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Start Shooting Advice

If you want to take up shooting, then your best starting point is to join a local club or contact a shooting school. All of the main shooting associations will be able to put you in contact with a local club or school. There are serveral hundred in the UK, so there should be one near you.

Local Shooting Clubs: Cheshire | Greater Manchester


...But which type of shooting would you like to try? Let’s start by looking at the main types of shooting



Airgun shooting is very popular and there are many types and makes of airguns available in the UK. During the past 20 years, the quality of airguns has improved vastly, with the UK leading the world in airgun design. Modern guns are also very reliable.

Airguns can cost from around £100 to well over £1000. Airguns can be used for shooting at paper targets (the traditional ‘Bulls eye’) and metal ‘knockover’ targets that fall over when hit. Airguns are also widely used for pest control.

If you want to take up airgun shooting, then in the first instance you should join a club. With several hundred clubs in the UK, one should be near you.

For information on where to find an airgun club near you contact either BASC (see link below)

BASC: Airgunning



Shotgun Shooting

Shotguns are used for shooting at moving targets. This is because, unlike airguns or rifles that fire a single pellet or bullet, a shotgun discharges a large number of very small pellets (called shot) which spread out as they move through the air.

Clay pigeon shooting is very popular, and it is also a sport at which the UK consistently wins medals at the Olympics. The larger clay clubs and grounds will have qualified instructors on hand to teach you how to shoot, and they will also have all the equipment you need available to borrow. If you shoot at a recognised club or shooting ground you do not need a shotgun certificate, providing you don’t own a gun and don’t intend to carry cartridges. For more information on clay pigeon shooting, or to find out where your nearest club or grounds are, contact:

CPSA: Clay Pigeon Shooting Association


Shotguns are also used for shooting live quarry such as pigeons, pheasants, and rabbits. No one should ever shoot a live animal unless they are skilled with a shotgun, and are familiar with all the safety aspects of shooting in the field. For more information about live quarry shooting, contact BASC and/or Countryside Alliance (see links below)

BASC: Game Shooting


Clay Pigeon Shooting Demo Day Experience

Rifle Shooting

Rifle shooting takes two forms - small bore and full bore. Small bore rifles are used mainly for target shooting at paper "bulls eye" targets. Many clubs run competitions, both within the club and between local clubs. there are also national and international competitions.

Small bore rifles can also be used for pest control on the smaller pest species (such as rabbits). To find out more about small bore target shooting, contact NSRA (see link below)

NSRA: National Small-bore Rifle Association

Full bore rifles are also used for target shooting - but at much longer ranges - up to several hundred metres. Again local, national and international competitions are available. To find out more about full bore target shooting, contact NRA (see link below)

NRA: National Rifle Assocaition

Full bore rifles are also used for deer stalking. To find out more about using rifles for pest control, contact BASC (see link below)

BASC: Deer Management