shooting high birds

10 of the most challenging drives in the British Isles

Beeches, Brixton Deverill, Wiltshire This shoot is one for the connoisseurs and Kim Beddall has any number of fine drives across three beats. Shooting Gazette correspondent John Walker said: “While Abyssinia may be the most famous, it is the Beeches drive on the Sutton Veny beat that will test the…

Getting lead right in shooting

I want to understand more about lead and targets

Q: I want to try and understand more about lead. Some people say give the target 5ft while others say a couple of inches. Can you help me see the light?  A: The differing amounts of lead that people see on targets can be one of the most talked about subjects in the shooting…

pigeon flying

Will Garfit on cartridges for pigeon shooting

A recent question from a reader asked what cartridges I used for pigeon shooting. The answer is simple: Gamebore Velocity, 28gram loaded with No.7½ shot. But the explanation for my choice is more complicated and requires some explanation. A miss is a miss I am no cartridge or ballistics geek…

castles offering shoot days

Stately British castles offering shoot days

Game shooting: From Arundel, Belvoir and Highclere to Caerhays, Alnwick and Mulgrave, the UK has some of the finest castles in the world, many of which offer game shooting.

Shooting birds in the field

The top 10 shooting excuses

1.The sun was in my eyes… This is a classic, especially among partridge shooters in, as it might be, October when the sun tends to hang low in the sky of a morning. Step one, of course, would be to slip on a pair of sunglasses. Really good sunglasses, mind…

Femmes Fatales clayshooting club

Catching up with the Femmes Fatales clayshooting club

How did you first get in to shooting? “I began shooting clays a few years after starting work at Gamebore – I thought it would be a good way to learn about our products. Although I didn’t properly get the shooting bug until I had a particularly fun day out with Rachel Carrie and a…

pair of Purdeys heirloom shotgun

What’s best? A family heirloom or a new shotgun?

Ben Samuelson chooses a family heirloom shotgun For the last 20 years I have shot with my late father’s 12 bore and, while I wish he was still using it, I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else. Firstly, I suppose I should point out that it doesn’t work terribly well. My father boxed for…

Miroku MK 60 Sporting Grade 5

Miroku MK 60 Sporting Grade 5

One of the very great pleasures of reviewing shotguns (aside from the obvious) is the experience of visiting Elderkin and Son in Spalding. Not just because I am sure of a comfy spot on the sofa and a cup of tea, but because I get to watch so many people going through the process of buying a shotgun from…

DIY shoot beaters

Tax and the DIY shoot

Many shoots on farms and estates, with just a modest number of shoot days taken by family and friends, will be run as DIY shoots and private affairs and very much outside the scope of tax and VAT. But there may also be thoughts as to whether the shoot could make money if placed on a commercial footing. Points…

shotgun certificate

Can I do anything to speed up getting my shotgun certificate?

Q: In light of the huge delays in processing shotgun certificate renewals in some counties (Lincolnshire for example) what is your advice to help speed up the process of receiving my shotgun certificate? I call and call but just get fobbed off… A: This is a widespread problem. Whilst some forces are excellent others are woefully inefficient. Lincolnshire in particular has…

Vintage luggage

8 key things you need to know before you take a gun abroad

A: Firstly congratulations. It’s on my bucket list. I very much like the idea of enjoying a little early sunshine, shooting and eating a little jamon Ibérico washed down with some manzanilla. Let us know how you get on. If you are going with a sporting agent they will normally make all the necessary arrangements to take a gun…

AYA No.2 28 bore

AYA No.2 28 bore

Spanish gunmaker Aguirre y Aranzabal (AYA) admits that “a true work of art does not simply appear out of thin air”. The more cynical amongst you might chuckle at this seemingly tacit admission that much of the output of its Eibar factory has been inspired by the work of craftsmen – particularly English craftsmen – who came before. This, however, is…

Shooting with choke

Should I change chokes on high bird days?

A: In more recent years it has become fairly standard practice for over-unders to be multi-choked, thereby opening up a dilemma for many shooters about what choke to use. I think this decision is best made by answering the following three questions: what are you going to be shooting, over what distances, and more importantly, with what cartridges? Thinking about the…

Game bird

What makes a game bird fly well on shoot days?

What makes our game birds fly well one day only to perform poorly the next? No one wants low birds that present little challenge and result in an inedible carcass along with a feeling of ‘really, what is the point?’ At the opposite end of the scale, the cruelty of excessive-range shooting is not only unacceptable but leaves a similar…

Pigeon shooting days

Pigeon shooting influenced by Syd Barrett?

There are two difficulties for me in writing this story. Firstly, while readers love tales of everything going wrong, this happens to be an unashamed success. Secondly, while it is immodest to write about one’s own performance, this was so extreme that, like an out-of-body experience, it was not me but someone in my dreams shooting in my…

on grouse moor

How the grouse debate was won

More than two years of hard campaigning by those who wanted to see driven grouse shooting banned has ended in complete failure. Securing parliamentary time for their issue was more than the anti-shooting campaigners dared hope for when they launched their latest petition to ban driven grouse shooting, and their excitement was palpable. The activists’ hopes were dashed however when what seemed…

Will Garfit chooses dream pigeon shooting team

Will Garfit’s dream pigeon shooting team

The first would have to be the late Archie Coats, father of modern pigeon shooting. He was like a sporting father to me as friend, tutor and influence, for better or for worse. He was a superb shot using his Webley 700 boxlock, side-by-side, with nimble footwork, fast reactions and intense concentration for the opportunity of a safe shot at whatever quarry entered…

pheasant drive

What’s better? A big last drive or a big first drive?

Big last drive By Ben Samuelson It shouldn’t really come as any surprise that a lot of shooting folk are also worshippers at the gentle church of cricket. Both involve a lot of very civilised waiting around with the soothing balm of a glass or two of something being applied to ease the pain. Both…

Man with shot load in field

Pellet size and shot load – due an increase?

A: The debate on shot size is always an interesting one and many people, particularly of my father’s generation, grew up shooting nothing but Eley Impax 28gram No.7s at everything. Now I come across lots of people who shoot nothing but 36gram No.4s as their standard load, from September partridge to January pheasants! Cartridges must be fit for purpose The…

Beretta 690 Field I

Beretta 690 Field I reviewed by Shooting Gazette

It is a natural human instinct to have favourites even when we are told we really shouldn’t. Though you might happily wear a smile and tell your difficult teenage daughter that of course she’s your favourite child as she attempts to shake you down for an extra £20 for the weekend, we all know that if it came down to…