Jon, Liz, Adrian, Danny, Richard, Mara and I went down to Bisley for our rifle and pistol shooting. Bisley is made up of 3000 acres of countryside and offers just about every (legal) shooting opportunity you could imagine. We were on our way to the Lord Roberts centre and the main thing we noticed on the way were a large number of somewhat run down caravans. Not quite what we expected from Bisley but apparently these act as accommodation for shooters taking part in competitions.
The Lord Roberts Centre, on the other hand, is a thoroughly modern venue and one of the few places in the country where anyone can just ring up to make a booking to learn to shoot. The instructors are keen to stress that it’s arguably the safest sport around – ‘you won’t even pull a muscle’ – and that the sport is particularly good for those with disabilities. The only restriction is that you need to be over 4 ½ feet so that you can reach round the rifle.
Our coach for our rifle shooting was Andrea Zakor – and ex European champion and Hungarian international. She soon had us shooting over 25m in there different positions – prone ; standing and kneeling. My first thought was that there was no way in a hundred years that I was going to hit a small target 25m away. However, with a bit of guidance – and lot of help from the sight – you do fairly quickly start to get somewhere near the target. Consistently hitting the centre of the target – the minimum requirement if you’re serious about your shooting – is quite another matter.
We them moved onto the air pistol and air rifle over 10m. We all looked pretty good after the air rifle with nice shot clusters. The air pistol was very different as, unlike the air rifle, this involves shooting without being able to prop yourself up on anything. In other word, it’s a little more like the shooting you see on cop shows where you shoot with the gun in one hand extended in front of you. Even at 10m most of us found it pretty hard to hit the target.
Overall, it was great introduction to rifle and pistol shooting. The only shame was that we weren’t able to do the other 2 (non-air) pistol events from the Olympics as these are illegal in the UK. Be glad of any advice as to where I can do these (and the double trap which is legal but which I’m struggling to find)!
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