Is this caused by recoil or, as a friend says, by the sound of gunfire? Is it a common problem and what’s the best way to avoid it?

PIGEON SHOOTING

Peter Theobald

It really is a combination of the two – excessive recoil not only thumps the shoulder, but rattles your brain as well, rather like getting whacked by Mike Tyson.

But the main cause is the report from firing your gun, and it is easily remedied by using any one of the excellent battery powered ear defenders now on the market.

I used to hate wearing any ear protection because the old models didn’t allow you to hear the subtle sounds of birds’ wing beats or ordinary conversation, and, as a consequence suffered severe loss of hearing.

Modern versions of ear defenders actually enhance hearing, whilst completely cutting out the harmful bang, so there really is no excuse for not using them.