Webitorial - The 2011 British Shooting Show Wow- at last - UK shooters have a Show we can be proud of.

After a shaky start in 2009, the 2010 Show trebled in size but really took-off big-time this year with well over 300 exhibitors plus support from most of the UK shooting organisations. Sponsored by Blaze Publishing, the Show continues to go from strength to strength and brings together all the diverse shooting disciplines under one roof. The only complaints I heard last year were over the long queues to actually get in and from a few ill-equipped visitors who found themselves with muddy feet. Even organiser John Bertrand can’t control the weather but this year, those muddy trudges between halls were covered and an 8.30am start time eliminated the queuing – job sorted! Last year, we carried a report on the Show in our March issue but this year there was just too much so, a Show Supplement seemed like the best plan. Hope you like it and maybe you will find a pic of yourself but, if you didn’t make it to the Show, our supplement will hopefully give you a flavour of what you missed. Vince Carl & Yvonne Carl - carl@targetshooter.co.uk and Vince - vinceb@targetshooter.co.uk and Yvonne - admin@targetshooter.co.uk

Copyright © Trinity Digital Publishing Ltd

The British Shooting Show – 26-27th February 2011

also hosting the 50 cal. Club (I would say they generated more interest than anyone else!), the lever-action and long-barrel pistol guys, rimfire We at Target Shooter have always enthusiastically and centrefire benchrest, F Class and Diggle supported the Show and this year, we were Ranges. We also ran reloading demonstrations invited to run a target shooting display area, and answered (or at least tried to) all your which we did, with the help of Diggle Ranges shooting and ballistic queries. and the guys and gals from many of our rifle shooting Associations. We were overwhelmed The stand was well-manned so, for a couple by your response and it was just great to meet of hours on the Sunday, I got the chance to so many shooting enthusiasts. have a quick look around. I must confess, I never got round to the gun-dogs, the outdoor In addition to the magazine, our stand was shotgun range, the fishing stuff and all the other

Our stand was massive – this is the left-hand side and below, the right-hand section

Company, right next door to the Target Shooter stand. Proprietor Gavin Haywood had some great goodies for the accuracy nut. First off, his new ‘Impala’ action. Basically a Remmy clone but, this action really is THE best of the Remmy clones I’ve yet seen – on either side of the pond! Fit and finish is second to none and in addition, he does a titanium version! This just has to be held to be believed – it’s so light and the bolt to body fit is beautiful! Honestly, I’ve never seen better. www.anglocustomrifle.co.uk Gavin also had plenty of other Jim Smith & the Gallery Rifle guys had a great display goodies – like carbon-wrapped and a lot of interest barrels – again ultra-light and carbon fibre stocks, both beautifully stuff that we get at every show and instead I concentrated on what would be of interest to the executed. There were some really interesting target shooter and accuracy nut. There was a tactical and target rifles on the stand, including a manually-operated version of the FN FAL SLR surprising amount. – the British Army’s preferred rifle prior to the First off, let’s visit the Anglo Custom Rifle SA80. These are new, legal, s1 rifles and Gavin

To introduce our selves we are the United Kingdom Association of Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest Shooting. By that we mean "True Benchrest Shooting". The Association is recognised by rimfire shooters across in the UK, with partners across Europe and the rest of the world, as the presentative body that promotes rimfire and air rifle benchrest across this country and with other partners in European and World events. Visit our website for news about national and international competitions that all can ‘have a go at’. From novice to champion shooter, everyone is welcome www.benchrest22.org

has all the Home Office paper-work to prove it! There were several other bits and bobs I could tell you about but we need to move on.......... Right next door were Desert Tactical Arms showcasing their superb military bull-pup rifle. This is an American-built rifle intended for professional use. I’d already heard wild claims for its accuracy potential but, when I saw the rifle stripped, I can believe those claims. The rifle uses a heavy barrel clamped in a ‘barrel block’ over about five-inches of its length. There is no ‘receiver’ in the conventional sense and it uses a barrel-stub – similar to the Unique Alpine - for the bolt lock-up and the stubby bolt is guided by a polymer sleeve in the butt. Bull-pups often have a ‘trigger-issue’ but this one was really Target Shooter scribe Chris Parkin with crisp. All in all, a very innovative design. the Anglo Custom Rifle’s fully moderated, carbon-fibre stocked rifle built on the Impala In fact, this is just about the best supported action

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barrel I’ve ever seen on a rifle, outside of custom 1000 yard benchguns and, if you love that military look, you will love this rifle! Needless to say it’s available in a variety of calibres (right up

to the 338 Lapua Magnum) and barrel-lengths. If they don’t have your calibre, it would be no more difficult to re-barrel than a conventional rifle. I could write a couple of thousand words

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on it but I’ll wait – until we get one to test for League) this latest version goes one better - with Target Shooter readers. Meanwhile, see www. improved turrets and reticle. deserttacticalarms.com Naturally, I wanted the scope for a test but John Right opposite the Target Shooter stand was says it’s the only one in existence and he has to Aimfield Sports – retailers of the best drag-bag take it to Sightron for the IWA Show in Germany and shooting mat in the world and of course, in two weeks time. We will get them here later in Sightron scopes. the year and the good news is they are still under £900! If you want a new, long-range scope, trust Proprietor John Dean was able to show us the me, it’s worth hanging on for this one. www. very latest version 8-32 Sightron scope. The aimfieldsports.com 8-32 Sightron is already the choice of many F Class and tactical shooters but, in response to Next to Aimfield Sports, Brock & Norris had a shooters requests, (John shoots in the F Class very busy and well-stocked stand with a ton of

The new turrets don’t need a dust-cap and are ‘grippier’ - for our cold, wet hands! A stadia-type reticle is now offered as well

Mike Norris with his Help for Heros rifle

bullets and powders. In addition to a display of their rifles, they were also raffling a custom rifle built on a Stiller action for the Help for Heros charity – a fine gesture guys. E-mail brocknnorriss@aol.com Just lower down the hall we had a real eye-opener. My all time favourite pistol is the Colt 1911 and when the Government robbed us in 1995, giving-up my 1911 was my biggest loss. I couldn’t believe it when, on the Tunnel Target Sports Centre stand I saw not one but

half a dozen!

The Tunnel’s innovative 1911 semi-auto rimfire pistols OK, there’s a catch – yes, this is a semi-auto 22 rimfire but, to make it legal in the nanny UK it must have a minimum 12 inch barrel. The guys at the Tunnel get around this by fitting what looks Season a silencer on the muzzle and of course, that like Ad 23/4/10 14:58 Page 1 ‘wrist-brace’ on the rear. Yes it does detract from the ‘real thing’ but it still looks superb and it’s still a semi-auto 1911and I want one! I really hope these catch on and bring back some sort of practical pistol shooting. Maybe they will loan us

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Foxy dishes out the ‘spiel’ to punters – he had some great rifles on offer

one for review. E-mail 1911@thetunnel.co.uk

Down at the bottom end of the hall we should have had South Yorkshire Shooting Supplies Still in the same hall, Fox Firearms had their usual but sadly Roger Francis had to cancel at the display of fine custom rifles and accessories. last minute due to illness but Stuart Anselm of A superb selection, built on Stolle, GBR, Inch, Osprey Rifles jumped in at the eleventh hour, Barnard and Turbo actions from 22 rimfire to the sharing it with the guy who is making the custom 50BMG. A new British-made tactical action with There isn’t a gunshop or built-in Pic rail and recoil-lug gunsmith in the UK that could offer you a selection like this and Brian Fox has all the custom kit, like rests, bags, loading gear etc. to back up his rifles. www.foxfirearmsuk. com Brian was sharing a stand with Gillie Howe and Brian Westlake – both legends in British pistol shooting.

Custom Rißes - built on Savages, GBR, Stolle, Bat etc Factory F Class, Benchrest & Palma Rißes from Savage Arms Bipods from Fito Force & Sinclair

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rifle actions for SYSS and Valkyrie rifles. In addition to their Remmy 700 clones, there was an interesting prototype action incorporating an integral recoil-lug and Picatinny rail – very similar to a Surgeon – and will be ideal for a tactical rifle. Other actions are also planned. Osprey Rifles are of course Savage specialists so were displaying the latest Savage F/TR rifles plus a ‘Palma’ version for Target Rifle and the Plenty of bargains to be had

6.5-284 Savage, which is currently dominating Factory benchrest in the UK. Osprey will of course build you a rifle on any action for any purpose. See www.ospreyrifles.com In between all these interesting stands there were lots of stands selling components and some at bargain prices – I snapped this display of powder - priced well below ‘list’ – some real bargains here.

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Before we move on, let’s drop in on Riflecraft. Riflecraft also work with many different actions and were offering a great selection of custom rifles and accessories to suit all tastes and disciplines.

bobs. of interest to the technical-minded. www. riflecraft.co.uk

I’d already seen pictures of Accuracy International’s new AX stock which was introduced at the American Shot Show and to be Their display included some nice tactical rigs honest, I wasn’t sure I liked it but, in ‘the flesh’ the plus all the goodies, including stocks, scopes, rifle looked superb – bristling with Picatinny rails powder, bullets etc. to go with them plus lots of in true military fashion, it looked great and will components and gunsmithing stuff. I think they soon make the old stock look very ‘yesterday’. even had a 338 Barrett on display plus a nice cut-away Nightforce scope and other bits and Almost the whole of the barrel is shrouded in

We all love AI! The new stock looks great – it should be a good seller

There were more knives and ‘edged’ weapons in evidence this year. IWA always have a ‘Knife of the year’ award – could we introduce this at our Show?

a ‘handguard’ made up of Pic rails and all the metal-work is black with green polymer bits. A military-style muzzle-break completes the job and for those who had an issue with that ‘thumbhole’ this stock should satisfy. www. accuracyinternational.com I heard someone say that they never strayed from this hall – and I can believe it, my two hours has passed so in the interest of Target Shooter readers, we’d better go walkabout! As always, there were lots of clothing stalls with many Big boy’s toys............

displaying ‘show offers’ and I did see one or two bargains, even treating myself to a couple of pairs of ultra-long socks. I don’t know about you but when I lie down to shoot I end up with a bit of bare leg showing where my trousers have ridden up. These knee-length socks should solve that one! I also noticed an increase in the number of stalls selling ‘edged weapons’ and although not firearms, I can’t resist a look – particularly the hand-made stuff – some really nice knives

And more....................

and axes. Even Cold Steel from America had a display – I usually only see them at IWA.

GMK Ltd who are the UK importers for a vast range of stuff including RCBS, Leupold, Weaver and Burris scopes and RUAG for Nightforce and Moving into to the large permanent building – of course ammunition and brass. rather than the marquees which house most of the Show - my old mate Berni Montana of I’d didn’t have time to explore this area......... Extreme Performance Ltd and The Gun Room had some very interesting ‘extreme’ stuff on display in the form of large calibre sniping/ tactical stuff. He also had a number of ‘little used’ Sako TRG 42s in 338 Lap. Mag. complete with all the goodies which had been used for test purposes and are now on offer at ‘give-away’ prices. Contact Berni if you are at all interested. Berni’s core business is ballistics and the development of solid projectiles and again, we were able to procure a few ‘samples’ which we hope to test for the benefit of Target Shooter readers. Check out www.accurateammunition. com & www.thegunroomuk.com ........................or this one!

Shows like the American Shot Show and IWA are of course ‘trade only’ shows but at least our Newark Show is for shooters. Some of the big importers were there however – which is nice to see and I must therefore mention Viking Arms Ltd who import the Ruger range (see test of their I have no interest in clay shooting so I didn’t new Ruger Mini-rifle in our march issue) and bother with that though I heard it was possible to shoot clays on the outdoor range and of course, there were hundreds of shotguns for sale both new and secondhand. I had a look at the air-rifle area – a large outdoor range about 50 metres long but firing from under cover - very impressive and attracting a lot of attention. There were several ‘have a go’ sections and one which really caught my eye was the ‘Olympic Experience’, where youngsters could actually shoot an Olympic discipline – brilliant – we need more of this to get our youngsters interested in the sport and restore our shooting to the standards set by Malcolm Cooper and Mick Gault. In addition to Diggle Ranges, there were other club stands and I couldn’t help be impressed by North Cotes Butts Shooting Club near Grimsby. Although tiny in comparison to my own Range at Diggle they have a membership of 500 and put on some great fun shoots. These guys and gals really know how to enjoy themselves and if you are near and without a club, please pay them a visit. They cater for air

Berni with a few of his ‘little used’ TRGs

The Olympic experience! Let’s hope it gets a few youngsters interested. This was just a small section of the airgun range rifle as well as shotgun and firearms and also the National Rifle Association, the National have a 100 yard tunnel range.................... Smallbore Rifle Association, the British Deer Society, the Muzzle Loaders Assoc. GB, the Tramping round shows is exhausting work but Quigley Shooting Association, the UK Benchrest the Newark Show was well served with food Ass., the Historic Breechloader Small Arms, the outlets – anything from crepes to fish ‘n chips Clay Pigeon Shooting Ass. And the UK Ass. of – and freshly cooked! Alternatively, there is a Rimfire & Air rifle Benchrest. Remember, most proper ‘sit-down’ restaurant serving meals and of these are non-profit making organisations alcohol all day and late into the evening. and many members will have given up their time and spent their own money to be there. They I’m glad to see that many of our shooting are an essential part of any shooting show and associations were also represented, including the we acknowledge those who freely gave up their British Association for Shooting & Conservation, time to man a stand for the weekend to promote Norman Clark always brings a lorry-load of stuff and his stand was besieged by customers throughout the show – I had to wait until closing time to get this shot!

Plenty of choice and plenty of bargains from what I saw our sport. Amongst all the camo and green willies, a welcome bit of eye candy in the form of the RFD-NET girls! These georgeous young ladies were promoting the resurrection of a very useful service which was lost to us many years ago – the ability to order a firearm over the phone or on-line and have it delivered to your door. Currently, the firearm must be delivered to your local gunshop who will take delivery, enter the firearm in his register and then write said firearm on your FAC, informing the local police force just as if you had bought it from him. acquaintances. Although dozens of you were kind enough to say how much you like Target Shooter, an equal number had never heard of us! However we handed out over 500 leaflets, so hopefully the message will filter through.

We were also running reloading demonstrations on the stand and I must have shown dozens just how easy it is to reload a rifle cartridge – in about three minutes flat. Laurie Holland was there all day Sunday and shooters took the chance to quiz Laurie on all sorts of ballistic and reloading questions which he gladly answered. We also had a few of the ‘project rifles’ that have featured in Target Shooter on display. However, although With RFD-NET, a ‘man with a van’ - with RFD a lot of you are extremely knowledgeable, credentials – collects the gun from the seller amazingly many shooters have never heard of and delivers it to the purchaser and enters it on disciplines like F Class or benchrest. This is the the purchaser’s FAC. A very useful convenient problem when there are no longer any ‘paper’ service for both seller and buyer, for which a magazines on the bookstands covering target small charge is made – but your local dealer shooting. would probably charge you anyway. See www. rfdnet.net A brilliant concept which will save Now for my own little scoop purchase. On the Smith Arms stand – specialising in historic rifles, both trade and customer a lot of hassle. I spotted a strange looking rimfire target rifle. It Target Shooter’s band of three (Yvonne, Carl & was Russian in origin, probably fifty years old Vince) were in attendance for the whole two days but the action was beautiful. It looked as if it had and it was just great to meet old friends and new been hand-carved from a solid block of steel (it

RFD-NET - There’s no guarantee that these girls will actually deliver your firearm!

probably had) and the bolt was a little gem. It’s almost a collectors item and it seems a shame to chop it up but I’m hoping that it will make a nice little rimfire benchrest rifle project for Target Shooter magazine. Of course, it could be a ‘pig in a poke’ - we’ll have to wait and see! Finally, our congratulations to Show organiser, John Bertrand. Once again, he did a fantastic job and, if he invites us back next year, we can make our bit even better. By opening at 8.30am, he neatly avoided the long queues which built up last year - I got there at just before 8.00am and drove straight in. By 9.30am our hall was

‘heaving’ but still no queues outside and it stayed that way until mid afternoon. With the continued support of the shooting community, the Show will surely grow and hopefully become an essential part of everyone’s’ year. If you missed it this year, please support it in 2012. It’s the best thing that’s happened to shooting in a long time. My personal thanks to Steve Thornton, who did so much to give our target shooting area a professional look by providing posters and furniture and sorting out our passes for the weekend. Steve is a shooter but he is also a professional photographer specialising in outdoor photography www.stevethornton.co.uk and he has given us access to his website for lots more Show photographs - see this LINK.

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