Do I really need a different type of gun for different types of shooting? Shooting instructor Ed Watson explains.

Over the many years I have been teaching, I have met a few clients who have got into the bad habit of changing their gun every time they hear of a new one.

And quite often they do this because they think it will make them a better shot. If only it were that simple, but the truth is that buying a new gun will not make you a better shot, any more than buying a new cricket bat will make you a better batsman. Generally speaking the old adage still stands true: “A bad workman blames his tools.”

New guns can be good for your shooting

But occasionally you use a new gun and shoot really well with it. When this happens it’s only natural to think you have found a better gun than the one you normally shoot with and all your problems are solved. But this is when you need to stop and think about why this has happened. There could be many reasons:

1. The new gun may fit you better than your old gun.
2. You focus more with a new gun.
3. It may have more weight than your gun and handle better.
4. The barrels may be longer and suit you more.
5. You might not be over-thinking because it’s not your gun.

The important thing is to get the right gun for you and the type of shooting you do most. You may need to shoot many different guns to find the one that suits you perfectly. When you feel you have found that gun it is so important you get it fitted to you. Doing that really makes it your gun.

So what is the difference between a game gun and a sporting gun? The main difference is the weight. Sporters are set up for clay shooting, and they often have multi-chokes and a more visible rib on the barrels. Game guns are lighter and have smaller ribs for less weight and better, faster handling. A pigeon gun is like a trap gun, and is set up for shooting targets flying away from you. A live pigeon gun is a very special set-up and not something I would advise unless that is your sport.

If you find a gun you shoot well with, and it fits properly, stick with it and enjoy getting better. But the gun alone does not make you a better shot.

Do you have a question for Dr Watson? If so then email: will.hetherington@timeinc.com