Shotguns and Care

Closeup of intricately carved shotgun stocks.
 A collection of shotguns locked in an upright rack.

Orvis Manchester Gun Room Overview

Orvis Manchester Gun Room Overview – This short video describes Orvis’ full-service gun room. Orvis is a licensed gun dealer: from new and custom shotgun sales, and ammunition and accessories, to consignment sales and in-house gunsmithing services, the Orvis Gun Room can meet every need of the avid shotgunner.

A person working in a workshop.

Gun Care and Cleaning Tips

General gun care and cleaning are fundamental responsibilities of gun ownership, and beg regular re-visiting.

Remember that in order to ensure proper function, shotguns need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

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Shotgun disassembled for cleaning.

How to Properly Clean a Gun in 10 Steps

A fine shotgun should last many generations, and with proper care, it can.

Even after a long day afield, it is the responsibility of the gun owner to clean and maintain his or her shotgun to ensure long life and proper function. Jordan Smith, Orvis resident Gunsmith, recommends the following procedure be followed each time a gun returns from the field or clays course.

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A hunter holding an unloaded shotgun in a field.

Shotgun Stock and Measurements

The stock of a shotgun is composed of two parts: the butt-stock and the fore-end or forearm.

The butt-stock is the piece of the shotgun that marries to your shoulder and cheek, and allows the trigger-hand a grip. The fore-end serves differing functions depending on action type, but in loose terms it provides a home for the forward hand that supports and guides the barrels.

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A bright pile of used multicolor shotgun shells.

The Basics of Birdshot and Shells

Greater volume does not often equate to greater ballistic efficiency.

A modern shotgun shell, also called a shot-shell, or cartridge, is measured in gauge, length, shot size, and powder charge. It is constructed of a brass base and a plastic cylinder in which the contents, namely the powder, shot, and wad, are contained. The plastic cylinder is crimped on the top to retain all of the contents and to open freely when discharged, propelling the shot.

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A hunter in a field shooting at birds on the wing.

What Is Shotgun Gauge?

Shotgun gauge refers to the diameter of the bore, or, more simply, the inside diameter of the barrel.

The common gauges for upland hunting and clays include, in descending order of size, 12, 16, 20, 28, and .410. The 12 gauge gun is likely the most common shotgun in existence. It is versatile, practical, and appropriate for hunting virtually any species of North American upland game, as well as participation in sporting clays, trap, and skeet. But what does the ‘12’ in 12 gauge refer to?

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