He admits that being an Olympic champion doesn't translate to shooting perfectly in the field

By Peter Wilson
I have disappointed several beaters and keepers this last game season by not being the best game shot they have ever seen, but I have managed to cheer up a lot of guns. At what stage should I point out that double trap is as like driven shooting as tiddlywinks is to bowls? The fact that Richard Faulds won the same medal as I did and is a phenomenal sporting and game Shot has to do with his being one of the all-time greats. Without doubt, there are many similarities – gun-mount, footwork, timing, balance – but these are common to all shooting.

In August 2012 I knew which targets would be thrown and could hold the gun still, until moving to shoot the second target. Practice was all about repetition, and it was much the same in Olympic skeet, except that the trajectory of the second bird is markedly different from the first.

It is said that the best Shots look unhurried and, while confidence has a lot to do with it, early shot selection to hit a bird well in front helps

For the repetitive disciplines, unshakeable concentration is vital and this is perhaps the least important factor in gameshooting. Practising the same shot in trap builds muscle memory, so I could shoot the last four pairs in the Woolwich Final on autopilot, which is not a skill transferable to live quarry.

Dad maintains that clayshooting encourages a sluggish response, as many of the variables are known beforehand. With a flush of high, fast birds, so many decisions have to be made before firing that he whose sole practice is on clays will be too slow. It is a mistake of which he is the finest exponent.
One of the coaching techniques in the trap disciplines is to load only one cartridge, so that when the trigger is pulled for the second clay the point of aim is not obscured by recoil.

The concept works equally well for a Sporting target, but even better in the game field. If the Gun knows he has no second chance and puts all his efforts into the firstshot, he becomes much more consistent. It is said that the best Shots look unhurried and, while confidence has a lot to do with it, early shot selection to hit a bird well in front helps. Again, Dad is the epitome of the overbalancing Gun swinging wildly overhead – trying desperately not to fall over and swear at the same time.

Two brand-new Perazzis

March is a big month for us, as our new Perazzis are due to arrive. I have opted for a plain black action MX2000/8 but with 33in barrels bored 18.7 choked full and full. Mauro Perazzi showed us the telephone book his father Daniele had fired at to prove that back boring does not reduce penetration while lessening recoil. For Dad, I have bought a 20-bore with simple engraving colour-case-hardened and 32in barrels choked half and half as a thank-you. Quite why he needs another gun I have no idea, but I knew he would not forget the rash promise I made 18 months ago.

We will both have spare trigger units to fire the top barrel first for gameshooting. They are boxlocks, so stocks are easy to find and interchangeable. If you are lucky enough to get the chance, I cannot recommend too highly the advantages of visiting Perazzi. Mauro gives the same reception to everyone, but it does help if you have studied the catalogue beforehand and know what you want.
Use the try gun on the pattern plate – if you have gone that far, it’s worth proving to yourself that the stock measurements are correct. And don’t miss lunch at the restaurant opposite the factory. Let “Mama” show you the food being prepared before you tuck into the delicious pasta.

  • Sheldon McNeely

    I guess his introduction in this article talks about humility. He is right, being a champion does not set you apart from imperfections but it means giving life to the show.