I have been lucky to have met so many great people along the way. Here's just a few of them!
Christian and Megan at the Boar Shooting Ground who were supportive from the outset. I suspect they don't realise what a difference they made to me when I was starting out. To Carl and Linda (and the rest of the team) at Nottingham District Gun club. And Phil and Shaun (now at East Yorkshire Shooting Ground) at the North of England Clay Target Centre.
To my dear old mum who frequently buttons for me in my training sessions in South Wales.
To all the folks on the Welsh National Skeet team who have welcomed me right from the start - I couldn't wish to shoot on a better team!
And last, but not least, to my wife who has put up with the "roller coaster" that is part of competition shooting. You know that I couldn't do it without you!
I started out shooting Berettas, but have been shooting a Perazzi since 2017. I am shooting an MX8 - 30 3/4 inch barrels, multi choked. It is pretty much a standard MX8 - with a detachable trigger group (I always carry a spare) and an adjustable comb. It is a great piece of kit - it never misses a beat and it is the one thing that I never need to worry about. As a compeition gun, it goes out whatever the weather and sees some heavy usage (around 20 - 25K cartridges a year). It gets cleaned regularly and serviced one a year and is one of the best bits of kit I have ever bought!
I use Teague chokes - Skeet in the bottom barrel and 1/4 in the top barrel. The gun was factory multi choked by Perazzi, but I don't like the appearance of the extended knurled Perazzi chokes - they don't look "finished" to me! So I use flush fitting Teague chokes. I have tried other makes, but Teague chokes seem to pattern the best with my combination of gun and choice of cartridges. And they are made in the UK!
I exclusively shoot Hull ProPiston cartridges. These pattern exceptionally well at the distances involved in skeet shooting. I have patterned a whole range of other cartridges, but always come back to ProPiston. I find them very consistent and reliable as well as not having a huge amount of recoil - something that is important when you shoot 20,000 of them a year! I have had cleaning issues with ProPiston cartridges due to gasses escaping down the side of the wadding. But this only really seems to happen with back-bored guns (e.g. Beretta 692 or DT11). I have never had the same cleaning issues with my MX8 (which isn't back bored). And the cartridges are made in Yorkshire!
I am a big fan of Randolph Engineering glasses. I use RE Ranger XLWs. I have a couple of pairs of glasses and a wide selection of different coloured lenses. The frames are exceptionally well made, light and robust. I will happily wear mine all day long. The lenses are made by Zeiss and as good as any other on the market. Most of the lenses are around £40 per pair, so I don't get overly stressed about them getting scratched. This is almost inevitable when you wear them most days and, at this price point, I can afford to replace them every couple of years. Having said that, I have only had to retire a couple of pairs of lenses in the past five years due to scratches and wear. The support I have received from RE has been amazing and this is something that shouldn't be overlooked when you are investing money in any piece of kit.
I hope that you found the information on this site useful. I am keen to know what worked for you. And what didn't! One of the biggest challenges has been to know what to leave out rather than what to put in. With this sort of subject matter, it would be very easy to provide too much information and for you to get lost in the detail or theory. If you think there is information or detail missing, then please do let me know. My email address is email@example.com.