The right kit
Take a moment to watch any of the best game Shots in the UK, and their effortless style and almost robotic consistency will impress you. Mark Winser outlines a few key fundamentals of good shooting.
Many might ponder what the ‘secret’ is to good shooting, but perhaps there actually isn’t one. Yes, natural hand-eye co-ordination plays a part, but dedication, discipline and the right mentality – all of which go hand in hand with serious hours of practice – tend to be what set these top Shots apart.
By ‘practice’, we’re not talking about a 50-bird round at the local clay ground the weekend before the shooting season kicks off, but regular sessions throughout the off season that allow you to really improve. One only has to look to the best game Shots of today – it’s no coincidence that they also shoot a lot of clays during the spring and summer months.
A well-known example is Mark Winser, an avid game and clay Shot who has enjoyed tremendous success over the years on the competitive circuit. During the game shooting season, he’ll spend an average of five days a week coaching – much of that time on the peg in the field.
“My clients during the season are probably a 50/50 mix of clay and game Shots, and I shoot about 20 game days a year and I love it,” he tells us. “But come the end of the game season, I can’t wait for the competitive clay season to start."
So how much does Mark practise? “I will shoot a maximum of 200 clays on the Monday or Tuesday before a competition just to make sure that I am smashing my targets, which just boosts my confidence a bit,” he explains. “And I practice mentally as I prepare for a competition – I envisage myself winning and I picture my targets being obliterated which also gives me a bit of a confidence boost.”
The right kit is important, too. “You should make sure that your gun fits you perfectly, and that you find the right cartridge and load for your gun,” Mark continues. Interestingly, he uses Gamebore Black Gold cartridges for both game and clays – the 'Game' load in 32g No. 5 earlier in the season (36g No. 4s later in the season), and the ‘Competition’ load in 28g No. 8 for clays.
Among his many achievements are World, European and British championships – not forgetting his success in the Royal Berkshire Shooting School’s Stratstone Ultimate One Challenge, when he walked away the proud owner of a new Range Rover after scoring 25/25 on the high tower. Mark’s most recent achievement is winning the English Open FITASC Championship with an impressive score of 139/150.
So, in brief, whether you’re looking to improve your performance when game shooting, or even push those scores higher at the clay ground, don’t forget the basics: commit to regular practice sessions, ensure your gun fits you, and don’t skimp on kit.
Gamebore Black Gold Game
A high performance game cartridge with a great reputation amongst game shooters for its superb performance. Powered by the latest F2 powder technology and featuring Gamebore's Diamond Shot to hold patterns tighter at long range, the Black Gold Game features the Gordon recoil reduction system which is claimed to cut recoil by 15 per cent compared to other 'high performance' loads on the market.
Gamebore Black Gold Competition
Black Gold F2 is Gamebore's flagship competition cartridge bringing together the best of the best. With high performance features such as Gamebore's exclusive Diamond Shot, the B&P Gordon recoil reduction system case and exclusive F2 propellant, this is a world championship winning cartridge.