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Starting Rifle shooting

#1
I used to really enjoy shooting and was a pretty good shot when I was in the Marines (with that devastating SA80 :) ). However since leaving in 98 I have only done a bit of Clay shooting.

I recently bought a BB gun for plinking cans in the back garden and realized just how much I missed shooting.
I would love to get back into target shooting again, I'm not really fussed about owning a rifle and having gun cabinets fitted etc (although I am sure that will happen in time). I live in Sandhurst so I'm sure there are a few clubs nearby (Bisley is close).

Are there any clubs you would recommend? Do I just turn up and ask to have a go? What hoops do I have to jump through? I take it that I will have to undergo safety training and refresh my range conduct etc.

Thanks
 
#2
Join a Home Office approved club (Bisley would suit), and attend as a member using club rifles/black powder pistol/whatever. After 6-12 months you can apply for your licence and if you want to keep them at home get an approved safe installed before the safety visit by plod.

Or get permission to shoot rabbits/foxes/deer on a mate's land and apply straight away (in which case some police forces insist you go accompanied by an experienced shot for a few months or suggest you complete a Deer stalking qual.

Simples, and have fun.
 
#4
Thanks for the replies. I'm only looking to do paper target shooting. I'm not looking to hunt as I doubt I would be eating it.

I'll aim to get down to Bisley soon then.
 
#5
Join Lee Enfield Rifle Association. Caters for most types of rifle apart from military rifles. Most of the club management is ex-military. Secretary is based fairly close to you, and you'll get through the probationary phase a bit quicker as ex-mil (even as a bootie, although you;ll get some stick...)

THE LEE ENFIELD RIFLE ASSOCIATION
 
#7
For a bit of insight you could try the NRA Open day at Bisely on 4th May. For a few pounds you will get to have a go at a range of rifle options (Gallery, F-Class, TR for instance) Queues can be a bind and of course you are at the mercy of the weather. Here's the link to check it out and sign up.

National Rifle Association of the UK | NRA | Events | NRA Open Day

Other options are to look for other clubs, some full bore and plenty of local small bore clubs out there.

Whatever you fancy it will be a matter of getting in the queue to join the club and serve a probabionary period, none of your service history will help you jump the queue or shorten the process in any way.

Once you are a full member it really is best to get an FAC and get your own guns (in my opinion). You can choose make and model to suit and set it up for you and you alone. Same with other equipment you might need, shooting jacket, sling etc.
 
#11
Join Lee Enfield Rifle Association. Caters for most types of rifle apart from military rifles. Most of the club management is ex-military. Secretary is based fairly close to you, and you'll get through the probationary phase a bit quicker as ex-mil (even as a bootie, although you;ll get some stick...)

THE LEE ENFIELD RIFLE ASSOCIATION
+1 for LERA. Excellent bunch of people and a very good atmosphere. Never-served, middle-aged civvies like myself are also made very welcome and there are several good competitions during the year. The members own lots of different rifles, from SMLEs, No 4s and 5s to straight-pull SLRs, and scoped-up tack drivers. Most of the shooting is on military ranges around Ash, Pirbright, Longmoor, and there are very good courses covering maintenance, reloading etc.
 
#12
+1 for LERA. Excellent bunch of people and a very good atmosphere. Never-served, middle-aged civvies like myself are also made very welcome and there are several good competitions during the year. The members own lots of different rifles, from SMLEs, No 4s and 5s to straight-pull SLRs, and scoped-up tack drivers. Most of the shooting is on military ranges around Ash, Pirbright, Longmoor, and there are very good courses covering maintenance, reloading etc.
Do you still get those "ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH" emails?
 
#14
Do you still get those "ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH" emails?
Yes. Even caused one or two myself, but they work - you tend not to make the same mistake or numpty forum comment twice. And as someone very new to rifle shooting, clear rules drilled into me from day one are a good thing.
 
#15
It was something I was looking into myself, What does a deer stalking course entail out of interest and what sort of cost is involved?

BASC sponsors/runs a DSC1 (Deer Stalking Course 1). I've signed up to do the course in Devon at the end of March. Cost of £290. According to the 242 page manual that arrived with my Joining Instructions the course has the following assessments - Written Assessment of 50 multiple choice questions, Visual Assessment (think AFV recognition), Safety Assessment, Shooting Assessment and a Meat Hygiene (Trained Hunter) Assessment. I understand that you don't need your own rifle - that can be provided. I'm looking forward to it, and the manual is pretty interesting so far.... Check out the BASC website
BASC - Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 - DSC 1
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
If books arent your thing they do a good set of DVDs but I understand its an open book exam now. One good thing about not turning up with your own rifle is that they have to let you zero theirs so you have a warm up session. Bearing in mind .223 is deer legal you can shoot the test with a mouse gun and there is nothing they can do to stop you!
By the way the deer quest dvd is riddled with incorrect questions and poorly framed ones!
 
#18
Just finished my DSC 1 today with the stalking and shooting assessments. The others are not open book assessments. A good course by the way.
 
#20
For a bit of insight you could try the NRA Open day at Bisely on 4th May. For a few pounds you will get to have a go at a range of rifle options (Gallery, F-Class, TR for instance) Queues can be a bind and of course you are at the mercy of the weather. Here's the link to check it out and sign up.

National Rifle Association of the UK | NRA | Events | NRA Open Day

Other options are to look for other clubs, some full bore and plenty of local small bore clubs out there.

Whatever you fancy it will be a matter of getting in the queue to join the club and serve a probabionary period, none of your service history will help you jump the queue or shorten the process in any way.

Once you are a full member it really is best to get an FAC and get your own guns (in my opinion). You can choose make and model to suit and set it up for you and you alone. Same with other equipment you might need, shooting jacket, sling etc.
The probationary period may be waived at the clubs discretion for someone who.
"Has handled firearms in the course of their duty in the police or armed services, and has a statement from their existing or former commanding officer saying they are fully trained in handling the type of firearms of which the club has obtained approval and is able to use them safely without supervision.

So your statement "none of your service history will help you jump the queue or shorten the process in any way" is wrong!

So ARGHHHHH !!!!!
 

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