William Powell Country

Getting in to Shooting


Article written by 29 August 2013
getting in to shooting

As gold medal winner Peter Wilson said, “Sometimes shooting has a bit of a reputation as a rich man’s pastime, and as a closed and close-knit community. I’d like to change that. It’s neither elitist nor expensive to do” – and as someone new to the world of shooting, I couldn’t agree more. Working at William Powell has finally pushed me to get on and have a go at a sport that for years I considered to be perhaps a little exclusive and difficult to get in to – it’s not by the way!

So the first time I picked up a gun, it was a little .410 and I was shooting at a single clay trap effectively in my friends back garden (her boyfriend is a Game Keeper, so we’re not talking a garden on a residential housing estate!) – I spent no time considering stance, gun mount, eye dominance or any of that, simply took a few (awful!) shots at a few clays – it’s safe to say I wasn’t very good.

But, of course, not everyone has a friend that’s a Game Keeper and access to guns to just have a little go – fear not, getting in to shooting really is easy and not expensive!

My second attempt was a group outing with some friends, which was an altogether different experience. As a group, we all simply paid £45 each, and had a couple of hours of in-depth instruction to include a detailed safety briefing, basic gun handling, general posture and of course how to mount a gun and (hopefully!) shoot a clay. I went home chuffed having hit a fair few clays, and indeed hooked (just as well working for one of the most trusted gun makers and country clothing retailers.).

I’ve since had two further lessons, one with our independent gun fitter Tom Payne, and one I enjoyed with my fiancé (also new to shooting) on our way back from a trip to Wales. Well and truly hooked by this point, I am planning to have regular lessons with Tom – so stay tuned for general ramblings from a novice shot over the coming months.

The point is though; it’s easy to have a go at shooting. You don’t need your own gun, any sort of license or even any of the safety equipment to get started, simply get yourself booked in for a lesson at any reputable shooting school and all of this is provided for you, and at approx £45/hour to include all of your clays and cartridges it’s not going to break the bank. All you need is some comfortable clothes and a craving to hit some clays!

In my opinion, shooting is a sport that is vitally important for the rural community and the more accessible and understood that it becomes by a wider range of people from all walks of life the better.



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