Buyer’s Guide To Shotguns For Pros

The Sabatti CTS
The Sabatti CTS Trap

Now that you understand what you are looking for, the choice has to come down to which shotgun you are going to pick. Here are the thoughts of Steph Brooks on some particular shotguns for sale that may catch the eye of the seasoned pro looking for something special.

Sabatti CTS Trap

As the name suggests, this shotgun is one of the finest available when it comes to trap shooting and combines functionality with an Italian sense of style for a wonderful looking shotgun. Its Californian walnut stock is lacquer finished and its quality is instant and obvious. The stock is also brilliantly shaped and is comfortable to shoulder and hold and is well balanced enough to be nimble enough for quick, precision aiming.

It’s not all about looks, and thankfully this shotgun is less off a blonde bimbo that is after your money, and more a quiet brunette that shares your taste in music. The relationship between what I wanted this gun to do and what it did was exact and instant and this is largely down to its twin 30” monobloc barrels that double up with well timed ejectors to make the CTS Trap a real joy to shoot.

One negative is that the gold plated trigger is non adjustable and, although very well set in terms pull weight and position, it would be nice to have the option to set it up myself. The large trigger guard allows for easy shooting even whilst wearing the thickest of shooting gloves.

Testing against clays with ¾ and ½ chokes, the Sabatti CTS Trap is absolutely outstanding, with accurate, tight spreads and a smooth manoeuvrability that allows you to glide through your targets with ease.

Recommended for : Serious Trap & Skeet Shooters.

Remington Model 870 Wingmaster

When this shotgun was first manufactured in 1951 I doubt Remington knew what a monster the 870 would become. Selling over 10 million units and becoming the world’s best selling smoothbore, the 870 is probably one of the most versatile shotguns on the market today. One of the first thing that draws you towards this shotgun is its fantastic gloss black metalwork, deep and rich colourationtrap and skeet shooting gun makes this shotgun appear almost mysterious in certain lights and its stock, while admittedly not as nice as the Sabatti’s, is still perfectly shaped and handles well.

As one of the oldest and best selling shotguns available, the 870 has a large number of variants including the Premier, the Tournament, and the interestingly named “Ducks Unlimited”. The Americans even have one called the Home Defence model, which is unsurprisingly unavailable in the UK. The particular model we’re assessing is called the Wingmaster, and is perfectly suited for game hunting. Its long vented top rib increases accuracy, but keeps firing temperatures down for a long working life. The barrel is also proofed against steel shot, making it ideal for hunting water fowl.

The Remington Model 870 Wingmaster maybe an old school shotgun in terms of functionality and technology, but its design is yet to be surpassed. The fact that many modern shotguns, including some of Remington’s own range, are still based on this shotgun is testament to its staying power and its unfailing reliability.

Recommended for : Those looking for a reliable, tried and tested model.

F.A.I.R Iside Deluxe

Wow, one of the finest looking shotguns I have ever laid my eyes on, the Iside’s small bore, coupled with its detailed engravings make it look like an instrument of precision rather than a simple bird blaster.

Chambered in the somewhat unusual 28 gauge, it may be slightly more of challenge to find suitable cartridges for this gun, but this is more than made up for by the Iside’s light weight and nimbleness. This double barrel is the kind that could easily be carried in the crook of the arm all day without discomfort, and would be at home in any countryman’s gun cabinet.

Admittedly, this gun does lack the stopping power of a larger gauge shotgun, against driven partridge, or many other similar sized birds, the Iside really comes into its own. The Iside also produces far less recoil into the shoulder than a larger shotgun, and shooters of the Iside may find themselves staying on target long after other shooters have called it a day because of this.

Despite its old school appearance, the F.A.I.R Iside Deluxe comes with all the mod cons, a single trigger ejector, selective auto safety and capacity for screw in chokes. Things I wouldn’t necessarily expect from a traditional model like this. It’s a bit like buying a beautiful log cabin in the woods only to discover it has a giant flatscreen TV and fibre optic broadband.

Recommended for : Small Game Hunters that like to show off.

Mossberg 930 Semi Auto

Mossberg have undergone a Skoda-like transformation in recent years, going from being the butt of many a pheasant hunters comedy routine, to a serious provider of high quality, if a little basic, shotguns for sale.

Its synthetic stock, while well made, is nothing special to look at. I concede that this might just be down to my own personal bias, as synthetic stocks do nothing for me. However, it does handle well  and provides great balance between the hands for easy aiming.

What the 930 Semi Auto lacks in the looks department, it more than makes up for when shooting and, I have to say, was one of the most enjoyable I have had the pleasure of using. Its semi automatic action was perfectly timed and its big, weighty body made you feel like you could take on any shot with ease. In fact, the 930 is perhaps one of the most versatile shotguns on this list and is available in both plain black or wildfowl camo, an insight into its versatility.

The only negative I can think of is that the Mossberg 030 Semi Auto’s  size coupled with its weight and high power could lead to a tired shoulder pretty quickly, but I think you’ll be having too much fun to notice.

Recommended for : Shotgunners looking for a surprise.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into the wide variety shotguns for sale available to you. While you’re here why not check out our blog and for all things shotgun related, keep it locked in here at Pellpax.

Buyer’s Guide To Shotguns For Newbies

Clay Pigeon Shooting. Credit: Dennis van Zuijlekom, 'Barrage'.


Choosing a shotgun is something that can be both a long and enjoyable process, with so many brands and models out there it is easy to get overwhelmed. Resident shooting enthusiast Steph Brooks is here to help you to navigate you through this maze of terminology and make the right choice….

First of all, here in the UK, you are going to need a shotgun license and you can check out our comprehensive guide to getting one here.

What are the different types of Shotgun?

There are 5 kinds of shotgun available that are all used for slightly different disciplines :

  • Single Barrel : A classic design, this shotgun features one barrel that must be reloaded after every shot. These shotguns tend to be the cheapest out of all types and can also teach good ammo conservation to younger or newer shooters. These shotguns are ideal for hunting or casual clay pigeon shooting and are perfect for younger shooters and beginners because of their ease of use. Check out our range of single barrel shotguns here.
  • Over and Under : These shotguns were once considered horrible aberrations compared to side by side shotguns but eventually won people over thanks to their single sight plane. They are mechanically similar to the single barrel shotgun, but over and unders feature a break barrel mechanism, and often come with ejectors, making reloading them easy. These shotguns are so called because they feature one barrel mounted over the top of the other and are often used for serious clay pigeon shooting such as skeet and trap shooting disciplines. Check out our range of Over and Under shotguns here.
  • Side by Side : Side by side shotguns feature barrels that lay next to each other, instead of on top, and are what most people think of when they hear the phrase double barrel shotguns. They have been a British staple of hunting for many years, and were designed to provide excellent balance between the hands, improving accuracy. Side by side shotguns, partly due to their long tradition and history, can be made of the absolute finest materials and are often hand made. This does mean that they can be quite expensive but there are a few bargains out there if you look hard enough. Check out our range of side by side shotguns here.
  • Pump Action : These types of shotgun are used all across the world and feature some of the most versatile models in existence. They are used for everything. For example, the police in some American states use a Remington Model 870. Pump actions have traditionally been derided for their mass production and use of cheap materials. However, this is no longer the case, as people continue to want a versatile all useful shotgun all the way up the price range. Check out out our range of pump action shotguns here.
  •  Semi Automatic : Semi automatic shotguns are perhaps the most recognisable of all and are just as versatile as pump actions. The main advantage over pump actions is the semi auto mechanism which will fire shells as fast as you can pull the trigger. Gas cycling shotguns are also great at minimising recoil especially into the shoulder. “If you start to flinch, you might as well go home”, the saying goes, among shooters. Semi automatics definitely help to reduce this, and makes them suitable for all activities and can keep you in the field for longer. Check out our range of semi automatic shotguns here.

If your shotgun has a capacity of more than 3, you will require a firearms license (FAC) to possess it. To see which one is for you, the easiest thing is to try. Very few gun shops worth their salt will try to pigeonhole you into a type of shotgun before you know what you want to do with it.                 


Gauge the Situation

Shotguns are typically chambered in gauges instead of calibres and this is the next thing you must decide when picking your shotgun. The gauge, sometimes called bore, is a measure of how many lead balls it takes in the barrel to make a pound, and therefore smaller gage numbers equals a bigger chamber. Gauges usually range from 10 up to 28 but the most common gauges are 12, 20 and .410 so I’ll take you through those. Here’s the full range of our shotguns….

  • 12 Gauge : Over 50% of all shotguns sold are 12 gauge, making it by far the most popular choice. This is due to a good balance between accuracy and power, and makes this gauge extremely easy to find ammunition for. Birdshot, slugs, buckshot, they are all found in abundance in 12 gauge ensuring these shells can be used for almost all applications.
  • 20 Gauge : This is the second most popular choice of gauge and is designed to be just as effective as a 12, but with greatly reduced recoil and makes this type or shotgun more suitable for younger or smaller shooters. Essentially if you can’t handle the recoil of a 12 gauge, try a 20 although note you are sacrificing some lethality by doing this.
  • 410 Gauge : A newer, American invention, the .410 gauge is based on the .45 Colt round and even come in subsonic varieties. The recoil of these shotguns are even less than their 20 gauge counterparts, but often contain less shot. For example a 12 gauge 000 shell contains 10 pellets where as a .410 gauge contains just 3.


Shotgun Shells

Shotgun cartridges come in multiple varieties with varying loads and shot sizes that are all used for different activities, so your choice of cartridge largely comes down to this.

  • Birdshot : Similar to gauge, when categorising bird shot shells, the smaller the number, the larger the shot. This, as the name suggests is for birds such as pheasant, partridge or quail, but can also be used for clay pigeon shooting. Birdshot is also used for targeting waterfowl as well, but steel shot must be used due to the animal’s proximity to water. When shooting steel shot, lower power or larger shot size should be considered, as steel shot, being significantly harder than lead, has a tendency to pass through an animal. This leads to a slow death rather than a humane one. Also check that your barrel has been proofed for steel shot, most modern shotguns have been, as the harder shot can damage the internal chamber.
  • Buckshot : Used to hunt larger game, such as deer, buckshot contains larger sizes of shot that must be carefully packed into cartridges rather than being poured. Different countries use different systems for sizing, but in the UK it goes : LG, MG, SG, SSG, SSSG, SSSSG, AAAA, AAA, from biggest to smallest. Why not use numbers? Who knows, but learn it because it’s important. The larger size of this shot decreases spread but vastly improves lethality. Because of the size of the projectiles that are moved in buckshot, the recoil felt by these cartridges is significantly greater than birdshot shells. Reduced recoil cartridges have recently become available and are made for practising without shoulder fatigue.
  • Slugs : Unlike the other cartridges on this list, slugs are not made from multiple balls of lead shot but are instead one large projectile that are used to hunt large game in populated area where rifles are of a concern because of their long range. Slugs have devastating power but have maximum ranges of around 400 years compared to up to 2 for rifles.  Slugs are often rifled which aids their accuracy as shotgun chambers are usually smooth. Slugs are usually shot from shotguns with a straight choke, or even no choke at all, and are usually just 12 gauge, although there are also .410 slugs available.

It is worth noting that as slugs exceed 0.36 in diameter they require a firearms certificate (FAC) to posses. You can find a good choice of ammunition if you wish to buy shotgun cartridges here.


Shotgun Added Extras

There are also several items that are designed to improve your shotguns performance. These are not essential to be able to shoot shotguns but could improve your shooting and make the difference between a hit and a miss.

  • Chokes : A choke is a tapered constriction of the end of a shotguns barrel that is designed to tighten the spread of the pellets and increase range and accuracy, chokes are almost always used when hunting to ensure humane, one shot kills. There are many different sizes of choke ranging from Cylinder, which offers no constriction and is usually reserved for slugs, to Turkey, which constrict the barrel by over 0.05 inches. This may not seem like a lot but this constriction is magnified over the shotguns range and can produce incredibly tight spreads. Check our our shotgun chokes here.
  • Silencers : Depending on where you are shooting, a silencer, or moderator may not be necessary. But in residential areas noise is a valid concern, and the muzzle noise from a shotgun can also cause considerable damage to hearing. Even though hearing protection is recommended, a silencer can also help drastically reduce noise. Only shotguns with 1 barrel (single barrel, semi auto, pump action) shotguns are capable of having silencers attached, and some of them require modification due to a vented top rib. Here’s our range of shotgun silencers.
  • Cleaning Kits : Shotguns usually experience a buildup of lead and other deposits inside the barrel that needs to be removed every so often. The amount of and the speed at which this builds up largely depends on your choice of cartridge, but if left unchecked this build up can drastically affect accuracy, and even cause misfires and other problems. Most cleaning kits will be set to a particular gauge and will consist of either a chamber brush or a pull through, which has stiff wire bristles to scrape the chamber clean.

Keeping a shotgun well maintained is one of the most important aspects of ensuring a long working life and consistent shooting accuracy. Gun oil is ideal for all the moving parts and stock finish is also a good ideal if you shotgun features a wooden stock that needs protecting. You can take you pick by perusing our range of shotgun cleaning kits here.

  • Protective Clothing : If shooting at serious competitions, you might want to consider your apparel. Padded gun vests can help negate the fatiguing effect of recoil, whilst ear defenders and ballistic glasses protect your eyes and ears against things going wrong. Glasses are even sometimes colour to help you pick out clays against the sky. You can check out our range of ear defenders here.


Hopefully this has guided you through some of the tricky terminology that can make picking a shotgun difficult. For more help and advice, stayed tuned on our blog, or give us a call!

Buyer’s Guide to Air Rifles for Pros

A fine looking Weihrauch on a sunny day

Once you’re proficient in the sport of shooting an airgun accurately and consistency, whether for field target shooting, or match shooting where each millimetre counts, you might want to look for an airgun that will serve you reliably for the years to come.

This fantastic Buyer’s Guide by our resident airgun enthusiast Joe Meakin covers some of the best air rifles and best air pistols that are currently available on the market. We hope it will guide you along the right path to you buying one with everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

Best Spring Air Rifles

If spring is your thing then we have a great range of top quality models from the finest makers around today such as Air Arms and Weihrauch. Air Arms is a British based airgun firm who make everything in house to an incredibly high standard and this certainly does show when on the target range. Their range of spring powered air rifles consist of the TX200, TX200HC, and the Pro-Sport.

Air Arms

The internals of the TX200 feature some very advanced features that would normally only be found on a ‘tuned’ target rifle such as the bearing rings on the piston itself. This means the piston has very low friction and a constant contact surface which makes each firing cycle very similar, to minimise any fluctuations in the muzzle output.

Air Arms also install one of their CD trigger systems which can be finely adjusted to your requirements to eliminate any trigger creep and the possibility of you ‘pulling’ the shot if the trigger is set too heavy.

Air Arms also offer the Pro-Sport which is very similar to the TX200 in terms of the internals, but differs on the exterior. The TX200 has a standard underlever, positioned under the barrel out the front, and the Pro-Sport has an underlever which is smartly incorporated into the underside of the stock. This dramatically improves the balance of the rifle which helps in target acquisition and steadiness when shooting. If you’re looking for Air Arms’ top model, then the Pro Sport is the model to go for.

See the Air Arms airguns range


Weihrauch is a marque of quality in the world of airguns
Weihrauch is a marque of quality in the world of airguns

Weihrauch are a German airgun manufacturer, and are one of the longest established airgun firms around today. Through being in business for many years, they have seen how the airgun market has changed throughout the years and refined their products to a remarkably high standard and matched them to the needs of today’s shooters.

Their top end spring air rifles consist of the HW97, which comes in 5 different models with different stocks and action finishes, and the HW98. The HW97 is an under lever air rifle, similar to the TX200, and has a standard spring and piston system on the inside. The HW98 is a break barrel rifle, but has features such as an over sleeved barrel, and target stock, to cater for the target shooters.

The HW97 is a heavy rifle, which most shooters prefer, as it helps steady the rifle on each shot. The 97 is also available with a thumbhole stock so you can get a really solid grip when taking each shot. Of course, it is fitted with the Weihrauch Rekord trigger unit for an excellent shot release each and every time.

The HW98 has a target stock, which has an adjustable cheek piece, adjustable rubber butt pad, and textured inserts on the fore stock and pistol grip for a really affirmative hold in damp conditions. This stock makes it the perfect choice for target shooters as it can be tailored to the individual, and the action with the over sleeved barrel offers great accuracy as all the Weihrauch air rifles do.

See the Weihrauch airguns range

Best PCP Air Rifles

PCP rifles offer advantages over spring rifles because they have no recoil, and the high pressure air that they use provides excellent shot to shot consistency. The main drawback to PCP rifles is that they do need an air source to recharge them such as a dive bottle or a stirrup pump, but once you’re all set up the ongoing costs are minimal. There are quite a few top manufacturers for PCP rifles and these consist of Air Arms and Weihrauch again, as well as Daystate.

Air Arms

Air Arms’ top offerings in the PCP range are the HFT500 and the FTP900. The latter is an out and out target rifle, with a multi adjustable stock and regulated action.

Both rifles are only available in .177 calibres and have a shot count of around 100 shots. The HFT 500 has a match grade Lothar Walther Barrel for superb accuracy, whereas the FTP900 has a specially selected match grade Lothar Walther, to give it a slight edge over the HFT.

Both rifles have a laminated stock in colours that are unique to Air Arms, and the stock of the FTP 900 is adjustable in about every angle possible to allow the rifle to fit the shooter, whereas the HFT 500 does have some degree of customization in the cheek piece and butt pad, but nowhere near as much as the FTP does.

See the Air Arms airguns range


Weihrauch has the HW100 PCP air rifle, which is a truly excellent piece of engineering, and when you purchase one of their rifles it comes complete with 2 magazines, and on selected models a silencer is fitted. The rifle is available in several different options with either carbine or rifle length, with a choice of stocks such as Sporter and Thumbhole, so you can choose the perfect model for yourself. Weihrauch also recently released this air rifle quite with a laminate stock and an adjustable cheek piece, and it has been a firm favourite with top shooters since its release.

The action of the rifle is regulated and it sources air from a quick fill, detachable air reservoir. This air then fires pellet down one of Weihrauchs own barrels, which offers awesome accuracy, as you would expect. Plus, if you pick a model that comes with a silencer, they are one of the quietest air rifles that I’ve ever heard!

See the Weihrauch airguns range


Daystate are a British based manufacturer, and combine Italian design and production with quality British craftsmanship, to assemble and fine tune the rifles here in the UK. Daystate are also one of the few airgun companies to offer an electronically controlled action, which increases shot count and consistency, and should definitely be considered by all you top end shooters out there.

The current line-up of electronically controlled air rifles in Daystates line up consists of the Daystate Pulsar, and the Daystate Airwolf. The Pulsar is the latest release from Daystate and incorporates the latest electronics for a super quick firing cycle, which leads to an incredibly low lock time. The Pulsar is a Bullpup-style rifle, which means the action is seated at the rear of the stock to improve the balance, and make it a lot more manoeuvrable.

The Airwolf is based on a standard airgun frame and has a large 400cc bottle, which can be upgraded to a 500cc to improve the shot count, but the 400cc offers 400 shots in .22, which is nothing to be sniffed at! Another advantage of the lightning lock time of the electronics is also the trigger. This is because it’s a switch which activates the action, so the pull weight is incredibly light, and is far less than is achievable with a mechanical action.

See the Daystate airguns range

Air Rifle Accessories

Some accessories that you’ll need for your top end air rifle, if you don’t have them already, are a scope, and depending on whether you go for a PCP rifle or not, a dive bottle or pump. Other accessories that I’d recommend are a gun bag / hard case, to keep your purchase safe in storage and transportation.

Air Rifle Scopes

Your choice of discipline will ultimately determine what type of scope you’ll need. A good ‘all-rounder’ option is scopes such as the Hawke Airmax 30, which come in a few different models with varying magnifications. The good thing about the Airmax 30 is that they were specifically designed for use with airguns, and as such the reticle, and all the features about them, work effortlessly on top of an airgun.

Another choice is the MTC Viper Connect which bucks the trend completely and has zero eye relief. This basically means that you have to put your eye right up against the ocular lens so that the image has a much wider field of view than a traditional scope. A word of warning on this scope though, as the eye piece is right up against your eye – it’s not suitable for recoiling rifles, and really only suited to PCPs.

Take a look at more Air Rifle Scopes

Air Bottles & Compressors

As well as a scope you might need an air bottle, or if your budget permits, a compressor, to recharge your PCP rifle when it’s low on air. Dive bottles are charged up to 300 BAR, and the number of fills that they provide depends on how large the air cylinder is on the rifle. Once they won’t charge the rifle above 200 BAR, then they need a refill which is normally around £5 at a local dive shop. Of course, if you purchase a compressor then you’re completely self-sufficient.

I hope this guide has steered you in the correct direction for purchasing a long term air rifle, which will hopefully become your shooting companion for many years to come, and help you win many competitions!

Check out our extensive range of spring air rifles and PCP air rifles, and air rifle accessories. You can also check out the awesome, collections pages for Weihrauch, Daystate, and Air Arms, which are jam-packed with fascinating content, to learn more about those brands…

Going On An Archery Day Out For A Stag Do

A recurve bow, with sights, in action
An archery day out can be tremendous fun

If you’re planning a stag do and fancy trying something a little different instead of (or in addition to!) the usual strip bar and excessive amounts of alcohol, why not try archery?! Grab a bow and get back to your primal roots with a little friendly competition.

Archery is the ultimate macho man sport, requiring accuracy, power and a keen eye. After all – at one stage bows were the number one weapon of choice for the Army and a pretty effective one they were too! You don’t need any prior skills or knowledge and you tend to stay together for the day, so it really is a great way of everyone getting to know each other.

Perfect for groups big or small, archery is a great way of starting off the weekend, getting the lads together, and having fun before a big night out.  Archery is the perfect stag weekend activity, as it is available up and down the country, and in all weathers – don’t let the rain dampen your day.

Either set it as the main event, or as part of an action packed stag weekend for fun for all.  Most companies will provide all your archery equipment, as well as an instructor to show you the best techniques before setting you off to compete.

There are some companies who offer archery lessons specifically for stag parties, so alongside learning your technique etc, you are pit against one another to find out which members of your team were made to hunt and which are just Maid Marion. Set prizes and forfeits to make it all a little more interesting, and of course dress your stag up for ultimate embarrassment (something cool like Robin Hood if you’re feeling kind, or something completely ridiculous if you’re not!).

Some providers, such as Robin Hood Events offer stag do packages which focus on fun and competition with huge 3D animal targets, a zombie themed area and various mini games and competitions.

It’s important to decide, when looking for a company to host your archery stag event, whether you want silly, competitive fun, or more serious archery lessons with an element of competition.

Different places will offer a different focus and perhaps if you are looking for the latter, just a normal archery club might offer a group discount at a cheaper rate than a stag event specific company. You can check your local area for archery clubs on the Archery GB site.

If you find yourself a bit of an archery natural, or want an original gift for your stag, don’t forget to check out our archery shop to grab the right equipment. And to start planning your archery day out, head to Robin Hood Events, or Stagweb. And head to ArcheryGB to find your local archery club. 

8 Things You Never Knew About Archery

archery-660626_640Thanks to Hawkeye, Disney’s Brave and Katniss Everdeen, Archery is finally being given the recognition it deserves for being a pretty cool sport.

It can be a whole lot of fun from being a beginner learning the ropes, right up to the intense skill and power it takes to partake in competitive archery.

That said, there’s a lot more to archery that meets the eye, so we have compiled some facts about the sport that you may not know!

  1. Archery is the national sport of the Kingdom of Bhutan, a sovereign state in South Asia. Their focus on archery is as a social sport (a little like football is here) and villages compete with each other, making the event full of food, drink and dancing. To add to the lightheartedness of the competitions, competitors are allowed to try to distract the other team whilst they are aiming – something which is almost as enjoyable to watch as the sport itself.


  1. Hawkeye uses a recurve bow in The Avengers, despite the fact that a compound bow would provide much greater power and accuracy. Perhaps it’s because his Hoyt bow looks good on camera, or he’s just showing off, either way he seems to be doing just fine. Maybe he read our How to Choose a Compound Bow guide?!


  1. If you are an archer, you could also be referred to as a “toxophilite” a word which literally means ‘lover of the bow’, and originates from Ancient Greece. The word for archery however, comes from the latin word ‘arcus’ and means ‘bows and arrows’.


  1. To put the level of skill and accuracy needed into perspective, getting within the ‘gold ring’ involves hitting a beermat-sized target from a distance of seven buses – no mean feat! Best grab your archery supplies and get practising!


  1. The recurve bow looks so sleek and modern you could be forgiven for assuming it was a new design, however, it is actually based on designs from over 3500 years ago. There has never been much of a need to update the design as it works well – if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!


  1. Geena Davis, of Thelma and Louise fame, was a skilled archer and ranked 24th of the whole US women’s archery championship in 1999. She narrowly missed out on her dream of being representing the national team team in a major international event, but she did win an Oscar.


  1. Archery isn’t just a sport. In Japan they perform Kyudo, which is a style of archery, as more of an art form than a sporting activity.


  1. If you manage to perform a rather impressive feat of splitting the arrow of your competitor, this is known as ‘Robin Hood’ and is incredibly difficult.


If this list has whet your appetite for learning archery or improving your archery skills, don’t forget to stay tuned to our blog. It’s the perfect time to set yourself a ‘target’ of mastering a new sport!

Buyer’s Guide to Archery for Newbies

A recurve bow, with sights, in action
A recurve bow, with sights, in action

We have an extensive range of products in our archery store, and it can be intimidating for the newcomer. Where do you start? Buying your first bow is very exciting. A recurve bow is a beautiful object, and arrows come with various colours of fletches. But do you really know what you need for an enjoyable and rewarding archery experience? 

First of all, you need to know what sort of bow you need. Let’s assume that we’re just looking at recurve bows, although we can help with  How to Choose a Compound Bow guide too.

Left- or Right-Handed Bow?

If you’re right-handed, you’ll need a right-hand bow. This is a bow that you hold in your left hand. Your right (dominant) hand will pull back the string. On the left of the riser (the middle bit that you hold) is the arrow rest.

If you’re left-handed, you will shoot with a left-handed bow, held in the right hand. Your left (dominant) hand will pull back the string, and the arrow rest is on the right of the riser.

Bow Length

The next consideration is height. If you stand a strung bow in front of you, with the tip of the lower limb on the floor, the tip of the upper limb should reach the middle of your forehead, give or take an inch or so.

Draw Weight

The draw weight is the measurement of the force needed to pull the centre of the bowstring back to the corner of your mouth, with your bow arm fully extended. A man shooting for the first time will typically use a 28lb bow, and a woman will begin with a 24-poundage. As archers become stronger and more proficient, they increase the draw weight of their bows by changing the limbs.

Materials and design vary in the making of bow limbs. Stronger, stiffer limbs that have less give in them take more force to push away from the bowstring, and therefore the power in the arrow’s release is greater.

Arrow Length

It’s vital to source the right archery supplies, and there’s none more important than picking the right arrows. To find out how long your arrows should be, hold out your arms in front of you, fingers outstretched, and ask someone to measure the distance from your chest to fingertips. Add one inch, and this is approximately the length your arrows should be.

A person’s arm span is virtually equal to his own height. So a tall person will have a longer arm span than a short person. Basically, this means: long bow, long arrows; short bow, short arrows.

However, if you are in doubt, or are sharing arrows, it’s safest for everyone to use long arrows, avoiding the possibility of somebody tall using an arrow that’s too short. When an archer draws back his bowstring, the longer his arms, the further back the string (and arrow) will go. So if the arrow is not long enough, it will be drawn back beyond the riser and drop. There have been some very nasty accidents involving pierced hands and arms, caused by using arrows that are too short.

Other Archery Supplies

A bracer is worn on your bow arm (left arm if you are right handed, and vice versa). Its purpose is to protect the shooter’s inner forearm from the bowstring.

A finger tab is a cheap item – a partial glove, made of leather, to prevent soreness on the fingers of your pulling hand.

A bow stringer is a simple item, essential for assembling a bow correctly.

A bow rest isn’t an absolute must, but it’s a good idea to have somewhere safe to put your bow down when you’re not using it. A bow can get damaged when left leaning against a wall or lying on the ground.

At Pellpax’s archery store, we have a wide selection of recurve bows, arrows, accessories, and clothing. We also have a lot of expertise. Just ask!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Air Rifle & Pistols

Steph Brooks handles the Weihrauch HW40
Steph Brooks handles the Weihrauch HW40

Have you got a passion for air rifle and air pistol shooting? Technical advancement in gun mechanics means that changes in shooting have been swift and numerous. Here are a few historical and scientific facts behind the popular sport. 

  1. Airguns Before Target Shooting

It’s known that airguns were used for hunting in the 15th and 16th century. They were expensive items, and therefore a rich man’s toy. The oldest preserved airgun dates from around 1580 and is housed in The Royal Armoury Museum in Stockholm, established in 1628 by King Gustavus Adolphus, who felt that his clothes from his campaign in Poland should be preserved for posterity. (The Swedish monarchy was never noted for its modesty.)

In 1780, Italian watchmaker and gunsmith, Girandoni Bartolomeo, invented a 51-calibre rifle, capable of firing up to 20 bullets a minute. The Girandoni rifle was widely used in Europe for big game hunting. A single shot could take down a deer or wild boar.

These early airguns had significant advantages over the primitive firearms of the times: they were quieter; they had no smoke or muzzle flash; they could be discharged in wet weather; and they could be discharged faster – i.e. more times per minute.

  1. First Target Shooting with Airguns

Birmingham is the cradle of airgun target shooting.

In the 1890s, public houses in Birmingham began holding competitions, with prizes for the winning team (leg of mutton, for example) paid for by the losing team. By 1900, there were more than 4,000 rifle clubs and associations in Britain. A large number of these were in Birmingham. You may have even seen the likes of BSA mentioned in the Netflix series of Peaky Blinders.

  1. The National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA)

The Society of Working Men’s Rifle Clubs (SWMRC) was established in 1901 to promote civilian rifle clubs in Britain. Its first president was Earl Roberts of Kandahar, who was also the first president of The Pilgrims Society, established in 1902 ‘to promote good will, good fellowship, and everlasting peace between the United States of America and Great Britain’. In 1903, the SWMRC amalgamated with the British Rifle League to become the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs (SMRC). 

In 1947, the SMRC changed its name to the National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA). Based at The Lord Roberts Centre, in the grounds of the National Shooting Centre, Bisley Camp, Surrey, the NSRA is the governing body for all small-bore rifle and pistol target shooting in the UK.

  1. The Diabolo Pellet

Picking the right shooting accessories for the job can make all the difference.

The diabolo pellet is designed with a forward weight bias, a pinched waist (or ‘wasp waist’), and a hollow skirt. The heavy nose keeps the pellet pointing in the right direction, while the pinched waist and hollow skirt produce a high air drag on the tail, which stabilises the pellet. A rifled bore provides additional stability by spinning the pellet, but a diabolo pellet can be fairly accurate even when discharged from a smoothbore gun. The word ‘diabolo’ originates from the Latin diabolus, meaning the Devil.

  1. Supersonic Velocity

When the speed of sound is broken, a shock wave is created. So when a pellet is discharged at or above supersonic velocity (in normal conditions, that’s about 1,100 feet per second), it produces a shock wave behind it. As the pellet loses speed, the shock wave catches up with the pellet, causing it to tumble. This turbulence, of course, is detrimental to accurate shooting.

Experienced shooters ensure that their pellets leave the barrel at no more than about 900 feet per second, because turbulence can be created even when the sonic barrier is approached. Some guns are built for supersonic muzzle velocity, and when using one of these guns, an experienced shooter will select the heaviest pellets available in order to reduce muzzle velocity.

A wide range of air rifles and air pistols can be purchased from Pellpax, as well as pellets, specialist clothing, and all shooting accessories.

Buyer’s Guide to Archery Equipment for Pros

Chris from our team takes aim
Chris from our team takes aim

An experienced archer knows exactly what he wants, so this should in theory make purchasing equipment a doddle. However, the exacting standards of the sport and his / her desire to choose the very best equipment on offer may come at a high price, so this can make things a bit more complicated. You may want to check out our How to Choose a Compound Bow guide too.

Aside from the archery equipment There are one or two other purchases necessary when you’re taking part in competitive archery. For example, there’s membership of Archery GB, the British national governing body. This is not a legal requirement, but there are legal implications.

High Quality Recurve And Compound Bows

Two of the best compound bows available are made by Bear Archery, an American company formed by Fred Bear (1902-1988), a traveller, film producer, and archery pioneer.

The Bear Attitude is a powerful compound bow, offering huge speed and accuracy – perfect for experienced hunters and field archers.

The Bear Cruzer can be used from child beginner level to large game hunting. It has a huge peak draw weight range from 5 to 70 pounds and a fully adjustable draw length from 12 to 30 inches.

Top of the recurve class are bows made by Hoyt Archery, a company founded in 1931 by Earl Hoyt Senior. Made from super-strong (and comparatively light) carbon fibre, Hoyt recurve bows were used by every gold medal winner in archery at the international sporting event of 2012.

All of these compound bows can be found in the Pellpax online archery shop, along with a wide range of archery supplies.

Second-Hand Equipment

There’s a lot of second-hand archery equipment available. One of the best outlets is Aardvark Archery, based in Pudsey in West Yorkshire. The large warehouse stocks new and second-hand archery equipment, all of which can be viewed on their website and ordered online.

Other sites where you can find second-hand archery gear are: Freeads, Preloved, Clickers Archery, and Trovit.

A Word On Insurance When Competing Abroad

When competing abroad, an archer must buy insurance, because Archery GB does not cover members when shooting outside of the UK. Archery GB is the National Governing Body (NGB) for British Archery, and is a member of the World Archery Federation (WA), the governing body of world archery.

If a British archer enters a competition abroad, he must obtain insurance for that event. Archery GB membership does not cover a British competitor abroad. However, in the event of the Briton being uninsured, the other competitors’ insurance will not be invalidated, as long as the Briton is a member of Archery GB.

The same applies to competitions in the UK. A foreign contender will have to be specially insured. But as long as he’s a member of his own National Governing Body, which, in turn, is a member of the World Archery Federation, the foreign competitor’s lack of insurance will not invalidate that of the other archers.

This ruling applies also to individuals taking part in competitions in their own country. If a British archer, who is not a member of Archery GB, were to enter a competition in the UK without obtaining insurance, the insurance of all other competitors would become invalid.

Grab all of your archery supplies, from compound bows and recurve bows to quivers, arrows, and much more, in our archery store. And learn more about Hoyt Archery on their dedicated collections page. 

Seven Things You Never Knew About Trap & Skeet Shooting

Trap and Skeet shooting are increasing in popularity

The popularity of target shooting is growing rapidly, especially among the young. New clubs are opening, and existing clubs are growing. Shooting is being introduced into schools and scouts groups. Opportunities for participation are opening up to everyone.

The sport is a test of concentration, steadiness of body and mind, technique, eyesight, and judgement. It’s one of the few sports that don’t rely upon strength, physical fitness, size, or speed. Many shooters are still on top form in old age. Large people are not hampered by excess body weight, and small people are not disadvantaged by lack of it.

1# Early Game Shooting

King Henry VIII was very fond of firearms – the new-fangled weapons that were superseding bows and arrows. In the 16th century, game shooting was an elitist sport, and since the late 14th century had been restricted to men worth £2 a year or more. An Act of Parliament in 1671 stipulated that only men with a landed income of at least £100 per year were permitted to take game, reflecting inevitable inflation and a rather slow reaction to it.

2# Early Trap Shooting

The sport of trap shooting has been around since 1750, when live birds, usually pigeons, were used as targets. The birds were held in traps or under hats and then released – to be shot at. Sometimes inanimate objects, like potatoes, were hurled into the air for targets. At one particular competition, cricket balls were launched by a fast bowler.

3# Glass Ball Targets

In the 1860s, the glass ball was introduced – possibly in England, but popularised in the US by Charles Portlock. These targets – hollow glass spheres filled with feathers (for realism) or sometimes with dust, flour, or shredded newspaper – were catapulted into the air by simple traps. The sport had now become cheaper (and consequently more popular), consistent, and more humane.

The simplest form of glass ball target had a smooth surface, but the designs became more sophisticated, with ridged or patterned surfaces, which prevented shot from glancing off. Sometimes the balls were marked with the manufacturer’s name.

The problem with glass balls, though, was the debris – large quantities of broken glass. Participants would often shoot over water, and divers of later decades have retrieved many whole (i.e. missed) balls. There were attempts to develop alternative forms of inanimate targets, like the reusable wooden ball with an explosive surface, and the ecologically friendly ball designed to decompose.

The glass balls, which were in use for only a couple of decades before the invention of clay targets in 1880, were made in bright colours, and it’s not uncommon for modern-day collectors of glass ball targets to come across them hanging on Christmas trees. They’re often mistaken for baubles!

4# The Naming of Skeet

Bangbye-bye blackbird … these are two of the many thousand competition entries for naming the new US shooting game invented by Charles E Davies in 1920. The naming competition, run in 1926, was won by a housewife from Montana, Gertrude Hurlbutt, who suggested skeet, a word derived from the Norwegian ‘skyte’, meaning ‘shoot’.   

5# A Young Star

Miroslav Bednarik, a Czechoslovakian International Trap shooter, was born in 1965. In 1985, Miroslav was picked for the Open World Trap competition at the Montecatini club in Italy, known as the ‘mecca’ of international clay target shooting, but with the reputation of being one of the most difficult.

At twenty years old, Miroslav was still young enough to compete in junior events and was a favourite for the junior world title. But entering the senior competition meant that he would not be eligible to take part as a junior. A dilemma? For Bednarik, it was a no-brainer. He broke 197 of the 200 clays, becoming the only junior shooter in the history of the ISSF to win the senior Open World Trap title.

In 1989, at just 24 years old, the young Czechoslovakian champion was killed in a motorcycle accident.

6# Winchester Models

Kimberley Rhode, an American born in 1979, is an International Double Trap and Skeet champion, considered by the ISSF to be one of their four greatest shotgun shooters of all time. After her win at a prestigious international sporting competition in London in 2012, Kimberley’s image appeared on a Winchester Ammunition cartridge box.

Before Kimberley, only three other people had been featured on a Winchester Ammunition box. These were: company founder Oliver Winchester, actor John Wayne, and US president Theodore Roosevelt.

Champion shooter and trap machine inventor, John Bidwell
Champion shooter and trap machine inventor, John Bidwell

7# Automatic Trap Machines

In 1909, the first automatic trap machine was used. Over the last century, the machines have been developed and improved. One of the latest models is the Auto Sporter Clay Trap machine, which is supplied to shooting clubs and competitive events all over the world and is used in conjunction with an automatic counter system.

It was invented by John Bidwell, who is a world champion clay pigeon shooter and the owner / manager of High Lodge, a sports and events centre in Suffolk, where the Auto Shooter is manufactured.

You can grab shotguns for sale and target shooting supplies by heading to our Rifles and Shotguns store. 

How to Get Into Archery for your Office Day Out

Hit the target with an archery day out
Hit the target with an archery day out

‘Team building’ can be a term that evokes a chorus of groans and a feeling of dread around the office. Usually involving ‘trust falls’, pointless games and awkward icebreakers, what should be an office adventure usually ends up being rather dull. This year, why not do something completely different and learn archery together as a team?

On target for a great office day out

Aside from Scout camp, it’s unlikely that many of your team will have tried archery, especially as adults, and it really is a great sport to give a go for so many reasons.

  • Archery is such an all-inclusive sport. At a low level, it requires very little cardio and can be taken part in by those who may have limited mobility.
  • Although it can be enjoyed by disabled persons, it is also great for improving coordination, strength and muscle building for people of all abilities.
  • There are both indoor and outdoor versions which means that you are not relying on the Great British weather being on your side.
  • A bit of healthy competition is good for office morale and you may help a colleague discover their hidden talent in the world of archery! Set up games, competitions and tournaments and the day will be far more fun (and achieve a whole lot more team bonding) than a third party company organising the usual day of activities.

Types Of Bow

There are various types of bow in archery, but the type you’re most likely to use in an archery day is a recurve bow (where the limbs bend back towards you when the bow is unstrung), or a compound bow (made up of different materials). These come in different lengths depending upon your height, and there are left / right hand variations, too. These are typically provided for you on these big ‘experience’ days out. If you get caught with the archery bug, you can of course head to our archery supplies store and grab your own…

The various types of Archery for beginners

The concept of archery is pretty similar across the different types – use a bow and arrow and aim at a target – however if you look closer at the different areas of archery there are many differences.

James from the Pellpax team takes aim
James from the Pellpax team takes aim

Target Archery – This is the type of archery that most people imagine. The archery target has ten rings and you get more points the closer your arrow gets to the bullseye. Men stand 100 yards away from the target and women 80 yards, and fire a recurve bow or compound bow.

Clout Archery – Clout is very similar to Target in many ways, however men stand 180 yards away and women 140 yards and the target is actually a flag on the ground. Again, different landings will earn you different points.

Flight Archery – Flight is the long jump of the archery world where the aim is to get your arrow as far away as possible. This is not quite as common as it requires a whole lot of space.

Field Archery – Field archery uses a longbow and is often done in woodlands. The focus is more on ‘realism’ and is more like hunting than a competition, although the aim isn’t to hit animals of course!

Any form of archery would be great for a day out, although it is probably best to start with either Target or Clout to learn archery at a base level. Target is suitable for indoor use and is the most common form so it is easy to find!

Where can you do it?

You can check out Archery GB for more information but there are hundreds of archery clubs across the country. Whether you choose to go to a dedicated archery club such as St Helens Archers or one of the many corporate event companies who can offer you a package deal.

If Barbara from accounts or Steve from IT suddenly find themselves wanting to become regular archers, why not point them in the direction of our archery supplies sale?

Check out our archery equipment store to get your crossbows, compound bows and accessories today.