Clay pigeon shooting is a popular sport in the UK. The sport uses a shotgun to shoot cartridges at flying targets known as ‘clay pigeons’ which are released through a trap. Most people join a clay pigeon shooting club and you’ll find that some safety accessories are mandatory, whilst others are recommended. One possible danger is injuring somebody else if you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing, which is why it is important to follow the rules and regulations at your club and we stress the importance of getting to know your clay pigeon shooting equipment.
Clay pigeon shooting equipment
There are some accessories that are essential for anybody wanting to take up clay pigeon shooting, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started. Getting to know your clay pigeon shooting equipment is very important and here’s what you’ll need:
- Ear defenders – A potential danger is hearing loss, which is why ear defenders are essential. The noise from a 12-bore shotgun can reach 156 decibels (dB). When you bear in mind that the volume from a plane taking off is 140dB it’s easy to see why ear defenders are a must have accessory! Any sound above 85dB can damage your hearing. You’ll find many different styles, sizes and shapes of ear defenders, from foam and rubber ear plugs to headphone style ear defenders and even electronic ear defenders and custom-fit ear plugs, which are the most expensive. A good pair of foam or rubber ear plugs are the most affordable choice and should be adequate for beginners but getting to know your clay pigeon shooting equipment like ear defenders is very important.
- Shooting glasses – As well as damage to your hearing another potential injury is an eye injury. If you’re standing too close to somebody else, a clay pigeon could shatter, causing eye injuries. Injuries caused by recoil from a shotgun could also be an issue, which is why wearing shooting glasses at all times is so important. Shooting glasses provide eye protection from recoil and they can also help to improve your accuracy. Look for glasses with shatter-proof or impact-resistant lenses – polycarbonate (the same material used in bullet-proof glass) lenses are ideal. Lenses should cover and wrap around the sides of your eyes, whilst a specially padded frame keeps dust and wind out and cushions your face from recoil. Choosing glasses with interchangeable coloured lenses means you’ll be equipped for most lighting conditions, although this isn’t essential.
- Shoulder pad – You may consider recoil to be a big danger – it can be painful and irritating, leaving you bruised and sore or causing more serious shoulder injuries. A pad or shield can help to diffuse recoil, but when shopping for a shoulder pad, always ensure it can be worn on the shoulder of your choice – you’ll find that most are reversible. Choosing an adjustable recoil shield will provide the best fit and you’ll also need to think about the thickness and weight of the shoulder pad to ensure it is comfortable. Women may want to look for recoil shields designed specifically for women. You’ll find shields made of polymer, which stays flexible until the point of impact, as well as energy-absorbing foam shields; which style you prefer is largely a personal decision. Make sure you try on your shoulder pads and choose one which feels comfortable, then wear it a bit. Getting to know your clay pigeon shooting equipment is essential to do before you take part.
Keeping your shotgun clean
One possible danger that you’ll hear many people talking about is being injured by a faulty or dirty shotgun. Failing to clean and maintain your gun could easily cause an accident whilst shooting, and it will shorten the life of the gun too. You’ll need to invest in a shotgun cleaning kit to ensure your gun remains in good condition. It needs lubrication and residue/moisture removed from the gun barrels to prevent them from being damaged. A typical cleaning kit will always include:
- Gun oil
- Cleaning patches
- Cleaning rod with wool and metal brushes
For quick cleans (although bear in mind this isn’t a substitute for a cleaning kit), a bore snake, a long, rope-like barrel cleaner, can be dropped down the bore and pulled through. These are relatively inexpensive.
There are some other accessories you may wish to consider which, although not essential, can make your day on the shooting range more enjoyable. A cartridge belt is a worthwhile investment, as it makes reloading your gun faster. You’ll find belts available in a range of materials, most carrying between 20 and 30 cartridges. A bag is another great accessory as it’s a compact way to carry up to 250 cartridges, from which you can easily reload your belt. There’s also usually space for your other accessories such as your gloves, ear defenders and shooting glasses. A shooting vest is also useful to protect against one possible danger of clay pigeon shooting, shoulder injuries. Shooting vests are generally lightweight and cool yet padded for comfort and protection from recoil. Most have cartridge pockets, and if you choose one with adjustable features you can enjoy a custom fit.
Have you been injured whilst clay pigeon shooting?
If you’ve not been getting to know your clay pigeon shooting equipment and you’ve been injured, you might find yourself wondering who is to blame for your accident. One possible danger is recoil, which can cause shoulder injuries – it’s important to note that this isn’t anyone’s fault, and with proper instruction (and the use of a shoulder pad), you should minimise your risk of injuries or bruising to your shoulder from shotgun recoil. That’s not the only risk though – one possible danger associated with clay pigeon shooting is facial and eye injuries from a splintered clay pigeon. If the club is allowing people to shoot too close together, or if other club members are being negligent, you could suffer eye injuries or facial lacerations from a splintered clay pigeon. These eye injuries could affect your vision permanently.
Claiming compensation after your accident
If you have been injured whilst clay pigeon shooting and you believe somebody else has been negligent, you can get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline. We have over 15 years’ experience helping people claim compensation for these types of accidents – and we can get you the compensation you deserve. Just call us on 0800 689 0500 (it’s free to call) for confidential, no-obligation advice today, and see if you could make a 100% no win, no fee claim.
Date Published: September 16, 2016
Author: Rob Steen