AYA No 1 side by side

Want to improve your shooting? It is something we all aim for and every shooter could learn something new to refine their technique.

We asked Mark Heath, head instructor at West London Shooting School for some top tips. He has taught hundreds of people to shoot, both beginners and those who have been out in the field for years but who have fallen into bad habits along the way.

He says:

  • Don’t underestimate the need for concentration when shooting, as opposed to aggressive speed and lack of focus. Lacking concentration  will not get you anywhere.
  • Shooting large amounts of cartridges can become expensive. Instead invest in a couple of lessons with an instructor who can analysis your faults and correct them for the future. This will result in less cartridges being used to perfect your shot.
  • Having a well fitted gun is essential for this sport. If your gun is not shooting where you are looking you are playing shooting roulette. You may win and you may not.
  • Follow a pre-shot routine that works for you,  allowing you to build up your confidence and perfect your routine.
  • Find a cartridge that you have confidence in and stick to it! If you keep changing and are swayed by the  latest trend this will not help keep your consistency.

Read through the following articles for more tips on becoming a better Shot.

rough shooting kit

Tips to make you better at walked-up pheasant shooting

Have you been invited walked-up pheasant shooting for the first time? If so, congratulations because it’s a sought-after invitation. However it can be a daunting prospect for the beginner. On a walked-up shoot you don’t have total control of the birds and you don’t know how they will be presented,…

simulated game day

Get better at game on clays

It’s that time of year when an invitation to shoot rolls into the inbox and stings the average game Shot into confronting the fact they haven’t picked up a gun in something approaching a year. In the age of COVID-19, that might even be two years for some of us,…

preparing for the new season

Pheasant shooting tips

Looking forward to going out into the field in the next few weeks? I’ve compiled a list of pheasant shooting tips for you to follow, so that you can check your technique and that you are doing things correctly. (You might also like to read what to expect on your…


What to expect on your first day pheasant shooting

Wondering what to expect on your first day pheasant shooting? Tony Bracci, Bisley instructor, former keeper and Sporting Gun contributor advises: Do some research into where the shoot is, which will give you a clue on how the birds will be presented. Rolling hills or prime arable land? Don’t rely…

shoot pigeons with semi-auto

Walked-up shooting and the going away bird

For clay pigeon shooting enthusiasts and game shooters alike, walked-up shooting is making more and more sense. Here is how to prepare for typical going away targets.

What are the best barrel lengths for different shooting disciplines?

Does one size fit all when it comes to shotgun barrels? No it doesn’t. There are suitable barrel lengths for different shooting disciplines, whether you’re shooting a variety of types of clay target or live quarry. Get your choice right and your shooting will be helped. Get it wrong and…


Becoming a good all-round Shot: here’s what you won’t learn on the peg

What does it take to become a good all-round Shot? We can all advise accordingly on how to improve your shooting, whether that be practice, finding the right instructor for lessons or having your gun fitted. But there are things that can’t be learned at a clay ground or standing…

best clayshooting grounds

Best clayshooting grounds in the UK (according to our reviewers)

Clayshooting is increasingly popular as people want to enjoy an outdoor sport that is healthy, inclusive and accessible. Whether you’re a keen clayshooter who enjoys the challenge of the different clay disciplines or whether you’re first and foremost a game shooter who likes to keep their eye in out of…

shooting with both eyes open

Shooting with both eyes open – why it’s something to aim for

Out of season is the ideal time to work on improving your shooting technique and one of the questions I get asked frequently is about shooting with both eyes open. One eye or two? There are two different ways of shooting — monocular versus binocular — which basically means with…

Beads on shotguns

Beads on shotguns – do they mean you’ll shoot better?

Fore-sight beads on shotguns come in different colours – often red or green and are supposed to help with your eye dominance. But are they really necessary? If you find them a distraction, can you remove them? Shooting Times and Sporting Gun contributors gave their thoughts on the matter. Beads…

shooting pigeons

Practising for the next shooting season

For many, it must feel like you haven’t picked up a gun for months. For many game Shots, this could be the case, especially with the season being affected by COVID-19. Covid is no excuse for not picking up the gun, nor is a disjointed season. Regardless of what has…

air rifle shooting

How to make your airgun more accurate

Precise air rifle shooting The pursuit of precision is a big deal when it comes to air rifle shooting. Because air rifles have a relatively low power output, it is vital to be confident of landing your pellet in exactly the right place if you intend to shoot live quarry.…

shooting instruction

How to find the right shooting coach

In these strange times while we’re all still in lockdown, some of you may have found yourselves thinking about how to improve your shooting, as and when we can get back to some sort of normality. Shooting instructors This is a subject that infuriates the proper professionals. It is a…

disabled shooting

The most common mistakes on the shooting ground (and how to correct them)

So not  long now until you can get out on the clayshooting ground (29th March) and smash some clays. Most of us want will want to improve our shooting by addressing the common shooting mistakes we know we make. Follow these tips from Bisley instructor Tony Bracci and you’ll improve…

finger on gun trigger

Trigger freeze – or the ‘flinch effect’. Here’s how to cure it

Trigger freeze – also known as ‘flinching’ is becoming increasingly seen among shooters. For some Guns it only happens rarely, for others it increases over time. It can even cause some Guns to give up shooting altogether. What is trigger freeze or flinching? Flinching is the inability to pull the…

speed of birds in flight

Judging speed of birds

It’s only when you drive down a country road and you have a pigeon fly parallel with your moving vehicle that you come to appreciate its true cruising speed — and it’s not, as published, 35mph. When last I glanced at my speedometer in this situation, it read 48mph and…

clayshooting ground

Why you should learn to visualise your shots

Visualise your shots I want to explore the concept of learning to ‘visualise your shots’ and replicate the ‘picture’ we see at the moment the shot is taken and how our mind’s-eye view is better than trying to estimate any given lead value in feet and inches. How far? How…