Frequently Asked Questions
Shooting is a simple sport but full of technical detail and jargon. We try to answer some of the most common questions here.
Do I need all the latest equipment to shoot at WRPC?
The club has a good selection of bolt action, single shot and semi-automatic .22 rifles, air rifles and air pistols which are available to probationary and full members to shoot.
We also have ear defenders and safety glasses available to use, free of charge.
Is ammunition going to cost me a small fortune each time I visit?
Probationary members and Non-FAC holders typically pay a fee of £5 on each visit which covers hire of the club firearms, ear and eye defenders, targets and .22 rifmire ammunition.
After three probationary visits you can shoot more powerful ammunition if you wish to do so. The charge will be higher as it’s more expensive for the club to buy, currently .357 magnum ammunition costs £12 rather than the usual £5.
Once you have your own FAC you will be able to purchase your own ammunition in bulk. The cheapest being around £60 per 1,000 .22 rimfire rounds.
Precision shooting is fun, but intense. What other disciplines do you offer?
Pistols. Although “normal” pistols were banned in 1998 as a political gesture by the government at the time, “long barrel” and muzzle loading pistols and revolvers are still available. Semi-automatic pistols are allowed in .22 calibre. Despite these silly rules pistols are very popular, with members owning a variety of guns including a variety of .22 semi-automatics, muzzle loading revolvers, .357 and 44 magnum revolvers and so on. Muzzle loaders are exempt from restrictions and probationers can use them. The club owns a .44 calibre muzzle loading revolver for probationers to use and uses modern smokeless powder, not the smelly black powder. It’s very popular for some reason!
Pistol calibre carbines. Typically shooting .357, .38 special or .44 magnum ammunition, these underlever rifles are very, very popular. Fun to shoot and accurate plus you can channel your inner John Wayne and we wont mock if you want to wear a 5 gallon hat. Well, maybe a little bit. The club has two .357 underlever rifles for probationers to use.
Full Bore. Although we can’t use these indoors (far too powerful) the club regularly shoots military and sniper style rifles at various ranges around the country including regular sessions on the Strensall range at York. Distances vary from 100 to 600 yards and the club owns two sniper style rifles for members to use in .223 and .308 calibre. Members own a large variety of rifles both modern and old. AK-74, Dragunov, Mosin Nagant, Lee Enfield and more modern rifles are common.
Air pistol and rifle. The club has a dedicated 10m range for air pistol and match rifle use. Non-match air rifles can shoot on the main firearms range. If you’ve never tried 10m air pistol shooting, it’s a fun and rewarding discipline. You can try it out for little cost as the club owns two air pistols and will hire a pistol, pellets and targets for just £3 if you want to have a go.
Are there competitions I can enter?
Yes, and lots of them !
Club members take part in many competitions. Full and Probationary members can enter and all competitions have a “division” system so you’re only shooting against equally talented people. There is no qualification requirement so don’t worry if you think you aren’t good enough – you will be, so have a go !
Most competitions are shot at the club over several months and usually involve shooting one set of “match cards” every two weeks or so, at the club. Other club members will witness your cards which are dropped into a secure box. That’s all you have to do, the cards are marked and results updated by our competition secretary.
Competitions may involve iron sights, scoped firearms, air pistols and rifles, whatever takes your fancy. You only take part if you want to but it is an excellent way to develop accuracy – and it’s very satisfying when you shoot a good match card!
We also run club level competitions between ourselves and are introducing new competitions all the time.
Can we shoot at longer distances or at outdoors ranges?
Yes, and it’s very popular.
The club has a very active full bore section. Usually once or twice a month our members shoot on an army range at Strensall, York. Distances are up to 600 yards with all sorts of rifles, historic and modern in use. The club has two modern rifles in .233 and .308 calibre which members can use.
I just want to have a look around but I'm not sure if I want to join?
If you just want to visit for a look around, you’re welcome but please come down on a Wednesday evening after 7pm.
How safe is it?
All probationers and new joiners will go through a comprehensive safety briefing by one of our NRA and NSRA qualified range officers. Everyone is working to the same set of common sense safety rules and looking out for one another whilst on the range.
Unsafe practices are not tolerated under any circumstances.
Despite the potential for danger, the sport is one of the safest anyone can take part in, because EVERYONE follows the same safety rules without question.
Are the club members friendly to newbies?
WRPC is a very popular club with a very diverse membership. We have a thriving probation programme with lots of newly qualified members, shooting all sorts of disciplines.
Any of our members are delighted to show off their particular disciplines and will gladly let you “have a go” where the law allows it. Nobody will talk down to you or dismiss you for asking a “daft” question, in fact quite the opposite, introducing new people to the sport is one of the up-sides.
So yes, in short, it’s a very friendly club.
Is it difficult?
We guarantee that even with no prior experience, you will get all of your first rifle shots onto the target, and you’ll be grinning from ear to ear. Everyone is after their first go! So we’d say it’s not “difficult” to get on target.
What takes practice is improving from just getting all shots on target, to getting all shots into the bullseye group, though you will be able to see an improvement in your scores the more you practice, so that has it’s own reward.
Our range officers will help you with basic training to improve that first result. We have some very experienced members at the club who can, over time and with practice, bring you to whatever level of competence you desire to reach, including European and World Class standard in rifle and pistol disciplines.
Can I Bring A Friend?
But they won’t be able to shoot. If you have friends who are interested great, bring them down for a look. If they want to join in, they will need to book a probationary session, bring the application form, two forms of ID just like everyone else.
What's the Lowest Age Limit?
Currently that’s 10 years of age.
I'm a junior but mum/dad/legal guardian don't want to shoot, can I still come?
Each junior must be directly supervised by their adult whilst shooting. One adult can bring more than one junior but they will take turns in shooting, it is not possible for one adult to supervise two juniors simultaneously.
Can I keep firearms at home? Or at the club?
One of the conditions of owning firearms is having a safe, secure place to store them and the ammunition. This can be in a suitable safe at home, or if you prefer you can rent a safe in the club armoury for an annual fee.
Do I need a gun cabinet?
For firearms and shotguns – yes and that can be one hired in the club armoury or one you keep permanently at home, or both. So if you can’t have a cabinet at home, you’ll have to hire one in the club armoury.
Ammunition for firearms must also be locked away, for that reason most – but not all – gun cabinets have a separate internal safe for ammo storage. The cabinets you can hire from the club armoury have this.
For air rifles and pistols the only requirement is they are kept so that minors cannot have access to them. No gun safe needed but certainly you’d want them locked away in a cupboard or drawer, not left lying around.
Airguns must be kept out of the hands of minors so it makes absolute sense to secure them. Of course if you also have firearms you can store the airguns with the firearms in the same cabinet.
What type of cabinet should I buy?
To that end the tallest, deepest cabinet you can find with an integral lockable ammunition compartment is a good option. Manufacturers such as Brattonsound and Buffalo River are industry standard and built to (if not tested to) the relevant British Standard the Police expect to see.
Devices clearly built to exceed British Standards are also acceptable such as an ex Bank / Payroll Safe assuming they can physically fit your firearms and ammunition.
Where should I place a cabinet?
Don’t install them in a room with an external door, nor in a room that is easily visible from outside your house (neighbours overlooking for eg)
Don’t locate a cabinet in somewhere hard to get to – for eg a loft that doesn’t have a permanent ladder (ie not a pull down), the argument being that if you return late at night or go out early in the morning – you’re unlikely to want to pull the loft ladder down and clatter about upstairs disturbing the other occupants.
If possible install the cabinet inside a wardrobe such that it’s hidden from view.
Ideally secured to a load bearing wall, though M8 bolts into floor joists are acceptable.
Installed with the hinges against a wall to restrict tool access such as crow bars.
Remove section of skirting board so that the cabinet can be fitted tight to the wall.
How many and what type of firearms can I have?
- As a member of a Home Office approved Rifle and Pistol Club – your “need’ is target shooting
- You should be able to justify each firearm type for this need – not just because you fancy having one.
- Have in mind the type of shooting you wish to undertake and the firearm type you will require for this
- Can you store each of the firearm types you have asked for securely – do you have the space?
- Can you store the amount of ammunition you have requested – quantity for each calibre type?
- Are you a danger to yourself or others?
- are you competent to use the firearm type you have requested (Black Powder / High Muzzle Energy / Section 1 shotgun)
With that in mind consider the experience you have gained as a probationary member and the type of firearms you have used and you should have some idea of the types (actions) and calibres (not cartridge) that you desire.
It is highly unlikely were you to ask for either of a High Muzzle Energy (above 4500J such as a 300WinMag) or a Section 1 shotgun (Bora 99 / Typhoon F12) that you will be granted these on your first FAC. If you definitely require these then ensure you have experience on rifle ranges at distance (such as Strensall) and in the case of Section 1 shotguns, get experience on shotguns in general and undertake a UKPSA safety course.
Rifles in 22RF be they bolt action or semi auto or even pump action (latter only permitted in 22RF or shotgun) will almost routinely be granted, as will rifles in centrefire pistol calibres such as 38 / 44 (commonly lever action guns) for use on our ranges.
Rifles in calibres such as 223, 6.5, 308 etc are good choices for use at Strensall though without loading your own “squib” loads are way over the energy and velocity limits for our indoor ranges and so of little to zero use for indoor.
Long Barrel Pistols and Revolvers are a good choice for UK legal handguns, they have barrels over 30cm in length with an extension bar on the grip to bring the overall length over 60cm – a little heavier and slightly more unwieldy than handguns pre 1997 but good shooting none the less. LBP’s are most usually semi auto and as such only availble in 22RF cartridges, LBR’s can be had in 22RF, 38 and 44 most commonly.
Muzzle loading revolvers using either Nitro Powder (same as centrefire cartridges) or Black Powder have no such length requirements and as such in the hand shoot much the same as pre 1997 handguns, the difference being in the loading mechanism. Be warned however that Black Powder requires an explosives certificate to hold / purchase and can be exceedingly dangerous for the untrained. If you wish to possess a black powder firearm – make sure you get the experience and skills to shoot these safely, done properly they are absolutely safe!
Be prepared to justify each firearm you are asking for, the FEO will query and may indicate he will not recommend you be granted everything you have asked for – if that is the case and you allow this, you have proven his or her point – you didn’t really “need” what you were asking for! If however you have a reasonable argument and can back up with evidence why you need each firearm there is no reason you won’t be granted everything you have asked for – it does happen!
Don’t fall into the trap of just being grateful to get anything granted, the UK fireams market is small and availability is limited routinely – a firearm you may wish to purchase may not pop up for sale for years if ever, waiting for the Police to vary a ticket to give you a slot back you either gave up or didn’t ask for can add months of delay to your purchase!
How much ammunition can I have?
Routinely for a grant the following limits will be given:
Rimfire = 600
Centrefire Pistol = 300
Centrefire Rifle = 300
Shotgun Slug = 200
Rimfire and Pistol calibres you are most likely to have opportunity to shoot – as Wakefields indoor ranges are fine for these calibres you may shoot 7 days a week!
Centrefire Rifle calibres will need an outdoor range due to energy and velocity, Wakefield has access to Strensall military ranges near York with approximately 12 shoots a year.
Shotgun slug will rarely get used more than 3 or 4 times a year and only if you are routinely travelling to UKPSA / NRA Target Shotgun league matches – in large part this is down to the limited number of ranges where slug is permitted to be used.
You may ask for more than these quantities but unless you can justify these then you are unlikely to get more than the limits specified herein.
Can I share a cabinet with another certificate holder?
Yes you can.
But – both certificates must have the rifles and ammunition allowances on both certificates. It’s not uncommon where two partners have certificates and live in the same property for example.
An alternative to sharing a cabinet and having each others guns on ticket is to purchase seperate cabinets.
I'm an existing FAC holder. What's the procedure to join?
Please contact the membership secretary by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You only need one probationary shooting session and you may skip the booking system but you MUST contact the membership secretary to schedule your session.
Bring your FAC, a completed application form, one of your firearms and some ammo if possible. Make sure you introduce yourself to the safety briefing officer as an FAC holder when you arrive. You may use club guns and ammo for the normal fee if you don’t wish to bring your own.
You’ll need to sit through our safety and range briefing (about 20 minutes) then we’ll schedule you on range during the evening. Subject to our range officers being satisfied that you’re a safe shot and handle your firearm safely you can be signed off probation on that visit and may join the club.
If range officers have any concerns about your conduct or safety they may extend the probation period as deemed suitable. Don’t be offended if this happens, its all for safety and practices learned at other clubs may not be deemed safe at ours.
On completing the probation session safely you may join the club, for fees see the MEMBERSHIP section.
Do you have any links to further information on FAC's and Security?
Home Office Guidance on Firearms Licensing Law to the Police:
This will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the application process, what you can have and what the justifications are for each, what the requirements are of the certificate holder and much, much more besides!
Firearms Security Handbook:
Details the requiremnents for storing and transporting Firearms, includes sections on cabinets / gun rooms / armouries!
Air Weapons a Brief Guide to Safety:
Details the law as it pertains to air weapons and guidance on storage and transportation.
How do I actually apply for an FAC?
This will help point you at your local force areas Firearms Licensings Office where you can download the application forms. For Wakefield Rifle and Pistol your force is most likely to be West Yorkshire or North Yorkshire.
As a member of a Home Office Approved Rifle and Pistol Club (Such as this one!) you have a proven “need” for firearms to undertake your chosen sport of shooting, to become a member you must complete probationary membership of 12 visits over no less than 12 weeks / 3 months and undertake training in the safe handling of firearms. Once this is complete and you are an approved member of the club (Sponsored by one of our Range Conducting Officers) then you may apply for your first Firearms Certificate.
The application process can take anywhere from 12 – 24 weeks and in some cases even longer! Whilst this is a lot longer than many of us would wish it to be, the security status of the UK is such that more and more background checks are being undertaken more widely and due to inefficiencies in the system this draws the process out longer and longer!
Frequently Asked Questions – Firearms Certificates
Applying for your first firearms certificate may be your first contact with the Police and the process will be quite alien – the questions and answers below should help you meet the requirements to be granted your first “FAC” without issue: