Poorly poults

The gamekeeper’s constant fight against game bird disease

Travel back far enough and the major components you’d find in a keeper’s arsenal were gin traps, snares and a bottle of strychnine. Over time the gins were replaced by fen traps, strychnine removed altogether, and snares modified so they are no longer self-locking. It is true that Larsen traps have been a godsend and of course a shotgun and…

men shooting

Do I need special insurance to go shooting?

Q: Do I need special insurance to go shooting? I’m a bit confused by all this liability stuff… A: I have always thought it completely extraordinary that it is a legal requirement to be insured while driving a car but not while using a gun. But that is the case. That said, no responsible person would ever shoot without…

reloading ammunition

Loading for some friends – is it legal?

A: There is nothing in law that says you may not reload cartridges for other people as a favour. The only proviso is that you must have a firearm certificate that authorises you to possess the cartridge types your friends want you to reload. You must also ensure that the quantity that you intend to reload does not…

Lyme disease in dogs

Are ticks and keds the same?

A: No, they are quite different, though both are found on deer and can be present at the same time. The tick we see in the UK (Ixodes ricinus) can be found on a variety of animals and birds and is most notorious for transmitting Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, both of which can infect a range of…

stopping a gundog running-in

I want my dog to have his day as a picker-up

A: There is no set procedure for Guns who take their own dogs, and each shoot will have its own policy regarding the collection of dead and wounded game both during and after drives are complete. Therefore it is best to find out from the shoot captain what the expectations for that particular shoot usually are. This certainly applies…

shooting behind combine harvester

Tips for shooting behind the combine

A: I love shooting behind the combine. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity this year, but after practising this discipline for a number of years, I have picked up a tip or two along the way. First, it is always undertaken in good dry weather, so you want to wear light yet protective tops, remembering the dust gets…

reloading a cartridge

Am I using too much powder when I reloading a cartridge?

A reader asked: I see you quote some reload data in your rifle tests but when I load the same weight powder it does not always all go in. What am I doing wrong? Shooting Times’ rifle reviewer and stalker, Bruce Potts had this advice for reloading a cartridge: You are doing…

scope mounts

Should a scope be sitting tight in the scope mount?

A reader asked this question about tight scope mounts: I have fitted a new scope to my .243 stalking rifle and it is very tight in the scope mount. Is this right? I don’t want to over-tighten and damage the scope’s body. Shooting Times’ rifle reviewer and stalker, Bruce Potts had…

Plastic stocks

What are the advantages of plastic stocks for airguns?

A reader asked: I’m planning to buy an air rifle for my 14-year-old son to use in the garden under my supervision. I would like him to have a gun with a traditional wooden stock, but he now has his heart set on a model with a modern synthetic handle. There seem…

find shooting

How to find good shooting

We all know what we want in our perfect day’s shooting. So when deciding to buy a day – for the first or umpteenth time – the agony of choice can be unbearable. We toss and turn over whether we have made the best choice to deliver the day of our dreams. After all, it’s not like there is…

sporting rights

Essential questions you should be asking about your sporting rights

Reading through paperwork is seen by most of us as an inconvenience, a distraction, or an unwanted addition to our already busy lives. The only kind of paperwork that most of us enjoy lies between the covers of this magazine and tells tales of shooting exploits or fishing adventures. However, there are times when said paperwork can be a necessary evil.…

Gunmount

How can I make my gunmount more consistent?

Adam Calvert is a freelance shooting instructor with a global reputation, offering highly bespoke and tailored shooting instruction in addition to being a Fabbri ambassador. He offered this advice on gunmount.  Getting your gunmount accurate and above all consistent is probably one of the most important but equally difficult things you can master…

noise induced hearing loss

Are you shooting yourself to deaf?

An estimated 15,000 people will develop Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) in Britain this year, largely through occupational exposure. The National Institute of Health reports that 15 per cent of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss. Shooters who forgo or lack hearing protection, whether in the field or on the…

Can a shooter with one eye shoot legally?

A: No, they cannot. The police may not attach an “accompanied” condition to a shotgun certificate in the way that they may add a condition to a firearm certificate. If you are a certificate holder, then you may continue to shoot unaccompanied as you have done in the past. Were the police to believe that, because of…

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…

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…

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…