For those of you who are not familiar with Churchill shooting, it is a system of gun mounting and swinging that relies on instinctive point-shooting, economy of movement and elegant, efficient movements. It is the way many top shotgun shooters learned to shoot before and during WWII, and it has become a foundational method of the sport. As an added bonus, this method is very easy to learn.
The Churchill Method is not the newest trend in wingshooting; it was created in 1910 by a London gunsmith and expert on firearms ballistics, Robert Churchill. He was one of the leading authorities on English sporting shotguns and a world-class pigeon shooter. He was also the author of the definitive book on instinctive wingshooting for game birds and sporting clays. The book, titled “The Churchill Gun,” was so well received that it was republished twice and revised by his friend Macdonald Hastings, another renowned shooting coach.
It is an indispensable reference for anyone who shoots. Churchill also authored numerous articles for magazines in the early 1920s. The writing style of this period was much more conversational than that of today, which is a big reason why it is still such an important reference.
After the war, Churchill continued to advocate high-tech warfare, and he was a driving force behind the development of tanks. He also funded new airplanes, espionage apparatus and more as Prime Minister of England during WWII. This propensity for innovation and his example of being constantly ready for individual combat against a homicidal foe are inspiring to every free individual.
But Churchill’s true passion was hunting and shooting. He had a deep and abiding love for wild animals, and he enjoyed a fine dinner or a good cigar, but nothing pleased him more than a good shot. In one of the more famous photographs of him, he is seen wearing a pinstripe suit and chomping on his cigar while holding a Thompson submachine gun with drum magazine and pistol grip fore-end. Adolf Hitler despised Churchill with a venom that is hard to imagine, and the German dictator used this photo of Churchill with his “tommy gun” as evidence that the Englishman was a stereotypical American gangster.
At Orvis, the brand that Churchill established in 1856, we are dedicated to passing down his values. We teach about 70 company associates to shoot each summer, and we spend 30 days each season with guests at our duck camp on Arkansas’ White River. We see lots of missed shots, and we’ve found that the best cure for a miss is to ask an expert to look at your swing. Charley Perkins, manager of brand marketing at Orvis, is an expert on the Churchill technique and has some solid advice for improving your game. Churchill shooting