Shotgun Instruction

Shotgun Instruction

Welcome to the Griffin & Howe Shotgun Academy in Andover NJ. As the oldest shooting school in the United States, we offer a wealth of experience and knowledge to shooters of all ability levels. Our instructors are NSCA-certified and are available to teach private instruction and small group lessons for up to 4 students from Monday to Sunday, 9am – 5pm. We also offer a range of classes throughout the year bookable through our event calendar.

Please note we are not an open range, access to the sporting clay course and other shotgun facilities is by instruction only.


Beginner Shotgun Class

Our ‘Beginner Shotgun’ class is specifically designed for new shooters or those that have little experience with a shotgun to come and learn more about shooting sporting clays.

Beginning in the classroom, we will cover a thorough firearm safety briefing. Our instructors will take you through an eye dominance test and then assign you an appropriately-fitting rental shotgun based on your personal fit and dimensions. We will show you the importance of a properly fitted gun and how to mount the gun correctly and safely.

The class then moves to our sporting clay course, where instructors will guide you through appropriate target presentations across several stations, you can put your new-found knowledge to the test, and learn the basics of how to track targets and time your shot.

After shooting, we’ll return to the Griffin & Howe Showroom for a Q&A session over drinks and appetizers. Instructors will review a summary of the day, provide a brief overview of individual progress, and offer recommendations on further courses or proceeding to the next level.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Introduction to Tournament Shooting

Are you interested in signing up for your first tournament but not sure where to start?

Join us for a masterclass on what to expect at your first tournament, how to become tournament ready, and how to conquer your mind to work in harmony with your body.

Starting in the classroom, we’ll review the basics of how tournaments are structured and what you should bring with you; we’ll also demonstrate examples of proper shooting eyewear and shooting bags. We’ll also cover an introduction to the ‘mental game’ of competitions, how to pace yourself and manage your resources, how to maintain focus for the duration of the tournament, and review chokes and loads for different target presentations.

Moving to the sporting clay range, we’ll ensure you’re securing a proper mount, teach you how to learn proper draw length by reading the character of a target, and explain how to build a set of practice routines to prepare for different target presentations.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Introduction to Skeet

This clinic is recommended for experienced sporting clay or shotgun shooters looking to try a new discipline.

We begin in the classroom with an eye dominance check and gun fit review, before reviewing safety protocols and fundamental techniques. Our instructors will cover the theoretical aspects of skeet shooting, ensuring a solid understanding before heading to the field. Once equipped with the necessary knowledge, participants will transition to the skeet field for hands-on practice, where you’ll have the opportunity to apply the learned principles and refine your aim, timing, and coordination to improve accuracy.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Introduction to FITASC

Please note this is an advanced class for those who actively shoot sporting clays.

This class will introduce the concept of FITASC, a shooting discipline which forms part of the “Federation Internationale de Tir Aux Sportives de Chasse” based in Paris. FITASC is the international form of Sporting Clays and enjoys a worldwide following. Many consider it to be the ultimate challenge in clay target shooting.

Starting in the classroom, we will spend an hour reviewing the FITASC format, target setups and rules, as well as appropriate stance, mount and footwork. Then we will go out to the sporting clay course where target presentations will be designed for 2 FITASC layouts, with 25 targets each.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Driven Bird Clinic

Whether you’re new to driven bird shoots, or looking to improve your technique, come and join us for a fun and instructional driven bird clinic! We can make your next shoot more successful with our tailored instruction.

Starting in the classroom, we will cover the fundamentals of driven bird and its requirements, followed by an eye dominance assessment and checking your gun fit to ensure you have the proper dimensions for this shooting discipline.

Moving to the flurry field, we’ll go through the importance of footwork, positions and stance, as well as creating your form and swing so you can successfully connect to targets. Finally, you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to driven flurries, and practice your timing, footwork, and newly learned techniques.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Introduction to Quail Hunting

Join us for an immersive training session, designed to enhance your wing shooting skills regardless of your proficiency level. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced hunter, our expert instructors will guide you through the fundamentals of quail hunting.

Our clinic begins with a comprehensive classroom session where participants, grouped into fours based on experience, will delve into the essentials of what to expect when quail hunting. We’ll cover the nuances of hunting in the field, including safety protocols, determining your dominant eye for dog positioning, as well as understanding optimal positioning for the covey rise, and the general etiquette of quail hunting.

Transitioning to the trap field, the practical segment of the class focuses on clay target presentations specifically crafted to replicate real field hunting scenarios and the flight patterns of quail. Embrace the challenge of fast and unpredictable flight lines while gaining awareness of shooting angles crucial for successful quail hunting.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Shotgun Ballistics Class

Starting in the classroom, we’ll teach you how to tune your gun with the proper loads and chokes for different shotgun disciplines and their respective different target presentations; from trap and sporting clays to box bird shoots and shooting in the rough. We’ll also cover how to evaluate load choke percentages before moving to the patterning board on our sporting clay course. From here we’ll show you how to interpret and read patterning, and learn how to make adjustments for load development, barrel regulation, point of impact and more.

Open to shooters of all disciplines; trap, skeet, sporting clays, box bird shoots, hunting, shooting in the rough, walk ups and more. Class will be tailored to the chosen disciplines of attendees.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.

Advanced Tournament Tactics

If you’re looking to improve your tournament scores, or struggling to improve your game and get to the next level, join us for a deep dive into winning tactics, mental management and practice strategy.

Beginning with the theoretical, we’ll instruct you on the importance of aligning self-image and confidence with your skillset, how to consistently maintain mental sharpness and energy over time, and advanced techniques in how to read targets in order to implement proper technique for every shot.

Moving to the sporting clay field, we’ll make sure your gun fits properly and that you’ve secured a proper and consistent mount, review target tactics for different presentations, work on customized chokes and loads for you and your shotgun, and develop an individual practice routine for you to work on your weaknesses.

Visit our event calendar to see available dates and sign up.


Many of our clients are novice shooters when they pass through our doors for the first time. Our goal is to provide you with a pathway to shooting sporting clays safely by learning new skills in a relaxed and enjoyable way. We believe that our clients are much more engaged when having a good time, and learning comes naturally.

To begin, our staff will guide you through an eye-dominance test, how to correctly stand and mount your shotgun safely, and how to hold, carry, load and break the gun so that you are completely comfortable handing it before setting foot on our sporting clay course. From there, we will bring you to a variety of stations on the course where our instructors will cover the basic shooting fundamentals.

Our team are truly passionate about the sport and thrive on sharing their knowledge and enjoyment with you. Our focus will be on teaching you how to use your instinct and your eyes to guide the gun by way of visual management. By the end of your first lesson, we hope to give you an understanding of safe handling of your firearm, the relationship between eye, gun and target, and the basic fundamentals: break point, foot position, muzzle hold and visual pickup point.

The techniques we teach are both visual and repeatable – as you practice and begin to feel more comfortable behind the gun, we will guide you through understanding where to put the eyes at the visual pick up point, moving with the bird at the correct speed, and how to apply the lead to faster and tougher birds. Each lesson is a step forward in skill development so you can identify and feel proud of your progress.

For those who have shot before and are looking to improve their technique, or if you have a particular interest in pursuing driven bird shooting, skeet or trap, we can tailor your lesson towards your goals.

Gun Fitting

Shotguns are not a one-size-fits-all purchase, and every shooter can benefit from a gun that complements their movements and measurements. There are many things that make us unique – from the height of our cheekbones to the length of our neck, or from the width of your shoulders to the length of your arms. A badly fitting gun doesn’t just cause your shooting to suffer – it could also lead to bruising and injury on your jawbone and shoulder. A shotgun that isn’t the right size for you can also encourage bad habits in your mount and stance.

Using a fully adjustable ‘try-gun’, we will alter the stock dimensions, trigger pull and lengths to your exact requirements until you are happy with the result and fit. There are some quick fixes we can provide if necessary, such as slip-on butt extensions, adjustable combs or temporary comb raisers. If you are looking for a more bespoke solution, we will take the complete set of your individual measurements and pass them to our gunsmithing department. Our gunsmiths will then alter the cast, stock length, trigger and rim on your own gun so that you have a complete custom fit.

A gunfit appointment typically takes about two hours. To book, please contact our Shooting Academy on or call 973-398-2670.

Driven Bird Preparation

Driven Bird Instruction

Are you looking to improve your technique for a driven bird hunt? We can make your next shoot more successful with tailored instruction using our simulated driven grouse, partridge and pheasant layouts. Book a lesson with us to practice with the load you will be shooting, and take advantage of our sporting clay stations that feature high incoming and high fast crossing positions. Our NSCA instructors can identify and correct any bad habits, as well as improve your form and swing so that you can focus on achieving more downed birds.


Are you planning to attend your first driven bird hunt and not sure where to start? We can help! Driven bird hunts can range from organized tower shoots held at well-run shooting preserves to formal “jacket and tie” affairs. Shooters move from peg to peg, with everyone having an opportunity to shoot birds on each flight path.

Driven shoots usually have strict rules, such as the use of break-action shotguns only, use of paper wad cartridges or a special dress code. These shoots are never inexpensive, and shooters planning to participate need to know what to expect. Good fitting equipment and practice will make the event much more rewarding, so if you need guidance our experienced team at Griffin & Howe can outfit you with the correct shooting clothes.

NSCA Level 2

The Level 2 course is where instructors move up from teaching to becoming a coach. We start to work on the mental game of perception versus reality, encouraging instructors to get on the same page as the shooters to help them overcome their problems. We teach positive reinforcement and progressive training, allowing instructors to help their students visualize breaking targets so we can empower the subconscious and make the right things happen.

Scholastic and Recreational instructors learn many of the same skills as those taking the Level 1 NSCA course, and training is designed to qualify an individual as an instructor to work with youth and beginning shooters in a safe and recreational manner.

To sign up for a NSCA instructor certification course, visit the NSCA website.

NSCA Instructor Certification

Our Head Shotgun Instructor Kevin Sterk offers the NSCA Level 1 and Level 2 instruction certification programs at Griffin & Howe, as well as training for scholastic and recreational instruction in shooting sports. Kevin is the only level III certifying instructor in the state of New Jersey.

NSCA Level 1
In the Level 1 course, our goal is to provide beginning instructors with the knowledge and ability to teach the fundamentals. They should be able to instruct a shooter on such basics as setting up foot and body position for proper balance, setting up hand and shotgun position to move with the target, how to use the eyes to acquire a target, understanding why a target was missed, and why all this is important. This course will prepare instructors to work with beginning shooters or anyone who needs to improve their fundamental skills.

NJFW Life Fire Portion

We are proud to offer regular Live Fire sessions at Griffin & Howe Shooting Academy, as part of the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education program. For more information on how to schedule your Live Fire test, visit the NJFW website.

Off Site Instruction

Are you looking to plan a unique private event? Let us bring the magic of Griffin & Howe to you! We can provide instructors for your corporate event, as well as consultation on setting up target presentations, course design and safety.

We also offer trial days with certain firearms – we can help you arrange a showcase or demo for brands such as Beretta, Rizzini, Caesar Guerini, Syren, Fausti, Purdey, Blaser and more.

Pickup and delivery services are also available for servicing and appraisal; send your collection to us for repairs, cleaning, engraving of ovals and more at our world class gunsmithing department.

Instructional Videos

Take a look at our new series of instructional videos over on the Griffin & Howe blog, where our head instructor Kevin Sterk provides a demonstration of the various shooting fundamentals.


Please note our lesson pricing is per hour, not per student. Each lesson can have up to four attendees.

Shotgun Instruction – $200 per hour
10 Hour Lesson Package – $1,800 (package discount of $180 per hour)
Half-Day Instruction – $750
Full-Day Instruction – $1,500
Gun Fit (please note this takes approximately 2 hours) – $450 per gun

There is an additional charge for all ammunition and clay targets. Rentals are available for $37.50 per lesson.

Dress code: No t-shirts, blue jeans or open-toed shoes please. Golf attire and shorts are acceptable.


To find out more about what we have to offer or to book a lesson, contact us on 973-398-2670 or email Please note we do not accept walk ins, all lessons must be booked in advance.