English sport­ing

Field and Game - - FGA BRANCH NEWS -

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

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