Clay Pigeon Shooting – A Novice’s Guide

There are many recreational pastimes people across the UK enjoy every week. One of these, which has seen a surge in popularity over recent years is clay pigeon shooting. The number of people who go clay pigeon shooting has perhaps risen due to the public’s awareness being piqued during the Olympic Games. So if you are interested in having a go and starting this new hobby what should you expect and where should you go to give it a try?

There are a huge number of shooting grounds located right across the UK, with many offering courses or tester events for the shooting novice. Before you contact or go to any of these grounds there are a few questions you might want answering.

Will I need a license to shoot a shotgun?

Most shooting centres will not require you to have a licence to shoot a shotgun as they’ll hold a Police Exemption Certificate which allows them to teach novice shotgun users. However there are some exceptions to this policy such as no alcohol must have been consumed prior to the event. If in doubt give your local shooting range a call and they’ll be able to discuss your specific requirements.

Can I still shoot if I wear glasses?

A person should not be handicapped if they have to wear glasses as most shooting centres will be able to accommodate people with impaired vision.

What clothing should I wear while shooting?

Most shooting grounds will be able to lend you a shooting jacket, but this is really not needed. If you dress for the weather conditions and wear sensible footwear you should be able to partake.

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Will the shooting noise be too loud?

Everyone who goes clay pigeon shooting will have to wear ear protection. And on many shooting grounds it is compulsory. There are usually a range of different types of ear protection available with some shooting grounds using the new speech enhancing ear protectors which block out the noise of the gun but pick out someone talking.

Will the gun hurt my shoulder?

Many people are put off clay pigeon shooting because of the fear that the gun recoil will hurt their shoulder. This should not happen if you are instructed correctly. A shotgun will only hurt your shoulder if it has not been fitted to you correctly, if you’ve not been shown how to hold it properly or if the cartridges installed are too powerful. Professional instructors at shooting grounds across the UK should be able to tutor you how to hold the gun correctly to prevent recoil. If necessary gel shoulder pads can be used to protect the shoulders of petite or slightly built participants.

Will the instructor tell me how to stand and what to do?

Yes, of course, the instructor will tell you everything you need to know before you pull the trigger. Your instructor will give you tips on a good starting position and how to keep your eyeline down the barrel of the gun. They will have a wealth of knowledge and be sure to help you enjoy the experience.

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