Fat Woman wants a gun. Not just any gun because if that were the case Fat Woman would pop over to Tesco and buy herself a water pistol. Fat Woman has set her heart on a 12 bore shotgun. Shooting clay pigeons is Fat Woman's new obsession and once she is awarded her shotgun license she is going to team her ugly green shooting vest and unflattering black wool flat cap with a lovely, shiny gun. Actually, Fat Woman secretly thinks she can look cute in the flat cap, but only when she's done damage limitation A.K.A hair and makeup.
Fat Woman's father has offered to buy Fat Woman the gun she keeps going on and on about. Fat Woman didn't even need to employ the "Please, Daddy!" tactic that got her a treble recorder when she was eight. Fat Woman has accepted her father's very generous offer on the grounds that Thin Husband prefers to encourage Fat Woman to do low cost sports like walking and has displayed no particular enthusiasm for the fact that she has found yet another way to blow fifty pounds between lunch and dinner, let along offered to buy her the most expensive piece of sporting equipment yet. Fat Woman's father is delighted that she is returning to her rural roots by taking up a country sport. Fat Woman's email account is flooded with links to articles on eye dominance and gun balance sent to her by her father. Fat Woman thinks the forwarding of web page addresses is the modern version of a parent putting a newspaper clipping in an envelope and posting it to their child, but she values having something to share with her father who has found her recent interest in sports and physical activity incomprehensaible and rather worrying. Fat Woman does have to listen to lectures on things like the advances in metal production in the latter half of the 20th Century, but she loves her father and if he wants to share the information then it listening is the least Fat Woman can do.
Fat Woman obviously spent a long time talking about the DT10 Trident she had fallen for. That particular DT10 is coming out of Personal Trainer's cold, dead hands, but Fat Woman's father had offered to get her another one. Fat Woman thought about doing a Verucca Salt and saying "I want THAT ONE!" but Verucca Salt came to a bad end, and secondly, Personal Trainer put a little nick on the rib the first time he did DTL at the gun club. Fat Woman thinks that a gun must be like a boyfriend; if you fall for an unavailable one it must be possible to find one very, very similar that makes you just as happy.
Fat Woman took her father to an open day at a gun dealer. Technically it was a game open day, but the flyer said that "Aya, Rizzini, Browning and Beretta will be here to show you their full range of guns" so Fat Woman thought she could go shopping for her sporting gun. The dealer also promised "over 200 guns in stock".
Funny how none of these guns was deemed suitable for Fat Woman.
In the shop Fat Woman was collared by the pushiest salesperson she has encountered since she was in Morocco. Saleswoman took charge of Fat Woman and swept her off to a sideroom to show her three shotguns. Fat Woman wanted to talk about guns, about balance and barrell material and weight but instead found herself being coached on how to mount the gun under a barage of chat. Fat Woman wasn't massively keen on this because if you've never held a particular gun before let along shot it you have no muscle memory of where it fits into your shoulder but she rolled with it on the grounds that everyone knows more about shooting than she does. However much Saleswoman knows, Fat Woman still doesn't believe that it isn't important to press the gun into your shoulder. Either Saleswoman wasn't telling Fat Woman the important next step of mounting a gun or she was giving out bad information.
Saleswoman identified that Fat Woman needed a 14" stock, or possibly an even shorter one. It was at that point Saleswoman switched from engaging with Fat Woman about what she might like to telling Fat Woman to come back when she'd chosen a gun. Fat Woman was confused. Wasn't she here to get some help finding a gun?
Apparently, the dealer had no suitable guns for Fat Woman to fire. Fat Woman waited for five minutes whilst Saleswoman went off to enquire if there were any suitable guns available at all that day but gave up when she saw Saleswoman with another customer and wandered off to the manufacturer displays.
A pattern emerged where Fat Woman would go up to a rep, look at their demonstration guns and ask if they had the model she wanted to try. The rep would then look embarassed and say that they hadn't brought that one with them.
The Beretta rep hadn't got a 686 gold E, and Ultralight or a DT10.
The Browning rep hadn't got a Cynergy.
The Edgar Brothers rep hadn't got any of the Hatsan Optima range.
The Browning rep said that they couldn't possibly bring their full range of guns with them to an event as that would be an enormous number of weapons to move around. Fat Woman was disppointed that the "full range" claim was actually a big fib but found the Browning rep especailly knowledgable and helpful. The Browning rep told Fat Woman about the Miroku MK38. The Browning rep said that Miroku guns were made in the same factory as Browning guns in a way that Fat Woman thought might be implying that Miroku guns are exactly the same in quality and build as Browning guns. Fat Woman remembers when Kwik-Save baked beans were made in the same factory as Heinz beans and is not falling for that one again. For anyone who doesn't remember Kwik-Save baked beans, they were low in quality and taste despite their provenence. Nevertheless, Fat Woman will be checking out the Miroku MK38 as soon as she gets a chance as a DT10 owner she met over coffee mentioned the same model.
The Edgar Brothers rep was awfully nice and put together a beeyootiful Zoli for Fat Woman to hold. Fat Woman really, really liked the way it felt and thought she might be tempted to switch brand allegience. When pushed, the Edgar Brothers rep confessed the Zoli would cost five thousand pounds so Fat Woman handed it back with a comical burst of speed. Fat Woman might be enough of a Daddy's girl to let him buy her a shotgun as a gift but she wants him to have enough left for his future nursing home fees.
The Beretta rep was amusing and gave Fat Woman goodies including caps, a stitch-on badge and flourescent yellow wrist snaps. Fat Woman said she knew a little boy who was a big Beretta fan and would make sure he got a cap. Fat Woman also got to handle the DT11, which was an enormous, heavy brute of a stick completely unlike the elegant, sophisiticated DT10 she fell in love with.
Fat Woman doesn't think the day was entirely a wipe out because her father enjoyed it and she got learned some useful lessons, including don't trust gun salespeople straight off and that she will probably need to shorten the stock and get a gun rebalanced. Fat Woman is not entirely sure that it was worth driving across four counties for though. Fat Woman also thinks that the absolute lack of short stock and light models is evidence of how sexist the retail end of the sport is. Fat Woman would like to know how on earth the best way to find the right gun for you can be to try them all when every time you do try a gun you're told how it doesn't fit you properly? The engineer streak in Fat Woman thinks she might have to try everything with a 14.5" stock so she can see how everything compares.
Fat Woman is also finding it utterly frustrating how everyone keeps insisting you need one gun for sporting and one for skeet and one for trap and one for game. Fat Woman is going to buy just one gun, and she is going to be taking it to gun club to shoot both sporting and DTL even if it isn't competition standard. And if Fat Woman has one gun and gets invited to shoot anything that isn't a clay pigeon she isn't going to run out and buy another gun, the one she has will have to do.
Personal Trainer pointed out that his gun stock is more than 14 inches long and Fat Woman shot perfectly well with that. Personal Trainer also suggested that he take Fat Woman to visit his favourite gun dealer and get some trusted advice. Fat Woman is going to do that because finding the right gun to buy is worse than finding the right shoe, and Fat Woman doesn't even care what the gun looks like on.