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Episode 3: Gun fit, eye dominance and rabbits at Purdey at The Royal Berkshire with Ed Solomons

Words by Schöffel Country

September 17, 2022

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Episode 3: Gun fit, eye dominance and rabbits at Purdey at The Royal Berkshire with Ed Solomons
Introduction

Ed Solomons and Schöffel Country Sales Manager Steph Moore visit Purdey at The Royal Berkshire to look at gun fit and a couple of targets that often catch us all out.


Shooting History

Although Steph has shot clays before, it’s the first time she has returned to a clay ground for over a year following the birth of her daughter.

Cartridges

For clay shooting, Steph usually uses a 21g cartridge to avoid too much recoil. However, because Ed is going to make some adjustments to her gun and stance, Ed’s confident she’ll be more than comfortable using Hull Cartridge Sporting 100’s in a 28g cartridge.


Eye Dominance

Firstly, Ed checks Steph’s eye dominance. With both eyes open, Steph takes it in turn to point with each hand at his eye. He suggests that although she has central vision (neither a left nor right dominant eye) she should continue to close her left eye for this lesson. This is to ensure the right eye is correctly aligned with the barrel.


Gun Fit

Making sure the gun is empty, Steph closes the gun and mounts into her shoulder. Ed can see that her mount is quite high, with only 50% of the pad in contact with her shoulder. This will mean more recoil and muzzle flip and less control of the gun. Mounting the gun lower in her shoulder will make the recoil feel much softer. Steph’s head is also very low on the stock. To help, Ed adds a comb raiser to help her head sit more upright and give her better vision over the rib. This will prevent her losing a target behind the rib, lifting her head up off the stock to see it and then getting bashed in the cheek when she pulls the trigger.

Rabbits

There are two places where people typically miss rabbit targets: in front or over the top.


Rabbit targets look faster than they are, so shooters tend to race ahead of the target and miss in front.


It is also extremely easy to miss over the top of a rabbit target. Most pellets will go above the point of aim. So, it’s best to aim just off the bottom edge of the target. That way, even if you miss the target, some pellets will bounce off the floor and still hit it. This gives you a much bigger margin for error.


‘Shoot the ground that the rabbit is running on and not the rabbit itself.’


Decide upon the point where you are going to shoot the target. Make sure you are comfortable, with your feet shoulder width apart and weight over your front foot. Wind your aim back slightly towards the trap, which will be your hold point. Then, look back for the target coming out of the trap.


Wait for the target to come onto the gun, follow it and pull the trigger on the bottom right-hand corner. Don’t try and jump in front of the target or you will miss in front.

Right-to-left crosser

This is a faster and further away target than the rabbit, but the principles of shooting it are similar.


Looking at the target, identify easiest kill point. Then, set your feet and stance to enable you to reach that kill point comfortably and give you a little bit of room for a swing-through.


Then, as with the rabbit, wind two thirds of the way back towards the trap to your hold point. Look back for the target, wait for it to come just past barrels, then slowly stretch out in front of it and pull the trigger. Unlike the rabbit where you are almost shooting directly as the target, this one needs a bit of lead.


Slow down for this target. You have lots more time than you think! Focus on a long, slow, and confident movement through the target and don’t be tempted to get too far in front, or you’ll stop the gun and miss behind.


www.edsolomons.com
www.rbss.co.uk
www.hullcartridge.co.uk