Driven Shooting Buyers Guide
Driven Shooting is considered to be the ultimate luxury in game shooting. The season runs from 12th August (‘the Glorious Twelfth’) to 1st February – beginning with grouse in August, followed by partridge in September and then pheasant in October. There is much debate as to whether the pinnacle is driven grouse or high pheasant but either way the challenge can be very exciting and rewarding.
If you are looking for some inspiration regarding some suitable shooting clothing – Jackets, trousers, breeks/plus fours, waistcoats, mid-layers, socks, wellington boots, hill boots and accessories, such as Cartridge bags and gun slips – then we have listed what we believe are some of the best options available to the shooting enthusiast.
Given that the season covers both warm and cold months we would recommend that you choose shooting clothing based on a layered approach as this will give you the most flexibility.
If you would like a more tailored service please do not hesitate to contact one of the ArdMoor specialists by email or phone.
What shooting jacket for a driven shoot?
The underlying principles of what to look for in a shooting jacket remain true across the range of shooting sports. We always recommend investing in a jacket which offers maximum flexibility, this will ensure that your swing is not impeded and you have a full range of movement while taking aim. Having a lightweight jacket will prevent fatigue, thus keeping you on top of your game, while a breathable membrane (for more information on materials please view our materials guide) will ensure that your body temperature remains consistent and you do not overheat. A good shooting jacket will also have easy access cartridge pockets for quick loading and hand warming pockets for when you are waiting on the drive.
So what do we recommend? We’ve highlighted 5 of our favourites below:
Trousers or Breeks for a driven shoot?
Nothing is better for a driven shoot than a good pair of breeks (also known as plus twos or plus fours). The reason we recommend breeks opposed to trousers is that they offer a traditional style, excellent warmth and unlike trousers, as breeks are positioned above the top of your boots, will not become muddy on a wet shoot. Aside from this, as breeks normally sit proud of the boot top, rain water will not run down inside your boots!
We are advocates of the layered approach to clothing on a shoot and for days of extreme weather conditions, a good pair of over trousers comes highly recommended.
What waistcoat for a driven shoot?
A shooting waistcoat is a fantastic piece of shooting clothing and once purchased it is likely to accompany you to every shoot, even becoming a favourite for everyday wear! On warmer days you will wear it as an outer layer, the material will protect your shoulder from the guns recoil as well as keeping your ‘core’ warm, while on the colder days it will offer extra warmth when worn under your shooting jacket/coat. A great addition is a wind stopper lining, fantastic for those dry but windy days.
Generally a shot will opt for either tweed or fleece waistcoats for a shoot. On a driven day the gun shooting in a three piece tweed suit stands out from the crowd and such practical and heard wearing material blends in with the surroundings and also provides excellent protection against the unpredictable British weather! The benefit of a fleece waistcoat is that it is very easy to wash – especially when your ‘immaculate’ gundog decides it is also a very comfortable bed after a long, hard, wet and muddy day in the field!
What fleece for a driven shoot?
A fleece is likely the most flexible clothing ‘layer’ you will own. A shooting fleece boasts excellent heat retention features while not being heavy or bulky which means that it should not restrict your range of movement.
Fleeces come in a range of weight rating (grams per square meter), 100 for example is lightweight while 300 is heavyweight (see our Fleece material guide). Alongside this weight rating you also have the option of picking a natural or synthetic material. Bamboo or Marino Wool are examples of natural materials which use moisture to retain heat in the cold weather and in the warm weather help to wick away and evaporate the moisture. While natural materials tend not to dry quite as fast as synthetic, they are more breathable and also odour resistant!
There are options for both full zip and half zipped fleeces – half zipped offer slightly higher thermal properties and a full zip offers additional flexibility in terms of cooling and access to internal pockets and items such as cartridge belts.
What Caps and gloves for a driven shoot?
A cap or hat not only keeps your head warm and dry but also protects your vision when your line of sight is impacted by the low winter sun. A good pair of gloves should keep your hands warm and dry without restricting the feeling or movement of your fingers – Warm hands are key for enjoyment, performance and safety.
We’ve picked out some shooting caps and hats for driven shooting below:
What footwear for a driven shoot?
The importance of the correct footwear should not be underestimated for a days’ driven shooting. Although you are less likely to have to clamber across rough terrain it is vital that you have excellent stability while swinging through and shooting game. Footwork is key to a great shot and being able to move your feet quickly and with precision is very important. In the colder months well insulated boots are vital as driven shooting does involve standing in the same spot for a reasonable amount of time.
Shooting socks are a vital part of shooting clothing and a number of factors need to be taken in to account when selecting the correct pair. If wearing breeks then a long and thick pair of socks protect your lower legs from the cold. If on the moor be conscious of ticks and ensure there is no bear skin between the bottom of the breeks and the top of the socks! Shorter shooting socks can be worn with trousers but again ensure there is plenty of overlap between the bottom of the trousers and the top of the socks. Socks have numerous properties including, thermal protection, insect protection (ideal for grouse shooting), reduced friction to minimize blisters, waterproofing and tailored fit.
We’ve picked out some shooting wellingtons below:
Please also see our recommended shooting boots shooting boots below:
What gun slip for a driven shoot?
Protection from moisture and knocks are the key roles of a gun slip. The most common gun slips are made from canvas or leather but modern waterproof materials are also used. In both cases a soft thick lining like wool or foam is paramount to ensure the protection of the gun. You should also consider different types of zips, a gun slip with a full zip ensures it is easier to dry after a wet day’s shooting.
We’ve picked out some gun slips below:
What cartridge bags for a driven shoot?
A leather or canvas cartridge bag protects your cartridges from the elements and is a key piece of shooting equipment particularly drive shooting days. A good cartridge bag should last a lifetime and is often something that is passed down from one generation to another. Cartridge bags come in different sizes (capable of carrying 50, 75, 100, 150 12 bore cartridges), we recommend that a cartridge bag with the capacity for 100 x 12 bore cartridges is the most practical. For those of us luck enough to have a loader a cartridge bag with quick loading capability is the ultimate in luxury.
We’ve picked out some cartridge bags below:
What Cartridge Belts for a driven shoot?
Key equipment for rough and semi-driven shooting. Loading a shotgun form a Although cartridge belts are generally associated with rough and semi-driven shooting it is a very useful shooting accessory in all types of shooting. Loading a shotgun form a cartridge belt is the easiest and quickest way to reload and it ensures the cartridges are the right way up when being put into the breach of a shotgun. It is a great way to carry 25 cartridges whether you are out all day or heading off wildfowling/Duck flighting. An additional bonus is that the belt offers a method to carry birds and also attach dog leads. When sizing a cartridge belt it is worth considering that the cartridge belt can be worn either outside or inside a shooting jacket or other outer wear such as a shooting waistcoat or shooting fleece.
We’ve picked out some cartridge belts below:
For more shooting articles and guides, please see shooting guides page.