Thursday 16 July 2015

In the thick of it

I was pleased with this nicely timed shot which I took at a recent World Pheasant Association charity shoot at the excellent Oxfordshire Shooting School. This was the flush, with 80 or so clays thrown over four guns in what feels like no time at all. Things get very heated, not least the barrels! It's one of the few occasions when a side-by-side is an advantage, but you do need a good glove on your left hand.

This shooter is doing the sensible thing, holding the breech high to throw the empties over his shoulder without hitting the loader in the face, and presenting the empty chambers ready for loading while keeping his eyes on the targets. The loader has one shell in each hand, which I've found is the quickest way, rather than trying to get too clever and manoeuvre two cartridges into the breech with one hand.

When my turn came I was keeping up a good rate of fire when suddenly my gun wouldn't close. In the heat of the moment I grabbed someone else's Beretta o/u and kept going. It turned out that a screw on the barrel lump had started to undo itself, and the head was hitting the floor of the action before the gun was shut. Not what you need in the middle of a flush!

More photos from the day here.

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