After the fitting, you indicated that you would like to hear how my new shotgun and I were doing with our shooting this fall. I'm very pleased with the gun, the way it fits and the hunting results. Have spent 17 days with it so far and have shot it much better than the other guns I have. Don't know how much of that is due to the fitted gun or to the shooting tips you provided during my fitting; probably both.
On sharptails and prairie chicken I took 15 birds with 19 shots which is considerably better than I usually do. Most of those birds were well hit and dead when they hit the ground. I used mostly 2 1/2 inch shells (3/4 oz shot) on them and felt they did a great job. Didn't keep track of shots and birds taken on a recent pheasant hunting trip, but did shoot fewer shells than I normally do. The hunting has been great; lots of birds and excellent weather except for a couple windy days while chasing pheasants.
The dog work has been very good except for the really windy days when they bumped some birds, but not enough to worry about. When the wind went down they were back to finding birds as they should. Now on to chukars. Our season runs until January 31, so should be able to find some of them during this and next month.
My son accompanied me on the pheasant hunt and was envious of the new
shotgun. He is 6'7" with a fairly long face and he felt that gun fit him quite well. I could see the wheels turning and him wondering how he could get a fitted gun for himself.
As a final note, I want you to know how enjoyable you made the "fitting
experience" and the purchase of my 20 gauge. Thank you.
Powell Butte, OR
When I first saw the AOC gun in the rack, I had been looking seriously at a Cabela's AYA 4/53 in 20 gauge for several weeks. The more I compared the two boxlocks, the more impressed I became with the AOC. Eventually, I went with the AOC boxlock and have not regretted it. It not only shoots good, it also looks good! I’m an instinctive shooter and have never taken any lessons or done any custom fitting. I’ve just handled a lot of shotguns, and have had the opportunity to shoot quite a few – enough to know what I like and what will work for me. This AOC just plain hits where I’m looking without any thought on my part – rather like it’s supposed to work.
I took my AOC 28 gauge boxlock on its maiden voyage last week – a prairie grouse hunt in North Dakota. Based on some pattern testing done before the trip, I mainly relied on Winchester AA Sporting loads, ¾ oz. of 7 ½ shot. To say that I was impressed with the performance of the AOC 28 gauge would be a gross understatement. Although I did carry my AYA 12 gauge Model 2 for a portion of the hunt, based on the excellent performance of the 28 gauge it did not see much use at all (killed only one bird of my 14 total with the AYA). My AOC Ugartechea gun is choked IC/MOD and seemed to be well matched for open country hunting. My compliments to you and your product! I hope the 28 gauge does equally well in my hands when I start hunting the Ruffed Grouse of Northern Wisconsin. (Though I may load up some spreader loads for the 1st shot). Regardless, I’m looking forward to many years of upland hunting with my AOC 28 gauge.
As a Postcript: During my ND prairie grouse hunt, one of my partners was a Midwest outdoor writer/friend. He was using a Parker Reproduction in 28 gauge. The Parker was pretty, but was losing its case color, and the single trigger was malfunctioning so that you had to select the left barrel on 1st shot to prevent doubling. His Parker may have cost twice what my AOC did, but I had the better gun!
“The AOC/SG is a nicely balanced boxlock that has the feel of a much more expensive gun. I don’t know of any other American importer who has worked more closely with a Basque company to perfect a modestly priced gun for the American market.”
--TERRY WIELAND, “Spanish Best: The Fine Shotguns of Spain” (second edition)
“Hollinger has developed an excellent series of light game guns in close association with Basque gun maker Armas Ugartechea…the AOC/SG is a light game gun with many options found only in more expensive sidelocks.”
Sporting Classics, March/April 2003
“All in all, these guns strike me as yet another example of one of the most important things to happen in the gun world over the past decade—which is that American shooters have finally discovered the high quality and relatively low prices available from the Spanish trade.”
--MICHAEL McINTOSH, Shooting Sportsman Gun Review. Mr. MacIntosh is author of several famous shotgunning books, including “Shotguns and Shooting.”