explaining shotgun bore sizes

What’s the right shotgun bore for you?

What should you do if you want to buy a shotgun which will be used mainly for vermin control (pigeons, crows, magpies and rats), together with rough shooting and the occasional crack at clays. A reader asked me a question  about choosing shotgun bore a while back, recalling that a…

diet for working dogs

What’s the healthiest diet for working dogs?

I’m often asked by owners of gundog breeds what they should be feeding their dogs. They want to know all about the healthiest diet for working dogs. Here are some of the questions I’m asked and here’s what I say. Are all brown kibble diets bad? You simply cannot lump…

Lady Gun

Browning 525 Liberty Light

My shooting career started way back in 2005 and I have always shot ‘off the shelf’ guns, although these days they have a custom fit stock. These guns are designed largely for male shooters, so getting the chance to try the Browning 525 Liberty Light, which has been designed specifically…

shotgun cartridge wads

Shotgun wads explained – here’s what you need to know

Besides checking our shotgun cartridges are loaded with the correct shotgun wads type to comply with the rules of the ground we are shooting on, it’s likely we don’t give much thought to that small item between powder charge and shot load. Prior to the introduction of plastic, all wads…

Browning Maxus II

Browning Maxus II

  The Browning Maxus was released in its original form in 2009 and we have seen a number of variations to the cosmetics of that model over the years but no major changes in design or build. The Browning Maxus II however is a completely new look, new feel semi-auto…

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…

Baikal guns

My first gun – a Baikal single-barrel 12-bore

I’m proud to say that my first gun was a Baikal. People may smirk but it carries a weight of nostalgia. Although strictly speaking my Baikal single-barrel 12-bore was not my first shotgun. That honour goes to a BSA Snipe, a single-barrel shotgun given to me by my cousin Geoff Hoyle.…

no trespassing

Trespassing law: how should you deal with trespassers?

Trespassing law Q: I have a question about trespassing law. We were out pigeon shooting when we were confronted by three trespassers. They refused to leave when asked and were a right nuisance. We videoed them and called the police, who said trespass was a civil matter and there was…

how to clean a shotgun

How to clean a shotgun

At the end of a shooting lesson I usually give some time to show a pupil how to clean a shotgun. It’s an important part of gun maintenance.  Whilst professional shotgun cleaning at the end of the season is always worthwhile, every shooter should know how to clean a shotgun…

lesson in clayshooting competitions

Clayshooting competitions: Here’s how to shoot your way to success

When I’m preparing a relatively new clayshooter for clayshooting competitions my lessons follow a certain format. Once we have gun, clay cartridges, hearing and eye protection sorted we get straight out onto the ground. A lesson in clayshooting competitions We begin shooting a few easy targets to warm up and…

river otter

Is the river otter a victim of its own success?

One of the biggest wildlife success stories of the past 30 years has to be the reintroduction of the river otter to the UK. When river quality started to improve after organochlorine farm chemicals were banned in the 1980s, the Otter Trust got to work releasing animals at selected sites…

woman learning to shoot

Gun recoil – what causes it and how to avoid it

Unfortunately many people are put off shooting early in their career due to having a bad experience with gun recoil. That is a shame, because gun recoil is definitely manageable so that it doesn’t present a problem to the shooter. The trick is to fit the gun and the shooter…

teaching leave it command to dog

The ‘leave it’ command – how to teach it to a young dog

There are some commands your gundog can be taught from an early age and will stay with him for the rest of his career. Sit, stay, heel, come are a few of the more common ones. But the ‘leave it’ command is the one that if you can condition your…

Shooting pigeons

Pigeon shooting accessories – Geoff Garrod on what you really need

Having a lot of pigeon shooting accessories isn’t for me. It might be what some pigeon shooters want but I’d rather depend on the 40 years of fieldcraft and knowledge that I’ve built up. And if I do have kit, I prefer the simple. Essential pigeon shooting accessories First off,…

Rabbit clay target

How to hit the rabbit clay target

The dreaded rabbit clay target. It’s the one that most shooters dread and come unstuck by. You’ll hear clayshooters moan and groan about one as they walk to the stand. Then the excuses start and they’re talking themselves into missing as the elusive rabbit rolls along the floor. So what’s…

best clayshooting cartridges

We looked for the best clay cartridges around – here’s what we found

Nowadays there is a whole selection of cartridges designed specifically for clays. Some are general-purpose, some for specific disciplines like trap and skeet and some are dedicated competition cartridges for 12-bore, 20-bore, .410 and even 28-bore. The golden rule for finding the best clayshooting cartridges is to pick the one…

Alcohol, guns and the law

We’re asked whether we abuse alcohol when we apply for a shotgun certificate or firearms licence. I was reading this and I started thinking about drinking and guns. All responsible shooters should protect the reputation of their sport and think carefully about the mix of alcohol, guns and the law.…