Those of you who have followed these columns over the years know that my favorite firearms are shotguns and that I really enjoy the clay target sports. I also enjoy handguns and I’ve competed in a few USPSA matches over the years. A couple of orthopedic surgeries slowed my competition endeavors over the last few years, but this year I’ve been able to compete in quite a few trap tourneys. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to make any USPSA matches and it will probably be next before I get the pistols going again.
So you may be wondering what the point of this post is; well, it’s the combination of my beloved smoothbores and the fast action of USPSA competition all rolled into one. While I haven’t yet had the opportunity to compete in a USPSA shotgun match, I positively believe it would be a blast.
USPSA shotgun stages are much like the pistol matches, but with more steel targets including plates and poppers, flying clay targets, and even the infamous Texas Star. Like all USPSA competitions, speed and accuracy are vital to success. With up to a couple of dozen targets per stage, these competitions are like steroid enhanced versions of trap, skeet, and sporting clays doubles. Odd angles, barriers, and walls all add to the difficulty and challenge of the sport.
The rules allow for many different configurations for the shotgun competitor. From the “heavy metal” pump actions with limits on sighting devices, reloading devices, and capacity, to the open class with its optics, and unlimited ammunition capacity, as well as several other classes in between, one can find a niche to play in.
Many shotgun manufacturers are now producing models dedicated to the tactical shotgun sports. FN/USA, Remington, Mossberg with the great Jerry Miculek shooting their comp guns, Benelli, and Beretta are a few of the names you might recognize. Then there are the newcomers with guns that don’t fit the classic smoothbore profile; some of these are Saiga, Akdal, Armsan, Century Arms, and Crye Precision to name a few. Many of these guns are magazine fed and resemble the venerable AR-15 and AK-47 rifles.
I’m looking forward to competing in some of these shotgun matches; hopefully soon and one of the great things about starting a new competition is I’ll get a new gun. My thought is the Mossberg Model 930 JM Pro Series might be the perfect starter gun. It is available, American made, very reasonably priced, and good enough for Jerry Miculek, one of the world’s best shooters. I’ve always loved the clay target doubles games; having dozens of targets in a single stage is a shotgunner’s nirvana. I just hope I don’t overdose on the fun.
Be safe and good shooting.