If you’re beginning your foray into the world of clay pigeon shooting, you might be feeling a little daunted by the prospect of learning how to shoot let alone learning how to shoot a moving target!
But fear not, clay pigeon shooting is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding gun sports that you can take part in. With solid initial instruction, the creation of good habits and starting your shoot with respect for the sport, the gun and your surroundings, you’ll find your feet in no time.
Here at gunplan, we’ve put together a little beginner’s guide to clay pigeon shooting. Here are our top tips you need to know before you load up.
#1 Safety first
If you haven’t held a gun before, the first things your instructor will take you through is gun safety, respect for the gun and respect for the people around you. You’re holding a deadly weapon, so treat it with respect.
Never ever point a closed rifle within 45 degrees, loaded or unloaded at someone else. You should never point a gun at something you are not willing to shoot. When you are carrying your gun, make sure you “break” it as this means your gun cannot be fired and reduces any risk of accidental injury.
#2 Identify your dominant eye
You need to determine whether you’re shooting left or right handed and if you will be shooting with one eye or both eyes open. 4 out of 5 men have what’s known as a right “master eye” and 4 out of 5 women have a left master eye. If however, you can shoot with both eyes open, this will give you a major advantage as your depth perception will be far better.
This is the easiest way to find out which is your master eye:
- Pick an object across the room
- Point at it
- Close your left eye
If the object is still at the end of your finger you are right eye dominant. If it moves away you are left eye dominant. This will determine which eye you will use to aim.
#3 Pick the right gun
Gun selection is extremely important when you begin your journey into the world of clay pigeon shooting. Your instructor will help you determine which gun is the correct one for you so don’t worry too much about what you need just yet.
Your instructor will get you to hold a variety of guns and ask you how they feel. Just be honest with yourself and the instructor, if something doesn’t feel right tell them – there’s no point attempting to shoot with a gun that is too heavy for you.
Your instructor will look at a number of different factors when helping you choose a gun, namely:
- Which hand you favour
- The weight of the gun
- Overall configuration
If you’re unsure, just ask. Your instructor is here to help and no one will ever criticise you for asking questions or declaring that something doesn’t feel right. Safety is paramount after all, so be honest.
#4 The correct clothes are important
Don’t turn up to a shoot with flip flops, shorts and a baseball cap. You need the correct clothing that is appropriate for the weather as well as the appropriate safety gear. Sturdy footwear whilst holding a gun is essential – a slip or trip whilst holding a loaded gun could be disastrous. Take eye protection and ear protection with you and make sure this is always in your kit bag.
#5 Have fun
Clay pigeon shooting should be fun, so approach your first day ready to learn everything you can and enjoy hitting those speeding targets. Be patient and don’t get too frustrated if you don’t hit too many targets on your first day, no one is looking at you – we all start somewhere.
#6 Insure against personal liability
Clay pigeon shooting is just as safe as any sport when people follow procedure and observe safe practices at all times, but that doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen.
Insure against personal liability with specialised clay pigeon insurance from gunplan today and make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident on the field or at the range. Cover starts from as little as £20 and protects you and your equipment for a whole year. Why take the risk?