If you’re relatively new to the sport of shooting, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to kit. We’ve put together our must-haves when it comes to shooting equipment. This article assumes you’re at the point where you’ve got your licence (but if you haven’t, we suggest you read our guide to getting your shotgun licence first) and are ready to dedicate some time to shooting.
When getting into the sport, the first shooting equipment we recommend you buy is the relevant safety kit.
Hearing protection is absolutely vital. There are a range of options on the market to suit different price points. Some of our favourite ‘over the ear’ options are the Howard Leight Over electronic ear defenders at £89.99 and the Peltor 3M Electronic Ear Defenders at £180. Some customers prefer in-ear protection such as the fantastic range from Vario, custom-made using moulds from your ear.
Whether on the clay ground or even game field, falling debris (clay pieces and shot) can occur so you’ll want to protect yourself from this. Sportarm at Lady’s Wood stock a range of eye protection options. Our favourite is the brilliant Evolution 4 lens kit at £59.99. These glasses have different lens options to suit the light conditions of the day. For example, a yellow lens would be perfect for a dull day, while dark lenses are excellent for a sunny day.
Lastly, you’ll need to get yourself a good hat. Ideally, this will have a brimmed peak, like a baseball cap.
Choosing your first gun
Once you’ve got your safety kit sorted, it’s time to buy your first gun. You can read our other articles that go into more detail on what to look for when buying a shotgun, but a couple of crucial factors to focus on are: what you plan on shooting (clay or game, maybe a bit of both), budget and whether you’re looking for a new or pre-owned model. Many other factors go into buying your first gun. However, that is what the Sportarm at Lady’s Wood team are here for; we’ll guide you through the process, answer any questions and help you pick the perfect shotgun for you.
When getting into the sport, the plethora of cartridges available may seem overwhelming. Again, the gunroom manager is on hand to help you pick the right round for what you need, whether that’s game or clay shooting.
Clothing and accessories
You’ll need something to carry that new gun and all of those cartridges you’ve you bought! There are many options when it comes to gun slips, from entry-level slips perfect for sitting in a muddy pigeon hide, to beautiful leather and canvas options from Croots England. These slips are handcrafted in Malton, North Yorkshire and often have matching cartridge bags. They start at £160.
You cannot go wrong with the Pro-Ferrum Pro-Clean Gun Cleaning Kit. It uses innovative properties to give the best clean. We use it on all of our guns for sale, as well as our school guns. We’ve written an article on how best to clean your gun here.
When it comes to clothing, a good shooting jacket in the winter and a vest in the summer can make all the difference. Not only will it protect you from the elements, an authentic shooting coat/waistcoat is specially designed with deep, strong pockets to allow easy-loading of your gun. We stock a wide range of models for all conditions and from many brands including Schoffel, Musto and Barbour.
Book yourself a lesson or two
As well as the all-important shooting equipment, it’s essential to book yourself in for some lessons with a reputable instructor. Lady’s Wood’s APSI-qualified shooting instructors offer first-rate instruction for beginners. We’ll guide you through the basics and teach you to become a competent, confident shot. Lessons can be booked on an hourly-basis though we recommend booking a course of lessons to really get the most out of your instruction. Lessons can be booked by calling us on 01454 294546 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.