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Introduction

As a complete newbie to clay pigeon shooting with the benefit of having a husband who had some experience many years before, I wanted to share my experiences, highs and lows to help anyone out there considering taking up the sport.
From the first day it has been a whole learning curve for me, hours spent surfing, reading and watching video's, let alone actually picking up a gun!
The internet is a wonderful thing and you can probably find out all you need to know using your own path, but here we have tried to pull together many of the resources we found to help newbies in and around Sussex to get to grips with this whole new strange world - you will find links down the right hand side of the page also to help you get around.
The information given here is primarily from our own viewpoint however some has been collated from other far more reputable sources to ensure we get our facts right.
We have tried to ensure credit is given where credit is due, however please get in touch if we have included anything we perhaps shouldn't and we happily will correct the situation.

Our aim is to continue to add to our experiences and link to any gems we find, so do pop back now and again to see what's new!

Our story - part 1...     next

How it all started...

Pete my husband had some years experience at clay pigeon shooting many years before and gave it up when we were married. Physical fitness, money and other priorities were the main reasons.

Replacement knees, a new hip and a mid life crisis caused a spark to reignite and he decided it was time to get back to the sport.

I thought this was a great idea for him since I knew he needed a reason to get out of the house in the fresh air and I thought this was something we could perhaps enjoy together …. I was planning to be his caddy!

Old eyes were not going to stop him, beautiful guns, the smell of gunpowder and ‘things going bang’ were calling him, and before I knew it, there he was applying for his shotgun licence!

Every evening when he finished work, we were discussing guns of all things and I felt myself being captured by the beauty of the older guns, (also the very pricey ones but hey we can all dream) GuntraderUK began to be my new “go to and browse” website in my idle moments, something I never thought would happen. I found myself selecting types, makes and models in next to no time and wanting to know more lol.

Shout Pull is a resource site for clay pigeon shooters - especially newbies in and around Sussex

Browning Citori Grade V

An original UK Browning Citori Grade V had been the love of his life all those years ago so he concentrated on looking for something similar.

Reigate-Gunmakers

The first outing Shoutpull

Saturday was all planned … off to Reigate Gunmakers who had a Browning B125 that he wanted to see.

We knew we couldn’t actually buy a gun yet due to the licence application only just being submitted, but there he was all excited and raring to go.

Stephen at Reigate was very friendly and helpful, he actually had a couple of 12g B125 Brownings, one fixed choked and one multi choked, we also looked at a beautiful Miroku and then…. he came out with a B25 (the daddy of all Brownings as far as Pete was concerned and as I have since found out so does everybody else) and I could see my husband melting at the sight of it.

 Hand made, hand engraved and not out of our price range! He was smitten!

We strolled down to a local café called The Tea House Reigate and had a glorious cream tea while we discussed our next move… despite the B25 stock not being quite as he would have liked in terms of the finish, this was the gun he wanted so Stephen agreed to hold the gun until the licence was received.

Browning B25 B2G 12 gauge

Getting the bug Shoot Pull

I could feel myself getting so excited by the prospect of wealding a gun and joining in a bit, and after much discussion, there I was applying for my shotgun licence too since Pete would be unable to let me have a try until he had been a member for a year at Southdown Gun club just up the road!

Many years ago I tried clay pigeon shooting once – not in a serious way but just for a bit of a giggle… seemed fun at the time lol.

We signed up for a family membership at Southdown Gun Club in Findon and also joined the CPSA for insurance reasons mainly.

F A Andersons

The following week we decided to go to F. A. Andersons in East Grinstead to look at a basic gun for me.

Well… shooting may not be my thing, anything nice could be a waste of pennies! We met a really friendly chap called Marvin who presented me with a new Kofs to look at. Having looked at so many pretty glorious looking guns in the past weeks, this for me was quite uninspiring but hey, it was a gun...

Then it happened… there it was … out came a 1984 Beretta 20g Silver Pigeon V (drop dead gorgeous in my opinion Learning to shoot a shotgun)…. and then there was the price tag … more than three times what we were planning to spend! This gun was light, appeared to fit with it’s short stock, 28” barrels in fabulous condition, but way too expensive for my conscience.  

Beretta 20g Silver Pigeon V

Beretta Silver Pigeon V

We were already out and about and half way to Reigate so off we went back to Reigate Gunmakers to visit Pete’s B25 B2G and give it a pat lol and to have another look at the B125’s with me in mind instead of Pete. Although I had to admit these guns were lovely, well made, had providence and not too oversized, once I lifted them the difference 'seemed' clear, I needed a 20g with a small stock, I needed a ladies gun, something to suit a smaller person..... or so I thought.

We treated ourselves to another cream tea at the café and went home.

I kept looking on the internet for a while and finally decided to wait until I was in a position to actually buy a gun with shotgun licence in hand. I could see the impatience building in Pete to get his hands on his new gun and it seriously appeared painful!

Another Gun?...Learning to shoot a shotgun

Meanwhile Pete found another gun that he wanted! (how many guns can a man shoot?!) This lovely 1988 Browning B125 grade D was at Chris Potters in Tunbridge Wells and I had to admit the woodwork was to die for! Another deposit paid and the wait continued. At least I could try and shoot a heavy gun until I found my perfect match… I thought.

Browning B125 Grade D 12 gauge

The shotgun licence wait....Yawn

This process, while pretty painless is very tedious (yawn!). The time it takes to come through varies from county to county and we were apparently still in for another 6-8 week painful wait. Eventually we got the call for the visit and despite our applications being made over a week apart our firearms officer agreed to interview us together. Pete’s original gun cabinet was still suitable and she seemed happy with our responses to her questions. All seemed good and then it was all about checking the doormat every day for those all important pieces of paper!

Shotgun licence applications and renewals for Sussex

Online Traders

Guntrader
Gunstar
Just Cartridges

Gun Shops

Reigate Gunmakers

Reigate Surrey
RH2 0AD

F A Andersons

East Grinstead Sussex
RH19 3AF

Chris Potter Country Sports

Tunbridge Wells Kent
TN1 2QB

The Gun Shop, Botley

Southampton Hampshire
SO30 2GB


Gunsmiths

Greenwood Gunsmiths

Tern Hill
Shropshire


Recommended snacking

The Tea Shop Reigate

Reigate Surrey
RH2 0AA


Useful A to Z



Governing Bodies

CPSA

Clay Pigeon Shooting Association

Shotgun Licence Applications

Sussex


Local Shooting

Southdown Gun Club and Shooting School

Findon, West Sussex
BN14 0RQ

Headley Clay Pigeon Shooting Club

Headley Surrey
KT18 6LD

Mill Farm Clay Pigeon Club

Mill Farm, Hankham Hall Road
Westham
Pevensey
BN24 5AG


Not so local but recommended

Lains Shooting School

Quarley
Andover
SP11 8PX

West Midlands Shooting Ground

Hodnet
Market Drayton
Shropshite
TF9 3LH

Orsten Shooting Ground

Bottesford Lane
Orston
Nottinghamshire
NG13 9NX

Atkin Grant & Lang Shooting Ground

Windmill Road
Markyate St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL3 8LP


Essentials

Your Licence
Gun Cabinets
Safety Equipment
What to wear
Essential Basic Tuition
Homework
Gun fitting

More

Simulator
Promatic Traps
Your car
Useful YouTube Videos

Shotgun styles and vintage pros and cons

Personal views from the man of the house

Shotgun Basics

Parts of the gun
Basic gun types
Gun mount
Recoil
Chokes
Cartridges

Shooting Disciplines

Overview

Shotkam

Recommended for any beginner who isn't a natural

Get in contact

Should you have any questions or information you consider would be useful to share please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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