A few of the trees are quitting already and the kids are back in school. Dove and early goose season already opened, and turkey and bow deer start on Sept. 18. While I love shooting the O/U for clays and skeet, it’s not my hunting gun. On Saturday, I pulled out the Benelli Super Black Eagle 2 (SBE2), screwed in the Rhino .660 turkey choke, grabbed a handful of Nitro Ammunition 4x5x7 shells and headed for the patterning range. Nitro tweaked its load last year, so even though I haven’t changed my “Easy Hit” front sight in years, a little testing was in order.
At 25 yards, the pattern stays reasonably centered with a hold point on the wattles. At 45 yards, the pattern noticeably drops, as well as trends slightly right. There’s still sufficient pellets in the kill zone, but anything less than a dead-on hold on the head would be foolish. This load seems to drop more than the previous load, so the range time proved valuable.
On Wednesday, I shot skeet with the SBE2 and noticed the HUGE difference that just 3/4″ in stock length can make. The SBE2 is shorter, and that’s a good thing: when I’ve got a cold weather jacket and the game vest on, I can still shoulder the gun cleanly. I broke 22 the first round, which is good for me. Just for grins, I swapped out the skeet choke for modified choke on the second round. I noticed that I started to second guess my lead on a few birds, which was stupid. Focus on the bird, and let your subconscious brain take care of the lead. On the plus side, I could smoke birds across the field.
Next week starts the sporting clays “game series,” and I’ll post an update after a few rounds.