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.

browning a covey

How top Shots minimise misses

Looking out of my window at a big cock bird picking his way down a hedge, just beyond my garden, it strikes me that I shot fewer days this season than in any other since childhood. In truth, it showed. Rather than getting into my stride, I frequently found myself…

missing shots

How to think positively on a shoot day

We’ve all been there. We were shooting perfectly well and then, on one drive, we inexplicably have the equivalent of a batting collapse. Just as perfectly competent batsmen seem incapable of performing even the most basic functions under increasing pressure and are sent back to the pavilion, so we cannot…

timing a shot

Am I rushing my second shot?

Q: I have started to struggle with hitting two birds on the trot with a slight gap between them. I often kill the first bird and miss the second, is there anything I can do that will help? A: You are clearly doing something right as you say you are…

walking Gun

Why the best Shots start out as rough shooters

Very often you will see a person’s true character when you drive game over them on a peg. It’s difficult for anyone to hide it. If you are greedy, lack respect for your quarry or have a tendency to moan, it’s likely to show. We can learn a lot about…

How can I reload my shotgun swiftly with cold, frozen fingers?

Q: Can you recommend a way to reload a shotgun quickly that does not compromise safety? I’m all thumbs when the weather gets colder and was wondering if a stuffer or a reloading aid would be a good idea? A: This is a question I am asked time and time…

Comb height on a shotgun

Five places to go clay pigeon shooting in Wiltshire

Wiltshire is a county of high downlands combined with wide valleys and offers shooters exciting variety. If you’re after somewhere to shoot clays in the country, here’s a list of shooting grounds in Wiltshire. We’ve deliberately included diverse experiences – some grounds are small and run by volunteers whilst others…

forward allowance

Why do you miss when shooting?

You will probably have heard it at some point on a clay ground from the back of the cage: “You’re behind it, mate.” While it is meant well, there is little more irritating than this kind of unsolicited comment. Another supposedly self-evident truth that is trotted out repeatedly on a…

driven shooting lesson

Here’s a driven shooting lesson to get you back in the field

Whether it’s Hampshire partridges or Devon high pheasants, let’s look at the techniques you need to master in this driven shooting lesson. The warm-up I’ll start my driven shooting lesson on the first stand where I would set up a regular driven target; let’s call it a warm-up stand. On…

best loads for high pheasants

Best loads for high pheasants

So what is a high pheasant? And what are the best loads for high pheasants? For normal mortals shooting cartridges with say 30gm of No 6 or 5 lead shot from their standard shotgun, a distance of 40 to 45yd is generally considered to be a decently high pheasant. The…

shooting clay pigeons

How to start clayshooting

So you've decided to venture onto a clay ground with a view to taking up the sport. Congratulations. It's a popular pastime for good reason, as you'll discover. 

driven shooting

How to address pheasants at different heights

Q: Can you give me any tips about how to avoid addressing straight driven pheasants too early? Whenever 
I saw a bird flying towards my peg last season, I mounted too early, took forever to get beyond the bird and then missed behind. A: The timing of shooting driven pheasants…

position for rifle shooting

Finding the best position for rifle shooting

There are various positions from which you can shoot a rifle. But which is the correct position for rifle shooting for you? Let’s take a look at some options and see how you can improve. Remember you should not immediately expect 1in groups at 100m from these positions. Check and…

pheasant shooting

How to shoot high pheasants

There aren’t many shortcuts in this game — shooting high pheasants takes practice. The only way to become really good at taking on those tall birds is to spend hours standing underneath them. That said, there are a few tricks of the trade that will set you on the path…

Tips for women shooters

10 top tips for women shooters

Shooting is becoming more popular with women every year. The most recent Home Office figures in 2019 showed an increase on the previous year of more than 1000 female shotgun certificate holders. So if you’re interested in joining the growing number of females going out into the field, how should…

improve clayshooting

Techniques and skills for hitting the target

Investigating and improving shooting techniques Going-away targets, low incomers and high crossers are what clayshooters frequently  want to investigate and improve, namely walked-up and driven grouse 
and pheasants. Straight lines The only targets that do not require the shot pattern to be placed ahead of the clay on its flightline…

flying pheasant

What is the best shotgun cartridge and choke combination for pheasant shooting?

The right shotgun cartridge and choke combination for pheasant shooting could transform your days this coming season. There have been some major advances in shotgun cartridge technology in the past couple of years. To protect the environment shooters should use fibre wads. The Eley Hawk VIP Game cartridge comes in 28,…

clay pigeon shooting grounds near London

Clayshooting grounds just an hour from London

The good news is that many clay grounds have recently reopened after lockdown and more are opening daily. Below we’ve rounded up clay pigeon shooting grounds near London. We’ve marked the ones that are open again at the time of writing. None take longer than an hour to get to…