A Parting Shot

Amongst the turmoil of Coxy leaving us back in September 2021 his beloved Beretta DT10L was put into long term storage. As many of you will know, shooting was what Coxy did; one way or another the sport captured his life. And why not — he was after all so bloody good at it!

His guns and rifles, the tools of the gamekeeper’s trade, have all been moved on now. The DT10 is the last of them.

This one gun stirs most emotion; we associate it so personally, so intimately, with Coxy. As it is cleaned and cased, memories are immediately provoked: we are right back there with him all over again.

Within precious memories the morning sun is shining, we are surrounded by convenient summer shade and gunshots. It is a pleasant shooting ground somewhere, and one of us, perhaps all of us at the same time, pose a very familiar question: “How on earth do you manage to shoot like that Coxy!”

It occurs to me, there could be one last thing to take from Coxy’s DT10. Something that may well be of interest to many of you.

All great shots once they like a gun will make it their own. That gun will always shoot well, but they add to it, adapt it, so as to give even more to their shooting.

So, we might take this last chance to look at Coxy’s Beretta in some detail. Ask just one more question of this great man: Just how have you made this gun yours, Coxy?

The Beretta is just as he left it. There are additions, adaptations, and preferences to how the gun is set up. We will look in detail at how the DT10 shoots; ask why he would have connected to it so successfully.

Some Basic Stock Stats:

Length of Pull:

At 362mm centre (14 1/4 inches) shorter than you’d have thought for Coxy who was well over 6' without his wellies on!

Shooting techniques that embrace physical strength tend toward a square-on style — shorter stock lengths are better suited and locate well to the shoulder with more square on styles.

Stock-sole Adjustment:

A square-on stance requires precise cast values. On modern sporting stocks with thicker comb profiles this can often be a problem.

Coxy’s answer to this was the Jones Adjustor. Always set to 10mm down and 5mm back to ON. The latter increases available cast without risking the heel moving out to the ball of the shoulder.

Coxy got on really well with the Jones and had these fitted to several of his guns. A very cost-effective way of achieving the fitting values he wanted in a gun stock. The movement of the Jones down gave him a straighter and higher comb on his guns. Much of the time Coxy would prefer to shoot ‘gun down’ so a precise gun mount was critical.

Weight of Coxy’s DT10 overall at 3.82 Kilos (8.4 lbs.).

The DT10 locks by means of a lateral crossbolt. To accommodate the bolt the upper part of the action is wider.

This feature is incorporated into the DT’s design and function.

It creates a ‘T’ bar effect at right angles to the sighting-rib; helping ‘catch’ and align the aiming eye with the rib. 

The gun balances just off and behind the hinge pins.

A bias to the balance-point here creates a deliberate emphasis on the work of the right hand when shooting.

Coupled with the ‘T’ bar effect is a longtapered rib (tapering from 10 —> 8mm).

The former helps to ‘bind’ the aiming eye to the sighting plane as the gun comes up.

The latter increasingly refines the gun’s presence as the shot process progresses. The purposely raised Hi-Viz fore-sight is highly significant here.

Coxy was more than aware in his shooting that his non-aiming eye (left) was capable of challenging his aiming eye.

The Hi-viz sight – a popular component in American fitting — can help resist a challenge to eye-dominance.

The muzzle end of the rib sits approximately 7mm above the barrel.

On top of the rib sits Coxy’s Hi-Viz sighting bead.

Note the height of the bead itself sits another 3mm above the rib.

Again, another American idea in gunfitting that helps drive down the centre of the patterns from each barrel — this trick makes the gun shoot flatter still.

I have written before on the subject of Coxy’s custom-made trigger blade.

Coxy was having real trouble with recoil vibration working through the original trigger on to the lower part of the trigger finger.

Approaching a flinch situation, something had to give.

Coxy’s new trigger was specially made by Gunsmith James MacAdam. The angle of the trigger is pitched to OFF and shaped so that the trigger-finger locates to it physically – a genuine ‘locking in’ to the trigger – which Coxy liked.

The body of the trigger blade is broad to maximise contact area and help dissipate recoil vibration.

The extended bottom spur helps keep the finger in position and prevents slipping against the base of the trigger-guard during recoil.

An added bonus, not immediately apparent during the fitting phase, was more effective control on the pull of the trigger; the DT10s high grade ‘V’ springs helping achieve an added bonus to this custom trigger fix. 

Coxy was remarkably unfussy in practically every aspect of his shooting.

Cartridges – a common obsession for many – seemed not to bother him in the least; if it went bang then something was bound to happen down-range.

Chokes however were a slightly more serious matter!

Coxy had a rule about his choke combinations: ‘Open’ for club shoots, ‘Tight’ for comps.

The two here were in his DT10; open chokes – so last rigged for a club shoot.

Now, the question is why? Why did chokes matter? And why the Mullers?

Barrel Convergence

The purpose of the convergence plate is to assess where one barrel is inclined to place its pattern strike in relation to the other.

Convergence here at 90%.  All capable competition guns sit at 80% convergence — Coxy's DT10 is well up there.

Flat shooting is a feature of how Coxy’s DT10 is set up — and quite deliberately so.

Coxy appreciated this and set his rib to ensure his gun printed patterns that were absolutely flat — that is 50:50 about the centre point of aim.

Highly skilled Shots read the line of any target very accurately. Coxy believed that he could more accurately adjust to a shot if his gun patterned flat.

With a flat gun there is little room for aim-error. But Coxy didn’t get things wrong very often. In practice it all worked rather well.

Was his faith in Muller Chokes warranted I wonder? Well, there’s only one way to find out!

Both patterns are good: decent pellet distribution and few holes (or ‘patches’). The inner cores of both patterns are a little ‘hot’ and Coxy would have known and liked that. Dropping a shot size to 8 would make both patterns absolute smokers! Again, Coxy would have known that.

Very good shots enjoy a level of consistency and accuracy in their shooting that allows them to use the inner core of the pattern to excellent effect. This is the main reason they are able to pull off those long shot spectaculars.

Coxy – like all talented Shots – paid a good deal of attention to how targets broke as they were hit. This is a real-time skill and relates to funky-superior peripheral vision — perhaps the one natural aptitude that is God-given.

Great Shots seem to have an innate sense of where the target is within a pattern as it breaks. Consequently, they are able to build definitive talent around a form of ‘micro’ management in their shooting; making minute, adept adjustments in order to tune-in accuracy levels deeper still.

Coxy, it was a blast. You were a companion, hero, and mentor to many in shooting. You were the truest and greatest of friends. Without shooting, without your incredible ability you would still have been a great and special man.

But being there with you Coxy, sharing in your gift with a gun, allowed us even more in the time we were so lucky to have with you. It’s been a great honour to look at your DT10, although at times very difficult. Worth it just to shine a little more light on your brand of shooting magic this one final time.

Journey well my friend.


This product has been added to your cart