For our method of instinctive shooting, we’ll use a side-by-side shotgun, straight stocked with splinter forend.  While a boxlock is surely the prettiest of the side-by-side Best Guns of London, an Anson & Deeley Action (boxlock) will not shoot any different than a sidelock Best Gun.  Most instinctive shooters in our instinctive shooting tradition will be sporting about ¼ inch of cast-off, 1 ½ inch of drop at the comb and about 4 degrees of pitch.  These become the magic wands with which he creates Master Gunners.

Confidence is the key to Master Gunning.  You are a 100% shooter.  You should be hitting 24/25 skeet shots within a year.  You can hit at 65-80 yards, which we practice at the Tower in the school, although it would not be fair to a bird.  I hit 95% during the school.

While it may vary, I am 5’10” and 175 pounds and have a 13 5/8” or 13 3/4” length of pull, with 2 1/8” or 2 1/4” drop at heel, with 3/8” cast off and 1 ½” at 16” down pitch without a pad or 0-1/2” at 26” with a pad.  Forcing cones are reduced to 2 ½”, with everything polished to final dimensions.

Pattern any gun by taking 10 shots, averaging the results by overlapping the shot spray) at 16 yards on a single sheet of paper.  For each 1” correction on paper, move the stock 1/16 inch in each direction.

12 gauges fits most men’s hands best and with the light loads, it’s effectively a 20 gauge being shot.

20 gauges fits most women best and with the light loads it’s a .28 gauge.  Gun weight in a 20 gauge is ideal at 5 pounds 4 ounces, and a 6 pound gun is too heavy.

Garbi makes a lovely boxlock with Cercassi walnut and Kreighoff barrels.  Garbi is a better gun than AYA for the money. 

As of 2009, a Garbi 12 gauge 103A goes for $21,300 from William Larkin Moore & Company.  I prefer the 103A.  The Model 103A is a traditional game gun with Purdey style Rose & Scroll engraving, which is done completely by hand. The action also has the traditional shaping improvements of a higher quality gun with beaded fences and sculpturing. The 103A also has an improved quality of wood and checkering.

For ladies, a less expensive alternative is a used Garbi 51B sidelock 20 gauge is $2895 from Moore and he may go as low as $2000 on that particular gun.

Life is to short to hunt an ugly gun.  Take care of them and they will last you a lifetime of memories, each time you take them out of the case.