When we hear about clay pigeon shooting dangers, there are often gun fatalities involved. Sadly, any sport that involves the use of shotguns is going to carry with it some risks. But by paying attention to gun safety and ensuring you follow rules at your shooting club, you can avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting and reduce the risk of being involved in an accident, or hurting somebody else. If you have been injured whilst clay pigeon shooting and you feel somebody else is to blame, you might find you’re eligible to claim personal injury compensation.
What are the main dangers of shooting?
Ensuring your gun is properly maintained and clean can help to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting, but there are still things that can and do go wrong. Here are a few examples of the types of accidents which could happen whilst you’re on the range or preparing for a shoot:
- Gun firing accidentally whilst being cleaned
- Tripping and falling on a loaded shotgun
- Other people messing around could cause an accidental shooting
You could even be injured if guns or boxes of cartridges are left lying around and you suffer a trip or fall. Clay pigeon clubs will give you a thorough grounding in gun safety on your first session – but much of it is common sense, for example only pointing a loaded gun out over the range, and ensuring your gun isn’t loaded at other times.
Protecting yourself whilst clay pigeon shooting
There are other ways to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting but the dangers could leave you seriously injured. That’s why it’s important to take steps to protect yourself any time you are shooting. You can do this by investing in high-quality safety gear that will ensure you aren’t injured whilst you’re on the range. But what do you need, and what should you spend the most money on?
- Ear defenders
Excellent ear protection is a must for anybody taking up clay pigeon shooting. One of the main clay pigeon shooting dangers is hearing damage which could even lead to permanent hearing loss. Did you know that the volume of a shotgun firing can reach 156 decibels (dB)? When you consider that a jet plane taking off reaches a volume of around 140dB, it’s easy to see just why ear protection is so important. The gun is mounted very close to your ear, so you’ll need to wear your ear defenders at all times. You’ll find simple, budget options such as rubber and foam earplugs, headphone-style ear defenders and even custom fit ear plugs which are moulded to fit your ears perfectly. Buy the best protection you can afford to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting.
- Shooting glasses
Next to ear defenders, shooting glasses are one of the things you really should spend the most money on when taking up clay pigeon shooting. That’s because dangers such as splintered clays can cause serious eye injuries and even loss of vision, in extreme cases. Spending a little more money to ensure you get high-quality protection for your eyes is important to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting. You should look for polycarbonate lenses – this is the same material that’s used in bullet-proof glass and it’s shatter-resistant. Lenses should cover and wrap around your eyes to cushion them from recoil, dust and dirt. Tinted lenses can be useful if you’re going to be shooting at night or in varying conditions and you’ll often find glasses which come with interchangeable lenses which are a great idea.
Choosing the right gun
You’ll need to ensure you choose the right type of shotgun for your needs if you are thinking of giving this sport a go. Dangers can be reduced if you have a gun that’s suited to your size and weight, and your club should be able to offer advice on this if needed. Even cheap guns can represent a significant outlay, and with such a baffling array of guns to choose from, you want to ensure you get it right, first time. Don’t forget to sign your shotgun certificate before you go gun shopping, as it isn’t valid without a signature. Here are a few other things to bear in mind to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting:
- Go to a reputable gun dealer and ask for their advice – make sure you get a shotgun suitable for clays
- A 12-bore shotgun is the standard calibre and the best option. It provides excellent ‘killing power’ along with manageable weight and recoil and you’ll also find the widest range of ammunition at affordable prices for 12-bore guns
- Buy second hand if budget is a concern – most dealers will have a good selection of well-maintained second-hand shotguns for you to choose from
- Look for a well-known maker such as Beretta, Miroku or Browning to ensure you’re not wasting your money
Clay pigeon shooting injuries
Injuries that happen whilst clay pigeon shooting don’t necessarily have to involve guns. Slips, trips and falls or other accidents at clubs are not uncommon occurrences, and you could be left injured. If you feel that somebody else is to blame for your accident, you might find you’re able to claim personal injury compensation. It isn’t always possible to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting and dangers can generally be reduced with proper tuition – so what can you do if you feel that your club or a member of staff has been negligent? You could make a personal injury claim within three years of your accident – and if you are successful, the club could be held liable and ordered to pay you compensation for your pain and suffering.
Making a claim with Accident Advice Helpline
We want you to avoid injury when clay pigeon shooting, but if you have been injured, we know our stuff. That’s because Accident Advice Helpline has been helping people claim compensation for accidents on clay pigeon shooting ranges for over 15 years. It’s free to call our helpline on 0800 689 0500 and if you’re eligible to make a claim, there are no upfront fees involved as our lawyers work on a 100% no win, no fee basis. Get in touch with us today to see how we could help you claim the compensation you deserve.
Date Published: September 16, 2016
Author: Rob Steen