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.

Could these be your best-ever shooting sunglasses?

Wear a pair of KomodoPro sunglasses and you’ll never be able to blame your poor shooting on bright light and glare again. That is because they include the latest technology in the form of a solar powered microchip which reacts to the light instantly. Guaranteed for life Buy a pair…

Struggling with recoil

Five ways to be a better game shot

1. Have a relaxed and positive attitude Shooting requires what might be called relaxed concentration. According to psychologists, you need to be ‘aroused’ but not too hyped up to do your best work in most sporting tasks. Developing your natural hunting instincts can be helpful.  The best shots have fun,…


What are the best barrel lengths for different shooting disciplines?

In this article we look at the most suitable barrel lengths for shooting different types of clay target and live quarry, and how the appropriate choice can help or, indeed, hinder a shooter. This is intended to be a guide for newcomers to the sport, who often struggle to understand…

first day on a shoot

What to expect on your first day pheasant shooting

Wondering how your first day pheasant shooting is going to turn out? We asked some experienced shooters what novices should expect on their first day. An exciting buzz “All shoot day mornings are exciting. There is a buzz as you arrive for coffee and to draw pegs. Keepers, beaters, pickers-up,…

Tips for airgunners

5 tips for airgunners

Mat Manning offers five key tips for airgunners to improve their fieldcraft 1. Go on a reconnaissance mission Reconnaissance around your shooting permissions will help you to target the right places at the right time but all wildlife observation is beneficial — whether in the field, car, park or garden. Observing…

professional gun fitting with a try-gun

Will professional gun fitting help my shooting?

I would like to have the stock on my new Beretta Silver Pigeon professionally fitted because I don’t feel as though I am shooting as well with it as I should. I have never had a gun fitted before and wondered if you can you recommend a fitter with a…

Your first day in the field

In the fourth part of our Shooting Times series on how to become the Shot you’ve always wanted, in association with Hull Cartridge, Tom Payne is looking at how to approach your first day in the field – from how to stand on the peg to the proper way to…

shooting instruction

How do I keep my head on the stock?

Shooting technique and gun stocks Q: No matter how hard I try I can’t keep my head on the stock. According to a friend I invariably lift my head to ‘watch’ the target. How can I stop myself doing this? A: There could be a number of reasons why this…

Getting your footwork right

In the third instalment of our series on how to become the Shot you’ve always wanted to be, in association with Hull Cartridge, Tom Payne teaches you how to up your game whether it’s a right-to-left crosser, a left-to-right crosser or a pheasant soaring straight over your head. Episode 3…

clay pigeon shooting grounds near London

Clayshooting grounds just an hour from London

Whether you’ve always wanted to learn to shoot clays or need to brush up your technique with some lessons before going out in the field again, a trip to a clayshooting ground is always a good idea. We’ve picked out a selection of clay pigeon shooting grounds near London and…

gun mount practice

How to practise your gun mount at home

There is no substitute for regular gun mounting practise to achieve a smooth, fluent and efficient mount — bringing the comb up under the gun sight, aligning your shooting eye perfectly time after time. Exercises to practise your gun mount at home Use an unloaded gun and have a large…

How to hold a shotgun

How to hold a shotgun

I always watch the best shooters at our club and can't help but marvel at how easy they make everything look. They seem to have all the time in the world to mount the gun and break the clay.

How to achieve the perfect gun mount

In the second part of the Shooting Times series on how to become the Shot you’ve always wanted to be, in association with Hull Cartridge, Tom Payne looks at the holy grail of straight shooting – how to achieve a perfect gun mount. Gun mount. Episode 2 – how to…

going away bird on clay ground

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 in these financially difficult times. Mark tells you how to prepare for typical going away targets.

Eye dominance and how a gun works

In episode one of ‘How to be a better Shot’, instructor Tom Payne gives Patrick Galbraith, editor of Shooting Times,  a step-by-step tutorial on how a gun works and eye dominance.  The pair go back to basics in order to help Patrick conquer crossers and master high birds.  

Left eye dominance

Will I always need a patch for my left-eye dominance?

I'm a lady gun and have just begun shooting. I'm left-eye dominant and my instructor demonstrated that a small patch or piece of tape on the lens of my safety glasses would help with this problem.