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…

shotgun security

Firearms security

One of the most tragic events of 2016 was the murder of the MP, Jo Cox. She was shot with a sawn-off .22 rifle. Quite how the odious Thomas Mair came to be in possession of it is not known, but it is known that it was previously a lawfully held rifle that had been stolen. It…

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…

man shooting

20 golden gun safety rules

Always know where your fellow shooters are Have a quick glance around as you walk onto the stand – it could save a life If anyone hands you a gun (and they’re stupid enough to hand it closed), check to see if the chambers are empty and the barrels clear…

red legged partridge

Getting up to speed on partridges

There is something very English about shooting partridges over stubbles in autumn. Once, the majority of driven shooting in England was partridges; not the French red-legged variety but our own beautiful English, or grey, partridge. Modern agriculture in the 1980s sadly had a huge effect on the stronghold of the grey, but there are committed landowners and farmers out there…

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…

walked-up grouse shooting

Fancy an affordable way of grouse shooting?

It always amazes me how quickly the season comes around, but here we go again — and if you are about to head north, I am sure the excitement is building. Grouse shooting, especially early-season driven grouse, is an expensive form of shooting. However, if you are keen to try shooting this amazing wild bird, then walked-up grouse…

men with shotguns

Shooting safely – rules everyone should know

Shooting is rightly proud of its safety record. Compared with any other sport you care to name its safety record is second to none. In fact accidents of any sort are exceptionally rare. This happy state of affairs exists because sportsmen treat their gun and fellow shooters with the utmost…

Internal view of a rifle

Rifle safety

Safety On ranges, carry your rifle barrel up – if a round is fired towards the ground, there is a danger of ricochet. Always check after firing that your chamber is clear, and remove the bolt once you have finished firing your rounds. Many ranges insist on breech flags to show…

Gun standing by peg

Etiquette: How to get invited back to shoot

Receiving an invitation to go shooting of one of the sport’s great pleasures. Hopefully you’ll receive several during the season. But have you never noticed a falling-off in the offers you receive. Or wondering why they have stopped altogether? What is the problem? Could you be doing something wrong? We…

pheasants in Land Rover

Learning to shoot and cook game in Somerset

My experience of clay pigeon shooting has largely been limited to team-building days. And I found them immensely frustrating. For whilst some of my colleagues picked up their shotguns and were away, hitting clays with just about every shot, I was a complete amateur and a quick 10 minute lesson…

Pardon? Why shooters should ALWAYS wear ear protection

One of the safety rules of shooting should certainly be that the shooter wears efficient ear protection at all times. Take a cavalier attitude to protecting your hearing and you risk profound deafness and the lifelong misery of tinnitus with all the discomfort, annoyance, dizziness and disorientation that comes with…