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Thread: Starting out clay shooting advice

  1. #1

    Starting out clay shooting advice

    Hi all,
    I've decided this year to start clay shooting. I've never fired a shotgun before, so it's partly to give me some experience if in the future I get the chance to have a go at live quarry. But I'm hoping that it will become a hobby in its own right as well, especially as my local ground is almost within walking distance. I have no aspirations beyond getting good enough that I could take part in a day's game/vermin shooting without embarrassing myself.
    They do a novice "have a go" stand on a Sunday which is cheap and includes cartridges, gun, safety coach, etc. You just have to turn up. Once I've done that and decided whether or not I enjoy it, like the atmosphere, etc, what should be my next step? Is it the norm to take proper lessons or will practice on normal rounds be enough to start me off? Obviously I'm not expecting to be suddenly proficient after 20 targets on the have a go session, but neither do I want to become a champion. Mediocrity will do.
    Also, I won't be rushing out to buy a gun, but is there any advice for removing the confusion around chokes, chambers, barrel length, etc? Say I want a general purpose gun that will serve for a round of sporting clays, or a day in a pigeon hide or rough shooting, or maybe even a duck/goose flight, is there such a thing? Can it be had for under 250 second hand?

    Advice warmly welcomed as always, please forgive my naivety!
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
    Blog

  2. #2
    As with a rifle, shotgun fit is important. Secondly, before you get in too deep, work out which eye is your master eye. If your eye and hand don't match, you need to think long and hard about which shoulder to shoot off before starting to shoot.

    Have fun.

    JCS

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jcampbellsmith View Post
    work out which eye is your master eye. If your eye and hand don't match, you need to think long and hard about which shoulder to shoot off before starting to shoot.
    Best advice so far.
    Can you buy a suitable gun for 250, yes you can.
    Lessons are the best way forward, and take them before buying a gun.

    Neil.

  4. #4
    Hmm, looks like I'm cross-dominant, which is a shame as I'm way too right hand dominant to try and shoot off my left side. My left hand has the dexterity of an elephant's foot...
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY
    Blog

  5. #5
    As you are just starting a shooting instructor may well try and get you to shoot from the left shoulder assuming your right handed but left eye dominant. If you cant its not the end of the world, shoot right handed and just close your left eye at the last minute to check. Works for me

  6. #6
    I'm right handed but left eye dominant and like you have no hope of shooting left hand. I found one of the easyhit or bird buster fibre optic sights helped. They're not magic but definitely help.

  7. #7
    Be careful with the fibre optic sights, I used one for a while as I have the same problem however I found that after a while you start to unintentionally focus on the sight rather than on the bird or clay. I took mine off and just close left eye

  8. #8
    Regular Poster
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    After you have had a go on the try stand I would suggest a visit to Brierley Guns. They have a website with directions and it is just around the back of Merry Hill shopping centre. They will have a decent selection of second hand stuff for reasonable money, although probably not as cheap as on here and can get advice on choke and barrel length. They also do days for beginners at a reasonably local clay ground that covers gun fit, safety, etiquette and coaching. It's not cheap, but I found it really useful when I first started. Otherwise, you can borrow a gun at Kinver after you are signed off on the beginners stand and the 60 bird shoot is then 15 plus cartridges. As for buying your own gun, the norm will be a multi choke 28'' or 30'' barrel over under with 2 3/4'' or 3'' chambers (3'' may be better if you want to shoot geese), although fixed choke may be cheaper and I do virtually all my shooting with 1/4 and 1/2. If you want to have a go at the course, I will be there on the 25th from around 9.30am so you are welcome to join me and borrow my gun. As for cross dominance I'm afraid I don't really know as I am right hand right eye, but you could just try closing an eye, or otherwise look into one of those day glo ribs as I'm told they help.
    Alistair
    ps, no I'm not stalking you (no pun intended) I seem to recall you pm'ed me about something and Kinver came up as a local ground.

  9. #9
    As Alistair said, get yourself up Cross Gun Club, see Terry and ask about some lessons, they do private ones, and see how you go from there, I've his mobile no. if you want to give him a ring, don't start worrying about guns, chokes, barrel lengths and prices for the time being, just see if you like it first
    Crumpy

  10. #10
    Look up Carl Bloxam, he's not that far from you, and you wont get much better than him .

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