Two challenge trophies were brought to the 1922 Meeting Prize List by the NRA – the Jaeger Bowl and the Captain Cup – and the NRA generously left both of them on loan with us ever since.
The Captain Cup was awarded in 1922 for an individual competition outside the Grand Aggregate, rather like the Chas Bell Trophy was in 1922 and still is today. The Captain Cup, still linked to the name of “The Astor”, is now given to Class A for Competition 4 of the Aggregate.
The other “miniature rifle” Astor Competition was not transferred into the Meeting until 1925, but also still remains with us. This is the team-of-six competition where Bisley hosts the final, contested by one club representing each County Association.
These two Astor competitions share a special feature. The Bisley Meeting was under the joint auspices of the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs and National Rifle Association from 1922 to 1938. Thus it is not surprising that NRA medals were given to the award winners in these years.
But the tradition did not stop when responsibility for the meeting passed into the hands of the SMRC alone. Right up to today this tradition remains in place with a number of NRA medals awarded at an NSRA Meeting for two Astor competitions which link the two Associations. Long may this tradition continue.
Nowadays at Bisley we are used to the leisurely pace of a 20-minute detail for 20 match shots and unlimited sighters which can be shot before, during and even after the match shots. Life was not like that in 1922.
Firstly there was Rule 23. “Sighting” and “blow off” shots will not be allowed. Any breach of this rule entails a penalty of disqualification for the whole Meeting and forfeiture of all prizes and entrance fees. A touch draconian, you might think!
A detail in 1922 was a single card of 10 shots, all to count, to be fired in five minutes. Therefore a competitor had to know his sight settings intimately. This was made a lot easier by perhaps the most advanced piece of equipment attached to the rifle, an aperture rearsight with vernier gauges on both elevation and windage adjustment screws.
Accurate adjustment of the rearsight from the previous distance shot could save a lot of worry when firing the first shot. However there was a way round the rule – on the detail before your first match card you shot a practice card of 10 shots in five minutes. But to increase the fun you added to the card an item that has now disappeared from almost every open meeting – a sweepstake ticket for the daily cash prizes.
Following the tragic shootings in Plymouth on 12 August the NSRA extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives as well as to others who were injured or witnessed these awful events.
The UK has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world and comparatively low levels of gun crime so tragedies like last Thursday’s are rare, however the impact is profound.
The NSRA will continue to work with other shooting organisations and Government to ensure that the interests of its members, target shooters and of course the public are effectively represented as any changes to guidance are discussed.
The GB Dewar trial and match will be held at Appleton RC this coming Saturday (21st August) starting at 09:30.
You can view the livestream of the trial here http://www.appletonrc.co.uk/liveA.htm
The team will be selected from the 5 highest scores in each squad and the next two highest scores from combined squads 1 and 2 will be the reserves.
The team will be led by Mike Arnstein (Captain) and Paul Duxbury (Adjutant).
In its 100 years at Bisley Camp, the principal range for the SMRC/NSRA National Meetings has been in only three locations. The current range is on the Century Range 300-yard firing point and this has been our home since 1973. This took over from the range further back, on the 600-yard firing point, which was used for only the four years from 1969 to 1972. The move forward was necessitated by new edicts from the military authorities requiring much larger danger areas in respect of ricochets.
So the only other range used was our first, located on Running Deer and Running Man and our home from 1922 to 1968. This range was located just to the left of Stickledown, on ground still used by the British Sporting Rifle Club and, to its right, the Melville 50-metre complex.
It is now over 50 years since we were last on Running Deer, but there will still be a few of our members who can remember shooting there. We could name several, but let’s limit it to just our President, Geoff Doe and Chairman of the Rifle Committee, Mike Chapman.
Today Team GB Shooters Issy Bailey and Lorraine Lambert completed their training at LRC before travelling to the Tokyo Paralympics on 22nd August. NSRA Staff, Civil Nuclear Constabulary Officers and other visiting shooters gathered around to wish Issy and Lorraine the best of luck in their bid to continue Team GB’s great success. Acting Joint NSRA Chief Executive, Phil Pride said “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to welcome these great athletes to LRC over the last few weeks and we know they will continue to inspire us at the Paralympics”. Before they left Issy and Lorraine along with coaches Mike Babb, Head Rifle Coach, British Shooting and Steve Pengelly, Head Pistol Coach, British Shooting were given a standing ovation.
Following the announcement of the NSRA Performance Club program, fifteen clubs from across the country have requested details of the scheme. A downloadable PDF has been prepared to show clubs what the scheme is about and how to take it forward.
Today we welcomed Charlotte Bates and Stuart Nichols to the Lord Roberts Centre. Charlotte and Stuart are raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by traveling around the UK and completing every single Olympic event during the 17 days that the Tokyo Games is being held. They shot air pistols and air rifles on one of our 10m ranges and did really well. They are looking forward to a well-earned rest when they complete the challenge on Sunday. Do visit their website to find out more and make a donation:https://www.spennylympics.com
ISSF World Tour Target Sprint – Dingolfing, Germany: GB athletes excel with Double Gold
Between the 31st of July 2021 and 2nd of August 2021 the ISSF World Tour Target Sprint, was held in Dingolfing, Germany.
Representing Great Britain two athletes were selected, Emily Shawyer aged 19 in the Junior Women Category and Callum Jones aged 19 in the Junior Men category.
Just 5 points was the difference between finishing 14th and qualifying for the Olympic Final in 8thplace. Such are the fine margins at this level so we congratulate Seonaid on her first Olympics and wish her well as the countdown begins to Paris 2024.
The Cheshire & North Wales Rifle & Pistol Association will be holding an unsquadded County Open Shoot on the 29th August 2021 at Appleton Rifle Club (the week after the Dewar Trials).
It will be a double Dewar match with classes X/A, B, C & D with prizes for the winners in every class, and County Silverware for Cheshire Resident Athletes. There will be additional competitions for ladies, veterans and juniors and a teams/pairs competition.
In view of Covid and the planning required to keep all athletes safe, please note that this year it is advance entries only .... no entries on the day will be accepted.
[Amended 31st July to clarify the Dewar Trials/Match at Appleton is on Saturday 21st August and the unsquadded County Open Shoot on 29th August 2021 (not as previously advised)]