Next season in sight
Shooting Times & Country|April 21, 2021
If it isn’t lost to Covid, next season will come round quickly so make sure you’re ready by putting in that vital practice, says Tom Payne
Tom Payne

For many, it must feel like you haven’t picked up a gun for months. For many game Shots, this could be the case, especially with the season being affected by COVID-19.

Covid is no excuse for not picking up the gun, nor is a disjointed season. Regardless of what has happened over the past 12 months, many will take their gun out the day before shooting, put it away after shooting and, no matter what the time frame between these outings, this is the norm. It’s not a great way to keep form — nor develop form, for that matter.

Any practice must be carried out with correct and sound technique or all or your hard work will be a waste of time. For gun mounting, watch the Shooting Times films on YouTube to follow steps on the correct way to mount a gun.

Valuable kit

Practice at home is always valuable, even if it’s only handling the gun. All you need is space and height — indoors or outdoors if in a private garden — however, visuals are important. Snap caps are a valuable piece of kit; they aid in the mental squeezing of the trigger while moving the gun, train the brain and get you used to your trigger pulls again.

Never practise your gun mount into a level mirror. This is nothing to do with the mirror, it’s the angle. To develop good and consistent gun mount, keeping your head still and driving your gun to your eyeline with both hands in relaxed control, you must mount the gun as if you were going to shoot a reasonably high pheasant. This is all to do with correct stance, the building block to your gun mount, but also allows for easier and correct body and head position.

Once you feel that you are mounting your gun consistently, you can start to change the angle of gun mount — but make sure style and technique is correct, allowing your head to stay still and in the correct position or bad habits and poor muzzle control will creep in.

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