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Here at John King Coaching - there's nothing I love more than introducing new folks to sporting clays! If you have read the Clay Shooting book and what's more...enjoyed the book, now you are fired up and keen to become a Clay Shot!
Fantastic! But don’t dash off to buy a shotgun and all the kit; curb your enthusiasm just a little whilst we look at the best route to starting up.
You may be very lucky and a have friends or family who have experience in clay shooting to help you. They may have suitable private clay shooting facilities or belong to a club that encourages beginners.
The most important part to get you started is the right equipment. First and foremost, a suitable size gun that you will be able to hold comfortably. To ensure your success and enjoyment you must be able to fire this gun without suffering any unpleasant and painful recoil. Youngsters, small females and anyone that is slightly built, should be using a 28 bore to begin with. All beginners should be provided with guns that have fitted recoil pads.
You will also need; ear defenders, shooting safety glasses and a hat. Ideally you will be provided with a shooting vest that has padded shoulders or even better, a modern one that has gel recoil pads fitted inside the shoulder areas for maximum comfort.
As a yardstick that you are being helped by a suitable person, part one of that first session should be a thorough grounding in the Safe Gun Handling Rules featured in the book and the DVD. If you are at a clay club every one else there should be seen to be adhering to the same safety rules.
Within the first 20 minutes or so you should be killing simple clay targets that are incoming or crossing slowly in front of you within a 25 metre distance.
At the end of that first hour (and that is plenty long enough) you should have fired about 25 cartridges (but not more than 50).
You may feel a little tired but not feeling any physical discomfort. You should be able to load two cartridges into the gun safely for your self and be able to unload the gun for yourself when you have fired them.
You may not be lucky enough to have the friend and facilities described above. If that is so contact the C.P.S.A for further help. If you are outside of the UK, contact the national clay shooting association of your own country who will direct you to the nearest registered shooting school. Your Association will also advise you on how best to achieve the certification that you will need in order to buy your first shotgun when you are ready.
Ideally your chosen shooting school will have regular clay shoots where you can practice when you have had sufficient tuition using a suitable gun and all necessary equipment that they will provide.
You will soon discover that clay shots are very friendly and generous with their offers of loaning you their guns to help you learn which will be the most suitable gun for your first purchase.
Enjoy your new hobby and please check out the Clay Shooting DVD for one-to-one advice!
For further Clay Shooting Articles and Tips - visit The Gun Room.