Game shooting

How does your shot measure up?

Like much in game shooting, our choice of shot size has evolved. The era before international corporations dominated the UK shooting market, and US-style marketeers brought professional persuasion to an unsuspecting public, was quite different. But not necessarily bad. There is much in modern game shooting to be proud of,…

Hatsan Escort 
.22LR rifle

Should I get an air rifle or a rimfire?

Air rifle or a rimfire Q: I am thinking of buying an FAC-rated air rifle for pest control. Would this be better than a .22 rimfire? A: I like FAC-rated air rifles for certain pest control duties. They offer a significantly higher energy rating over the legal standard 12ft/lb energy.…

fixed-barrelled guns wildfowling

Here’s what you need to know about fixed-barrelled guns

Semi-auto and pump-action shotguns have been around for a long time but have not been as popular in the UK as they have in the USA. Shooters shy away from them mainly because of the uncertainty of how to operate and handle them in a safe way. Those that use…

black powder

Black powder licences … what you need to know

Thinking about using black powder? You’ll need a licence from the local police and a reason for using it. Having a gun proofed for black powder should be enough. Of course you can make your own black powder cartridges and you can also buy them if you prefer.  But first…

choose a stalking rifle

Choosing the right stalking rifle

Perhaps you have already done a bit of stalking, possibly as a guest using the estate rifle, and now you have been truly bitten by the deer bug. It’s time to choose a stalking rifle – but where to start? Your biggest decision, and one you need to make even…

shooting rabbits

Are pump-action rifles really a valid vermin tool?

Q: I see quite a lot of classic .22 rimfire pump-action rifles at auctions. Are they really a valid vermin tool? A: They certainly are! Your first choice would be a newer bolt-action or semi-automatic rimfire for rabbits, but some older model rimfires are tremendous value for money and have…

steel bio wad cartridges

What did our tester make of the latest ‘eco-cartridges’?

Margaret Heffernan, the writer and entrepreneur, said: “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument and debate.” Shooting has had this in spadefuls of late, largely on the topic of cartridges. In February 2020, the British shooting organisations unanimously voiced their support for the phasing out…

famous guns

Five famous guns and their owners

Should my guns eventually be catalogued by an auctioneer, I expect my ownership to make not a jot of difference to the valuation. Frankly, nobody is going to pay 
more for the bragging rights of owning a gun once waved at pheasants in my distinctly average hands. If, however, a…

Shooting from pigeon hide

What to look for when buying a gun

It always amazes me how many people are seduced by the aesthetic of a gun before they’ve even analysed how well it’s built and given some serious thought to how it handles. I suppose, in many ways, that’s the point. We all like pretty things, it’s simply human nature, so…

airgun laws

Which lead-free airgun pellets would you recommend?

Q: After all the talk about shotgun shooters moving away from lead ammunition, I feel inspired to try using lead-free pellets in my airgun. Are there any brands you can recommend, and should I expect them to perform differently? Talking lead-free-airgun pellets A: Many of the reputable airgun pellet manufacturers,…

Hatsan Escort Magnum semi-automatic

The gun every shooter should have in their gun cabinet

I give my shotguns names. My AYA No 3 I dubbed ‘Lazarus’ because, thanks to my friend Adam Bragg’s craftsmanship, it was brought back from the dead. My Lincoln Premier is named ‘John’ (as in Wilkes Booth). I don’t like the Lincoln and am determined to get rid of it.…

proof marks on shotgun

Proof marks, serial numbers and how to re-proof a gun

A frequently asked question in our postbag is “how old is my gun or can I date my gun from its serial number?” It’s usually asked by somebody who has just bought a second-hand gun or who is considering it. The guns in question are usually around 20 years old…

24gm shotgun cartridges

Taking a look at 24gm shotgun cartridges

The advantages of 24gm shotgun cartridges are often underrated and misunderstood. In addition to costing less and producing lower recoil they give you better patterns. This is due to less damage being done to the pellets during ignition and as they travel through the bores.  The upshot to this is…

airgun laws

Air rifle questions we’re often asked

  Q: Do I need a licence for an air rifle?  If you live in England or Wales and have an air rifle with a muzzle energy level of 12 ft lb or less or an air pistol with a muzzle energy of 6 ft lb or less you don’t…