First range day for a stalker - please help

Zeissman

Well-Known Member
My FAC for all of my rifles was granted for stalking or vermin control with no mention of ranges or target shooting. I had assumed that I couldn't use my 0.308 (or my rimfires) on a range as a result of this but I have recently read the Home Office guidelines to discover that FAC holders can use ranges to zero or test ammunition in reasonable quantities.

I have three different types of 0.308 factory ammo that I'd like to trial against each other, ideally at 100m, 200m and 300m, before I start hitting the deer hard both down here and in Scotland. This might be basic stuff but I cannot seem to find a comprehensive guide to what a stalker needs to do to get onto a range legally for a couple of hours. Do I need to be a NRA member or affiliate club member or are there open days at somewhere like Bisley or somewhere smaller? Do I need to be range certified? Do I just show up at a range and start asking questions?!

I'm just Northeast of Winchester if anyone has any hassle free range ideas. Any help greatly appreciated!
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
Talk to the guys at British Sporting Rifle Club Bisley - It's a great club & great for zero / testing & there is a wealth of advice etc to gain there.

Ian
 

Jimboblincs2

Well-Known Member
Range days

Our range in Lincoln, would allow you to become a member straight away because you are a FAC holder, you would have to serve a probation period and undergo supervision to ensure you are familiar with range safety/etiquete. We are limited to 75 meters, but are affiliated with other ranges that offer longer target distances but fairly infrequently.
Try doing a google search in your area for long range clubs.

Good Luck

Jim
 
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Hants

Well-Known Member
If you are a member of BASC i believe you can book a range at Bisley through them. I would be interested to know how you get on.
 

lister

Well-Known Member
you should have for zeroing on ranges or land deemed suitable get it put on your ticket target shooting ie comps you will have to join a target club
 

Wrens Mews

Well-Known Member
Before you can shoot on ANY MOD range, including Bisley, you are going to need a SSC - (Safe Shooters certificate) - you can get one from BASC, NRA, BDS etc, but it is going to involve an assessment. Alternatively you can get one from becoming a member of a HO approved shooting club.

Mike
 

RickoShay

Well-Known Member
Also, bear in mind that you are unable to use expanding ammunition on ranges - in most cases. So any loads you use will have to FMJ or lead ball (.22LR); which may defeat your purpose.
I agree with Lister that it should be on your ticket already; remember you commit an offence when you breach the conditions of your FAC, am sure your FIO will sort that out - it seems a glaring oversight.
 

HME

Well-Known Member
Although I only have a 100m range I'm sure I can help and advise, and I'd rather you use expanding ammunition!

HME
 

Zeissman

Well-Known Member
Thank you all very much.

Mike, I know that you are right on getting a SSC for a MOD range so I'll need to do that somehow. My worry is that becoming a member of a shooting club makes me at least a part-time target shooter in the eyes of the law and I am wary of changing my ticket when I really only have the rifle for stalking. Anything else that I do would be to support that and I know that the Police can be more stringent with target shooters. I'd also want to use expanding rounds (i.e. the ones that I would actually be using for stalking) which I think is harder/illegal? on ranges unless zeroing and if you're zeroing, you're not target shooting! Slightly circular argument I've got myself into there... :confused:

Hants - I've dropped my BASC membership to join the CLA this year (as I normally only use them for insurance, I went for the special offer half-price membership) which may have been an error now I'm looking into this!

Lister, I have "zeroing on ranges or land deemed suitable..." which is good. When my previous FAO came to talk to me, I asked him what could be defined as zeroing and he said that they would frown upon more than 5 shots...! Yes, you can zero a rifle in on that if all goes to plan but you can't exactly triple check! It was only when I stumbled across the Home Office Firearms Law: Guidance to the Police document that I realised he had probably not thought about some aspects of it.

Jim, thank you. I've done a bit of Googling and most of my local clubs are based at Bisley and Ian has recommended a club too.

Ian, thank you too - this looks like a great bet if I do go down the club route.

Perhaps I've slipped through the net somewhere but in the last ten years, I haven't come across a nationwide structure openly available to stalkers who wish to zero/check/improve with say 50-100 rounds a year and I don't know any stalkers personally who are also serious target shooters.

I'll keep you all updated whether I do or don't find an answer but I am very hopeful that there is one to be hunted down among all of these suggestions.
 

Robbo25

Well-Known Member
Zeissman,

A shame you have dropped the BASC membership as this would have been your quickest route.

Booking bisleys short Siberia range for zeroing with expanding ammo at 100 and 200 yards is really simple once you have your SSC which they could accommodate on one of their days at Bisley.

altrnative is the British sporting rifle club is another good way to go about things and they have some great facilities such as running deer and boar targets which make it in along with a .22 range.

Your third option would be to join the NRA direct and then ring the range office at Bisley to book a slot at 100yrds onshort Siberia and request a range officer attends to asses you for Your SSC.

I attend Bisley a few times a year to test ome new ammo or before heading ona trip north.... Alternatively nd depending on our ground you could o some BASC zero on our ground if ou have a tubal and safe location with back top etc.

Pm me direct if you'd like to discuss....

Cheers

Robbo25
 
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Orion

Well-Known Member
Lister, I have "zeroing on ranges or land deemed suitable..." which is good. When my previous FAO came to talk to me, I asked him what could be defined as zeroing and he said that they would frown upon more than 5 shots...! Yes, you can zero a rifle in on that if all goes to plan but you can't exactly triple check! It was only when I stumbled across the Home Office Firearms Law: Guidance to the Police document that I realised he had probably not thought about some aspects of it.
No he hasn't thought it through:

HO Guidance:

4.7 Section 10(2)(b) of the 1997 Act amends
section 5A(4)(b) of the 1968 Act so that
the use of expanding ammunition is in
connection with the various exempted
purposes. This allows, for example, a deer
stalker or vermin shooter to zero with their
rifle on a range or other suitable land and to
do sufficient training and testing with the
expanding ammunition
.

You've not slipped through the net, neither have the rest of us who don't belong to a club. Just book yourself onto one of the private ranges for a seesion or two and practice and test to your heart's content - provided you are not engaged in competive target shooting. ;)
 

Zeissman

Well-Known Member
Although I only have a 100m range I'm sure I can help and advise, and I'd rather you use expanding ammunition!

HME
Thanks HME. Just had a quick look at your website which looks very interesting and I might well be in touch.

RickoShay - thanks for the post - it hadn't loaded when I clicked reply on my last post but a very good point about the FAC conditions. This is why I'm so keen to get it right (as I am for anyone else in a similar position reading this thread in the future).
 

ndt man

Well-Known Member
hi zeissman as a member of british sporting rifle club pm me and i will hopefully point you in the right directionon this matter
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
HO Guidance:

4.7 Section 10(2)(b) of the 1997 Act amends
section 5A(4)(b) of the 1968 Act so that
the use of expanding ammunition is in
connection with the various exempted
purposes. This allows, for example, a deer
stalker or vermin shooter to zero with their
rifle on a range or other suitable land and to
do sufficient training and testing with the
expanding ammunition
.

[/QUOTE]Some range certificates specify that only ball/fmj ammunition can be used there, however this appears to create an ambiguous situation in respect of any vermin or deer control where expanding ammunition would be used. The range would then become land on which you have permission etc for the purposes of your expanding ammunition possession and you would be able to practice and zero there........but the range certificate specifies ball/fmj only.atb Tim
 

boschboy

Member
Try the Old Sergents Mess (Old Sergeants Mess Shooting Club, Bisley) in Bisley it is an all round shooters club for what ever discipline you feel you need to do, contact Jo Scrimshaw. She will be able to point you in the right direction. I know they do a 100m, 200m shoot once a month specifically targeted at stalkers.
 

Bomag

Well-Known Member
Theres no problem using expanding at Bisley, its competition use thats not allowed.
We shoot there monthly from 100-1000yds.
Guests can shoot without SSC but you can only be a guest twice.
 

Zeissman

Well-Known Member
Right, thank you all. I've done a bit more research, had a couple of conversations and discovered an awful lot in a short amount of time now that you have all headed me in the right direction(s)! My basic findings are:

1. Particularly if you are only firing a fullbore rifle a dozen times a year, you learn a HELL of a lot about your shooting in a couple of hours on a range, especially with the right person looking over your shoulder. For anyone who hasn't done this yet, do it! You can have the most accurate rifle on Earth but this is nothing without a bit of experience/familiarity. I neither possess the most accurate long range rifle (sadly) nor the most accurate shooting capability (even more sadly) to create ultra-tight, ultra-consistent groups but at least I feel more confident that I am pretty unlikely to miss a smallish target area on an animal. I also know that consistency is the key and that I will improve with a bit more range time.

2. I used a private range on Saturday and have nothing but praise for the quality of the set-up there designed specifically for stalkers to become safer, more humane and more efficient. Thank you very much HME. Sadly, there do not appear to be that many of these venues in the UK.

3. I have rejoined BASC. After a good chat with a former FEO, he has clarified the opportunities available through the organisation for a stalker with a stalking FAC and it seems that this is the fastest and easiest way to qualify to shoot at a range like Bisley. I shall be there in the very near future for my SSC and thinking about appropriate clubs like the BSRC.

If anyone else has a similar query to my initial post, please do pm me and I am more than happy to share my findings with you. If you give me a month's head start, I can probably tell you a lot more.

Thanks again team - what an amazing resource this website is!
 

Bomag

Well-Known Member
Im glad you got yourself sorted, did you take a look at the club I suggested? Its the cheapest way to shoot at Bisley and is made up almost entirely of vermin shooters and stalkers. Range fees for the last meet were £13.20 for 100 in morning and 300, with marker, in the afternoon. The banter, and choice of rifles to try, come for free.
 

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