I guess that this should actually have the word "returns" at the end of the title, but it was getting too long. Brief recap: I restarted trap shooting about a year ago. I am short and stocky and getting old. My physique coupled with the calcium deposits in my shoulders has made it difficult to get a trap shotgun to fit me. I do have a couple of shotguns, pump and a semi-auto, that do fit, but I get weird looks when I take them on the trap field. Behold! I found a long out of manufacture Thompson Center vent rib, screw-in choke 12 gauge barrel that I could hook onto my T/C Pro-Hunter frame and flex stock. Put it all together, and it fit like custom.

I took it onto the practice field, and after a couple of months, I found myself shooting 18s - 22s. I thought I had it made. But there is a difference between the practice field and the competition field. I go down to 13s and 15s, basically where I started when I took up trap again. So what's going wrong? Not the competition willies. Your turn comes up much faster in competition than in practice. The barrel gets hotter with less time to cool than in practice. And as the whole thing heats up, things get distorted in ways that regular trap shotguns don't. So I crunch a bunch of targets at the first two or three stations, then things start to go downhill. After yesterday's ATA registered shoot, I took my T/C apart to clean it, and things were just plain out of line. From what I can see, the problem lies in the fact that the trunion which allows the barrel to swing open and closed is held in place by extensions of the stock along the side. I guess that when things heat up, the sides get soft and things wiggle enough to make for variations in the pointing of the gun.

OK. So what's next? I now at least know the stock dimensions that are most comfortable for me. I need to look for something with those stock dimensions or close to those, a longer barrel, and a rib that is higher by maybe 1/2 inch vs. the T/C. Until I can find a single shot that fits me the same way, I'll go back to those couple of semi-autos and pumps that do fit me (you think I didn't get weird looks with the T/C? I'm just used to them now). I'll work with those until I find my dream shotgun with a genie who will grant me the funds to afford it.