What disciplines do we shoot at WRPC?
All forms of shooting disciplines are welcome at WRPC.
Here is a brief guide to the types of shooting commonly practiced.
Prone and 3 position rifle
This is an official Olympic discipline shooting .22 rifles in a test of accuracy. Mainly this is shot prone (lying down) or in 3 position, is also shot seated and standing. The rifles do not have optics, just special iron sights and although shot at only 25 yards, you’re trying to get a bullet through a bullseye the same size as the bullet itself. It’s harder than it looks!
To help with accuracy the rifles are specially made for this job and the shooters will wear jackets and gloves to give extra support to hold steady. As it’s a discipline which demands concentration rather than rapid fire WRPC have a dedicated firing range just for this special discipline.
The club has rifles and equipment you can use so if you want to try what some consider the ultimate test of accuracy and precision, just ask.
Air pistol and match rifle
These disciplines are also on the Olympic list. The riﬂes and pistols are of .177 calibre and the competitor stands just 10m from the target. At Wakeﬁeld we have a dedicated four ﬁring point range just for 10m air. This can be a demanding but rewarding discipline which requires a lot of dedication to do well. It can also be a lot of fun, and a good way to start because no Firearms Certiﬁcate is needed and shooters can start straight away. The club has two basic target air pistols and match rifles available for use so there’s no need to buy your own kit if you want to have a try.
Use of the air section is included in full membership. If you’re not interested in firearms and only want to shoot air, the club offers a reduced membership fee.
Just a note on air rifles – the rifles used on the 10m range are special, low power rifles (under 6ft lbs energy) and are designed just for match shooting. The air rifles you buy on the high street are too powerful for this and can’t be used on the 10m range. They can however be shot on the main firearms range.
Lightweight Sporting Rifle (LWSR)
Specifically designed to be shot at club level, this involves shooting bolt action or semi-auto .22 rifles for precision. Very popular as the equipment is relatively cheap to buy once you have your Firearms Certificate. You can easily pick up an accurate rifle with scope for £200 or so – cheaper than most air rifles.
The club has a collection of modern rifles which suit this discipline and you’ll be doing your probation with them. Good practice then, if you want to compete – and you can use the club rifles in competition if you don’t have your own. Rifles can be shot with iron sights, red dots or scopes and each has it’s own division so you’re not at a disadvantage.
The discipline is very popular and competitions for shooters of every standard (yes, even beginners) are available. Most competitions are shot at club level and involve nothing more than shooting a handful of targets every fortnight. Don’t be afraid to try them!
Very popular as it gives a bigger bang than the .22 rifles!
Gallery rifle has replaced the type of competition we used to enjoy before short pistols were banned in 1997. Using the same ammunition as the pistols (typically .38 special, .357 magnum, .44 special and .44 magnum) but shot from short rifles called “carbines”. Think of John Wayne with his lever action rifle and you’re in the right area.
The rifles are usually lever action and hold between 7 and 12 rounds, depending on the type. Targets are shot at 20 yards with a mixture of accuracy and timed shooting. This type of shooting is great fun with a louder bang, bigger hole in the target and using a lever action just puts a smile on your face for some reason!
These rifles are very popular with members as the ammo is relatively cheap if you load your own and they are usually very accurate and easy to shoot.
The club has two .357 calibre lever action rifles for members and probationers to use.
Long Barrel Pistols and Revolvers
Not all cartridge pistols were banned in 1997, just ones shorter than 60cm and having a 12 inch barrel or less.
If you want to shoot a cartridge based pistol (as opposed to a muzzle loader) it is possible subject to the following criteria ;
- Barrel length not less than 30cm
- Overall length not less than 60cm
- Semi-automatic in .22 rimfire only
In reality this means .22 rimfire, .357 and .44 revolvers and .22 rimfire semi-automatic pistols are available. To comply with our laws they all have a 30cm barrel and feature a “coat hanger” balance rod coming out of the grip to extend the overall length to 60cm. Despite this they operate just the same as “normal” revolvers and pistols and are very popular with members. Competitions for these guns are shot at the club regularly with a mixture of accuracy and speed required to do well.
Modern Muzzle Loading Pistols
You can shoot normal sized, short revolvers if they are a muzzle loader and can’t take cartridges.
Traditionally this meant using black powder which although fun, can be onerous as the gun must be cleaned immediately after use. It’s also dirty to handle and pongs a bit. However following the pistol ban some enterprising gunsmiths converted revolvers to use modern, clean, smokeless powder. These guns are fully compliant with UK law because they cannot take a cartridge and are therefore “muzzle loaders” even though they are actually loaded directly into the cylinder, not down the barrel.
In practice loading is quite simple – a measured amount of modern powder is put into each cylinder chamber and a lead bullet is squashed into each chamber with a small lever press. On some guns the press is built into the gun, on others you take the cylinder off to load. Once the cylinder is fully loaded with powder and bullets the gun is taken to the firing point, shotgun primers are inserted into the cylinder and you can shoot your six or seven shots exactly the same as a “normal” revolver. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes, tops.
There are generally two types – traditional black powder revolvers like the one shown in the side picture but converted to use modern, clean powder. You can also buy a modern revolver which has been converted to muzzle loading status like this one ;
Black Powder and Traditional Muzzle Loading Rifles, Pistols, Revolvers
Ah, the smell of gunpowder, there’s something about it. Sulphur, mostly. Much more dramatic to fire than modern firearms with the smoke, sparks and smell and, some agree, much more fun. The discipline comes under the rules of the Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain for competition and covers rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers and miniature cannons. These firearms are, as the description says, loaded at the muzzle rather than taking cartridges.
At our indoor range you can shoot black powder pistols, revolvers and miniature cannons. (Yes, cannons!) The club has a strong black powder following and we are proud to have a number of talented members in our ranks including a world record holder for single shot black powder pistol.
If you think black powder guns are all antiques and aren’t accurate, you are very wrong on both counts. They can be extremely accurate, usually with very sensitive triggers for competition use.
Full Bore Rifle Shooting
Too powerful to be shot indoors, this refers to full power rifles. Instead we shoot these at outdoor ranges particularly the army range at Strensall, York.
Old historic guns which pre-date World War One, through World War Two and right up to date with the latest modern sniper rifles, if it shoots a rifle bullet, you can shoot it with our club. Ex-military rifles such as Lee Enfield, Mosin Nagant and even AKM’s are popular.
The highest calibre rifle you could possible own would be a .50 calibre but since there are only a couple of places you can shoot those in the UK – and the ammo is £5 a shot – ownership of those is rare. Instead most members opt for the more common .223, .303, 7.62x39, 7.62x54R or .308 rifles where the ammo ranges from 30p to 90p per shot. Which one to get depends on how far you want to shoot, the larger calibres being more suited to longer distances whereas the little .223 runs out of steam after 600 yards or so. Don’t worry about that yet, you’ll cover that during probation and will have a chance to try small and large calibres.
The club has two modern scoped sniper style rifles in .223 and .308 calibre for members to use on our designated outdoor range sessions at York.
On the left a 1942 dated Mosin Nagant rifle and modern AR15 rifle side by side.
Dragunov Russian marksman rifle with the club radar chronograph to read out the bullet velocity. As shown here, used to develop and test home made ammunition.
1942 dated Mosin Nagant meets 2015 dated AR-15 and 2017 dated Ruger Precision rifle.