English Sporting is a form of sporting clays that is very similar to FGA Simulated Field and for Port Phillip branch members it was a hoot.
The main difference being that no single (double barrel) targets are thrown.
On each stand, the clays are thrown in pairs, either simultaneously, on report or following and generally in three to five pairs per stand.
A course consists of numerous stands, where 100 birds or more may be presented. The course setter can use any type of clay and with variation of speed, angle and distance to make a shoot as enjoyable and testing as possible.
“It's a discipline that allows you to experience a target presentation three or four times — the benefit being you get to have another go if you missed and maybe try something different,” Port Phillip president Nigel Loughridge said. “To make life interesting (read amusing) we run a Side-by-side competition during the English sporting event.”
With some very interesting older shotguns getting an outing, the fun arises when experienced target shooters used to modern over-and-under shotguns forget that the older guns usually have an automatic safety and two triggers. “The failure to fire can usually be blamed upon the shooter not flicking the safety to the firing position or upon shooting the first bird in a pair, they forget to switch triggers to fire the second barrel,” Nigel said.
“It is jokingly referred to as trying to straighten the front trigger as the shooter tries in vain to fire a second shot.”
Port Phillip holds an English Sporting event around June or July each year and this year's outing saw everything from Russian made Baikals through to Purdeys.
The Pedersoli 10-gauge black-powder muzzle loader proved to be the most popular gun of the day with a boom akin to the starting of a yacht race.
Chris Fankhauser sporting a Purdey shotgun and matching hat