“Shooting well is a journey, not a race”
To become a better shot, you have to be dedicated. Tom Payne believes Patrick Galbraith might finally be getting somewhere
As this series draws to a close, it would be safe to say that it has been an interesting and amusing ride. At the start, Patrick approached me about a series of articles looking at how much the average Shot can improve their game shooting during the off season.
I spent some time thinking about who might be a good subject and then went back to him: “You’re pretty average. If you’ve got the time, why don’t you do it?”
He took this well and said he’d get back to me. The following week he called to say he was keen. In many ways, he was the perfect candidate. Like so many Shooting Times readers, he gets out a lot, but is ultimately selftaught, so finds himself continually reinforcing bad habits he has picked up over the years.
It wasn’t an easy start because, in order to improve your shooting, you have to commit, dedicate yourself and your time to getting better and be able to ride the ups and downs that come with improving. It is never plain sailing and lots of people don’t want to face getting worse before they get much better.
I work on my shooting all the time and I still have those frustrating days where, for no rhyme or reason, things just don’t click. In that regard, it is just like any other sport.
Trust your eyes
At the beginning, Patrick’s first decision was to see if he could shoot with both eyes open — something he’d never done, having graduated from an air rifle. Eye dominance aside, and that must be correct in order to even attempt the change, it takes time learning to trust your eyes and move away from aiming a shotgun. The first few sessions for Patrick, as you would expect, were met with varying success, but as he started to understand better how a shotgun works, he began to believe in what he was seeing.
We spent a lot of time developing his technique, again not an easy task