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…

best clayshooting cartridges

13 of the best clayshooting cartridges reviewed

Forty or so years ago when clayshooting wasn’t as big as it is now shooters used whatever cartridges were around. Then clayshooting started to really catch on and now there is a whole host of cartridges specially designed for smashing clays. Dedicated competition cartridges are available for 12-bore, 20-bore, .410…

clear pheasant pens of rats

How to use an air rifle to clear pheasant pens of rats

One evening that really sticks in my mind is a ratting session with my friend Kev Hawker in February. As the pheasant season had drawn to a close, we were allowed to shoot inside the release pens on a local estate and the early signs suggested that we were 
in…

Summer squirrel shooting with air rifle

Airguns and summer squirrel shooting

Squirrel shooting with an air rifle can be very tricky over the summer months. The trees are covered with dense foliage which makes your quarry almost invisible in the treetops. Lure of the pheasant feeder The colder months are an easier time for squirrel shooting with an air rifle. Hungry…

Italian shotguns Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 (2019) Field

Italian shotguns

The superb value offered by Italian shotguns If you’re looking to buy a gun then it’s definitely worth considering Italian shotguns. Buy Italian and you will be the proud owner of a well-built, good quality gun that will cost far less than a new English gun. Long and proud history…

wildfowling

Steel yourself

Twenty years ago, when restrictions on the use of lead shot on the foreshore came in, the steel shot cartridges commercially available to wildfowlers were not good enough. Steel shot performance has been playing catch-up ever since and still struggles to slough off its poor reputation. But there was a…

most powerful air rifle

Powerful air rifles that don’t need a firearms licence

Which is the most powerful air rifle under the legal limit? Legal limit airguns (air rifles that are under the 12ft/lbs power limit) are the easiest and cheapest way to get into shooting. These types of rifles do not require a licence (except in Scotland) and after the initial expense…