WHAT TYPE OF SHOOTING DO YOU DO?
We shoot small-bore (.22″) rifles at our 25yard/50m range. We shoot prone (i.e. lying down) and only at card targets. It’s a precision sport – to score a perfect 10 you need to hit the target inside a half-inch diameter circle at 25 yards.
We have been raising funds for building works that will allow us to offer bench-rest shooting in future. This type of shooting is particulary suited to the less able-bodied as it is carried out in a sitting position. Our new range, which has recently been completed, will provide 10 and 20yd air gun shooting and also bench rest shooting in the near future.
HOW DO YOU COMPETE?
The key to any sport is competition. We participate in county and inter-county postal league competitions (where a card is shot, witnessed and posted to a central administrator for scoring), as well as competing against Minehead Rifle Club in a weekly round of matches during the winter. These are both individual and team competitions. Competitors are entered into classes or teams according to their averages so that everyone from beginner to expert has a good chance of winning.
Members are also encouraged to shoot at other county competitions, and further afield, but participation in any competition is entirely up to you.
CAN I SHOOT?
Just about everyone can. We welcome any eligible person from expert to complete beginner. Even if you’ve never picked up a rifle before, we’ll provide every assistance to make sure that you’re shooting straight in no time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, male or female - target shooting is one of the few sports where men and women of all ages can compete on a completely level footing. For practical and safety reasons we stipulate that junior members must be aged 12 or older. The upper age limit is up to you - if you can lay down on to the floor to shoot and stand up again afterwards then you're probably OK!
Please note that in most circumstances a parent or guardian (who need not be a member themselves) must accompany any members aged 17 or under. Unfortunately our range is not wheelchair friendly at the present time but we will do whatever we can to help. We are currently raising funds to carry out the work necessary to provide wheelchair access but this may not be for some time.
HOW CAN I START?
The best way to start is for you to come along on a shooting night, have a look around and meet some of our members. We're a friendly bunch who don't take ourselves too seriously. We should be able to answer any questions that you may have.
You must arrange such a visit in advance by using the email form on the Contact page. Note that, due to legal restrictions, you won’t be allowed to shoot on your first visit to the club. See "How can I become a member" below regarding obtaining police clearance to shoot.
HOW CAN I BECOME A MEMBER?
First of all read the information on the Legal Page and then arrange to come along on a visit when you can complete an application form. This will be submitted to Avon & Somerset Constabulary for clearance following which new applicants are granted probationary membership.
Once a probationary member has been shooting regularly for at least three months he/she will be put forward for full membership.
As we’re sure you can understand, the Home Office and the Police require us to know about our members and membership may be subject to checks and references.
CAN I SHOOT AS A VISITOR?
We welcome members of other clubs who can shoot on payment of the range fee. Visits should be arranged in advance and proof of club membership may be required. We also organise taster evenings for members of groups, organisations or companies that can come and use the range for an evening's shooting. If you and your colleagues are interested in organising a visit please use the Contact Us form and we will get back to you to arrange a suitable date.
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
We have a selection of club rifles and other equipment such as jackets, slings, gloves, mats and scopes that you can use. There’s plenty of expertise around, and you will receive one-to-one tuition to ensure that you become proficient as quickly as possible. Training is an ongoing process and is free of charge.
You only need to think about purchasing your own equipment when you feel ready to take that step. Although there is a huge benefit in people getting their own kit you don't need to buy everything at once and we would certainly not suggest that you spend any money buying equipment until you know that you will carry on with the sport. Many items can be purchased in very good condition second hand and it is very common to obtain kit from other members or members of other clubs.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
The Club's annual subscription is £55 (£27.50 for under 18s). This is payable each September but if necessary can be paid in two or more installments by arrangement with the Club's treasurer. There is a weekly range fee of £3.00 (£1.00 for under 18s) which covers for any number of visits in that week. Ammunition costs from £4.20 for a box of 50 rounds that should last for at least 2 evenings. No other costs are involved unless you get the bug and buy all your own stuff!
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO SHOOT?
We do not stipulate a minimum number of visits for full members but we do expect you to attend on a reasonably regular basis. Members shooting in postal competitions need to be aware of the "shoot by" date on each card and to ensure that the card is shot by the date given. Probationary members need to attend at least six times during their probationary period.
WHEN DO YOU SHOOT?
We shoot every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening from 6:30pm. We are also open at other times by arrangement to suit people's work times and other commitments. Although we are flexible on which days you shoot, we do prefer beginners to shoot on Fridays. Most Tuesdays in the winter are reserved for matches against Minehead Club, either on our range or at their range in Dunster.
ISN'T SHOOTING FROWNED ON THESE DAYS?
It’s a sport - just like archery or the javelin, both of which also use potentially lethal weapons. It’s been part of the Olympics ever since the modern games began.
Target shooting has an excellent safety record, with one of the lowest accident rates of all sports. This may seem surprising in view of the obvious hazards associated with the handling of firearms but it is because the hazards are so obvious that shooters have an excellent safety culture. It is this necessary, and very visible concern for safety that gives target shooting such a high training value for the development of hand–eye co-ordination, concentration and self-control.
It’s all about millimetres – keeping things very steady, being in complete control of your mind and body and focusing on every single breath.
If you fancy yourself as the Lone Ranger or Rambo you should probably try paintball instead!