Pigeon shooting days

Pigeon shooting days – how they have changed!

Shooters of my age often lament that things were better in “the good old days”, when all you had to do was throw an old stuffed grey sock out on a likely looking field and pigeons would swarm to their doom. They would recall flocks of woodies leaving the roosting woods that were so big it would take 20…

Man experiencing gameshooting problems

Shooting problems in the field – and how to handle them

Mud – foot movement killer Heavy, wet mud is the biggest killer of foot movement, and foot position is the foundation of good shotgun shooting. If it’s difficult to move quickly to take a crossing target out to right or left then it is not worth the bother – you are going to miss because your upper body locks up…

On a budget? These guns are under £500

Guns to buy before the price goes up

If I was thinking of buying a new gun I would be tempted to do it right now, as prices could well go up quite steeply in the not-too distant future. It’s because of the decline in value of Sterling, which is bound to affect all imports soon. At the time of writing, £1 was worth only…

Rizzini RB EM 16-bore

Rizzini RB EM 16-bore

Rizzini is a gunmaker steadily making inroads into the British guntrade. It has some very attractive models at good value-for-money prices. This is my favourite in the range: the Rizzini RB EM 16-bore . The RB EM is a round bodied box lock gun with a bold scroll engraving pattern that reminds me of the traditional Holland Royal pattern.…

Will Garfit

A visit to Will Garfit’s award-winning shoot

I’ve heard a great deal about Will Garfit’s 1988 Laurent Perrier Award winning 70 acre shoot, and last January I managed to finally see what all the fuss was about.  Known by its proper name, “The Hauxton Pits Shoot” or affectionately – “The Pits” –  was founded in 1972 when Will accidentally bought a redundant gravel pit at…

shotgun in car

Can I keep a shotgun in my mum’s house?

David says: You need to raise the matter with your licensing department. Somehow I don’t think they’d be happy with such an arrangement. Personally I wouldn’t be too worried about transporting your gun to and from Devon provided you take the standard precautions when the gun is in the car. Another possibility would be for your Mum to get…

Labradors and spaniels

There are big differences between Labradors and spaniels …

As the shooting season draws to a close it is time for us to reflect on what has gone well with our gundogs, but more importantly what has gone wrong and will need working on during the spring and summer months. For a few of us the search for a new shooting companion will start in earnest and the…

Man snap shooting pheasant

Snap shooting pheasant – what am I doing wrong?

John Bidwell says: This one has cropped up in this column before so, at the risk of repeating myself, I will cover the salient points of “snap shooting” again. You must stay alert and totally concentrated. Let your gaze fix a little ahead of the tree line. Assume the ready position with the gun muzzles held high. Trust in…

gundog in cover

What ground cover is the hardest for a gundog to work?

A multi-purpose gundog of any breed should be able to deal with anything that is put in front of it. But depending on what part of the country you live in, or whether you travel to work your dog, it may not come across certain types of cover and develop the different styles that are needed to…

shotgun certificate renewal by GP

Should I pay my GP for my shotgun certificate renewal?

David says: The official Government advice is that there is no expectation of a fee being charged for an initial trawl through your medical records. However, I could find no mention of this on the BMA website although the BMA is well aware of the Home Office position, which is supported by the shooting organisations. In my view the medical profession…

pile of paper

Firearms licensing in the Thames Valley

“What we know from experience is that widespread use of these [Section 7 permits] places an additional administrative demand on the Licensing Department which far from resolving the problem for our licence holders ultimately exacerbates it.” That’s from a letter sent to me by Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Andy Taylor, writing with the advice of the licensing manager Zoey Evans, in February…

Webley & Scott 1000 Sporter

Win! A Webley & Scott 1000 Sporter Series Over-and-Under worth £999.99

Sporting Gun have reviewed the new Webley & Scott 1000 series on page 58 of the new-look February issue (out now) and we are offering you the chance to win one! The new 1000 series of shotguns has been designed and developed to provide a superior handling shotgun that is not…

Petlog

What to do if your gundog gets lost on a shoot day

Make sure all the dog’s microchip details are up-to-date on the Petlog website  Upgrade to the premium account (£16) and if you have to register your dogs as being lost, Petlog will automatically inform all of their agents such as vets and dog wardens etc. Also, make sure you upload a picture of your dog so it can be…

A lesson shooting overhead clays from behind

  The target The target that Geoff had chosen to look at was an overhead clay from behind – the reversal of an incomer. This target is not only a challenge for the clay shooter, but can also offer a simulation of a woodpigeon hurting over a tall hedge or trees from behind a hide. Geoff…

grey partridges

Golden rules for wild grey partridges

The early results of the GWCT 2016 Partridge Count Scheme (PCS) has caused the organisation concern about chick survival success over the colder months. Sporting Gun writer Dr Roger Draycott, head of advisory at the GWCT, said that by taking part in its PCS and adopting certain conservation measures, farmers and keepers can help more birds survive the winter. Wild grey partridge rules for…

Picker up with gun dogs

What’s a gundog worth?

Last week I started my 2016/17 picking-up season at my regular shoot, near Henley-On-Thames in Oxfordshire. During lunch there was the normal early season grumblings about how much people get paid and how such and such a shoot has increased its daily rate. I never get involved in these conversations, let’s be honest in “normal” life if someone offered…

woman with pheasant on shoot

Beaters’ pay and the living wage

Most of us go beating or picking-up for fun and don’t think of it as a form of employment with formal beaters’ pay. There are few exceptions to this principle, such as in areas where shoots form an important part of the seasonal employment pattern – grouse moors in summer and shoots in tourist areas in the winter,…

William Powell Perseus

Three second-hand game guns worth looking at

ATA Arms Lightweight Field The late and much respected shooting writer Gough Thomas expressed the opinion that the ideal weight for a game gun to shoot 1oz of shot was 6lb, while 6lb 6oz was right for 1 1/16oz loads. The book in question – Shotguns & Cartridges for game and clays – was first published…

28 or 20 bore

Bigger is best

Peter says: A lot depends on the stature of the child, but nothing will evaporate the enthusiasm of a young lad faster than learning to shoot with a .410. The very minimum I would start him on would be a 28-bore, moving on to a 20, or even a 12-bore as soon as he can handle the…

No. 9 shot

Get shot of No. 9s…

John says: Too many people hamper their scores by constantly changing chokes and worrying about shot sizes. They seem to forget that No. 8 shot – and certainly 7½ shot – fired through ¼ and ½ choke will cope with just about every target on a Sporting layout. Eights are a good all-round choice but it’s worth taking along a few 7s…