- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2008

— There’s simply no way you can get Ron Kivett to talk about a business he’s in that promises to help older shotgunners without first doing a tour of his beloved Fairfax Rod & Gun Club. The club ranks among the premier shooting facilities along the entire East Coast and it’s easy to see why.

Kivett, who is on the club’s board of directors and serves as the trap shooting chairman, delights in telling visitors how the founders of the organization bought the club’s nearly 400 prime acres at $14 an acre in 1949.

“That was then,” he said, smiling broadly. “Imagine what it would cost now.”

Also read “Trap shooting versus skeet” by Gene Mueller. See Trap shooting.

The club also has a large headquarters building with banquet facilities and a nearby pavilion with an air-conditioned office that is used during shooting matches and special events.

Kivett, 68, eventually got around to talking about something that is as important and interesting as anything that has yet occurred a shooter. It’s a barrel-mounted gadget that can improve a trap shooter’s or hunter’s ability to strike an intended target without fail. Well, almost without fail.

Kivett, with partners Ken Killian of Fairfax and Ernie Capretti of Ponte Vedra, Fla., have started a shotgun shooters service under the name Xtreme Shotgun Systems. It is specifically designed to assist shooters who have visual problems. For example, after eye surgery some time ago, Kivett, who suffers from dyslexia, found that his ability to concentrate sharply on an object was greatly diminished. Like all people who grow older, his eyesight wasn’t good enough to continue with competitive trap shooting.

“Something had to be done, so we fit a shotgun with a sighting system - known as the Ultra D Pana-V - that consists of a battery-powered reflected image dot, which is pointed at a target,” Kivett said. “You look through a tiny reflex lens mounted atop the gun barrel and instantly find the bright dot. When the lens-zeroing device covers the dot, squeeze the trigger.”

Along with the sighting system, Kivett and his partners usually insist on modifying the shotgun’s stock, sometimes resulting in high-tech changes that enable a shooter to mount the gun quickly and fire accurately, which is not always possible with a store-bought gun. The modification is made to perfectly fit the gun owner’s arms, general build and ability to smoothly lift, aim and fire.

To prove how well his Xtreme Shotgun System works, Kivett used his 12-gauge Ljutic single-barrel gun with which he fired hand-loaded 7 1/2 shot shells during a 25-shot round of trap. He broke 24 of the 25 clay targets.

Kivett made it plain that as he grows older and the eyes need a little assistance, the sighting system has been a pure joy.

“It has enabled me to keep shooting,” he said. “I couldn’t have done so without it.”

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

Also read “Trap shooting versus skeet” by Gene Mueller. See Trap shooting.


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