Safety at Castle Mountain Wingshooting

Please take the time to review gun safety prior to your visit.



Gun Safety is a priority at Castle Mountain Farm

All guests should be well versed in gun safety and know how to safely operate their firearm.  If you have any safety concerns at any time during your visit please ask!


We take safety seriously and adhere to a strict safety protocol.  It is extremely important that you are familiar with basic gun safety and that specific to your firearm.  We do not allow any semi-automatic firearms of any kind.

The following information is taken from The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and should be thoroughly read prior to your visit along with other gun safety materials.


For more information, read the Code of Good Shooting Practice. A PDF form of the guidelines listed there is available for download.


BASC Gun Safety Guidelines

This leaflet provides a code of practice for those who acquire and use them and if followed will ensure a safe and responsible future for the sport.

High standards underpin public and political support for shooting, now and in the future.

The following Golden Rules apply:

1. The most important rule of gun handling – you should never point a gun, loaded or unloaded, in an unsafe direction.

2. The safe conduct of shotgun shooting must meet the standards described in this code, show respect for the countryside, due regard to health and safety and consideration for others.

3. When passing a gun to someone it must always be proved empty; that is open, empty and passed stock first so that the empty chambers are visible.

4. Remember – ignorance of the law is no excuse. If in doubt, always ask.


Above all, safety is the most important consideration. Always be aware of the direction in which the muzzle of your shotgun is pointing and never point it in an unsafe direction. Whenever you shoot, you should know where the shot will fall before you pull the trigger.

Follow these simple directions to be safe:

Carrying a shotgun in a slip

To prevent a shotgun falling out, if your slip fastening should fail, keep it with the barrels down and stock up when slung over your shoulder. A shotgun should be opened before removing it from the slip to check that it is unloaded. Do not touch the trigger even at this stage. Your next action should always be to check that the barrels are clear while pointing the gun in a safe direction. Don’t point the muzzle end of the slip at anyone.

Remember, a shotgun should always be considered loaded until proven empty and even then, still handled as if it were loaded. On replacing the shotgun in to a slip, you should check that the gun is unloaded, insert the barrels first before closing the gun and then fastening the slip.

Where to find the gun’s information

If in doubt about which types of cartridges are safe to use in your gun, check the flats of the barrels. You are looking for the proof marks, gauge or bore and chamber length of your gun. If you are not sure what it all means, then ask someone who does know. Your local club, gun shop, or police licensing department will always be pleased to help.

Carrying a shotgun out of a slip

When you are not shooting but have the gun out of its slip, it should be carried empty, open and over the crook of the arm, not over the shoulder or in any other way. The muzzles should not be rested on your feet.

Passing a shotgun to someone

When passing a gun to someone it should always be proved empty; that is, open, empty and passed stock first so that the empty chambers are visible.

Crossing an obstacle on your own

Open the gun and remove the cartridges, then close the gun and, ensuring that the muzzles do not point at you, lean the gun with stock down and barrels up against or partially through the obstacle so that it cannot slip or fall. Otherwise place the gun carefully on the ground and out of harm’s way so that you can easily reach it from the other side. Climb over the obstacle and retrieve the gun, again, using appropriate muzzle awareness, open the gun, check the barrel for obstructions and continue. Carrying the gun over the obstacle is not a good idea.

Crossing an obstacle in company

Guns should be open and unloaded and held by one person while the other person climbs over the obstacle. The guns are then passed over (open, empty and stock first) one by one; the other person then climbs over and retrieves his shotgun on the other side.

Shooting safely

Shooting safely is paramount and you should always abide by the following statements:

Never point a gun, loaded or unloaded, in an unsafe direction.
• Never shoot unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
• Always have the safety catch on ‘safe’ until the moment before you fire.
• Always bear in mind the possibility of a ricochet particularly across water or off branches and vegetation.
• Never fire blindly into dense vegetation.
• Never take chance low shots without a clear fall out zone for your shot.
• Never travel with a loaded shotgun.
• Never put down a loaded shotgun or leave it unattended.
• Keep your fingers away from the trigger until you want to fire.
• Always be steady on your feet before you shoot. Never keep a dog attached to you while shooting; it may pull you off balance.
• Never shoot unless you are certain of your target and can see it clearly.
• Never shoot at, or near, overhead obstructions e.g. power lines or other installations.
• Be extra careful shooting near buildings or concrete structures; ricochets are a real danger.
• At all times guard against shot carrying beyond the boundary of your permitted shooting area.


BASC promote and insist on safe and sensible behaviour by shooters in all disciplines. You should act on these points to reassure shooters and non-shooters alike that you can be trusted with a shotgun:
• Advise the land owner and/or tenant in good time when you  intend to go shooting and check that it is convenient.
• Confirm with the land owner and/or tenant what quarry you may shoot.
• Always respect the owner’s property, crops, livestock and fences and follow the Countryside Code or, in Scotland, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Open gates rather than climb them and close them after you. If you have to climb a closed gate, do it at the hinged end.
• Never break fences, walls, rails or hedges.
• Try to avoid walking through standing crops or allow your dog to do so.
• Keep your dog under control.
• Avoid disturbance to livestock.
• Never leave litter and wherever possible collect that left by others.
• Always treat a shotgun as though it were loaded and keep its barrel pointing in a safe direction.
• On picking up or being handed a shotgun, check immediately that there are no cartridges in it and that the barrels are clear.
• Before firing your shotgun, you should consider where the shot will go, allowing for possible ricochets.
• Do not fire at quarry unless you are sure it is within range and be sure you know what is behind it. If you are not sure, don’t shoot!
• Know your own limitations and those of your gun and shoot responsibly. If you are not reasonably sure of a humane kill, don’t shoot! Shooting at quarry is not a competition.
• Be extra careful in cold and wet conditions which can lead to loss of feeling in the fingers and difficulty in operating the   safety catch and the trigger.
• Remember that all shooters will be judged by your actions and ensure that your conduct is always above reproach.  Always try, whenever possible, to encourage the same attitude in your shooting companions and in any other shooter with whom you come into contact.
• Above all – be safe and sensible.


Always ensure that your shotgun is in a safe and serviceable condition.
Hammer guns require particular care, such as carrying them uncocked, except when a shot is imminent.

Always clean and dry your shotgun after use. Never put a damp gun into a steel cabinet.

If a fault develops, have it rectified before using the gun again.

Never use a gun with badly dented or pitted barrels. Have your gun serviced regularly by a competent gunsmith.


Ensure that the cartridge type and shot size are suitable for both your purpose and your gun. If you use non-lead shot make sure gun and cartridge are compatible, otherwise damage could occur.

Information is available from BASC.

Never imagine that a heavy load and a tight choke justify shots at extreme range.

Do not allow cartridges of different bores to become mixed. A smaller size (say a 20-bore) can be inadvertently loaded into a 12-bore gun and lodge in the barrel. If a 12-bore cartridge is then loaded and fired, it can burst the barrel and cause fatal injuries.

In the case of a misfire, keep the barrels pointed in a safe direction and open the gun cautiously, after waiting 30 seconds.