Your questions answered by our team of experts, ranging from queries about shooting law to gundog help, technical advice and shooting tips

beads on shotguns

Beads on shotguns – are they actually useful?

Q: I am relatively new to both clay and gameshooting and am now into my second season. I have seen people using green or red beads on the ends of their barrels and am curious to know what the pros and cons of these are. A: You can shoot without a…

Man shooting by lake

Can’t stop stopping my gun

Q: How do I stop myself stopping the gun when I shoot? A: Tony says: Stopping the gun as you shoot can be down to a number of factors. Let’s assume that the gun fits, as an incorrectly fitted gun can cause all sorts of problems – especially to your…

sporting gun

What’s the difference between a game and sporting gun?

The main difference between a game gun and a sporting gun is the weight. Game guns are lighter Sporters are set up for clay shooting, and they often have multi-chokes and a more visible rib on the barrels. Game guns are lighter and have smaller ribs for less weight and…

struggles with recoil

Struggling with recoil using a 12-bore?

Q:  I’ve started struggling with recoil when using my 12 bore: what can I do to reduce it? Is it time to change to a 16-bore? It’s really strange as my 12-bore fits me well. A: I come across many people who suffer with this and usually it’s a combination…

Pulsar Phantom NV sight 4x60mm

What’s a good night-vision sight for under £1750?

Q: I wish to buy a night-vision sight for my .22 Anschutz rimfire that I can also use on my .22-250 Sako for foxes up to 150 yards. Can you recommend one 
for under £1,750? A: As the daylight hours dwindle, 
night vision and thermal imagers will tend to replace standard optical…

How to avoid getting a bruised face when shooting

Q: I am emailing out of frustration and wondered if there was any advice you could give me. I have been a competitor in trap shooting, on and off throughout my life, but now find it most uncomfortable to shoot any more than 50 targets due to a very sore…

high curling pheasants

Tips for shooting fast, curling pheasants

Q: Any tips for bringing down those fast, curling pheasants that have the wind at their backs? A: Curling pheasants can be one of the most difficult shots in the book, particularly if you add wind and height. Often when pheasants have got the wind behind them they can dive…

difference between a Sporter and a Trap gun

What is the difference between a Sporter and a trap gun?

Q: I’m new to shooting, and about to buy my first gun. However I don’t understand the main differences between a Sporter and a trap gun. Could you explain please? Sporters and trap guns A: Let’s start by looking at the different types of targets presented in the sporting and…

shooting instruction

Six things to know about gun recoil

Many shooters consider that a 20-bore has less recoil than a 12-bore but in fact, the recoil depends on the cartridge load being used and the weight of the gun. Having a light 20-bore and a heavy load, like a 28 or 32 gram cartridge will result in stronger recoil…

Starting clay pigeon shooting

Can I use a trap gun for pigeon/game shooting?

A: There is a common misconception that trap guns can’t be used for other forms of shooting, I disagree. A trap gun is a gun which usually has slightly longer barrels, tighter chokes and is set up with a higher comb height, making the gun’s impact point also high. In some…

Getting lead right in shooting

I want to understand more about lead and targets

Q: I want to try and understand more about lead. Some people say give the target 5ft while others say a couple of inches. Can you help me see the light?  A: The differing amounts of lead that people see on targets can be one of the most talked about subjects in the shooting…

cartridge colour

Should cartridge colour denote bore?

Q: Why don’t cartridge makers stick 
to an internationally agreed colour code for different bore sizes as used to be the case (12-bore were red, 16-bore blue and 20-bore yellow)? Surely this would stop all of these dreadful accidents where people who mix cartridges double-load a 12-bore on top of…

Shooting with choke

Should I change chokes on high bird days?

A: In more recent years it has become fairly standard practice for over-unders to be multi-choked, thereby opening up a dilemma for many shooters about what choke to use. I think this decision is best made by answering the following three questions: what are you going to be shooting, over what distances, and more importantly, with what cartridges? Thinking about the…

man with air rifle

Should I use a sound moderator on my airgun?

Q: You would be surprised just how much of a crack an airgun can make — especially pre-charged models. An airgun-specific sound moderator from the likes of Huggett, Air Arms, BSA, Weihrauch or Daystate can hush an air rifle’s muzzle report to the merest of whispers. Keeping an airgun quiet is a great aid to stealth and helps…

Will Garfit chooses dream pigeon shooting team

Will Garfit’s dream pigeon shooting team

The first would have to be the late Archie Coats, father of modern pigeon shooting. He was like a sporting father to me as friend, tutor and influence, for better or for worse. He was a superb shot using his Webley 700 boxlock, side-by-side, with nimble footwork, fast reactions and intense concentration for the opportunity of a safe shot at whatever quarry entered…

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…