10 clay pigeon shooting safety tips

As clay pigeon shooting grows in popularity more and more throughout the UK, people are flocking (we love a good pun) to join in on this fantastic sport.

People are becoming more aware of the sport, appreciating the skill involved and enjoying testing themselves by experiencing new things on corporate away days and of course the odd stag or hen do here and there.

For those beginner shooters looking to take up the sport of clay pigeon shooting, you may feel a little daunted by the prospect of picking up a gun and firing it at a moving object especially with other people walking around, but by following the shooting safety tips and sticking to the rules, clay pigeon shooting is just as safe as a game of football.

So before you join the clay pigeon “hunt” keep these clay pigeon safety tips in mind and you’ll enjoy your day even more.

Shooting safety tips

#1 Ear protection

Rifles are extremely loud, and up close, they can really damage your hearing so make sure to take some high-quality hearing protection with you on the day or ask if the company you’ll be shooting with will provide any. A rifle reaches a volume of around 156 decibels (dB) which is louder than a jet engine at 140dB. Anything above 85dB will potentially damage your ears, so make sure ear protection is first on your list of equipment to take with you.

#2 Eye protection

As safe as guns are in the right hands, you still need eye protection. There are a myriad of different lenses to choose from in different colours that allow for better precision, but first and foremost you want to protect your eyes from any material or recoil hazards. Flying clay debris can cause serious damage so ensure you’re protected.

#3 Never drink alcohol before a shoot

You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t be tempted to drink and shoot. Alcohol may impair your reactions and your judgement, so don’t risk it.

#4 Never point a gun at someone else, even when it is not loaded

Even if you know the gun isn’t loaded, don’t point it at anyone. Aside from the fact it’s just common sense, there may be a cartridge stuck inside that you haven’t seen. Accidents can happen, so do your best to reduce them by acting sensibly.

#5 Only ever point your gun at a target

Point your gun at a target only. And when you’re not shooting, keep it pointed down range.

#6 Break your gun when walking around or talking

When you are walking around, talking to someone or taking a break, break your gun. This way you can’t accidentally shoot your rifle.

#7 Only load a gun when you want to use it

Leaving a loaded gun lying around is dangerous, so load the gun when and only when you want to use it.

#8 Treat a gun as if it is loaded at all times

Of course clay pigeon shooting is meant to be fun, but don’t forget that you are carrying a live weapon. Treat it with respect and act as if it is loaded at all time. Don’t point it at anyone and ensure it is broken when not in use.

#9 Wear good footwear

You may be walking across the moors or you may be in a grassy field, either way, you need sturdy footwear that will reduce slips and trips. Make sure you’re wearing shoes appropriate for the day.

#10 Take out clay pigeon shooting insurance

Clay pigeon and shooting insurance not only protects against the theft loss or damage of your equipment: it also gives you Public Liability cover, too. This means if you accidentally shoot someone or injure them whilst on the hunt or clay pigeon shoot, you are covered from having to pay out costly medical or legal bills. Cover with Gunplan starts from as little as £20 per year and insures you up to £10m in Personal Liability insurance.

Don’t risk it. Get a quote today.

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