Having Worn ear defenders for nearly a couple of years now when shooting, we decided it was time to invest in some earplugs.
The ear defenders are great at their job but we both had similar issues with them, they can be extremely hot in the summer and can get uncomfortable after and extended period of time crushing against the arms of your glasses and rims of hats etc.
Shooting was clearly now our long term hobby and we had found a local Company Mercury Custom Plugs that could provide some that were not as expensive as most, perhaps not quite so sophistcated as some, but looked suitable for our purposes - the Pheonix 2. They have two programmes both providing suppression for gunshot noise and one that enhanced ambient sound also (always a bonus!)
We went along and had moulds taken, chose our colours, went back home and waited excitedly for delivery.
They turned up within a few weeks so we were then eagerly awaiting our next shooting trip to try them out!
Back in the dark ages (about 35 years ago) skeet was the discipline that Pete had started his shooting experiences with.
We had watched a few rounds in several places and to me it seemed very fast and furious but I have always been determined to give it a go when my confidence grew a little. As a spectator I had rarely managed to see both targets of a simultaneous pair, when I did the second was almost in the next County so I was a little anxious about what to expect.
As previously mentioned, Mill Farm have a full size skeet layout and we were lucky to meet a very nice Skeet guru called Michael who offered to help us through a round the next time we went.
I remembered back to my 20g Beretta days where my swing was so fast with the lighter, smaller gun, so decided that the little lightweight side by side might be perfect for the job. The chokes weren't skeet chokes but ⅜ ⅜ and the automatic safety was a thing of the past so this was the plan.
We Arrived at Mill Farm and booked in - the day was very hot and muggy and I was nervous!
We had tea and breakfast then went and sat in the sun, fitted our new earplugs for the first time and waited for Michael. The plugs were a revelation to us, you can feel a bit isolated under headphones - everything seeming kind of insular sometimes but these were not only comfortable you could actually forget you were wearing them.
We decided to dust off the Shotkam just so we could get some insights into how I was shooting just in case I was brave enought to try it again sometime
Along came Michael and off we went.
I have to say his guidance was excellent, I had watched a few video's on Skeet shooting, but without him I probably wouldn't have hit anything. We worked on hold points and how best to spot and pull through the targets. He was encouraging and very positive about how I was coping. The clays are fast but nothing like what I was expecting but I think that is more because I was told exactly where they would be, and when to try and shoot them.
So Michael managed to miss one lol - and that was only because the trap had a wobbly moment! I missed most but apparently not by much in many cases. Pete did really well after so many years being away from it so all in all it was great fun.
We decided the little side by side wasn't necessary for my swing speed and it had a bit of a stiff first trigger towards the end of the round, so we decided to go another round with my more familiar B325.
This felt much more natural and I managed to almost double my first round score. Pete also improved on his, which meant the gauntlet was down and this was a discipline we would be shooting again and again so I could perhaps one day get close lol.
Thank you so much Michael for all your help!
East Grinstead Sussex
Tunbridge Wells Kent
Northall Clay Pigeon Club
Fletching, East Sussex
Clay Pigeon Shooting Association
Findon, West Sussex
Mill Farm, Hankham Hall Road
Fletching, East Sussex
off Pearsons Green Road
Paddock Wood, Brenchley
Kent, TN12 7DG
Markyate St Albans
Offering private 1:1 or group shooting lessons in Sussex