springer spaniel puppy

My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. What can I do about it?

Q: My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. No amount of cleaning seems to make a difference. Any suggestions? I’m worried they may lead to more spaniel ear problems. A: Neil says: Yes, stop what you are doing. You are probably making the situation worse. We need to go back to…

gun insurance

Is comprehensive insurance really necessary for sporting guns?

Should you get gun insurance? No, says Robin Scott. It would be worth splashing the cash each year if I had a gun that was eye-wateringly expensive or rare. I don’t. My English guns are nicely made and lovely to use but they’re not front-row specimens and don’t do a…

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus

Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus

I’ll be honest with you, the first thing I noticed about the Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus was the price. At £2,195 it is not cheap for a semi-auto. Regular readers will know I like value for money. That’s not saying I just like economy – I don’t. If I have…

make biltong

How to make biltong

One of the few advantages of the lockdown has been that many outstanding projects have finally been completed. One of these was to build a permanent drying box to make biltong. Biltong is tasty dried and cured meat that originated as trail food in South Africa at a time when…

snap caps

Some questions about snap caps

Q: I am new to shooting and I keep hearing the term ‘snap caps’. What are they? A: Snap caps protect your gun by relieving the stress on your firing pins when you are ‘dry-firing’ (that is when you are firing your gun without live ammunition). You might do this…

dog scavenging

How can I treat my gundog’s diarrhoea? What causes it?

Q: “Can you explain to me why my gundog gets a stomach upset? What causes diarrhoea in dogs and how can I stop my gundog getting it? Diarrhoea in dogs – the symptoms and the causes Diarrhoea is defined as increased water content of faeces, leading to changes in frequency…

improve clayshooting

Five things to do to get your clayshooting back up to scratch again

After lockdown some of us will have lost our ‘edge’ and will need to improve clayshooting skills again. Almost all of us will be out of practice. Here I will highlight a few of the more common tendencies and unwelcome techniques that are likely to show up and catch us…

Simulated game day

Just how good is a simulated game day?

I wanted to know whether a simulated game day can ever be as good as a full-on game shoot, or is it just a glorified form of clayshooting? So I booked an afternoon’s sim shoot at Dovey Valley and then went on a driven shoot the next day to give…

roe deer bark

What do the different barks of a roe deer mean?

A colleague contacted me last week and told me about a roebuck that had barked at his presence in the wood, only to keep approaching him at a distance of about 30m to take a closer look. On identifying him it ran off, and he then heard the roe deer…

second-hand Steyr Mannlicher Pro Hunter

Taking a look at a used Steyr Mannlicher Pro Hunter

Should you buy a second-hand Steyr Mannlicher Pro Hunter? The gun was hailed as a major move away from the traditional Steyr Mannlicher market when it first appeared in the late 1990s. With a modern, robust, almost military design and high-density composite stock, it was a far cry from the…

proof marks on shotgun

Proof marks, serial numbers and how to re-proof a gun

A frequently asked question in our postbag is “how old is my gun or can I date my gun from its serial number?” It’s usually asked by somebody who has just bought a second-hand gun or who is considering it. The guns in question are usually around 20 years old…

looper clay

How to read the clay target

Even with the best technique in the world, to succeed at a high level you must be able to size up a target in seconds.

best clayshooting cartridges

13 of the best clayshooting cartridges reviewed

Forty or so years ago when clayshooting wasn’t as big as it is now shooters used whatever cartridges were around. Then clayshooting started to really catch on and now there is a whole host of cartridges specially designed for smashing clays. Dedicated competition cartridges are available for 12-bore, 20-bore, .410…