night vision versus the lamp

Night vision versus the lamp

With nightvision shooting equipment becoming ever more popular, Ian Valentine asks the experts to weigh the latest green-tinted scopes against more traditional plug-in lamps

wildfowling seasons

Wind, wigeon and heritage

At last, the wildfowling season has begun. My jacket steams in the shed, waders are caked in mud, a faint odour of samphire and salt lingers over the computer as I type. Best of all, truly wild birds hang in the garage. The wait has ended. Rain has arrived. A…

hand crafted firearm

The art of hand-crafted firearms

One of the most common statements heard when referring to famous engravers of the past is that they were “ahead of their time”. Engravers such as William Caslon, William Palmer and Henry ‘Harry’ Albert Kell, among others, made a huge impact in developing their craft. But if you were to…

measuring length of pull

How to measure your length of pull

Q: How important is length 
of pull of a stock on a rifle? 
It makes a difference on my shotguns in handling, so will 
it do the same with my rifle? A: That’s a good question. We 
all know that with a shotgun handling, fit and balance make 
an enormous…

pointers dog breed

The history of the pointer

When someone tells me they own a pointer I always have to ask what sort. Usually it turns out to be a German shorthaired pointer, as this is the most numerous pointing breed in the shooting field today, but strictly speaking a pointer is a pointer. Pointers are grouped with…

pot roasted pheasant

Pot roasted pheasant recipe by Rick Stein

Many will not associate Rick Stein with game so much as seafood but he is a master of all things wild and wonderful in the kitchen. This apparently simple recipe needs careful execution. I recommend using cock birds because the stronger flavour and slightly tougher meat, even early in the…

Remington Model 700 Mountain SS

Remington Model 700 Mountain SS reviewed by Shooting Times

There is a perception with shooters that bigger is better but I’m not so sure about that — after 40 years of stalking and shooting, I like to be as efficient as I can. That means packing as little as I can get into hand luggage on an overseas trip,…

Arthritis in dogs

Are chocolate Labradors poor retrievers?

I was asked recently about my opinion on a dog’s eye colour. The inquirer felt if a Labrador had light-coloured eyes, it was more prone to be skittish and wild. It was something I had never even considered. I have always preferred a Labrador with darker pigment around their eyes…

English springer spaniels

My trained English springer spaniel isn’t listening anymore

Q: I bought a one-year-old trained English springer spaniel (ESS) last year and he was good out shooting last season, hunting and retrieving well when I was shooting on my own and when I took him beating. I was called abroad to work this summer for six months and when…

eco-friendly shooting picking up cartridges

How to be an eco-friendly shooter

  Eco-friendly shooting There is always something shoots can do to improve things and help reduce any negative effects we might be having on the environment, however small. In and around release pens A release pen should look pretty much the same when 
the birds are released after three or…

driven shooting

The origins of driven shooting

Throughout the UK and Europe, driven shooting has become one of the most popular facets of our sport. According to BASC, of the 600,000 people who hold shotgun certificates, more than 55 per cent shoot driven game. The release of game for sporting purposes, involving pheasants and mallard, began in…

spaniel retrieves a pheasant

Gameshooting in Wiltshire – sport as it’s meant to be

Say what you will but I don’t always wear a tie in the field, remember to fill out my game book, nor ever really use my side-by-side. I am not a traditionalist and yet, as I looked down the line at well-dressed Guns, silhouetted against the clear Wiltshire sky with…

Beretta A400 Upland 12-bore

Beretta A400 Upland 12-bore

It seems to be the season 
to review semi-automatics, 
with the latest offering — 
a new A400 Upland 12-bore 
— coming from Beretta. This one is a little sexed up compared with our last two camouflaged offerings, with a wooden stock and nickel-plated action, complete with some pheasant and partridge…

shotgun cartridge history

The evolution of the shotgun cartridge

I am going to concentrate on shotgun cartridge history and how it got to be what it is today — the cheap, waterproof, reliable, effective, safe and consistent item on which we all rely to deliver success, whatever target we engage. After all, a gun, however expensive and sophisticated, is only…

spaniel with hen pheasant

Do spaniels smell more than Labradors?

Q: I would like a springer or working cocker spaniel to train as a gundog, but my father is not keen. My grandparents had a show-strain cocker who was a lovely dog but she really smelled, no matter what my grandparents did to try to stop it. Should I get…

lead shot to steel

Is it time to move away from lead shot to steel?

We were deep in a ditch on the Orkneys. There was a tumbling grey northern sky above us and an icy wind. The peninsula’s greylag goose population was not playing ball. They went to the right 
of us, they went to the left, they landed on the barley 100 yards…

Breda 3.5in Super Magnum

Breda 3.5SM Kyrptek Mandrake

This month’s gun on test is a 12-bore with a pretty impressive name: Breda 3.5in Super Magnum in Kryptek Mandrake camouflage. Researching the camouflage pattern revealed it’s designed for hunting in dark timber or Georgia pines and excels in dark forest surroundings or the jungle. I’m not sure the average…