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10 Things to do With Your Lockdown Time.

With all this spare time on your hands, what are you up to? Walking? Running? Reading? These activities are great ways to spend your time under lockdown, but why not dust up on your shooting skills? In this blog post, we’ll provide you with the ten best things you can do right now to hone your skills and impress your mates.


1. Clean all your guns, not just your favourite!


If you’ve neglected your guns all winter, now is the perfect time to give them some maintenance. Get your hands on a patch holder, a bore brush, a cleaning rod, and some solvent/lubricant then follow these simple steps for a gun that looks as good as new:


- Make sure your workspace is well ventilated and suitable. Clean the surrounding area and get the rifle cleaning mat out! Then check and double-check that your gun is unloaded.


- Disassemble the gun (no more than the manufacturer recommends) and separate all the parts for easy cleaning. 


- Next, clean the barrel with a cleaning rod, solvent-soaked patch and bore brush, then lubricate the barrel with a gun conditioner.


- Thoroughly clean the bolt and chamber, as well as the remaining components.


- Wipe the gun down with a luster cloth. If you don’t have access to a luster cloth, you could use any old sock that doesn’t need reusing.


- Assemble the gun and it should look as good as new!


Remember for next time - Clean your gun after every use, and store it in a cool, dry environment to keep it looking brand new. You could even WIN your own cleaning kit here!


Gun Cleaning Kit


2. Practice your standing stance, and then practice again.


Your stance is a very important aspect of shooting that often gets neglected. The best advice is to practice! Holding anything from a broom to a hockey stick, get into your preferred stance, or even try a new stance out! Find what is most comfortable for you. Generally, these pointers are most important with every stance:


- Stand up straight, aligning your spine over your pelvis.


- Feet firmly planted around shoulder-width apart.


- Weight on the balls of your feet and knees slightly bent.


- Orientate your hips towards your target.


- And RELAX!


practicing your stance


3. Hone your spotting skills.


You could spend your day in the garden with your binoculars or optics out and practice tracking and spotting your next rabbit or low flying bird. Compete against your dogs or cats - can you spot the game before they’ve started eating their supper?! 


spotting a bird


4. Create a shooting wishlist


You can take a look at our extensive gun collection and add to your (already huge) gun wishlist. From a pistol, to a shotgun, to an air rifle, there’s definitely a gun that will suit you. You can use this time to extensively research and add to your own priceless collection. Always remember - don’t rush into big buys, get advice from people you trust and stick to your budget!


5. Try out a bow!


Want to turn into Robin Hood this lockdown? Keep on top of your aim and consider buying yourself a bow. A longbow, the traditional hunting bow could bring back some memories from your childhood. There’s a large range of other bows you can also test out; including the recurve bow, the crossbow or the compound bow. You can check out our post What You Need to Know About Buying a Good Bow by Lisa Willard for more information on a bow that may suit you!


6. Dogs retrieving skills


If your dogs are bored during the lockdown, make sure to keep them on top of their game. Simply use cuddly toys or household objects as decoys, so you can send your trusty friend to fetch a pretend kill!! Make sure to give them a treat once finished!


Gun dog training


7. Online videos


You could learn a thing or two through online videos. There are plenty of online videos for beginners looking to understand the basics. Even professionals could learn a thing or two. Do you want to learn how a bullet is made? You could learn to make your own targets? Or perhaps you could analyse Jerry Miculek’s performances? 


8. Practice deep breathing techniques and yoga to relax.


Hannah Gibson recommends a few deep breaths before shooting. So why not practice your deep breathing techniques or do some yoga to relax?

Find somewhere peaceful. Your garden, your bedroom, or perhaps the bathroom. Sit or stand, then simply breathe in through your nose, let your breath flow deep into your belly and count to five. Then, breathe out of your mouth slowly, counting to five again. You may find this helps you relax. 


You could add some yoga into your day. Yoga is proven to help strength and balance, as well as calm you down. Simply find a youtube channel and have a go - it could benefit your shooting skills for the future!


yoga exercises


9. Cook some game recipes for your loved ones.


Now that you’re actually in the home instead of out shooting, why not help out in the kitchen? Pop round to your local produce store, or order an online delivery of Pigeon/Venison. Then try your hand at a salad, casserole or risotto! BBC Good Food has some simple recipes great for summer feasting.


venison recipe card


10. Try your hand at some shooting games.


Call of Duty is the obvious choice. Our very own Archie Davis has written an extensive article on the top 5 guns in CoD Modern Warfare here. If Modern Warfare doesn’t tempt you, and your boredom has reached a peak, as a last resort you could hop on to your computers and try one of the many target shooting games. From ‘Apple Shooter’ to ‘Deer Hunting Training Camp’. Set your aim, steady yourself and… fire!


Call of Duty


Whatever you do through this period. Stay safe and stay well! When you are back shooting you will enjoy it more than ever, and hopefully, be able to impress your friends through honing your skills in lockdown.

Charlie Warren
Student at the University of Birmingham
Published on 28-04-2020