How To Get Into Clay Pigeon Shooting
Want to improve your aim and accuracy? Fancy getting into shooting with a non-live target? There are countless reasons to try clay pigeon shooting, from relaxation to honing your technique, so we’ve rounded up the beginner tips you’ll definitely need to know.
Hold Your Gun Safely
Even for old hands, reinforcing the importance of safety is a good idea, and for newcomers it’s utterly essential. The golden rule? ALWAYS treat a closed gun like it’s loaded, even if you know it’s not. What’s more, never aim it close to others or yourself.
No matter what type of gun you’re shooting or what type of target you’re aiming at, it’s also important to go equipped with shooting insurance, to keep yourself and others safe.
Finding Your Dominant Eye
Finding your dominant eye will help you work out whether you’re a left handed or right handed shooter, and whether you should shoot with one eye or both eyes open. The ratio tends to be oddly gender specific, with about two thirds of men having a dominant right eye, and two thirds of women their left.
To work it out, bring your two hands together to create a triangle like the image below. Then centre an object near you in the triangle. Close your left eye. If the object stays in the triangle, you have a dominant right eye. If not, it’s your left.
Reading The Clay
Once you’ve got your dominant eye sorted, the best thing you can do is to watch some clays being fired to see how they rise and fall. One of the most popular tricks is to follow the flight of it with your finger (from a distance of course) – known as ‘reading the clay’. If you get your eyes used to tracking how the target moves in the air, you’ll have a better change of hitting them when you come to shoot.
You know your safety essentials. You know which eye is your dominant one. You’ve practised watching the clay to get a good read on it once it’s fired. Now all that’s left is to try shooting some!
Make sure you’ve got a good coach, and remember most of all to have fun. It can be a frustrating and competitive sport at times, but there’s nothing like nailing a clay target at its apex and watching the pieces scatter in front of you. Get out there and show us what you’ve got!
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