rifle and bullets

Why has my rifle suddenly become inaccurate?

A: Some problems can be complex to diagnose but others are simple and can be rectified at home. Barrel fouling or damage to the muzzle of the rifle can cause these problems, but sometimes a dried piece of dirt pressing against the barrel, changing the barrel harmonics on ring, or dirt in the bedding of the action will cause…

Wheelchair shooting

Can I enjoy pheasant shooting in my wheelchair?

Bill Harriman, BASC’s head of firearms and global authority on guns, gave this advice for wheelchair shooting: @shootinguk any advice for a wheelchair user hoping to start Pheasant shooting this season? — Rhys Lewis (@rhyslew7) August 23, 2016 Shooting is so inclusive that someone in a wheelchair can take part.  There…

transfer shotguns

How do you transfer shotguns between certificates?

A reader asked for some advice:  A friend of mine is moving house but, until his other property is ready, he would like me to hold his shotguns rather than put them in the care of a local gunshop. I appreciate that I can hold them for 72 hours without notifying the…

large calibres

What are the benefits of bigger calibres?

A: Bigger, heavier pellets tend to be designed for use in FAC-rated airguns, producing muzzle energy from 30ft/lb to more than 100ft/lb. Their increased stability, especially at high velocity, helps to improve accuracy. They also hit really hard, delivering high levels of shock energy, which is a prime concern when targeting live quarry. If you are using a legal…

Man with pike fish

Pike fishing – or how to land a freshwater tiger

Pike fever rises to the surface unexpectedly, like a recurring illness, and there is no telling how long the bout will last. A pike was the first large fish I ever caught when I was nine years old and it was on that day I became infected. My mother had taken me to a small outflow channel where,…

Lyme disease in dogs

Beware of ticks

In recent weeks the weather has been both warm and wet. I keep a rain gauge in my garden: in the first six months of this year, I recorded over 400mm, more than twice as much as in the same period in 2015. Having so much rain has been frustrating, as my favourite summer walks have…

A-Z guide to shooting terms

A handy A-Z guide to shooting terms

A Accidental discharge Sometimes called a “negligent discharge”. It is the unintentional firing of a rifle or gun Action The mechanism of a rifle or gun by which it is loaded, fired and unloaded Airgun A general term for any pistol or rifle that uses compressed air as a propellant. There…

setting a mole trap

How to get rid of moles

The mole has been trapped and managed for generations. There are still professional mole trappers practising across our land, turning fields of molehills back into rich pastures. In this article I will be talking you through how I trap moles and the equipment I use. Mole trapping is another one of those highly contentious pest control jobs where every…

shooting with airgun

How big a garden do I need for shooting with an airgun?

A: Apart from in Scotland, where it now looks as though police officers will need to visit households to carry out an inspection to judge suitability for plinking, to comply with what appears to be an unworkable new airgun licensing regime, your son can shoot an air rifle in the garden under close adult supervision. One vitally important thing…

choke

Fixed chokes or screw-in chokes? What’s best?

A: Personally, I don’t think that most of us shoot well enough to get any real benefit from choke. Consequently, I would always go for fixed chokes and ones that were very open. However, if you become a very good shot, then screw-in chokes may help. The first wave of screw-in chokes…

Deer calls

Deer calls: Can red stags be called?

A: Generally, deer are most susceptible to being called during the rutting season when hormones and interest in the opposite sex are at a peak. Roe as woodland dwellers are generally not as visible as red deer, which are more associated with open ground, so calls are often used to…

ferreting questions

8 commonly asked ferreting questions

1. What do you do about ferreting in the summer months? How a keen ferreter makes best use of this ‘downtime’. 2. Will ferreting regularly make my ferrets tame? How are your skills with them? 3. Buying your first ferret. The do’s and don’ts.  4. If a ferret is a bad mum,…

clay targets

The history of the clay target

A: The clay target, as opposed to the glass ball that preceded it, was patented in the US in 1880 by George Ligowsky of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a dome-shaped saucer made, as the name suggests, of clay or terracotta. It was introduced to Britain by 1882, when it was described in The…

Magpies

How to control magpies without Larsen traps

Question: I am not able to operate Larsen traps on my shoot as I can’t check them daily, so I do my best to control the magpies by shooting birds flushed from nests. Do both sexes incubate the eggs, or am I only culling the females? David Tomlinson, highly regarded writer…

keys to gun cabinet

Can my wife use my gun cabinet for her shotguns?

A: Every firearm and shotgun certificate carries a statutory condition which states that: “(a) The firearms and ammunition [or shotguns] to which the certificate relates must at all times (except in the circumstances set out in paragraph (b) below) be stored securely so as to prevent so far as is reasonably…

air rifle

Airguns and visiting Scotland

Q: Now that the Scottish Parliament requires residents to include airguns on their firearms certificate (FAC), how do other UK citizens fare when they take their airguns into Scotland? Presumably, the Scottish Police will not issue an FAC for owners who live outside Scotland and the other UK Police Forces cannot…

add guns to firearms certificate

How do I add guns to Firearms Certificate?

Q: I have held a shotgun certificate for 40 years, initially for roughshooting, but in recent years, mainly for skeet and DTL. Two years ago I decided that I would like to add FAC to my shooting disciplines and joined Worcester Norton Shooting Club as an airgun member, being added to…