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Time For A Tune Up!

With the Summer Sporting & F.I.T.S.C. Clays season rapidly approaching Now! is the time to consider getting a tune up and work on how you can improve your shooting for the year ahead.

One of the first things I do with a client on the first session is to run through what you might call a ‘shooting basics health check'.

This isn’t anything especially exciting but I do think it is vital to get the basics right from the start, highlight any problem areas and give a solid platform from which to progress from through to the season.

So we start with reviewing the basics of correct Gun Mount and Stance to see if any bad habits have crept in overtime and they are affecting your ability to instinctively line the barrels up to with your eye.

This then leads on to checking “Eye Dominance”, your eyes are one of the most important areas of interest, and one of most often overlooked (pardon the pun!).

It does of course stand to reason if your eyes aren’t working at their best then you will never be able to shoot at your best.

Eye dominance is not fixed in stone and can change as you age, as well as with fatigue, hydration and stress. A small shift in dominance can cause big problems for your shooting, however it is very easy to correct with a variety of options.

From here we move onto “Gun Fit” I am an absolute believer that ‘close enough is not good enough’ when it comes to gun fit, correct Gun Mount Technique and Correct Stance are the absolute bedrocks to ensure a truly accurate fit, as the late great “Robert Churchill” states; You never fit a gun to a poor technique!

If you find your shooting has tailed off over time and you have ruled out visual problems, gun fit is my next basic to check. The gun that fitted you perfectly three seasons ago may no longer be appropriate, especially if you have gained or lost weight, even a change in clothing can have an impact, as this can effect stock length by no small measure and this has a knock-on effect to drop and cast at face and head position, all of which will impact your results.

Once having checked all these factors, we head out to the Pattern Plate and there we ensure you have the correct “Point Of Impact” and the gun is shooting directly at the place where the eye is looking.

From here we go to the shooting school range honing new or improved techniques and then it’s out onto the Sporting Clays course to tackle a whole range of targets including those that may have been previously causing a problem.

Then it’s time to head home and Practice! Once again I quote the great Mr. Churchill;

“The secret of great shooting, like scratch golf, is constant practice, a steady temperament and a knowledge of the game!”

I can’t think of any activity where you can make meaningful progress without practice, and shooting is no different.

Whatever happens don’t be the guy on the first shoot of the season who hasn’t picked a gun up since last summer’s final tournament - you won’t be doing yourself any favours!

All of the points I have mentioned are covered in more depth in my coaching series “Only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” and a range of associated topics articles available on my web site library,

To book your pre season lesson and Gun fit review you can email me via the web site at or message me direct through the Ahead of the Game, Shooting School face book page.

Keith Coyle,


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