Start Shooting Advice
If you want to take up shooting, then your best starting point is to join a local club or contact a shooting school. All of the main shooting associations will be able to put you in contact with a local club or school.
…But which type of shooting would you like to try? Let’s start by looking at the main types of shooting
Airgun shooting is very popular and there are many types and makes of airguns available in the UK. During the past 20 years, the quality of airguns has improved vastly, with the UK leading the world in airgun design. Modern guns are also very reliable.
Airguns can cost from around £100 to well over £1000. Airguns can be used for shooting at paper targets (the traditional ‘Bulls eye’) and metal ‘knockover’ targets that fall over when hit. Airguns are also widely used for pest control.
If you want to take up airgun shooting, then in the first instance you should join a club.
Shotguns are used for shooting at moving targets. This is because, unlike airguns or rifles that fire a single pellet or bullet, a shotgun discharges a large number of very small pellets (called shot) which spread out as they move through the air.
Clay pigeon shooting is very popular, and it is also a sport at which the UK consistently wins medals at the Olympics. The larger clay clubs and grounds will have qualified instructors on hand to teach you how to shoot, and they will also have all the equipment you need available to borrow. If you shoot at a recognised club or shooting ground you do not need a shotgun certificate, providing you don’t own a gun and don’t intend to carry cartridges.
Shotguns are also used for shooting live quarry such as pigeons, pheasants, and rabbits. No one should ever shoot a live animal unless they are skilled with a shotgun, and are familiar with all the safety aspects of shooting in the field.
Rifle shooting takes two forms – small bore and full bore. Small bore rifles are used mainly for target shooting at paper “bulls eye” targets. Many clubs run competitions, both within the club and between local clubs. There are also national and international competitions.
Small bore rifles can also be used for pest control on the smaller pest species (such as rabbits).
Full bore rifles are also used for target shooting – but at much longer ranges – up to several hundred metres. Again local, national and international competitions are available. Full bore rifles are also used for deer stalking.