We advise you on what to wear shooting, whether at the clay ground or aiming at game in the field
What to wear game shooting
Shooting etiquette is extensive and can be overwhelming on your first game shoot. There are some things you must wear to a shoot, such as ear protection, a hat and practical footwear. For your first shoot, you should focus on being comfortable and safe.
That doesn’t mean you can’t lead the way with style too. Thankfully there is no shortage of shooting attire that serves both form and function. Check the dress code with your host and keep in mind that Guns usually wear green or brown clothing.
Whether you choose moulded earplugs, digital headphones or disposable plugs, you need to make sure you have something to protect your ears. We recommend choosing something that will keep your ears warm too.
Most game shooters will wear a tweed flat cap.
Green or brown check shirts are the traditional choice. If you’re going grouse shooting, wear darker colours to avoid being seen by the birds.
A tie needs to be worn on formal shoots. Check with your host if you’re unsure.
If you’re on a formal shoot, many Guns will be wearing a three piece tweed suit with matching breeks or trousers, waistcoat and jacket
You’ll be game shooting mostly during the winter so make sure your coat is warm and waterproof. When buying a shooting jacket, make sure you have enough movement to swing your gun. You’ll also want a jacket with deep pockets to keep some cartridges.
A cartridge bag is essential – you do not want to run out of cartridges.
On a formal shoot, you should wear tweed breeks or trousers. At less formal shoots, you can wear moleskin trousers.
Stocks/stockings with garter
Wear long socks with stockings, tied with garters to stop them falling. Two pairs of socks will keep your feet warm in winter
The best bet is shooting boots with good ankle support, as this will suit you on uneven ground as well as flat earth.
What to wear clay shooting
For clay shooting, there is no official etiquette on what to wear but your experience will be much more enjoyable if you choose smart, functional clothes that make you feel the part. When you are truly relaxed, you will shoot your best, so go for items that don’t restrict your movement and are suitable for the weather you are shooting in.
Ear protection is a must – even more so than game shooting – because there are far more shoots fired on the clay ground. Make sure your hearing protection has a comfortable fit that doesn’t impede gun mount, or bad habits will set in. Options include disposable ear plugs, high end digital headphones and moulded earplugs.
All clay shooters need to wear eye protection and a shooting school can provide this for you. There are a variety of tints available which help you pick to the clays – experiment to see which works best for you. You should also consider prescription eye protection if you need to wear glasses.
Shirt or T-shirt
This depends on the weather. Most clay shooting happens in the summer season, but unlike game shooting, there’s often a lot less physical exercise. You also have the luxury of not needing to carry your clothing with you, as you would in the shooting field, so wearing several light breathable layers that can be discarded when needed is a good idea.
A well fitted shooting vest is essential as this will aid gun fit and gun mount.
If you are attending a clay shoot you will be expected to bring your own gun. If you are attending a clay shooting lesson, the school will be able to provide you with a gun and assist you with correct fit. If attending a clay shoot, always return your gun to its slip between stands while waiting to shoot.
This is a judgement call based on the weather. Wellies will be fine in the wet. In dry weather, trainers or walking boots or some other comfortable footwear will suffice.
Waterproof sports holdall
This is not essential when having a clay lesson but during a clay shoot you will need one for carrying cartridges, chokes and a cloth to keep your hands clean and a snack to keep your concentration levels up. This is also handy for storing extra kit if you have to remove a layer in the heat.
Ideally overcoats should be removed before shooting if it’s comfortable to do so as this will affect gun fit. If you intend to shoot with it on during the rain, ensure when you buy it there is no restriction of movement.
Do you have any tips we’ve missed? Comment below and we’ll include the best readers’ tips.