Thanks to the friendly people at Northumbria firearms licensing and mr Postman my FAC and SGC finally dropped through my letterbox yesterday morning.
All 3 calibres I asked for (.22lr .243 and .308/7.62), and as expected a 'closed' cert, but no other conditions such as mentor or DSC1 which is good.
A couple of small points which I am going to raise are that fox is not listed as quarry for the .243 which was requested (not sure if this was an oversight or for a reason) and only 100 rounds to buy for the .308 (apparently reduced in line with the ACPO guidelines). I'll be using the .308 on the range a fair bit, so just going to make sure I get all rounds purchased entered onto the FAC (along with the ones I buy at the range) and hoefully this will let them see the need for more and increase the number next time it goes in. I also plan to (eventually) start reloading once I'm used to the rifle and so being allowed to possess more rounds would be preferable.
It took a long time to get here - 7 and a bit weeks since the FLO visit (and that was about 4 or 5 weeks after application) but I know that they have had a backlog and I can't blame them for doing their job thoroughly.
I picked up my first rifle yesterday - A Steyr Pro Hunter MKII in .308 with a S&B 8x56 and T8 mod. After a thorough clean, I took her down the range this morning sighted her in and shot a 1" group at 100m (1 1/2 inches high) which I thought was pretty perfect (especially given my abilities)... until I discovered a loose rear scope mount, which after tightening threw the zero out, so only got half way through the process again before we ran out of time.
I had been warned off the pro hunter because of issues with the flexibility of the stock, but after speaking to quite a few current and previous owners and a couple of gunshops, I decided that worst case scenario I can get the action bedded and stock stiffened at the same time which shouldn't set me back too much, but will leave me with a beautiful looking and feeling gun.
I may end up eating my words, but having looked at a LOT of other rifles before settling back on the Steyr, I'm couldn't be happier with it so far.
Gez (Who has looked like this -> all weekend... except a bit more sunburned!)