firearms application.


Well-Known Member
Hi guys, I have a friend that has just put in for his first firearms application. He has already owned a shotgun for years which is used for hunting geese,duck,pigeon etc. He currently goes on paid stalks several times a year and has been doing this for several years. As a member of a wildfowling club he also has access to land which is certified for .22 Rimfire. He also has access to land with fox shooting. He is just about to join a local rifle range.

He has asked for

A 22 Rimfire rifle (vermin control). Plus mod.

A 243 rifle (deer stalking & AOLQ) Plus mod. wanted for Fox and smaller Deer

A 308 rifle (deer stalking & AOLQ) Plus mod. Wanted for larger Deer and wild boar.

Target shooting on approved ranges for the above.

FEO has said no to the 243 for stalking, apparently saying that only a 308 is needed despite being advised that potential and future land might not be approved for a 308 and that a 308 is a bit overkill for foxes. BUT... The FEO would "allow" him a 243 for target shooting only!

To me - there seems to be no logic in allowing him a 243 for target shooting but denying it for stalking and foxing.

I have advised him to challenge the restriction on the 243 (he also has Basc membership by the way) but he seems willing to drop the 243 altogether.

It seems to me that he has already provided GOOD REASON for having a 243 For its intended use, which under Firearms law is supposedly all that is required.

I would welcome your views on the above.

Note - regarding my past dealings with the same FEO

I needed a change of condition of use for my own rifles, from target shooting to deerstalking, for rifles I already had authorisation to purchase on my firearms certificate. (I had previous experience of deer and boar hunting)

I was told in a phone conversation by the same FEO that I needed a mentor and it could take up to 18months to get the condition approved. I knew this to be utter rubbish and contacted the BASC, after their intervention via a phone call to the right person, I had the condition on my certificate changed to what I required. It was processed and in my hands about two weeks later.
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Well-Known Member
Does he have DSC1 or 2? Experience?
He has the experience of going on paid stalks several times a year for about the last 4 years, he currently does not have a DSC 1 or 2,

As the FEO is willing to approve the 308 for Deer stalking and any other lawful quarry, then this would allow him to go foxing with the 308, but only target shooting with the 243.... Doesn't seem logical to me.
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Distinguished Member
As a first application I would simply ask for the .22 and .308 and moderators for both. Why worry about the .243w the .308w is the more versatile round.

1. He will have problems finding non expanding ammo for .243w for target shooting.
2. He can use lighter bullets in the .308w for foxing and heavier bullets for stalking and boar.
3. Ex -military or target ammo for .308 is readily available.
4. If you are worried that the ground that he will be using the rifle over is only cleared for .243w just ask them to clear it for .308w pointing out that the whole land clearance thing is silly anyway as no calibre is safer than another.

Uncle Norm

Well-Known Member
The view of the firearms enquiry officer appears perverse, in the lights of the information provided by the OP and should be challenged. The BASC team are doing this regularly for members.

However the acquisition of a firearm for target shooting is not normally authorised unless and until the applicant is a full member (not probationary) of a Home Office Approved Club. So agreeing to recommend the .243 for target shooting when the applicant is not a full member is rather curious too.

Remember that the firearms enquiry officer is not the final decision maker. The feo makes a report with recommendations, so a letter to the manager would also seem appropriate in resolving these strange anomalies.


Well-Known Member
I can never understand this sort of thing as IF you can be trusted to shoot with full bore rifle
Why does land need to be approved.(if you are consider safe to shoot a full bore rifle then you should be the one to judge safety)
A round out of a 243 is no more dangerous than a 308
Provided you can give good reason for use of both after all 243 was originally developed as a soft shooting vermin round.


Well-Known Member
FEO has said no to the 243, apparently saying a 308 only is needed despite being advised that potential and future land might not be approved for a 308 and a 308 is a bit overkill for foxes. BUT... The FEO would "allow" him a 243 for target shooting only!

How one justifies the 'need' for each firearm and the exact wording/phrasing used is important though. A careful look at this aspect when writing the application is worthwhile. ATB

paul dillon

Well-Known Member
Hi Paul,

as you can see I live in the Gwent police area and have a .243 for Deer & AOLQ but used mainly on fox with a 58g v max a .308 for Deer AOLQ & have a .300 Mag on cert for Deer & AOLQ but have not decided what to purchase yet but if your mate lives under South Wales constabulary they may be a bit different if I was him I would just go for the .22 and .308 for now as other posters have said use a lighter grain like 123g for foxes

best of luck

Paul D


Well-Known Member
I use a .22 and a .308 and have a .243 that rarely gets used. Certainly that may be all you need but for sure the principle needs to be sorted here. Just sheer awkwardness from the police. My first application 4 years ago was for exactly the same calibres/mods as you and only restrictions I had was the exemption of AOLQ on the .243 and .308.

If I was him I'd get BASC on the case and challenge them. May as well get some advise from them if he's paying the fees.


Well-Known Member
My FLO was willing to give .22, .17HMR and a single CF calibre as a starting point. We settled on .308, which is what i'd been using with my mentor.....


Well-Known Member
I cannot understand the reasoning of these FLOs but the sooner the associations that most shooters are members of start questioning the qualifications and experience of the said persons in question Then the sooner these so called experts {aye right show me the afore mentioned} will soon stop trying to be so upity about themselves and stick to the letter of the law as we Do expect them to. Dead is Dead no matter what grain of bullet we use as long as its done safely and humanely then that should be the end of conversation :-| maybe?
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Well-Known Member
I came across this one recently too. The way it was explained was that the applicant had to document experience of smaller calibres before a larger weapon would be authorised. It is not a matter of showing good reason but experience in field shooting. It appears that the powers that know best regard the 22centrefires as being safe for a novice but a 243 just far too dangerous...... Go figure!!


Well-Known Member
It appears that the powers that know best regard the 22centrefires as being safe for a novice but a 243 just far too dangerous...... Go figure!!
I was presented with that argument for my first grant of FAC. However, after some polite, but assertive, discussion of ballistics and backstops with the FLD Manager (rather than the FEO) I was able to buy my .243


Things sure seem complicated in the UK with guns and hunting.
You'd almost need a law degree to know all the laws.
I remember as a young kid that I could hardly wait til I was 12 years old to be allowed to borrow Dads shotguns, rifles and pistols to go hunting rabbits, grouse, deer and gobblers for the table.
Nothing fancy at first ... a single action Ruger revolver in 22LR, an ancient Iver Johnson break-open 12 gauge shotgun and of course a Winchester 94 in 30-30 Win .


Well-Known Member
As has been said in previous posts 'can he provide good reason' if so and it proven to be and its agreed, then why at that point start limiting him based on illogical reason.

I am glad the onus is not on me to say yes or no to the applicants wishing to get an FAC or SGC or the numbers would be a lot lower, having met quite a few folks over the years with no real aptitude or understanding regarding ownership or use of a 'gun' who either have a cert or want one for the sake of owning a firearm... I can see a very simple practical test separating the wheat from the chaff...


Well-Known Member
I will say it again: FEOs do not have the authroity to say you cant have this and you cant do that, that is the decision of the firearms manager.
If a 243 for deer/fox/AOLQ and a 308 for the same plus target was asked for then you need to respectfully advise your FEO that that is how you want your application to be submitted and will only accept the managers decision on the application not the FEOs views at the time.



Well-Known Member
Actually, I think that the FEO was very generous in allowing a .243 for target shooting before the applicant was even a member of a club... But anyway...

You see this quite a lot. Mr X has been shooting for years and has shotguns, etc. (not relevant) but now wants an FAC and jumps right in and asks for 3 rifles, two of which overlap in the same 'good reason' (deer) box.

Asking for too much all at the same time (especially wihere there are overlaps) is asking for, if not trouble, then for things to run less smoothly that they otherwise could, in my opinion. Regardless of the letter of the law, I think there is great value in following the KISS principle regarding FAC applications/variations.

If Mr X is a member of a wildfowling club with land for .22LR vermin control, then that is a straightforward application - KISS
If Mr X goes on paid stalks and has land for foxes, then a .243 (minimum calibre for deer, suitable for fox, etc.) is a straightforward application - KISS

If I were Mr X then I would have just requested these first two on an initial grant application as there is little to quibble about - KISS
Get the FAC granted and you are over the main hurdle - pragmatic

If Mr X had been patient and joined the target club (and passed probation) before making an initial grant application, then a .308 for target shooting would have been a straightforward application - KISS

But he didn't, so if Mr X wants the .308 for target shooting, once he is a full member of the club (not probationary) then he can apply for a variation to get a .308 for target shooting - KISS

Now Mr X wants to use his .308 that he has been practising hard with at the target club for deer and boar (or deer and AOLQ) but doesn't have access to land with boar on it. So he books some boar shooting to show good reason in advance and gets a variation for that too. - KISS

Not advice that anyone usually wants to hear (or advice that should not strictly be necessary perhaps) but a pragmatic solution to the problem that he is now facing, i.e. a FAC that doesn't meet his initial requirements that he now has to jump trough hoops to get fixed... Civil servants like hoops and in my experience things run more smoothly if you line them up and jump through them at the start of the process rather than retrospectively...
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