Over my shooting life and standing behind thousands of people watch them make mistakes, and helping them to correct their faults based on hand to eye co-ordination, the natural shot. I have introduced to the Natural shot website, learn with Declan. I am teaching Declan over the next two years to become a top class shooting instructor based on the natural shot. He is going to write down on the website all his experiences as he goes through his two years from his first lesson and beyond.
As I am 70, I want to hand over to a young person all the things I have learned in the next few years. You will also be able to follow him and myself as we teach clients on the natural shot on Facebook, Cyril Brewster Shooting.

Chapter One:
Starting off my journey into shooting was something I’ve always wanted to do based on my love and passion of guns and the countryside. I wasn’t fully aware of what it would take to become a top class shooter, as all the videos that you see online, make it look so easy. I was quick to learn that wasn’t going be the case and there was a lot more than picking up a shotgun and hitting every target you see!
So into the classroom and greeted with a safety leaflet which we went through in detail to ensure the safety of myself and others around me.

My expectations were completely different to what I anticipated being taught during the session. The first thing we started off talking about was that shooting clays was like catching a ball. The idea of you arm being the extension of the gun sounded odd at first but later started making sense when you realise that by using hand eye co-ordination to catch a ball that you don’t need to look at your hand when catching a object. You simply “watch the clay” and your brain takes in all the information that it needs, to be able to put the gun where it needs to break the clay. I was informed that by looking at the end of the barrels would result in me trying to work out where the clay is going and I would simply miss the target.

Checking my master eye:
By doing a simple finger pointing exercise I was able to determine what my master eye was. My focal point was sitting just to the right hand side of my nose. Being right handed anyway, this was a relief to me as I would still be able to shoot out of my right shoulder as explained by Cyril that some people have to shoot from the left shoulder if right handed, to be able to shoot to the best of their ability. It was made clear to me that some people may not have to switch, as your brain would be able to deal with it especially if you had a centre focal point.

Gun fit:
The next thing we did was check my gun fit with a different variety of guns to make sure I had the right one to suit me. I was shown the basics principles of how the gun worked and was told that a broken gun is always a safe gun!
Immediately I was told to mount the gun that was checked to make sure it was in the right place, to point the barrels into Cyril’s right eye, upon doing this he said “Gun down” and said to me “why are you closing your left eye for “ to which I responded I don’t know. Then it was explained to me that you wouldn’t catch a ball with one eye closed so why would you close an eye to shoot at the clays. From previously having experienced shooting air rifles it was complete contrast to shooting with both eyes open.

What is the Natural gauge to distance in every day life?
The natural gauge to distance in everyday life is Size. This was explained to me as how would one know where to put the gun in reference to where the clay is going. You need to know three things about the clay to gather all the information you can to be able to put the gun to where your going to break it.
Line, Speed and Distance.
The line of the clay will tell you where it is traveling,
the speed of the clay can tell you a lot of things including your gun speed and where your visual pick up points are in relation to where the clay is coming from.
By focusing on the size of the clay it can tell you if it’s closer or further away judging by how big or smaller it may be.

Shooting on the field:
Upon arriving at the field I was informed we was going to start on a target known as an Incoming target. This type of target goes straight up towards you and hangs in the air before making its way down.
The rational for starting on a target like this is so that you can check if the gun fits you and you are online to where you are looking.
The first couple of shots that I took were missed because of a common mistake that everyone makes when shooting for the first time. I was looking at the “barrels of the gun”. It was then stated once again just to watch the clay, point and shoot. Miraculously I started to hit those targets just by watching the clay and shooting it at its peak. I didn’t have to gauge where the clay is going or line up the end of the gun with the target. I would simply just “watch the clay”.
After the success of hitting so many clays in a row we did what’s called a walk-up. Getting closer and closer to the trap making it more difficult to hit the clay as I thought. To my astonishment I was amazed to see what I was hitting just by letting my brain do the work.

At the end of the session it was very impressive to see how by doing un-natural things, can affect your shooting by missing a lot of clays and even put a hold to your shooting until you’ve experienced the mistakes hundreds of times yourself.

Onto chapter two…