Never Had A gun Before.
So, sad news is this - my Dad passed away in January. It was a big shock as he was very fit and active, and hadn't been ill at all.
He lived in France, I live in northern England. I went over last week to get his stuff sorted and have a look at his house etc, all kinds of stuff that he had that my big sister and I will share. Anyway I find he had a Shotgun, a 12 gauge pump action, Belgian made I think, and I can't find any papers or permits for it. His best friend in the village, (who is also the mayor BTW), has told me to keep it and he also said that I should go shooting with him next time I go over, which will be soon. It has quite a bit of ammo with it, but how do I tell if it is safe to fire, does it go 'off', will it kick a lot?.
Sorry for the newbie ****. My missus has suggested that I go clay pigeon shooting, will this help?.
Anyway, I don't know if I will keep it, but if I do how should I take care of it?.
Don't worry so much. It might kick, but so what? As long as you have a firm grip it won't go flying out of your hands or anything. Ask your friend to show you proper form and you shouldn't have any problems. If you're concerned about whether or not the gun is safe, ask your friend to check it out. If it makes you feel any better I've fired World War II surplus manufactured in the 1940s and it was just fine. I wouldn't worry too much about it seeing as you have someone to help you out.
First off, sorry to hear about your dad.
As far as the shotgun goes, first thing is to make sure it's unloaded. Point it in a safe direction, and with your finger OFF the trigger open the action (slide the pump backwards so the chamber opens). If no shells are loaded or ejected then it's empty. Then give it a once over for loose parts, missing screws or pins, rust, stuck parts, etc. If everything looks and moves OK it's probably safe. If you're still unsure, take it to a gunsmith for an official OK. The Belgians have a reputation for making some damn fine guns, so as long as it's in good shape you probably have a very nice piece.
When you do go to shoot it for the first time, be awawre that a 12 gauge does have some kick, but I've seen teenagers handle one OK with some patience and training. Keep the butt firmly into your shoulder next to your pectoral muscles (NOT on your collarbone or the bony part of your shoulder). And don't put your cheek onto the gun as you sight it in. You should probably start off with the lightest load you have, and fire off a couple of rounds without worrying about aiming at anything (again - pointed in a SAFE direction) just to get a feel of how the gun feels when it goes off. Trap and skeet shooting (clay pigeons launched either away from or across your line of vision) can be a lot of fun, but don't get frustrated if you don't hit much your first few times out. It's a learned skill just like MA.
Make sure you let his friend know that you are completely new to this, and ask him to help you out a little. Even better - if there is someone in the area who is qualified to give you real instruction, spend the time and money to get proper training. No such thing as being too safe with a firearm.
Hope it helps, and above all, have fun shooting.
I'd leave it with the friend and let him or a qualified instructor teach you how to load an unload, make it safe, and how to handle it. Guns are nothing to fear, but like an automobile, experience makes a huge difference and there are certain rules that might not be obvious to someone without that experience.
Did you ask the mayor whether the gun requires any permits or registration? It may very well not; I'm not familiar with French law, but I believe it's quite a bit less stringent than British.
two things: I don't know wether I need a permit, Claude, (the mayor guy), doesn't seem to know or care.
2. does it need oiling and what type of oil should I use. ( I have an engineering background before I went into Law so if you want to get technical thats fine.).
As an aside I have looked into french firearm laws but I haven't had much definite info. The area is full of hunters when the season is on,(the ardennes), and most of them are from germany.
I welcome any info people have, BTW got a clay pigeon shoot booked tomorrow, near to my hometown in a place called Clitheroe.
First off, the most important thing to know:
Second, don;t b e afraid of the kick. If your shooting clay's, you will be using target loads most likely, and they are very mild in the recoil department. "High base" slugs and Buck are the punishers, so brace yourself when you go to shoot those, but for the game loads and target loads, don't even stress, they are pussycats.
Have your friend check out the weapon, or take it to a gunsmith if your worried about safe functioning. Also, if it is old, it is may not be chambered for 3" magnum loads, so avoid those until you get it sorted out.
Enjoy your new tool, and shoot safe bro!