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…

Man shooting in rain

Struggling on long crossers – what should I do?

Shooting instructor Adam Calvert replies: A: The walking gun brief can be one of my favourite roles but equally it is a tricky one, and the addition of long crossers can be an extra challenge. When you are given a brief as a walking gun the most important thing is to remember the associated safety that actually surrounds walking…

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…

hitting high birds

Trouble hitting high birds?

A: If there is one question I get asked time again, it’s about hitting high birds. The first thing is to know your range; I often see people shooting at things that are out of range. We have a duty to only shoot at what we think is killable. The second thing is to be realistic about your…

cartridges

The danger of mixing cartridges

A: I once conducted an experiment in order to  find out which calibres and cartridges this risk applies to. Of course, chamber and bore dimensions vary quite widely in large-bore guns, particularly older ones. However, an 8-bore cartridge will lodge in the forcing cone of a 4-bore, allowing a 4-bore cartridge to be loaded on top of it, while…

rimfire

Is a rimfire safer?

A: The conventional hollow point lead bullet fired by the .22 rifle has stood the test of time and is still immensely popular. However, it is known to have a tendency to ricochet if it hits a flint or stone. The .17 HMR, on the other hand, fires a lighter, polycarbonate-tipped bullet at a considerably higher velocity.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

deer stalking rifle

What sort of deer stalking rifle should I buy?

Our expert at Sporting Gun advises: A: Well, your budget is decent. That’s good news because a suitable rifle with quality optics is usually about £1,500 for each piece of kit to ensure you get a sound combination. So with this budget you’ve got some money left over to spend…

rifle range

Can children use rifles?

Our shooting consultant and sporting author Graham Downing replies: A: The circumstances in which young people may lawfully use Section 1 firearms are limited. Under the age of 14 they may do so only as members of a cadet corps, at a home office-approved rifle club or in a shooting gallery. If…

rifle bullets

A change of primer

A: It’s amazing what does and what does not influence the combustion and propulsion of a bullet on pulling the trigger. Sometimes, even the smallest tweak can make a big difference, but other times you can change a load significantly and it will show very little alteration. That’s why it’s important…