Can I have Some Advice

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by meridian, Dec 26, 2009.

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  1. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Chaps, can the esteemed members of this forum offer me some good advice

    I haven't shot anything since I finished wearing green and if I am honest was never a brilliant shot but want to get back into shooting sports in the new year some time. My youngest is 12 and I want to get him involved in something constructive and disciplined beyond zapping aliens on the XBox

    Having read up on a few posts here the combined wisdom seems to be find a rifle club, have a visit and go from there.

    A few questions though...

    Anyone know any decent clubs in the North Staffs area
    What sort of budget for a starters set up (what are the basics needed)
    Whats the best way to get the lad involved, legal issues etc

    Thanks in advance
  2. Just pm'd you Meridian
  3. Why not try a shotgun first. £50 and four photo's gets you a licence, you can pick up second hand guns easily and cheaply and you can pretty much shoot when you want.
  4. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Cheers for the PM's fellas.

    I did think about clays and definitely easier to access as you say but must admit, I have never fancied them
  5. Consider booking yourself in for one of the NRA "Open Days" at Bisley. These are a bit expensive and organised without much imagination (welcome to civvy shooting in UK.....), but you can get the chance to have a go at all sorts of shooting from clays through to bench-rest and possibly get an idea of what "grabs" your interest. The stands are all run by different clubs, so this is a good way to get signed up right away or meet some contacts from your area .
  6. Next year they are are Saturday 1st May and Saturday 11th September.

    I am not sure why shotgunning has been suggested. It is a completely different sport.

    The cheapest rifle shooting by far is Small Bore. ( There are a lot of local clubs. They all have club rifles for use by members and ammunition is around a tenth of the price of full bore.
  7. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Anyone got any advice on the age issue, re my son

    He is 12 and I want to get him involved, thats the whole point really. Obviously he is not going to be having his own licence and will always be with me but are there any restrictions, legal and/or practical about how he can get involved?

    In fact, are there any events or disciplines where he can be with kids his own age group?
  8. ancienturion

    ancienturion LE Book Reviewer

    Check your pm.
  9. Being septic I cannot give you any advice on rules and regs. in the UK. As a father who has taight his son to shoot I would advise you to hold off on shotgun/clays at first. It can be quite frustrating for a kid and a kid needs positive results if he is going to enjoy the sport. I started my boy on shooting .22LR pistol, using S&W Model 41 target pistol. I think pistol is a problem in the UK now so maybe a .22LR rifle would be best. I started with a 25 yard pistol bull target at aound 25 feet to give him a chance to work on sight picture and get results. As he got older I move him up to a .45ACP M1911 Gold Cup at 25 yards.

    If you do go to clays, trap is easier to learn than skeet IMHO. Some will suggest with a boy or girl to start with a smaller bore 28/.410. but I think this will increase the frustration factor (less pellets = less hits). At age 12 a 12 gauge should be manageable and not too punishing if you use target loads.

    Best of luck with it. You are starting him on a sport he can enjoy until he is an old crock like me.
  10. NSRA Club Finder

    You say North Staffs...

    If you are not too far North I would recommend Rugeley RC.
    .22 target rifle, lightweight sporting rifle, air rifle, air pistol, indoor and outdoor ranges at all appropriate distances, well appointed club room, friendly atmosphere, etc.

    They have club kit, so initial set-up costs are just membership fees.

    However, I appreciate it's too far if you're up on the Moorlands, Leek direction or whatnot, in which case there are other clubs to look at:
    - City of Stoke-on-Trent Rifle and Pistol Club
    - Leek and District Shooting Centre
    - Chipperfield Ranges, Nr. Newcastle
    - Stoke-on-Trent Shooting and Archery Club.

    However, you'll have to contact the NSRA directly as none of those clubs are very good at advertising themselves (i.e. for some reason refuse to be put on the Club Finder). The County's more proactive clubs are Rugeley and Swadlincote further South. Don't worry, Jenny Page at the NSRA is lovely and will get you complete listings.

    Unfortunately the Data Protection Act means that unless a club gives it's consent, it's details cannot be publicised on the web by the NSRA, meaning it's club finder is incomplete, although a good listing of proactive and progressive clubs! The unabridged list has to be requested individually and is posted out. If you do request one, say you're near a border and request lists for Staffs and the nearest county to you, so as not to miss a club that's just over the border but very convenient.

    If you're up on the border have a look at the NSRA listings for Cheshire, or whichever is your next nearest county. There may be clubs that are well suited to your location, but which won't come up on Staffordshire searches because they're geographically over the border, even though their catchment includes areas of Staffs.

    For costs, as with many sports if you get into buying kit, then you can spend as much as you like on toys and gadgets, but if you can find a club with decent communal kit, then you needn't spend very much at all, and second hand kit can usually be acquired at reasonable rates.

    There are no legal issues to speak of as long as you both abide by the club's rules, etc, and provided neither of you fall foul of Section 21. Whichever club(s) you visit will be able to advise on specific conditions relating to juniors in that specific club, but there are no particularly onerous legal requirements beyond enhanced supervision, which he will no doubt be getting anyway.

    Clays are an alternative, and it's mentioning in this thread is by no means a bad thing - I have seen kids getting on with it with lightweight 20 bores and having a great time (and some success).
    However, back on topic, for a 12 year old I really have to suggest air rifle or pistol, and then when he's ready for powder burners, a progression either to .22 rifle (and then maybe fullbore rifle), or to shotgun. Tis how I (and many others) started. Was taught on an ancient BSA Meteor (air rifle), went onto casual clays with my family and got into target rifle at Uni.

    Not everyone is able to do both. I know of someone who when first introduced to target rifle couldn't hit the proverbial barn door, but someone chivied him along to a day at a local clay range and he has since shot for the GB Junior Clay Pigeon squad.
    Very different skill sets that require different abilities. If your lad gets into his shooting and wants to move from air onto cartridge firearms, make sure he has the opportunity to try both rifle and shotgun so as to have the chance to find out which he has a natural aptitude for.

    Yeah, they're a good opportunity to try lots of disciplines, although a trek from Staffs! Bisley is an inspiring place to visit though. Absolutely seeped in history. It's definitely somewhere that every target shooter should visit at least once in their life. It's the spiritual home of target shooting and absolutely gorgeous on a sunny summers day! It's also just down the road (less than a mile) from Brookwood Military Cemetary which is a truly moving place to visit whilst you're there. However, the only air on offer will be Field Target. There will be no .22 Target Rifle or 10m Air Rifle or Air Pistol unless the NSRA have got their act together enough to participate. It's usually all full-bore and clays, which may not be appropriate if you want to start him on air/.22 and build up to shotgun/fullbore rifle at a later date (what stage you want to jump into has to be based on your knowledge of his strength, maturity, etc. Naturally we can't advise on that).

    I have to disagree over the Trap/Skeet issue. It may be easier to learn but unless you want to be a trap shooter, is ultimately limiting. Skeet is a superb training discipline - especially if one wants to get into sporting clays rather than formal disciplines. Sporting layouts are non-standard, so it's difficult to assess your performance from shoot to shoot. Skeet is a nice baseline to come back to and gives a variety of angles and different shots - incomers, away birds, crossing birds, pairs and singles. About the only thing it doesn't prepare you for is the "Teal" bird, but that's easy enough to pick up anyway!
    Trap just gives Away birds, albeit in very unpredictable patterns. It's fun, but has limited cross-discipline use. I would hazard that a skeet shooter will adapt to a mixed sporting shoot more easily than a trap shooter (although that's not to say a trap shooter would not make a good account of themself).
    Also, Skeet includes the easiest bird known to man - the highly predictable low-house away bird from Station 7. The bird goes directly away from you, launched at about shoulder height, so barely moves against the horizon. It's like a stationary target! Near impossible to miss and perfect for people's first few shots as they learn what a shotgun feels like to shoot and how to aim.
    Maybe the many facets of Skeet take a little longer to become proficient at, but I would not say frustratingly so, and it offers far more variety.

    Also, on the issue of calibres, 20-bore and .410 is more than adequate if you're putting them in the right place!
    I don't know what build the lad is, but for smaller kids, they will see far more success with a small, light 20-bore with an open choke that they can handle easily than with a heavier 12-bore with greater recoil which is simply too heavy for them to swing onto target and shoot effectively.

    To say 12-bores are appropriate for 12-13 years olds is remarkably uncompromising, as they are certainly not appropriate in all cases.

    One must match the kit to the person! Just because a 12-bore allows the cartridge to contain a greater quantity of shot will not outweigh the disadvantage if the gun is fundamentally too big and heavy for the shooter to handle safely and effectively. On the other hand, he could be a big stocky lad, in which case a (smaller) 12-bore should be fine.