Start shooting advice So you want to start shooting and need to find out how to go about it? What an excellent decision. Welcome to a time-honoured sport which we trust will give you hours of pleasure.

Shooters are a friendly bunch and always delighted when somebody new takes an interest in their sport.

City and country folk

People start shooting in various ways and it’s not a given that you need to be brought up with it and start as a child. Or that you need to live in the countryside. Many keen shooters take it up as adults whilst living in a city and head out into the field at weekends.

Clays, pheasant or both?

You might be interested in gameshooting or maybe think clayshooting is going to be your thing.

Whatever appeals to you, here we’ve gathered together all the information you need to know on how to get into shooting.  Find out how to get a shotgun certificate, learn when the game seasons open, explore how guns work, get help with buying your first gun, what you should wear shooting and the intricacies of shooting etiquette (so you get invited back another time).  It’s very important too that you are aware of the shooting safety rules. 

We also have articles on how to shoot well, places to shoot and how to find a good shooting instructor.

Firearm certificate

How to get a firearm certficate

Advice on how to get your firearm certificate with information on what police are looking for, what counts as good reason to own a firearm and what variations are

guide to picking-up

A beginner’s guide to picking-up

We walk you through what to expect on your first time picking-up, including when to know if your dog is ready, what to do on the first drive and how to behave during the day

A guide to buying your first gun

It's never too soon to start looking at guns with a view to buying your first and any dealer will be happy to reserve a gun until your certificate arrives

gundog with owner

How to get into game shooting

Have you ever wanted to get into game shooting and wondered where to begin? Well, that’s just what Johnathan Cox, head keeper at the Buckhurst Estate in East Sussex, is trying to solve for many keen clay, pigeon and wildfowl shooters. Driven game shooting is notorious for being seen as…

Clay shooting

First invitation to shoot – what now?

A: Congratulations on receiving your invitation to shoot. However, before you mount a gun to shoot at any sentient creature, you need to have plenty of practice at clays. Go to a good ground that will do proper gun fit too. That will make you a better shot and will also give you confidence in…

shooting companion

How to be an excellent companion on a shoot day

Shooters are generally a friendly lot and will welcome a new face. Read up a bit on clayshooting/pheasant shooting and partridge shooting before you go out and learn the difference between driven shooting and rough shooting. For more in-depth knowledge on some of the terms you’ll hear when you’re new…

footwork in shooting

Why footwork in shooting is crucial to consistency

Being a good game Shot is about being consistent on all forms of quarry, in different weather conditions, on different topography and at different times of the season. Alan Rose, the renowned shooting instructor at the West London Shooting School, always drummed into me that style and technique kill the bird. The top sportsmen in this country are successful…

wildfowling in field

Starting game shooting

Wildfowling If you can’t afford to buy game shooting by the day, or through a syndicate, we recommend you join one of the many UK wildfowling clubs listed with the BASC. That’s because… An annual membership fee costs much less than a day’s driven game shoot. You are mentored in…

clayshooting ground

Starting shooting with clays

 The first clay pigeon shoots started around 1885 as an affordable alternative to competitions using live pigeons as targets. Shooting schools – particularly those owned by London gunmakers – set up courses to simulate the flight of live birds. The new sport quickly became a hit with Victorian and Edwardian game…

men with shotguns

Shooting safely – rules everyone should know

Shooting is rightly proud of its safety record. Compared with any other sport you care to name its safety record is second to none. In fact accidents of any sort are exceptionally rare. This happy state of affairs exists because sportsmen treat their gun and fellow shooters with the utmost…

shooting clays from cage

Starting shooting – how to find an instructor

Getting going – will you get a thump in the shoulder? The thought of firing a shotgun for the first time can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve talked to someone who didn’t get suitable instruction when they tried their hand at the sport. If you believe what they say, you’ll…

shotgun components

Shotgun jargon buster

It’s nice to look at old magazine adverts and think: “Wow, in 1904 I could’ve bought a best London gun for about £100, a good day’s wages today!” Back then, though, most folk didn’t earn that sort of money in a year. and things haven’t changed a century later. Today the average…

Robin Scott

A new series on starting shooting

Funny old world, isn’t it? In spite of society throwing its hands up in horror at the mere mention of guns, shooting as a sport has never been more popular. Almost 700,000 people own shotguns in Britain, and the number is growing across all age groups, and both sexes. Add…