Autumn is on its way; the light is changing fast and the available daylight is reducing. The temperatures are heading downward but that doesn’t make any difference to our enjoyment of going outdoors and clay shooting, especially with a group of friends. I always associate autumn with colourful hedgerows full of nature’s wild harvest with pheasants mooching around, the shooting dates in my diary and my gun.
In the cooler winter months, you need to put on a few layers of clothing but not too many, you don’t want to go shooting wrapped up in thick layers, and unable to move. If you have had your gun fitted this is one thing you need to be aware of, the layers of clothing will alter the fit. Personally, I don’t like to shoot wearing big thick jackets, whether I am on a peg or a stand I would much prefer to take my coat off and enjoy the freedom of movement because big, outer coats and jackets can be restrictive, and collars can get in the way of putting the gun stock up to your face. If a jacket alters your gun fit there is every chance you won’t be shooting that well because your face will not be on the stock and the gun may feel detached from your body. You certainly will not be seeing the right picture – you will be looking into a different area to where your gun is pointing. When you mount a gun you sit it in tight to your body, it fits into a spot just below your shoulder, you can feel it when it’s right. The gun has been altered to fit you correctly so that when you bring your head down it is one movement. You don’t, or you shouldn’t, have to spent time trying to get it right, and fidgeting with it. Mounting your gun should be a seamless, smooth movement but with thick jackets that will change.
Many of us a looking at shooting dates in our diaries for a day on the pheasants, and if you haven’t picked up your gun in a while you should get yourself along to the Nation Shooting Centre at Jawcraig, Falkirk. They have a vast choice of stands including simulated game. Ideal for getting yourself back into that familiar zone with your gun.
Clay shooting is one of the sports to be enjoyed by all, 365 days a year. It is ageless, there are no barriers if you are 16 or 80, and you can pick from a wide choice of disciplines to shoot. If you fancy upping your game, the National Shooting Centre regularly hosts competitions. This weekend, it is the All Round Scottish Championships on Sunday 16th September, the event is sponsored by Hull Cartridges and there are lots of money prizes (see poster).
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