Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Pheasant Shoot This Weekend

I'm really looking forward to this weekend because I've been fortunate enough to be invited to a pheasant shoot in Norfolk on Saturday. I've had the gun out tonight giving it a clean ready for the big day, I feel like christmas has come early. The shoot is on a farm in Norfolk near Stoke Holy Cross situated a stones throw away from Norwich.

I will be using my Midland Gun Co over and under which is a 12 Bore/gauge. It's a lovely gun but I am looking for a replacement. As you probably are aware buying a second shotgun in the pheasant season is quite hard due to the high demand and there aren't as many nice guns to pick up. I will probably hold out until the end of season because then you find some real good buys. 

Fingers crossed I can get some good photos at the weekend and hopefully a few birds.

Outdoor & More

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Clay Shooting In Beeston, Norfolk at Fair Clay Targets

I do enjoy clay shooting but unfortunately struggle to find the time to go, the shoot we go on is in a small village called Beeston in Norfolk. The day is ran by a company called Fair Clay Targets and it's a very popular trap venue which is ran every two weeks.  The shoot offers a variety of locations such a woodland, quarries and open land where they set up various layouts.  We done a 100 bird shoot with some of the guys getting some good scores but I will reveal the results at the end. Here is a few photos from the day:

Jonny with his Miroku
Open traps

Quite the audience
Beautiful Norfolk countryside

Beretta semi auto
Doddy with his Nikko 12 gauge over and under
Taking aim
Woodland trap
Glenn with his Beretta Silver Pigeon
Woodland edge
Well the results are as follows:

Glenn: 77/100
Jonny: 76/100
Doddy: 64/100
Myself: 60/100

Not the best day I've had in terms of results but I've not been for a long time and I started off very slow ..well that's my excuse anyway. I was shooting with my Midland Gun Co 12 gauge, she's a bit of a golden oldie and never skips a beat. For clays I use the Gamebore 'velocity' cartridges they are 28g and cost around £39 for 250. For clays I don't particularly think it matters what cartridges you use and usually just go the cheapest and the Velocities come up best for price.


Outdoor & More

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Morning Wander In The Fog

Last night I had spontaneous moment and decided to get up early to go for a walk around some land I shoot. The land is nicknamed 'The Hill' for obvious reasons, it has a large area of over gown rough with a woodland which is heaving with pigeons, pheasants, magpies and the odd rabbit. I like going there because you never know what you're going to come across and it offers a great variety of game. Today I brought my younger brother along who hasn't shot very much and is more of a fisherman, but I think he enjoyed himself.

Can't beat taking a flask out on these cold days
I was shooting my Midlands Gun Co over and under whilst he took the Hatsan semi auto both 12 gauge. Due to the thick fog the visibility wasn't great but I think it helped because the quarry couldn't see us as well.  The only trouble was we didn't have as much time to react to them.

My brother 
The first hour was very quiet with only a few pigeons but as the day went on it started to pick up a lot more. We were using Gamebore 'clear pigeons' 32g cartridges which I have mentioned previously in my blog but they are fantastic cartridges and would recommend them. 

Gamebore 'Clear Pigeon'
Beautiful morning
Using straw bales as cover
Taking aim (to miss)
Tea break
After shooting for 3 hours we managed 17 pigeons and 2 rabbits which in the conditions wasn't bad going but to be honest we did have a lot of misses. Whilst we were there the game keeper was at the bottom of the land  also pigeon shooting and he got 11 so not a bad total for the day. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mossberg .410 Pump Action 'American Beauty'

I've recently got my hands on a Stealth Mossberg .410 pump action shotgun and wanted to give you a insight to this great little gun. As you will probably be aware Mossberg are American made guns and have been in the business for nearly 100 years and take gun making very serious. From armed forces, personal defences weapons and what we use the for in the UK is sporting shooting. They have produced some of the most popular shotguns in the world.

This gun is a 410. pump action and has a large moderator perfect for keeping the noise down, giving the shooter the ability to dispatch multiple targets with minimal disturbance to the surround quarry. I use the gun for ratting and rabbit lamping, which is ideal for a moderated gun or if you shoot near livestock that don't like the noise of a 12 gauge.  The size of the gun gives it great handling even with a moderator and is surprisingly well balanced when handled out on the field.

The gun has a walnut stock with cross checkering on the handle, this helps with grip but really just finishes off the look quite nicely. Personally I'm not into the concept of pump actions because sometimes they come across 'loose'. By loose I mean the pump forend can have a lot of movement left and right as well as the forward and back. But the guys at Mossberg have done a fantastic job making the gun sturdy and durable.

For cartridges I use Gamebore 'Traditional hunting'. This are very low recoiling and also good for the younger shooter. Primary designed for pest control. Overall I'm really impressed with this American Beauty, I personally love shooting with a .410 and they are great for a little walk around the land where the quarry know the sound of a shotgun.

No copyright intended 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

My Guns

I wanted to give a small overview of the guns I use and what I use them for. At the minute I hold 3 guns. A semi Automatic shotgun, Over and Under shotgun and a Under lever Air Rifle.

Hatsan Escort 12g

The first thing i can say about my Escort is wow. I brought this gun for around £250 and it was 3 years old. Ive had it for nearly a year and never looked back. In terms of value for money its amazing. It has never let me down, easy to clean and maintain and isn't cartridge fussy which can be a problem for most semi auto shotguns. I wanted to find a semi auto that I could just take and the field and get knocked, bumped and occasionally dropped and still function fine.

I did look at getting a Berretta A300 which was priced at £850 but I'm so happy with the decision i made. A lot of people would turn there nose up at the Hatsan because it not as a sought after gun. But Hatsan have done a great job with unbelievable value for money. The gun comes with 5 chokes and choke key which are all the standard sizes.

To conclude the gun has great value for money and perfect for those rough shooting days out where reliability is essential. And just proves that cheap doesn't have to be nasty. Also new, the gun comes with a 3 years manufactures guarantee. 

Midland Gun Co Model 502

This gun was given to me by a friend and was my first Over and Under. To be fair its a nice looking gun and I'm not sure the age of it. Its Italian made and very well built. I'm looking to swapping her soon for a Browning 725 or 525. I mainly use it for clay pigeon shooting and occasionally take it pheasant shooting. 

All round not a bad gun but I am looking to upgrade it.

Air Airms Tx200

I used to be really into my Air Rifles I've had springers, pcps and co2's you name it I've fired it or owned it. The only one I've kept over the years is my Air Arms, its reliable and never skips a beat. It has a lovely stock and really pacts a punch. I mainly used it for rabbits which I never had a problem with from 35 yards. Its an under lever which is great in a air rifle because the barrel is parminatly fixed unlike a break barrel. Combined with a 3-9 x 40 Golden Antler scope it hold its zero very well. I brought the gun for £200 which in it condition i think was a very good deal. Brand new i think they are around £400.

  Overall would highly recommend this beauty of a springer, you don't have to worry about dive bottles or pumps you just go out and shoot. I recommend H&N Field Target Trophy pellets for best results.

No copyright intended

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


I've decided to make some videos for my blog featuring some of the outdoor pursuits I take part in. I am looking for some advice in regards to cameras/video recorders and reaching out to my fellow bloggers for help.

Obviously with a majority of things I do outside either involving shooting or fishing its got to be something that can take the great outdoors. The choice I'm most learning towards is a GoPro but I don't know much about them, in terms of the different models and there strength/weaknesses. From other blogs I've seen people have used head mounts which clearly worked well and they get some very impressive shots.

So this is just a reach out for some help and would really appreciate some feedback.



Outdoor And More

Monday, 10 November 2014

A weekend of Sporting Clays

It's been a while and I'm really excited to get in the traps! The clay shoot I will be going on is in a small village in Norfolk called Beeston. Its a 100 bird shoot with 10 traps and the pressure is on because there are 3 of us going and we are all very competetive. The Shoot is ran by a guy called Alan and he runs a really good day. It doesn't matter about ability or experience everyone is welcome.

I will be using my trusted Midlands Gun Co over and under 12 gauge, I've had the gun for years and its lovely to shoot with. Its not the cleanest gun because I take it out for rough shooting quite regularly and like most of my guns they do get a bit of a hard time.

Midland Gun Co Model 502 12g

For clays I using GAMEBORE 'Velocity' at the minute. These are a great little cartridge and they are priced very competitively. I personally believe that for clay shooting unless you're a competitive shooter the cheaper cartridge will do the job and you don't need to spend the world but you don't have to sacrifice quality for it with these.

Gamebore 'velocity'

Below is the link to the Clay shoot website. Highly recommend them and Alan does a great job.

Fair Clay Targets

no copyright intended

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hatsan Escort semi-auto shotgun

The Hatsan Escort semi-auto shotgun is a Turkish-built semi automatic that is a top contender for the best semi automatic under £500.

In the hide with the Hatsan
Want to hear about one of the best semi autos for under £500.  It comes in the shape of Hatsan’s gas operated Escort semi-auto.  Some may say that its not as reliable as a Beretta or Browning but I have to disagree, considering you can buy three for the same price and any replacement parts so readily available you cant go wrong.

Mine came with a three year warranty covering mechanical defects which was included in the price. I basically wanted something I could take pigeon shooting that was rugged, simple and reliable that could take a few knocks and dents. But on a budget, when I came across this for £450! That’s nearly a third of the price of a Browning Maxus. 

The Escort has done nothing but impress me, I’ve had over 3,000 cartridges through it and I’ve never had a jam. Unlike some semi auto the gun isn’t cartridge fussy. I’ve had 28g loads all the way to 34g load and it still cycles like a dream. Obviously with most gas operated semi-autos the smooth cycling of the gun is largely down to it being kept clean so that all the parts move as
freely as possible. The rule of thumb for cleaning semi autos I always do after I’ve used it. I always think if you look after your shotgun it looks after you.

The Hatsan also came with 5 chokes and a choke key. Mod, Imp Mod, Skeet, Full and cylinder.

My version is 12 gauge 28” inch barrel and has a black synthetic stock.  The gun comes with a standard magazine capacity of 2 + 1, which you can hold on a basic UK shotgun license. They are also available to FAC holders with extended seven shot magazines. I’m also pretty sure they make a left hand version also.

The verdict and marks out of 10

I personally think this is the best value and performing semi auto under £500 on  the market. I've had so many good days out with it and touch wood its never let me down. With that in mind time for my marks out of 10.

Build Quality: 9
Handling: 9
Styling: 7
Value for money: 10

Average: 8.75/10

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Coming soon 'Hatsan Escort' review

I am going to be doing a review of the Turkish made Hatsan Escort. Ive had this gun for over a year and online there some real mixed reviews. So I'm going to do my own and I'm really excited!

Coming soon

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Air Arms TX200 - 'Perfect out of the box'

Air Arms have produced some impressive air rifles over the years, my two have been nothing but reliable, accurate and always pack a punch. Today I'm going to tell you about my little beauty.

The TX200 is a underlever air rifle and is packed with many good features, as far as springers go I would always recommend a TX200 under lever for several reasons. Mainly the barrel is constantly fixed in position meaning there is no movement from the loading action which over time can cause the rifle to be off target every shot. I personally think underlever will be accurate for life over break barrels (not fixed). 

The barrel houses a anti bear trap, basically a device that when loading you can't trap your finger. This has a small press to release button on the side of the gun so there is no chance of any unfortunate accidents.

Anti bear trap
Anti bear trap release button
The next is the automatic safety switch located the the end of the barrel above the trigger mechanism  this switches itself on when the gun is cocked automatically. This is a great idea to have with all fire arms whether that be air rifle to shotgun because safety is priority.

Automatic safety button

As well as these great features you have to admire the quality of material used to make this gun and the workmanship from the guys at Air Arms. In terms of looks for a springer air rifle its 10/10!

The gun retails at around £375 new but you can pick up a decent secondhand ones for £200 if you look online (GunTrader/Gunstar). I can guarantee you will be disappointed with it, I know I haven't been. In terms of pellet I always us H&N 'Field Target Trophys'. I seem to get the best results with these with a 10p sized grouping at 30 yards. These retail at around £13 for 500 pellets

As I've said the TX200 is a great springer which I highly recommend if you're thinking of getting into the sport. If you any other questions regarding the gun just leave a comment below.

My Air Arms TX200 .22 with a Golden Antler scope, great on the range and the field

H&N 'Field Target Trophys'

No copyright intended

Monday, 3 November 2014

Boat fishing in the North Sea

This summer i had some great days out fishing and shooting, i was also lucky enough to get the boat out (doesn't happen much). My dad and i fish out on the North Sea off the east coast where the sea can be very unforgiving so finding a window of opportunity is rare so we had to take it.

We use boat rods with feathers and worm going for what ever we can. I personally use feather and go for Mackerel. Mackerel are a delicious fish and is one of my favourites. On the BBQ with a bit of salt and pepper topped off with a splash of lemon juice. Cant beat it! The catch was decent with around 13 mackerel in the bag. Obviously a few were eaten on the evening with a cold beer but you have to enjoy it whilst its fresh. The rest are in the freezer to eat at a later date or kept for bait which i use for Pike fishing. Pike love oily fish and Mackerel is a brilliant dead bait. My dad also caught a lovely Sea Bass on Worm weighting around 7lb. A beautiful fish and another great taster. Here some photos from the trip.

Myself and the Old man

Sea Bass 7lb

Pheasant season is here...at last

Well as you all know the pheasant season is well underway, and I've got quite a few shoots lined up. At the minute the weather here in the UK for this time of year as been extremely mild. This Saturday when i went pigeon shooting it was 17C, and for November thats unheard of.

Im sure you will all agree there nothings better then a cold Saturday morning with your 12 bore resting in your arm ready for the days shoot. This is the first year I've been invited on a shoot which is in a small village call East Harling. Due to other commitments I've able to attend the first few but i am going to do my first soon.

For the shoot I'm going to take my Midlands Gun Co over and under which is a golden oldie that i love to shoot with that was given to me by a friend who is now working abroad. So watch this space and i will fill you in on how i go.

No copyright intended 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Talk Cartridges Part 2

Just a quick one on the cartridges I am using with my 12g Semi-Auto and Over and Under at the minute.

GAMEBORE 'velocity'

The velocity cartridges I use for clay shooting. These are a great little cartridge and they are priced very competitively. I personally believe that for clay shooting unless you're a competitive shooter the cheaper cartridge will do the job and you don't need to spend the world. I brought 250 of these for £40 and doing a 100 bird shoot every two weeks it isn't going to break the bank. They always perform well and work great in my semi-auto and my over and under. 

12g, Shot 7.5,Load 28gms, Length 70mm, Wad Plastic. GAMEBORE 'velocity'

GAMEBORE 'Clear Pigeon'

I do a lot of pigeon shooting and these cartridges are fantastic and just like the 'Velocity' they are a great price too. I would highly recommend these cartridges in a semi-auto, I have put nearly 1000 through mine and its never jammed once. The one downside which isn't really that bad is the colour. They are black and if you drop them on the ground sometimes they are hard to see. But other then that they are my first choice for a bit of pigeon shooting. These come at around 250 for £56.

12g, Shot 6, Load 32gms, Length 70, Wad Plastic GAMEBORE 'Clear Pigeon'

Overall very pleased with these two at the minute and would definitely recommend them to everyone out there. Gamebore have done a great job with these and have made them affordable which is also a bonus.

Talk Cartridges

Shotgun cartridges have so many different varieties there are different lengths, loads, calibers,  shot and wad. I don't want to bore you by going in depth of what all of these mean but i will briefly go over them to give you an idea.

  • Length -The cartridge length refers to the case length when fired. This will either be measured in millimetres or inches. This is dependent on your shotgun chamber size to find this out research the manufacturer online or visit your local gunsmith and I'm sure they can help.
  • Load or Payload -This will depend on the quarry, range and chamber length of your gun. For most game shooting with a 12 gauge gun, 28g, 30g and 32g would be the most common payloads. For high birds 34g would be ideal. You must remember that the use of large payloads, particularly in smaller calibers, poses some problems, especially recoil, and can cause damage to your gun.
  • Calibre - The most common size is 12 gauge, with up to 50% of the overall shotgun market in the UK. The 20 gauge shotgun is favoured by shooters uncomfortable with the weight and recoil of a 12 gauge gun. The next most popular sizes are 28 gauge and .410. Each gun can have a different purpose for example 12 gauge for pheasant and .410 for rats.
  • Shot - The size of the pellet/shot in the round. It means the diameter of the pellets is approx.
  • Wad – This is simple there are two types, plastic or fibre. In terms of money the plastic are (a bit) cheaper, but fibre are better for the environment and farm livestock. In terms of performance I personally can’t tell any difference and I shoot with both.

GAMEBORE 'Clear Pigeon'