Though scarcely out of his teens, James Bradley-Day is already a World Champion clay shooter and in high demand for his expert instructing services (via his business JBD Sporting). Impressed by his credentials and keen to get some shooting tips from James, The Lodger headed down to Kent to catch up with him..
The Sporting Lodge: When did you start shooting and what got you into the sport?
JBD: James Bradley-Day: I’ve shot and been around shooting from a very young age, I grew up following my father around whilst he shot on the family farm.
TSL: What guns do you currently use?
JBD: I use the same gun for all of my shooting. I’ve recently switched from the Beretta 692 to the new 694, I use this for all of my clay shooting. It’s as much at home in a pigeon hide as it is on the range.
TSL: Are the cartridges you use a big factor in performance?
JBD: Cartridges aren’t a huge factor affecting performance but they’re one of the many small factors coming together to make a big difference. Confidence is a huge factor in this sport and if you’re confident in your equipment then your going to get the best results. Personally I shoot Hull Sovereigns.
TSL: What advice would you offer to someone new to the sport?
JBD: For anyone wanting to take up clays I’d say firstly book yourself some lessons at your local clay ground, if you’re in the South search for JBD Sporting and get in contact for a lesson with myself. I teach at a number of grounds across the south of England from Kent to Cornwall. It’s always a good idea to kick out any bad habits from the start and learn the right way. Secondly don’t take it too seriously, have fun and most importantly be safe. Club shoots are a great place to start in this sport but if you’re looking to improve then try to progress into the registered shoots and explore different grounds, it’s a great way of meeting likeminded people in the same situation as you.
TSL: In terms of equipment, what’s the most important piece of kit that you wouldn’t want to be without?
JBD: Other than my gun my next most important piece of equipment with regards to putting “X’s on the card” is my cartridge bag. In it you’d find a mixture of Hull sovereign cartridges in 8’s and a box of 6.5’s but most importantly you’d find a couple of drinks, hydration is hugely important when I’m shooting.
TSL: What’s the best equipped shooting ground you have ever shot at?
JBD: The best equipped shooting ground I have visited would probably be Sologne in France. I shoot a competition there every year where big money is up for grabs. The ground is huge and everywhere you look there are towers, some of which you’ll go up and shoot down on targets from around 120ft. When I’ve been there, they’ve had 8 FITASC layouts all on a new style system which requires 24 shooting areas all of which have 4 or 5 targets/ traps on… and they weren’t using all of the ground/traps for this, the investment there is outstanding.
TSL: There is a big push from brands making more technical and performance related products wheter it’s clothing, footwear or equipment. How do you feel this is benefitting the sport and is it improving shooting as a whole? Or are you a traditionalist?
JBD: I’m a big fan of moving with the times especially when it comes to clay shooting equipment. Anything that can put just one target on the card can make a huge difference to an end result.
TSL: Where’s your favourite country pub and what’s your tipple?
JBD: The Duke William in Ickham is a favourite of mine, summer is always a busy time for me so when we get the chance it’s nice to take the dog for a walk along the river topped off by a refreshing G&T in the garden.