It is vital that when you first start shooting you have at least two sessions with a properly qualified coach. This will ensure that you will learn all about how to hold and operate a gun, and how to do this safely; plus you will then learn how you might attempt to hit a target. If you have got previous experience in rifle or handgun shooting but not in shotgun shooting, we still require you to take the supervised introduction since shooting at a quickly moving target is vastly different from the shooting experience you are used to.
The two certificated introductory modules that you have to complete before being allowed to shoot regularly with the club are:
Module 1: Introduction to clay pigeon shooting, containing, safety, gun handling, gun fit and eye dominance, The Pull Away method (lecture + 1 on-range session)
Module 2: Shotgun Skills, containing more detailed info about shotguns, ammunition, law and legislation, insurance, different targets and an intro to the disciplines (lecture + 1 on-range session)
These have been specifically designed and written by our coaches and are more comprehensive than the CPSA Shotgun Skills Modules 1 and 2. They are designed to offer an all-round introduction to the beginner. No on-range training will be given without you first attending the first (Module 1, safety) lecture.
For those applying for the grant of a shotgun licence, whilst there is no legal requirement for them, the certificated coaching sessions are found to be advantageous as the Police view them very favourably when considering your application.
Beginners are not allowed to shoot with the regular shots until they have completed their initial training with our coaches.
Once you have successfully completed the supervised introductory sessions, you are welcome to join the regular club training.
A valid shotgun certificate is required before you are allowed to acquire your own shotgun or to bring a shotgun from another country into the United Kingdom on a permanent basis. The office responsible for firearms licensing in and around Cambridge is the Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Contact details of the Firearms & Explosives Licensing Department are available on their website.
In case you are interested in buying your own gun, our coaches are happy to offer advice on the application process. Please note that most Cambridge colleges do not permit storage of firearms on college property. If you are living in college accommodation and wish to buy or bring your own gun to Cambridge, the club or the coaches might be able to provide storage for your gun. However, storage capacities are limited, please contact us or the coaches before taking any action in this regard.
Shotgun certificates are available to all residents of the United Kingdom that fulfil certain requirements. You do not need to be a British citizen to apply for a shotgun certificate. However, even if you do not have British citizenship, you still require a reference person who is resident in the United Kingdom, has known you for at least two years and fulfils certain requirements. We are happy to give advice on the details if needed.
Advanced Training Modules
Our coaches are able to coach at any level from beginner to advanced. For intermediate and advanced shots, coaching should be undertaken in order to help you improve and correct the inevitable bad habits that you will unknowingly start to adopt.
In addition to being able to arrange to have individual sessions of coaching, our coaches have designed and written a complete package of courses specifically to meet the needs of the University Club. Once you have gained sufficient experience and expertise, you can opt to undertake Modules 3 and/or 4 which are intended to introduce you to more advanced techniques and to the different disciplines in the sport. These modules are as follows:
Module 3: Shooting methods: Gun down, maintain lead, swing through, ambush, cut-off (lecture + 3 on-range sessions)
Module 4: Specific disciplines: English Sporting, Skeet, Down The Line (lecture + 3 on-range sessions, one of each)
These are usually taught individually or in small groups.
The training programme also extends to cover other aspects of shooting. For those interested in competing rather than using their shooting as a stress busting relaxation we have a specific module to introduce you to everything involved in the competitive process:
Module 5: Competition skills, preparation and participation (lecture + on-range session.) This includes introductory physiology, psychology and training programmes as well as what you need to do when you are actually participating in a competition.
The final module is designed for those licence holders who are 21 and over:
Module 6: Safety and Supervision: which is primarily intended for those who will be supervising unlicensed members on the range once they have finished their initial courses (lecture + on-range session). This will give you insights and experience of what to expect and how deal with inexperienced shots, in order to keep everyone safe.
Please contact one of our coaches if you are interested in any of the above. Generally the advanced coaching is conducted outside our normal training sessions and often at grounds other than Cambridge Gun Club.