If you are going to learn how to be good at clay pigeon shooting, then there is one lesson that you need to learn first. That is to get to know your gun. Each of the different elements fit together to create your perfect shooting tool, but to improve your chances of working with your gun to the best of your ability, understanding the terminology for each of the separate parts, and learning what they do, are sure to put you ahead of your average Joe when you are out on the field.
All guns are different, remember, but here are the main, basic components that make up a normal clay pigeon shooting gun.
The barrels are where you load the gun with your cartridges. The top lever is probably one of the most recognisable parts. It is the element that you use to open the gun as it disengages the barrels from the bolt. The bolt is the part that the barrels are kept shut with.
The trigger is where you pull the gun to make it fire. It does this by setting off a very fast chain reaction of events. First of all the sear is released, followed by the hammer, then this releases the main spring, which then applies power to the hammer, forcing it through the striker holes, which detonates the gun. When you are pulling the trigger, it will feel like the cartridges are released instaneously, however during this time, all of these events are taking place within the gun. The trigger guard is attached to the trigger plate, and simply protects the gun trigger.
In order to reset the gun, after a shot has been fired, the cocking limb will need to used. This is used to return the sear, hammer and spring to where they were originally.
The ejector spring and kicker work together to expel the cartridges. The lock mechanism is the part of the gun that the kicker is associated with, and the kicker is released by the cocking limb.
The loop is attached to the barrels, and the deeley catch has three parts to it, the case, the spring and the catch itself.
So, now you know what is in your gun, it is time to learn how to use it. If your shots are going astray, it may be that you haven’t realised which eye is your dominant eye. Find out more here: How to Improve Your Clay Shooting Technique
There is so much more to learn about shooting, so keep coming back to discover our latest advice, self help articles and a range of good sources for you to continue with your learning journey.