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Thread: Thoughts on first FAC

  1. #1

    Thoughts on first FAC

    Hello all, I'm after any advice or pointers on my first FAC application.

    Bit of background. I've shot air rifle for pigoen, rabbits and rats for many years and shotgun for past ten years. Live on in-laws farm in Bucks and have permision to shoot over it.
    We've had quite a problem with fox the past few months and muntjak trampling crops and nibbling off the new growth on hedgelaying last year.

    My SGC is up for renewal now so I'm thinking of getting an FAC coterminous with it. Done a fair bit of reading and had some suggestions from a friend who does a lot on rabbit and fox and some deer.

    After considering options I'd like to apply for .22lr for rabbits and small vermin ; .223 for fox and muntjak.

    Friend sugested a .243 as allowed for all deer species. However we only really get munties in any numbers on the farm and that's all I really want/need to shoot deer wise anyway. I'm also guesing (hoping) they will be more likely to approve the .223 for a first ticket for me considering the land and reasons ?

    If they say outright no to a .223 then I'm leaning towards a .17hmr as will be able to take fox with that, (just have to ignore the tasty little munties). Though posts on here relating to problems with the .17hmr is a little off putting.

    So, the above seems best way forward for me, ............. unless some of the considerably more experienced than me people here disagree ?
    Any pointers , suggestions or thoughts very welcome.

    thanks, Duncan

  2. #2
    Problems I foresee will be:

    What firearms experience do you have?
    What experience of shooting deer do you have?
    Carcass preparation?
    Safe handling of firearms?
    Is the land cleared for centrefire rifle use?
    Do you have anyone who could act as a mentor for you shoulf the need arise?

    If you intent to shoot Deer as well as fox the FEO is going to want to know that you know what you're doing regarding Deer stalking. Can you prove that you have any experience of this? If not then DSC1 is the best way to go forward as you can prove, Shooting skills, safe handling of firearms, Deer stalking knowledge etc...

    My advice would be talk to your FEO and see what you need in order to get what you want. Read up an everything you can and have a list of quaetions prepared.

    Lots of people are going to say that you can have what you like and there is nothing the Police can say about it, demand this and that and the other, etc etc but, in a real world situation when you have to have a working relationship with your licensing dept then you need to try and get your foot in the door with your FAC without causing too many issues for yourself.

    Good luck, do a search on here to see some of the issues that people have come up against with their cetificates.

    "If you don't belong, don't be long"

  3. #3
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Duncan you have many things going in your favour. I suspect .243 as a calibre will not raise an eyebrow. For Deer/Fox and as a first Calibre its probably the most common and therefore one your FEO will feel most at home to grant.

    However Moses makes a lot of valid points that you should look to address or at least get a handle on before you submit an application for the centre fire. Without these covered I suspect you will be disappointed.

    Don't see any real issue in you applying for the rimfire and actually a period of safe shooting with .22 will probably help your case going forward.

    The chicken and egg here is how do you gain firearms experience without experiencing firearms.
    Fill in the gaps and talk to your FEO.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the comments so far. I feel I can cover most of them (though I'm sure most people think the same of themselves and FEO can still disagree)

    As far as I'm aware the land is cleared for centerfire. Brother-in-law (Farmer) has a slot for one on his ticket but hasn't bought one. Makes do with .22lr and shotgun. He has a couple of contacts he asks to deal with specific problems but they arn't always readily available.

    Firearms are indeed the chicken and egg problem. Used to shoot full bore and and small bore pistol, back when it was allowed. Partly related, as in they can throw a lethal projectile a fair distance aswell as go wrong close up and personal, crosbow and archery. I'm a qualified archery instructor, with a woodland range, kit and relevant insurance for running sessions on the farm. The issue of distance, richochetes (sp?) and effective backstops are obviously greater with a centerfire rifle.

    Carcass handling and prep isn't a problem as I'm a Butcher by trade and have done a fair bit of it already.(that said there are a lot of butchers now who havn't skinned and dressed any carcass as they have no need or opportunity to so it isn't always a given)
    Have used and taught range safety and safe handling of air rifles and archery for many years with Cubs and Scouts. Though I only have a bit of paper for the archery.

    All the fox and muntjak will be shot at specific points on the farm; where they are causing the problem, or nearest safe shooting point on their way to or from there. I am very familiar with the ground and for most of the places already know the routes and points as I track and trail cam them for 'walk n talks' with Cubs, Scouts and school visits round the farm.
    I suppose I'm looking at it more as specific pest control than stalking. Though the FEO will very likely see the emphasis from the other side.

    I do have a very experienced shooter and stalker who has shot over the farm and is happy to mentor me officialy if necesary. I say 'officialy' as he'd be helping me out and sharing experience anyway.

    I've shot, slaughtered, dressed, preped and cooked various animals , but never shot a deer.

    Thanks for the points raised so far. Part of posting was to make myself have to answer relevant questions asked by those with more experience. Knowing that I could be disagreed with or pointed out "possibly not sufficient"

    thanks, Duncan
    Last edited by RDG; 08-04-2013 at 18:50.

  5. #5
    Everything that you cannot prove with supporting letters, qualifications etc... Is going to mean nothing to your FEO.

    I would seriously consider doing your DSC level 1 as if you have never shot a deer then I think you would get a lot out of it.

    Have you been deer stalking before, seen a deer shot etc...?

    Do yourself a favour and don't talk about pest control in relation to deer stalking, Muntjac are deer and as such are protected by the deer act.

    "If you don't belong, don't be long"

  6. #6
    I don't think you'll have any problem with this at all, as you've basically got your own land (ok, so it's your in-laws, but you know what I mean!) with quarry species present.
    I would apply for coterminus fac when renewing sgc. That's what i did. No probs.
    First I got .22LR for bunnies, closed ticket. After one year this was opened. After another year I added .243, also open, conditioned for fox, deer and feral goats.
    With the land etc you've got you could probably go for .22LR & .243 from the outset.

    In my opinion, it mostly comes down to the impression you make when the FEO visits you at home. He'll be looking for a relaxed and stable home environment - something he'll sense as soon as he walks in. Get that right and you're home and dry, I think.

  7. #7
    I can see no problems whatsoever with your application for a .223 to shoot fox and deer given your circumstances.

  8. #8
    The main issue is showing good reason to have the rifle. You could apply for a 243 for fox to start with to show good reason for possessing the rifle , then once that is agreed then you could ask for deer to be added at a later stage which should be a rubber stamp job. This may circumvent the requirement to do DSC first. DSC would be a good idea though. If they huff about 243 then you could drop down to 223 or argue the point about less wind drift etc with a larger bullet

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    The main issue is showing good reason to have the rifle. You could apply for a 243 for fox to start with to show good reason for possessing the rifle , then once that is agreed then you could ask for deer to be added at a later stage which should be a rubber stamp job. This may circumvent the requirement to do DSC first. DSC would be a good idea though. If they huff about 243 then you could drop down to 223 or argue the point about less wind drift etc with a larger bullet
    there is no requirement for DSC . you have good reason ie land with permission to shoot fox and deer put the form in simples

  10. #10
    the 22 will do for rabbits and fox with HVs , 223 is all you need for fox and muntjac . DSC is always a good idea , your never too old to learn no matter how many youve shot or who you are

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