Fieldsports Britain - How to fit your gun + crow shooting

Uploaded by fieldsportschannel on 27.06.2012

Welcome to Fieldsports Britain. Coming up Simon Barr from Realtree is shooting large
black birds. First, how important is it that your shot gun fits you? We find out on a simulated
game day in Hertfordshire.
There are as many reasons for missing a bird as there are for hitting one, but today we
want to redress the balance.
William Powell gunmakers has chosen a deep flowing drive on the Hexton estate in Bedfordshire
to show off their range of side by sides and over and unders. It is a free try before you
buy day.
We are hosting an event today, because it is a great opportunity for visitors to come
along and try and use our guns. A gun is a big investment to people. You would not buy
a car without test driving it first, but plenty of people buy guns for £10,000 without trying
On hand are some of this traditional gunmaker's gunroom staff to ensure these very smart guns
fit you like a glove. Who knows how many shotgun owners are out there with ill-fitting 12 bores.
Imagine if Beckham wore boots two sizes too big for him - he wouldn't be a shooting God
and neither will you be if you're not comfortable.
People might come into the gun room, they would pick up a gun. I have just got one of
the Powells here. They close it up in the gun room. It is all empty and they would close
it up and just mount it. And it is very easy for you in that false situation when you are
not shooting, under pressure to mount a gun and you make your body fit the gun. And you
fundamentally do lots of different things to make you fit the gun. For instance with
this gun, if I put my hand just a bit further along the stock, along the barrel sorry and
all I do when I mount this gun, if I mount it up, you can clearly see now that my head
is very far back on the stock. The stock looks massively long for me. Not change the gun
at all. Place my hand down on the action, mount the same gun and suddenly to get my
eyes in the right position I have suddenly, my nose is right up on top of the gun and
again the stock length is wrong for me, totally wrong. All I need to do, and coincidently
this gun does actually fit me, put my hand where it should
be, on the middle of the fore end with an over and an under and if I just mount it there
it is virtually in the right sort of place. The difference is depending where you mount
the gun and how you falsify it, you can make if fit you, unfit you, and do what ever you
This is the first time the old English gunmaker has done this sort of thing and it has attracted
guns from near and far. Mark Bladon and his friend are on familiar territory. They shoot
the simulated and the game days offered here at Hexton. Mark's in the market for a new
William Powell Pegasus.
I have come back today because the offer of having a gun completely fitted for you and
measured seemed too good to be true. So it was very important to come here and get a
gun fitted and made to measure.
Mathew now takes Mark through the process of ensuring his William Powell doesn't just
look beautiful but fits beautifully too.
Needs to be a little bit lower there.
Yup, I can see all of your eye is the honest truth. I can see all of it and just a bit
underneath. So what I will probably do is just bring the comb down a little bit for
you. Now that looks about right to me, perfect. I can see all of your eye.
The stock used for the fittings can be pushed and pulled in all directions - the size of
our chest, face shoulders, all need to be taken into consideration. So if you have gone
up a neck size from 16 to 18 inches your gun won't fit you quite as well as it once did.
These guys cannot stress the importance enough of a well fitted gun. So why not grab your
unloaded shotgun, stick yourself infront of a mirror and see if you are moulding yourself
to your gun or whether the gun moulds to you.
Right we are going to look at the four movements in which we can move the gun. We are looking
at the length, the bend, the height of the comb and the cast.
First of all we are going to look at the length of the gun and on the trial gun we can alter
this by altering these screws and this. So what I am going to ask Andrew to do is first
of all just mount the gun up into the sky and we will have a look at the length. Whilst
we are looking at Andrew at the moment, he has got his hand in a reasonable position
in the middle of the fore end, but if we come back round here and we look at his positioning
of his back of his hand to his nose we can probably fit 3 or possibly 4 fingers in. The
perfect length we are looking at is to fit 2 fingers in. So if Andrew dismounts the gun
now, and what I will do is just undo these and shorten the stock. So if you just mount
the gun up again Andrew and let us just have a look to see where you are. That looks about
right. If we just pop in, so we can see we have got 2 fingers and if Andrew moves his
head forward, a better position of his head we can see has 2 fingers width between the
back of his hand and this thing.
Next we are going to look at the bend of the stock. So if Andrew just moves his hand there,
we can see the stock is coming down at this angle and what it creates is different lengths
from the trigger pull to what we call the mid, the toe and the heel of the gun. And
this truly goes back to the actual shape of your shoulder to your breast and as you can
see mine is relatively flat, but a larger person may have one that is more sloping.
So what I will do on this is just ask Andrew to mount it up and see if it fits nicely into
this curve of his shoulder. If you just dismount it a minute Andrew and do that up we can actually
see what is going on. So as we can see there, if I come round and ask Andrew to just let
go with his left hand, keep it there, we can see that the flat of the stock is perfectly
in line with his shoulder. If he was a little bit larger it would be tucked in and have
a gap at the top. If he was much smaller the opposite would happen and we would have a
gap at the bottom. So we can tell that
that is a perfect bend length for Andrew. Thirdly we will go on to look at the cast.
Andrew is a right handed shot as we can see from the way he is mounting the gun and typically
a right handed shot will have cast on or off. As I know Andrew, he is a right handed shot,
shoots with both eyes open and shoots with a dominant right eye and I roughly know he
will roughly be around an 1/8 th cast off on the gun. So I already know that this gun
is cast off to that. And what we can do is go back to my demonstration earlier of when
we are looking the gun is empty, is all we do is look down the end of the gun and I can
see there is a slight curve on the cast of the gun as I look down it on the left hand
side and that tells me it is cast off.
When we are looking at the height of the comb what we do is we measure back from the flat
of the gun all the way back through to the back and we have 3 measurements. We measure
the height at the comb, height at the face, which is the mid point and height at the heel.
And we measure those because actually the cast and the bend of the gun will actually
change that, but also you need to know how high up the distance to where the face is
to where the eye sits on the barrel. So what I have asked Andrew to do to do this one,
I will ask him, I know the gun is empty, so I will ask him to shut the gun and just mount
the gun at 90 degrees, flat to him, just mount it flat straight up. What I do then is come
round the side and I will just come round to this side and look down the barrel. Now
if you come round to this side you will be able to see looking straight down the barrel,
and if you can hold that there Andrew, if you look down the barrel you can see all of
Andrew's eye and a small piece of his eyelid at the
bottom. His eye then is looking over the top of the gun and his perception to the end of
the gun is coming down onto here and if I completely raise the gun up like this and
Andrew tells me what he can see, what are you starting to see now?
Lots of gun.
Lots of gun and can you see what the end of the gun is doing?
Not a thing. So what we need to do in that instance is to look at the height of the comb.
So we will go back to the gun and the keys and what we will do, they are very easy to
manipulate these guns. You just slightly undo the screws and just from my guess work and
it really is guess work, trial and error, getting some feed back from your client exactly
where they think it should be and obviously experience with the shape of people will help.
So if you do the same exercise. Again if you could just mount that gun, perfect, and I
will just come round this end, we know it is empty and come round and look at Andrew.
If I look straight down there I can see all of his eye. There is a possibility that the
end of the gun is just covering the bottom of the coloured piece of his eye. So what
I think I will do now is if Andrew drops the gun down a little bit again, I will just lift
it a tiny bit. A tiny measurement will make a difference obviously when everything goes
up to a further distance away, a few millimetres at
this end can make a massive difference on the bird that is 30 or 40 yards away.
See what is going on with that. So if you just mount that up again Andrew and I will
come round again and just have a look and I can see all of his eye there now. So if
I lift his gun up now and I keep raising it Andrew should now be able to see at the end
of the gun all the way up through and even when he gets to this point where he is going
to shoot his very high pheasant he should still be looking all the way down the end
of his gun which I hope you are Andrew.
Yes, that is great.
So if you bring it back down and mount to the camera, you will be able to see that you
can see the full piece of his eye.
The fitting has definitely worked for Andrew, and we hope it has also helped you spot whether
your gun is a bit rough on the shoulder.
William Powell is keen to do more of these events for customers to come along, have a
pop at a few good clays and consider one of their range of guns.
Now if you love shooting you will love the Shooting Show. You will see a clip of it appearing
in this .... beside me. Next it is David on the Fieldsports Channel News Stump.
This is Fieldsports Britain News.
Stars from rock and roll, sport and TV have been raising cash for charity by shooting
and fishing at Meon Springs Fishery in Hampshire.
In all 16 teams helped raise over £20,000 for Fishing for Heroes. Sir Ian Botham caught
his three fish limit in 10 minutes flat. Mike Atherton, David ‘Bumble' Lloyd, Glen Tipton
from Judas Priest, Chris de Margary from Simply Red, and Gold Cup winning jockey, Sam Thomas,
also helped make the day a success. Hunter, Jeep, Hardys, Waitrose and Eley Hawk all made
the day possible.
George Digweed has won yet another European Title - his second in a month.
This time it was the European Fitasc Championships in Portugal. George dropped just five shots
entering a score of 195. Mark Windsor was second on 193. The competition attracted 800
shots from all over the World This is George's 16th European crown.
Staying with best British shooting and English Gunmaker William Powell has announed the arrival
of a new over and under model that will go head to head with the likes of Berreta's highly
popular silver pigeon. William powell's perseus is under £1800.00 and is targeting the entry
level shotgun owner who wants something a little different.
You don't want to turn up on a shoot and shoot the same gun as everybody else really. That
is what we are doing with our William Powells they are different, they are unique and they
are really good value for money.
So will the bad weather be bad news for partridge shoots this season. Rain during Royal Ascot
traditionally means death for partridge chicks. However the game farmers are reassuring shoots
that although the bad weather doesn't make their job easier, chicks are safe thanks to
modern rearing techniques.
And finally, Kenya's wildlife crisis has worsened with 6 of its dwindling lion population being
speared to death by angry locals in a single incident following livestock losses. There
are about 1500 lions left in Kenya and they are being killed at a rate of around 100 a
year. Kenya does not allow any hunting. But so far in 2012 it has had 133 elephant killed
and 11 rhino.
You are now up to date with Fieldsports Britain News. Stalking the stories. Fishing for facts.
Thank you David. Some really important stories there, I thought. Now, corvids and what shall
we do about them. I know call Simon Barr from Realtree.
If I say it is before dawn on the morning of the summer solstice you will get an idea
of how early it is. I am joining game chef, Mark Gilchrist, on a crow shooting outing
to minimise the impact they are having on a farmer's crop. We need to be set up in a
hide within the next 45 minutes to catch the crows as they start leaving their roost and
heading for breakfast.
You always find big populations of crows where ever you have got pig farms, chicken farms,
or dairy farms. That is where there are big amounts of crows. Or somewhere where they
are fattening bull beef. They are always making themselves unwelcome customers and when it
gets light you will see what I mean. There are just patches here that they just ruin.
When they are doing what they are doing it doesn't take long to make the crop uneconomical
to grow.
Many will not realise the damage crows cause to crops. These crafty corvids do not just
keep to livestock farms and the young crop we are trying to protect is sustaining quite
a hammering. The birds are not eating the shoots, but pulling them out of the soil to
expose leather jackets, worms and grubs underneath. We will have a look at this later. But now
I want to find out if there is much of an art to crow decoying as pigeon decoying.
Mark what sort of a pattern do you go for with crows?
To make a pattern, it doesn't matter what it is, the patterns don't make any difference.
Anyone telling you want an L shape pattern, or Z shape pattern, is just making it up.
You just want a big area of decoys and a hole where you want them to land. One tactic that
works quite well with crows is a big area of crows widely dispersed, if you see what
I mean. So all the decoys 15 yards apart so that they come over and look at it and I think.
I have got a theory which will probably be proved wrong at some stage, they don't look
at the number of birds they look at the size that has birds in it. So you are much better
off with a sparsely populated area of crows that is bigger, than more in a smaller area.
So more on the spread than the density.
Yes, if only I was as skilled a journalist as you are I would be able to use those complicated
words that would explain what I was trying to say.
We hear the caws of crows as they make a start to their day. With the addition of natural
foliage covering our Realtree AP cannon netting we are ready for them. Mark gets a few shots
off straight away and opens the batting. Mark takes the job of controlling vermin on farmland
very seriously. I feel quite honoured I may also get a shot off. As enjoyable as this
outing with a gun is, Mark is most definitely working.
So Mark we have caught up with a few now and it is very different from pigeon shooting.
What would you say are the key differences when shooting crows over pigeons?
Well, you need to be in the right place at the right time. This time of year you need
to be up early. Even on a good day it is all over by 8, 9 o'clock. They find somewhere
else and they spread out. Actually when taking the shot you need to be a lot stiller. They
are a funny bird in that they are more intelligent, oddly enough crows can also be quite arrogant
in the sense that once you have got them fooled you can often think it is incomprehensible
that it can be a trap, if you have got a decent enough set up they come straight in and they
can be very silly, once you have got them in that position.
Once they have taken the bait they are in.
It may be midsummer but the rain starts coming down in stair rods. We knew it was forecast,
so why are we here.
So Mark we are out on the longest day of the year, you got me out of bed at 2.30am, it
is tipping down with rain.
Keep still, keep still. How on earth did I miss that.
I thought you hit it.
No, no the first shot. That really was too pathetic.
I will start again Mark. So it is the longest day of the year, you got me out of bed very
early. It is tipping down with rain. Talk to me a little bit about why it is important
to come out in these miserable conditions.
You just have to look after the farmer. I don't have a sporting lease on the 45,000
acres I shoot on. It is all a grace and favour exercise. So the only thing I can do for the
farmer is be effective or be seen to be making an effort.
Now it is my turn and with some learning advice from Mark on steadily swinging through these
deceptively large targets I connect with a number of satisfying birds.
That is it. Lovely. There you go. Lovely shot.
Too far away.
That is it. Lovely. That is it. That is is. Lovely.
That is another good thing to do. Do exactly the right thing. Go up on it and if it looks
like it is going to make a better shot, just don't pull the trigger and then get him.
As the rest of the country starts its day, less crows come over our hide allowing for
just a few more shots before this crop protection exercise comes to a halt. We can now pick
up the birds we have shot and have a look at the damage they have been causing.
Each bird will probably have to pull up, now let us guess, 10 plants to get a full crop
and there were 100 here the other morning and ok we may not have killed that many to
take out of the equation, but the rest of them have heard us banging away and as they
fly over they will remember, because they are clever birds, they will remember the shooting
and won't come any where near it.
Well we have finished up our morning and it is the summer solstice and we have already
taken huge advantage of the longest day of the year. We have connected with quite a few
crows and Mark has now packed up the hide and I think he is getting a little bit excited
because he is .......right I better crack on.
I have learnt a great deal on this midsummer management trip from expert Mark. These birds
are far smarter than pigeons and take experience and commitment to effectively control. Fair
weather shooting this was not, but to do a good job for the farmer, the smaller bags
are equally as important as the big ones. Mark has been a great help and I have immensely
enjoyed a fascinating morning with a management master in his pursuit of excellence. Having
risen at 2.30 and stood in the rain for 5 hours, we both deserve a full English Fieldsports
breakfast and a large mug of tea.
Staying with shotguns, how do you clean your shotgun the best way. Let's ask those clever
folk from Browning.
As you can see this is an old gun what is known in the trade as a nail. If you add water
and oxygen to metal it is going to rust. Your pride and joy will soon end up like this.
Every time you have been shooting, if you are going to take your gun out on a regular
basis, every week or even every fortnight, just give your gun a basic clean. Take your
gun apart into 3 main components, fore end, the barrels, actional stock. Once you have
removed any moisture and surface dirt, spray the gun with a cleaning oil or fluid. If you
use an oily rag great, but you are putting oil back on to your gun every time so if you
remove any dirt with clean kitchen roll and reapply new stuff with new kitchen roll or
something similar, you are not adding dirt and grit which will scratch the action or
the finish on the woodwork. Spray down the barrel with your spray or any other spray.
Get a .....brush like so. You can get 2 sized brushes obviously for different calibres.
You can have a chamber brush and a ball brush. The chamber
brush is for a slightly larger area where your shells go. Give it a damn good scrub,
then push it right the way through push through several times. Once you have done that and
you have loosened any fouling that is in there. Take a standard piece of kitchen roll, put
it into the top of the barrel like that, simply brush it through, out it comes the other end.
That is such a tight seal it will have moved most. Then you will find the bores inside
will be highly polished and cleaned. You can then reapply a slight amount of oil just to
prevent any moisture getting back into the barrels and eating away. If you look after
them, guns will last you a lifetime.
Now we filmed that for Browning at the Oxford Gun Company shop and clay ground, and the
owners of the Oxford Gun Company this year celebrate 30 years in the business. So they
are throwing a party for the great, the good, the bad and even the ugly from the shooting
Fabulous family.
Made me feel so welcome since taking on the Game Fair. Thank you very much.
If you want to see more from this event, and you are watching this on YouTube, follow the
link on the screen.
It is hunting YouTube.
This week we are celebrating Euro2012 and the slow collapse of the euro by highlighting
some foreign films. Thanks to everyone who has sent in their favourites.
Well they certainly do things differently in Turkey. Bilalarabaci - forgive the pronunciation
- shows a woodcock shooting film where the dogs wear radio collars, the shooters wear
orange and they carry semi-autos. If you can put up with the bad language - and I assure
you Turkish is a bad language - you will find this fascinating, not least that they are
out with a group called Yoncali Timi Nazim Öksü, which means literally 'Orphans Master
Shamrock team'.
Talking of shamrocks, after a two-month break, the remarkable Irish shooting documentary-maker
which is punchy enough to call itself 'CreamThem' on YouTube has uploaded another film. 'Trialling
a Spaniels Journey' is a short, sharp video about a gundog trial with great filming, a
sense of disappointment you can't see the whole thing - this is just a trailer - and,
happily, no cream.
Now, we have made lots of good factory films for manufacturers including Norma ammunition,
Zeiss optics and Browning shotguns, and here is one from the USA by AmmoMfgProducts, made
early last year. It shows CCI's .22 rimfire ammunition facility in Lewiston, Idaho. And
it's very good. Of course ours are better.
Our friend and viewer Rijk from the Netherlands is back with another favourite film this week.
Forget pheasants - this from ArchipelagoNZ2 is peacock shooting in New Zealand. But the
quarry is not important for gundog enthusiasts who will delight to see a team of Cesky Fouskies
at work - good grief, can't we have a dog with a sensible name?
So we have to introduce you to this channel. Called DylanDog69 it's in Italian and is all
about, well, not just catching enormous catfish and carp but jumping into the water with them
afterwards, splashing around and it's hard to know what's happening here. Emotional,
Back to Blighty and airgunning: CountryPursuitsTV has a Daystate Mk4IS on test. Rabbits be nervous.
He tries it out next to a tuned Air Arms Evo2 and finds it is almost but not quite the Evo
Knevo's equal. Good work by CountryPursuitsTV. Bad luck those rabbits.
If you ever wondered whether it could be done, BigSigh66 shows that it can, with the correct
windage, elevation adjustments and surely a modicum of luck: a .204 Ruger shooting a
39-grain Sierra Blitzking with a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second kills a rabbit at
458 yards - that's more than a quarter of a mile. Believe it, or not.
Let's finish on a film so painfully patronising and pointless, so moronic, so everything that's
wrong with both football and ordinary telly. It comes from some sleeping beauty of a BBC
producer who thinks it would be an awesome idea for the footballer Ian Wright to go hunting
with the Kalahari bushmen.
There must be a simpler way, Jesus, that is terrible that is.
Go to the butcher and buy it. Somebody else killed it then.
BBCWorldwide has the gall to say the former Arsenal striker is 'surprisingly squeamish'
when it cannot bring itself to show any of the hunting that takes place, only Wright
blithering in the noonday sun while men who live and die by what they catch and hunt are
reduced to being victims of his otiose attempts at humour. It's the new Reithian principles:
misinform, ill-educate and you will never be fired for hiring a footballer. It is television
as voluntary tinnitus. Thank you for listening. Rant over.
You can click on any of these films to watch them. If you have a YouTube film you would
like us to pop in to the weekly top eight, send it in via YouTube, or email me the link
Well that is it for this week. We are of course back next week. And if you are watching this
on YouTube you will see various things appearing beside me. You can click them and subscribe
to our channel or subscribe to this show Fieldsports Britain by going to our special shows page or you can go to our website
where you can click to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, or scroll down to
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contact you remorselessly for ever. This has been Fieldsports Britain going bang and loving