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Article 2 – 2024 (March)

Australian Shooter Magazine

Question and Answers

Article 2 – 2024 (March)

Question:  I was wondering if there is any particular type of footwear that you would recommend when shooting clays? I have been online researching this and cannot find a definitive answer. Any help would be appreciated.

Kel Northington, Perth WA

Answer:  The vast majority of participants in clay target shooting compete using stock standard low cut sand shoes or “runners”, but in saying that I have seen at least two Australian Olympians competed quite successfully in common everyday work boots. In essence, as long as your footwear is comfortable, I am of the opinion it really doesn’t matter too much.

Personally, I always preferred flat bottom soles so I could put as much surface area on the shooting pad as possible, but as long as the shoe didn’t slip then I never found any type of footwear remarkably better than the other. Very few companies in the firearm industry have tried too hard to market shooting shoes which I guess is a testament that apart from branding there was not much technological advantage pushing a shoe that was supposably going to make you aim straighter.


Question:   I have heard that by filling up the back of my shotguns stock with lead that it will make me shoot faster. Is that fact or fiction?

Bruce Abberton, Jacobs Well QLD

Answer:  My first question would be just how much lead you are talking about here? I have certainly added small quantities of lead weights to people’s shotguns over the years to balance “barrel heavy” firearms. If you place the closed shotgun on your hand around the mid-point of the shotgun, straight below the hinge pin, then it should not fall forward or back. If it falls forward then placing lead inside the stock until it is balanced is a good solution.

If you keep adding large quantities of lead then the stock will very quickly become “back heavy” and in theory the barrels will feel lighter to move when you are pointing at a target. What I have found from experience is that adding large amounts of weight into the stock will make many competitors lose control of their barrels and won’t improve their accuracy. You need to be very careful here as a balanced shotgun is a huge asset. A stock heavy shotgun may feel better in theory, but in practice it won’t help your scores improve, especially under pressure. The reputable firearm companies spend an awful amount of time ensuring their competitive shotguns are perfectly balanced before they are released to the consumer. After market additions are fraught with danger.

The added lead weight will certainly have two advantages though. First of all, it will reduce the recoil of the shotgun and secondly it should increase the size of your biceps if you practice mounting it regularly at home.


Question:  My wife is keen to buy me a set of shooting glasses with yellow lenses for Christmas so I could shoot competitions at night. I have now heard this may not be such a good idea. I am keen to hear your thoughts?

Chris Mifsud, Point Cook VIC

Answer:  Sadly Chris it appears your wife no longer likes you as she clearly doesn’t want to see you succeed in your night clay target shooting career. Yellow won’t help. Buy a clear set of lenses and “regift” the yellow ones to somebody you don’t like next Christmas.

Sorry to hear your marriage is over. Chin up. There are plenty of fish in the sea.


Question: If you had just one twelve gauge shotshell to break a clay target at a distance of forty metres and your life depended on it busting, what would you use?

Pete Gordon, Woodend VIC

Answer: Thirty-six grams of number 6 lead shot made with 5% antimony travelling at a velocity of 390 metres per second should do quite nicely. You did say just one shot didn’t you? I wouldn’t want to shoot this load for too long!

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