Target shooting with small-bore rifles, air rifles and air pistols is part of one of the largest participant sports in the country. It is open to all, irrespective of age, gender or ability and has a proven track record of improving an individual's concentration and motivation.
Although target shooting was one of the original founding sports for the modern Olympic Games started in 1896, its popularity amongst civilians only really took off in 1900 as a consequence of the Boer War. The Boers' superior marksmanship lead to increasing concern at the capability of the Army to defend the population against invasion. The call went out from the head of the army, Lord Roberts, for the populace to learn to shoot to defend their country, and in due course civilian small-bore shooting clubs were formed from which the sport grew.
Small-bore rifle shooting is mostly carried out over distances of 25 yards, 50 yards/metres and 100 yards. Most 25 yard ranges are indoors, and almost all longer ranges are outdoors. Airgun shooting is at 6 yards, 10 metres or 20 yards. Clubs generally provide all the equipment required to learn to shoot, together with the necessary coaching. All you need to bring is yourself and your enthusiasm.
This is one of the few sports where male and female and the able and those with disabilities can compete equally against one another. Age is no bar to competition. You can start as soon as you are physically strong enough to hold a firearm safely, and you can continue well beyond retirement age. Once you are proficient there are many competitions around the country open to you, so you need not be restricted to just one venue.
Ruislip Rifle Club only uses paper, diagramatic targets. Humanoid targets are not allowed. Here are some examples of the targets we use:-
Short answer: No! But don't let that put you off...
Current legislation prevents people who are not members of an approved club just turning up and shooting. Although the law does provide for "Open Days", any club running such an event has to comply with the rules, which include notifying the local police in advance of the details: when, where, and the names and addresses of everyone that will be handling firearms. If you wish to try shooting at an Open Day, the National Small-bore Rifle Association or the National Rifle Association at Bisley may be able to provide details of clubs holding an open day.
At Ruislip, you must join the club before you can shoot. However, if you decide within the first month of your membership that you don't want to continue, we will cancel your membership and refund your fee, minus a £5.00 administration charge.
Individual Club membership currently costs £30 per annum. If you decide within the first month of membership that you don't want to continue, we will cancel your membership and refund your fee, minus a £5.00 charge. Members also pay a £1 range fee for each visit, and can purchase ammunition from the club. Your ammunition will be stored securely until your next visit as it cannot be removed from the premises unless it is entered on a Firearms Certificate (FAC).
To join the club, your first step should be to contact the Secretary, John Adams. You will be invited to the club during a normal shooting session so that you can see how we operate. You will be given an application form to fill in, and the details will be explained to you.
When you join, you will be a Provisional Member. You will be asked to keep a record of your attendances on your membership card, and will be expected to undergo a programme of instruction. For prone rifle, this normally takes place at weekends rather than during normal club shooting sessions. After 6 months, your membership will be reviewed, and if you have shown that you have attended regularly and have been instructed successfully in the various aspects of shooting, including acting safely and responsibly at all times, you will be given Full membership. If you have not met the conditions above, you may be asked to remain a provisional member for a further period, or (in extreme cases) your membership may be revoked. Part or all of this process may be relaxed, at the discretion of the management committee, for FAC holders with suitable references from another approved rifle club.
Full membership is necessary before applying to the Police for a Firearms Certificate, which allows you to posess your own firearm and ammunition. The club has several rifles and other equipment that members may use free of charge if they do not have their own.
All new members are required to complete a course of instruction before they can participate fully in a normal club session. For prone rifle, this usually takes place at weekends over 4 to 6 weeks. The purpose is to introduce the new shooter to all aspects of shooting including safety and range ettiquette. At the end of the course, the new shooter will be able to safely join in with established members on ordinary club sessions without requiring constant one-to-one supervision or adversely affecting their own or others' performance. Instruction and further coaching continue to be offered, but on an "as required" basis.
Our volunteer club instructors give up a significant amount of time to these initial instruction courses, and each course is limited to a small number of participants as instruction needs to be on a one-to-one basis.
When we open up membership, places on the next instruction courses fill up quickly and we often have to close membership again after a short time. We do not operate a waiting list, in order to encourage those wishing to take up this sport to try one of the other nearby clubs that might be more able to accept new members. The Middlesex Small-Bore Rifle Association has around 20 affiliated clubs in, or just outside, the county of Middlesex.
See also: I've shot before, do I need to take your instruction course?
According to the published plans for HS2, our club will be demolished to make way for the new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham. At the moment, the future of the club and the timescale of HS2's works are uncertain. Given this, it is our view that it is better for people to join other clubs that can offer a more certain future. When we get any concrete news on how and when HS2 will affect our club, we will post details on this web site.
You may already know some modern techniques of shooting, but we ask almost all new members to complete the course. It covers essential safety considerations, basic training and some important considerations essential to the way we run our club sessions. By undertaking the instruction course, we can be confident that new members will fit in with Ruislip clup routine and they won't feel self-concious about disrupting others members' enjoyment of their sport. This leads to new members being accepted into the camaraderie of the club from the start. When a new member is already an established shooter with another club, the committee may decide that all or part of the course is not necessary. We will take up references from the member's former club in order to help us make this decision.
See also: What do you teach new shooters?
The following description is directly relevant to prone rifle shooting, but the process is similar for the other disciplines,
New members, even those that might have shot before, have to undertake a series of instruction sessions, usually held over 4 to 6 weekends. Although some might have knowledge of the material covered from their previous experience, it is important to get new members to a basic level of safety and competency before they fend for themselves on a normal club session.
The courses usually take up half a day each weekend for between 4 and 6 weeks. Typically, there might be 4 people attending each course. They use a combination of theory and practical sessions to ensure that participitants reach a standard of competance where they can organise their own shooting safely and without disrupting other members. Courses cover the following topics:-
- Safe handling of firearms
- Range Rules
- Range Ettiquette
- Equipment and Clothing
- Sighting and Aiming
- Trigger Control
- The Prone Position
- Grouping shots on the target
Once this course has been successfully completed, the new shooter will be sufficiently proficient that they can attend the club on a normal session and mix in with other members without needing any special consideration. Club coaches continue to keep an eye on each new shooter's progress and will offer advice and practical coaching as required.