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Game shooting instruction

Twenty top tips for partridge shooting

Author: Simon Ward

Invaluable tips that could transform your partridge shooting success.

Over tall hedges and shelter belts 1: Guns and ammunition Either side-by-side or over-under, calibre 28, 20, 16 or 12-bore. Barrel length: 25”-30”. Choke: Open chokes between improved and half. Ammunition: Felt wads - 28 gauge, 21gram-28gram, number 6 shot; 20 gauge, 21gram-28gram number 6-7 shot; 12 gauge, 24gram-30gram, number 6-7 shot. 2: Keep the noise down Try to be quiet as you walk to your peg, i.e. shooting position in the line. Refrain from slamming car doors...

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How to shoot clays to improve your game shooting

Top game shooting instructor Simon Ward offers his advice for making the most of your visits to the shooting ground.

How you approach your trips to your local clay ground will depend entirely on where you want to take your game shooting. There is nothing to stop you from having fun while you are there, but the key is to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve, and a structured plan. And rather than thinking of it as practice, think of it as training; if you want to make the most of it, you need to take it seriously. Any shooting you do, whether it is at clays, pigeons or game, will ultimately...

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Which gun for high pheasants?

Author: Chris Batha

When it comes to tackling extreme range pheasants, bigger does not always mean better

In my years as a sporting agent, shooting instructor, gunmaker and gun fitter, I have often been amazed, both in the field and at shooting grounds, at a client's choice of gun when, often, their choice is actually handicapping their efforts to achieve consistent, straight shooting. This mismatching of gun to bird has been exacerbated by the current fashion for uber-high pheasant shoots where birds in excess of 60 yards are considered fair game. When looking for a suitable shotgun to...

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External factors that can effect shooting performance

Author: Simon Ward

Gunfit, gunmount, footwork, timing and follow through are all paramount to good shooting, but if due attention is not paid to the other variables on a shoot day, you might find yourself walking back to the gunbus feeling nonplussed.

Just as with any sport, preparation is key to consistently good performance when game shooting. In this issue, however, rather than focus on the minutiae of technique, we shall consider those variables which really should be quite obvious but so often catch game Shots out. Gunfit, gunmount, footwork, timing and follow through are all paramount to good shooting, but disregard the variables below, and you’ll be kicking yourself. Wind speed and direction Being aware of the wind speed...

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Five wildfowling tips

Father and son Jeremy and Guy Westmoreland share their top tips for improving success at wild fowling. Plus, they identify exactly what kit you need to take along with you.

1. SAFETY COMES FIRST As with all forms of shooting, safety should be your number one priority. If you are an inexperienced wildfowler, or do not know the marsh you are heading to like the back of your hand, you must go with someone who does. Remember, you will be out there in a tidal zone, an inherently dangerous place, in the dark. You can easily find yourself in the wrong place on an incoming tide and, before you know it, you are stranded with no way of getting back to dry land. And each...

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Gun fitting with Simon Ward

Simon Ward on the simple route to better shooting – getting your gun fitted. Here he explains the benefits of having a gun that fits you properly and what to look out for.

The Greats always knew it, but increasingly more and more shooters are discovering that gunfit holds an important key to good shooting. That said, having a gun professionally fitted will only be of real benefit if you have learnt to consistently mount your gun smoothly and accurately onto a moving object. Physiologically, we are all different, so, in an ideal world, we would all shoot with bespoke gunstocks, built to fit our own unique shape and dimensions. However, this option isn't...

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Shot strings explained

Author: Simon Ward

There's more to a pattern of shotgun pellets than you might think.

It is a fair assumption that most people who shoot rarely consider shot string. Yes, they may think of the pattern and the speed at which it travels. But the pattern to most mind's eyes is a plate-shaped circle, with hopefully not too many holes in it. This is precisely what you see when you test a gun on a pattern plate. You get a pretty good idea of how your gun and cartridge combination are performing. But not entirely. For as the pellets fly through the air, they not only do so in...

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The ten most common game shooting faults

As a professional game shooting instructor and vastly experienced game Shot, Simon Ward has seen every conceivable game shooting fault in the book. But over the years, he has identified 10 that seem to crop up more often than others.

1. Bird selection The fault: Something I see a lot, particularly with less experienced Guns, is poor bird selection – i.e. picking the first bird that comes into sight and then sticking with it, so that by the time it is in-range, it is often over a neighbouring peg or out of range. As a consequence, when you take the shot, your feet are in the wrong place and you end up in an unnatural, contorted position, resulting in a miss, more often than not behind or off-line. The fix: The key is...

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