 75 rds with the new A400 and I don't have that problem with my A300. I'm not sensitive to recoil but that tells me the my fit is off.

So here's the big question; If I put more drop on the stock will it mess with my POI? currently my eye lines up easily with the front bead and I can hit the clay with a lead, but how much will that change if I drop the stock to get the buttpad closer to my shoulder pocket?

I have a 65DX drop cast shim in my A300 and the stock A400 comes with a 60DX drop shim stock (I think). If I put the 65DX in my A400 to match the A300 I'm hoping this will fix my shoulder pocket issue.

I tried to find someone to help with fit at P2k but they were no help, I'm gonna have to wait till the 1st Sunday of August at Lemon Grove R&G sporting clays to get some lessons and a fit so for now I just need some pointers to get me as close as possible till a professional can fine tune it. Any help is greatly appreciated.

This gun is awesome!! I love it but I want it to fit me like my A300 does. I can't wait to get her broken in though..... I'm already digging it alot.

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Last edited by etwinam; 07-11-2019 at 7:54 PM..
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Old 07-11-2019, 7:24 PM
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Yep, ya need to pattern it. Even if you go out to the desert/Imperial, that would be a great start.
Remember that what ever happens to your eye is going to affect where it shoots as you eye IS the rear sight on a shotgun.
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