Richard Daws, the winner of the Shooting Times AYA Centenary competition, has only been shooting for 18 months and in his first of a regular monthly blog for Shooting UK, he explains the challenges he has faced when deciding on what clothing to buy. Is a bargain really a bargain?
It is evident that clothing is a significant expense when you take up shooting. It is vitally important to choose the right stuff, as no outdoor sport is fun in inappropriate attire.
One advantage of the lengthy shotgun certificate application time was that I was able to buy the associated shooting accessories over a period of months rather than days.
There is only one real problem, where on earth do you start? In the 18 months or so since I began collecting/hoarding shooting equipment I have certainly learned from my mistakes!
Some shooting clothing in shops can seem quite expensive, so you naturally look online for a bargain.
Online shops can offer great discounts and seemingly unmissable deals, but if the clothes don’t fit then a bargain instantly becomes clutter and wasted money. As I have found out, sizes for clothing vary spectacularly, some items are labelled wrongly from the outset and a picture on the Internet can be very different from what turns up in the post.
As a newbie to shooting I wanted to ensure that I looked the part. Initially I decided that tweeds were the thing to buy and would help me to fit in. However, after four attempts at trying to get the right size from a bargain online store, my tweed collection was consigned to the loft. Not only were the items not comfortable but far too thick for the average British weather.
I didn’t want to pay the shop price for a Musto Waistcoat, so I bought an online alternative, which was OK but the poppers scratch the gunstock. Into the loft that has gone. I did manage to buy moleskin trousers online and a skeet vest from the Beretta e-store which was a big saving on shop prices. I also managed to get a great looking coat online for a bargain price, but after a year it is beginning to fall apart.
The moral of the story is buy what you want in the first place because trying to find lower cost alternatives can cost the same, or even more.
There is a happy ending however, the Musto vest I wanted has been acquired from William Evans, the shop ensured it fitted properly and were incredibly helpful and it was 60% off – a genuine bargain!
And of course, Coats 2 Syria will be receiving all of my worn once (or not at all) ‘bargains’ in the near future.