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Shotgun loader

What Makes A Good Loader

There are a few attributes which make a good loader a great one. Firstly and most importantly the loader must have safety as their primary concern as it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement especially on a busy day, during frantic drives and there is a lot to take into consideration.

It is the loaders sole responsibility to look after the person in which they are loading for and their guns but also looking out for beaters, pickers-up and stops. It is important to remain cool, calm and collected under the immense pressure as this is what makes for a competent, safe and efficient loader.

Be courteous and good company

Apart from being a competent loader, it is very important to be good company for the person that he/she is looking after as you will be catering to their every need and trying your best to make the day as memorable as possible. First thing in the morning upon meeting it is important to introduce yourself properly and speak with the shoot captain prior to meeting your gun to see how to address them properly. They may have a title. You will have to see how they prefer to be addressed during the course of the day too.

Shotgun loader

Take care of all your guns equipment

Loaders must take great care of the persons equipment whether they’re a pair of Purdeys or a tatty old gun slip it is your responsibility to treat it with respect. But all in all a loader should be courteous, safe, good company and able to take control of the situation in a composed manner at all times.

A loaders Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do arrive in good time
  • Don’t get flustered
  • Do always wear a tie
  • Don’t give advice unless asked for
  • Do be accommodating and polite
  • Don’t smoke or use bad language
  • Do clean his or her guns at the end of the day
Shotgun loader

Educate yourself

It is easy to become qualified as a loader, but first, it is important to be a member of a shooting organisation to enable you to be covered by public liability insurance. Attending a loaders course run by the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation will be very informative and will give you the necessary education to enhance your skills when you venture out into the field. Be honest about your lack of practical loading experience but you can tell them about your valuable shooting experience. Be confident and polite at all times and it should disguise your lack of experience as a loader, but everything will go well and your Gun would’ve had a great day and hopefully tip you generously.


If you would like to discuss any of the topics in this blog or even a potential shooting trip that you have in mind, you can contact our fantastic shooting expert, Peter Collingsworth, on 01603 407596 or by emailing him directly at If you would like to view all of of the shooting tours we have on offer, you can find the full list of destinations here.

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