(PROVISIONAL) Match Rifle shooting dates for 2015:-
|Blair Atholl dates:|
|NRC of S Practice day (Joint with WARC LR Club Shoot)||April||19th|
|NRC of S Spring Meeting||May||30th / 31st|
|NRC of S Autumn Open Meeting||September||19th / 20th|
|Combined Clubs Spring Meeting (English VIII)||May||9th / 10th|
|Lex Lyons Match||July||2nd|
|Hopton Agg.||July||4th to 7th|
|English VIII Autumn Match Rifle Meeting||September||26th/27th|
|For other shooting events and dates go to SRA web site or West Atholl web site|
English and Irish Autumn Meeting 27th/28th Sept 2014
Eight Scots were amongst the 55 competitors for the English and Irish Autumn Meeting. Weather conditions were the balmiest your correspondent can recall at Bisley – warm, dry, sunny with thin high cloud and mostly a very slight right hand wind making ideal conditions for very high scores. Many shooters duly obliged with 43 possibles being recorded over the weekend. Interestingly the breakdown was 22 at 1000x, 20 at 1,100x, and just 1 at 1,200x so we have reached the stage that possibles at 1,100x are needed to feature in prize lists in good conditions but are still extremely elusive at 1,200x. Top scores on Saturday were 224s from Rob Lygoe edging Angus McLeod on Vs. Come Sunday Angus slipped just a touch (surely nothing to do with a slight hangover?) but only enough to end up 2nd overall. Ted Hobbs produced a fine 224 which might have been expected to win the Sunday bar a flawless 225 from Rob Lygoe. Rob’s weekend total of 449 with an exceptional 76 V’s eclipses Julian Pecks old record from 2007 by a full dozen V bulls. Rob deservedly cleared up all the main silverware.
On the Scottish front it was good to see our oldest active member, Allan Campbell-Smith, making 223 on Sunday for 9th overall and our latest recruit from TR, Jon Sweet, managing 212 on the Sunday in his first ever MR meeting. Mike Baillie-Hamilton was heard muttering profanities at a match rifle barrel whose time had evidently come very suddenly on the Saturday. He reappeared on the Sunday wielding his Any Rifle to win the AR/F Class category thanks to being the only entrant. This brought to an end a probably unique run of him winning five consecutive Bisley/Blair Autumn/Spring meetings.
Results and photos on English VIII website.
NRC of S Open Autumn Meeting 2014
A select band of Scots with some very welcome visitors from south of the Border and across the water, thanks to the unusual proximity of sporting fixtures in the month, took to the hills at Blair Atholl for the NRCofS Open Autumn Meeting on the 6th and 7th September 2014.
The weather was kind, the midges stayed away and the electronic targets worked almost perfectly although mine patently was in denial and awarded impossibly low scores unless stalked with extreme cunning when the mechanism wasn’t looking.
According to the match organiser wind conditions were “interesting to difficult”. Well I don’t know what shoot he was on, but I thought they were diabolical at 1233 yards. The headwinds seemingly required enough elevation to clear the top of Ben Nevis, and the smart new flags and flagpoles had quickly learnt from their predecessors and told complete lies. However for the great and the good there were some excellent scores especially at 1114 yards.
Mike Baillie-Hamilton, with a 75v10 and a 99v11 at 1114, scooped most of the silverware in the form of the Maxwell Cup and the Sandeman Trophy. Michael Wentges took the Brown Tankard for the highest scoring visitor. The Maitland Cup for the highest non Elcho shooter went to Jim Brown (his 75v7 at 1114yds helped) and Tim Kidner showed his mastery of the long range shoot by winning the Brodie trophy for the 1233 yard aggregate.
The real winners, as always, are the resident djinns of Glen Tilt, lurking unseen in the bracken and reaching up to deflect passing bullets, hence the record score of 98 at 1233 has yet to be broken. Now’s there’s a challenge for 2015.
GLasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - Fullbore Events
Our congratulations go to the Scottish Fullbore Pair for winning Bronze at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow...well Barry Buddon, and of course especially to NRC of Scotland member, Angus McLeod.
He and Ian Shaw fought off tough competition during the Queens Prize Pairs Competition and achieved a Bronze with 590.65 (ex 600). Ahead were David Luckman and Parag Patel of England taking Gold on 595.77 while the Canadian team of Jim Paton and Des Vamplew took silver on 592.54.
During the individual Queens Prize competition, both did well and were slowly but surely moving up the ranks until the final distance when the wind finally decided to surprise everyone, which made for some interesting conditions and most of the competitors visited parts of the target they had never seen before. Ian Shaw ended up 9th, Angus McLeod 10th with David Luckman taking the Gold with a record 401.42 (ex 405), Jim Paton, Canada, Silver with 397.35 and Parag Patel, also England, Bronze with 394.35.
Many NRC of S members could be found on the range over the five-day competition, both as supporters and officials, doing a sterling job to make the Games a success.
For full results see SRA web site
Scots MR shooting at the Imperial 2014
First business for the Scottish squad at the Imperial Meeting was the semi-formal but keenly contested Lex Lyons match against the Irish on pre-Thursday. The captain had prepared a team order which was cunningly coded so the opposition did not who was shooting where and when – unfortunately some of our team did not understand it either! Eventually ten members shot the whole match and four more shot for part of the day recording an average score which, however you looked at it, was significantly more than the Irish could manage and so Scotland were declared the winners. Top score was Angus McLeod with an impressive 196 whilst Gary Alexander managed 188 for the Irish closely pursued by his tyro son Jack. A goodly dinner was held in the “North”.
Friday consists of the Any Rifle extras. Your captain seemed to misunderstand the word “any” and instead used “all” his rifles –MR, spare and Any Rifle. By virtue of having the only real “Any Rifle” in use he top scored the 1,200x stage and the daily aggregate. The entry was down as, rather ominously for us, the entire English squad were having a coached shoot alongside with around 18 firers on three targets. This was to be their fourth practice of the year.
Saturday started with mixed weather. The first detail was subjected to one horrible rain storm in which visibility was so poor that the shoot should have been suspended. Cries of “Range Officer – Can you ask the marker which side my magpie is on?” were heard. The second detail comprising all the top scorers from 2013 fared better and, despite moderately strong winds, some enormous scores were made by David Friend (aged 80+) in the Whitehead (150v21) and Ted Hobbs in the Halford (150v21). Ted won the daily aggregate with a mere 2 off while over his shoulder was Rob Lygoe on 3 off. Our Tim Kidner, Pete Seebohm and Mike Barlow were all in the top ten.
Tim continued on Sunday morning with a fine 100v16 (including a converted 5?) only to be pipped by Lygoe for the Cottesloe by a V. In the Wimbledon Hugh Butcher led the Scots with 98 but was also pipped into second place this time by George Barnard (99v13). In the Armourers Mike Baillie-Hamilton finally picked up a win for Scotland with the only 98. Incidentally this completes his lifetime set of winning the 7 Hopton events and earns him a free dinner in London with the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers. When the scores were totalled up Rob Lygoe had won the day (Martin Parr Aggregate) and the weekend (Weekend Aggregate) and hence moved into the lead in the Hopton. Tim, Mike B, Hugh and Mike B-H were all in the frame for Scotland. The weekend was rounded off with Silke Lohmann organising a very popular BBQ on the veranda of Elcho Lodge for us before our AGM.
On Monday Angus McLeod returned to the fold having spent the weekend in Glasgow learning how to behave at the Commonwealth Games and found himself in the “others” detail. This possibly fortunate draw allowed him to win the Edge with an impressive 198v27, five points clear of the Scottish captain who top scored from the good shooter’s detail. Monday afternoon was a time to relax for many. As usual we entered a team in the FW Jones not really intending to win it but to try out various rifles, shooters and coaches on the edge of Elcho selection. It was thus a pleasant surprise that this team won the match. Will Meldrum may rue that the match only had one sighter as he approached 1,200x with a new scope set up and started with a pair of inners, one of which had to count, before finishing with 14 bulls. He was told to take an extra shot which was also a bull and so can claim a “moral” 75 at 1,200x.
And so to the Albert with Rob Lygoe leading and only really Ted Hobbs in close contention. All the top scorers shot steadily with only Nick Tremlett making a little headway up the order at the first two ranges. Even the second rainstorm of the meeting at 1,100x failed to dent the scores much. Remarkably the 1,200x stage, which often sees a crashing of scores, produced no change in the order of the top seven Hopton shooters with Rob Lygoe extending his Hopton lead to an impressive 10 points with one of the few scores ever made over 1000 points (1003v129). He finished in style with a 75. Top Scots were Tim Kidner (3rd), Mike Barlow (4th), Mike Baillie-Hamilton (6th) and Hugh Butcher (7th) with 3 more in the top 20. Hannah Fisher won the Brian Green Memorial for top U25 shooter in the Hopton. Full results of the Hopton and other individual matches are here. Continuing his run up the inside Nick Tremlett won the Albert with 221. Angus McLeod, still shooting in the “also rans” detail, caught a rough detail at 1,200x but still came 5th in the Albert and, adding this to his Edge result, should have won the Victoria Aggregate – if only he had entered!
And so to the real deal – the Elcho. Scotland looked strong on Hopton results and got off to a good start winning the 1,000x stage by 3 points helped along by a 75 from Mike Barlow. We should have led after 1,100x but donated a shot to the Welsh. Also we had a minor mix-up in coaching when a halt was called with 1.5minutes of wind on and we restarted with 2minutes – but not in the right direction! These errors let England overtake us by a mere 2 points. All to play for at 1,200x. The conditions continued with a strong headwind angling slightly towards us. At 1,200x the angles were slight and the flags on the left of the range were showing from 11.30 whilst those on the right were showing from 12.30 – a coaches nightmare. It was strong too – had it been square across the range it would have been worth into double figures. In retrospect we had great difficulty seeing what must have been a null point drifting back and forth and points were shed too fast. Scores were mostly determined by when someone shot, not how well they shot and the slower shooters suffered most. Your captain shot the fastest to make the highest score in the team only Vees behind Rob Lygoe of England with top score of the day overall. Hannah Fisher started with a fine 73 and finished with a steady 202 for her first cap in the match. Overall England, whose coaches had had four full days team coaching practice this year, made a significantly better deal of it and came out winners by 36 points. Amongst the others, Ireland started brightly only 4 points behind the English at 1,000x but faded to finish 31 points behind us whilst Wales closed the gap on Ireland to only 6 points by the end. Full details of the Elcho and other team matches are here
We were honoured that both the Earl of Wemyss and March and Lord Elcho joined us. As an experiment (which is likely to be repeated) the match rifle prize giving was held after the Elcho match in the grounds of the English VIII rather than as part of the main Imperial prize giving a week later by which time many MR shooters will have gone home. The Earl of Wemyss presented the main prizes with Lord Elcho presenting the miniature Elcho shields. Afterwards the Scots retired to the Artists for dinner at which the captain announced that Lord Wemyss and Lord Elcho were to be honorary members of the NRCofS.
In various other matches Tim Kidner won the Tribe 1,100x aggregate by Vees from Nick Tremlett and Mike Barlow, Mike Baillie-Hamilton won the Any Rifle and an encouraging three Scots shot in the universities Humphry match. In the interests of marital harmony Mike allowed Paula Baillie-Hamilton to count him out for the Ranken Salver.
NRC of S Spring Meeting - 2014
This meeting has a reputation for good weather, marking the beginning of spring at Blair. Tim K was full of gloom but we had a warm sunny Saturday with very light winds. Much stronger winds on the Sunday but still steady and by shooting fast we finished by 2.30 p.m. Before the rain came on.
The electronic targets are now in their 5th or 6th year, but all worked well without mishap.
There was some very fine shooting particularly by the captain of Scotland who scored 98, 98 and 94 on day 1 and 75, 75 and 71 (221) on day 2. This put him some 18 points ahead of the field and followed his triumph at Bisley in the English Eight Meeting earlier in the month. He seems to have got his ammo and gun working well and previous Hopton winners better look out!!!
The Cambridge captain graced us with her presence and Hannah scored her first possible with a 75 at 998 yards on the second day. We all shared her delight but we not tempted to share the campsite at the Castle.
Second on the first day was Angus McLeod. He is due to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth games at Carnoustie in July. We wish him well.
Jim Bell, who does so much work to make the meeting a success especially at the target end, had an excellent weekend's shooting with his new ammo. He high-scored at 1233 yards with 72.8 on the second day.
The voluble Jeremy Gaywood managed to win a bottle of wine for coming 4th in the 1233 yard Agg. The equitable rules of the NRCofS means that those higher in the Agg cannot win more than one bottle and so Tim Kidner and Jim Bell were counted out.
So another highly enjoyable week end of MR shooting came to an end.
Bisley Match Rifle Spring Meeting 2014
A windy and sometimes horribly wet Combined Clubs Spring weekend at Bisley but managed some good shooting from Scots with three in the top five. The winner last won it outright 29 years ago and the confined Scottish Eight Cup 19 years ago.
The Scottish contingent which descended South for the warm sun and a summery shoot at the Eight Club Spring Meeting were in for a rude shock.
Those who arrived for a practice on the preceding Friday became quickly aware of reality when their sighters, fired with twelve minutes of left wind, arrived downwind in the outer. Falling back for some shots at 1100 yards, we still needed some sixteen minutes of wind and had difficulty holding the gun steady. It was cold and blustery, but it was, at least, still dry.
Saturday dawned with slightly less wind, from the West, but the rain had started.
Worse still, because of a problem with range availability, we commenced shooting at 1200 yards.
Results were predictable, with shooters shuffling off the firing point, thankful for breaking 60 points (ex 75). Top score at 1200 yards was made by Aled James with 71.4. Only two people broke 70.
As we moved forward to 1000 and 1100 yards, seriously dark clouds appeared from the West, presaging severe squalls. The weather pattern was uneven, which inevitably marred the competition as heavy rain singled out the first details at both ranges. All shooters got very wet, but those in the first details undoubtedly suffered worst.
Leader for the day was Angus McLeod who took the HG Courth Trophy with 210.20, closely followed by Gareth Jones of Wales with 209.16 and Mike Baillie-Hamilton with 209.14. Leading lady was Fiona Day with 189.06.
Spirits were hugely revived by an extended reception at the English Eight Club, followed by an excellent dinner held in the North London Rifle Club.
On Sunday, hopes of warmer weather were soon dashed. The brisk and blustery wind continued, running at about 12 minutes from the West, but now spiced with fine misty rain, still capable of causing difficulties. It was cold, and made colder by the sight of Si Whitby’s bare feet exposed on the firing point.
Conditions at 1000 yards had, however slightly improved, allowing Rob Lygoe to make a fine 75.7. This was to be the only Highest Possible Score during the meeting.
At 1100 yards, however, the rain was worsening and the wind was still strong, Hugh Butcher making the best score with 72.10, just ahead of Gareth James with 72.6.
By lunchtime, morale was definitely weakening, but the wind had not finished with us. Gusting up to seventeen minutes of left wind, it was hard stay in the black. Only twenty three shooters out of sixty broke 60, with Rob Lygoe making a fine 72.4 – his second top score of the day.
At the finish, Scots took three out of the first four places – and the Under 25 competition.
Mike Baillie-Hamilton won the overall aggregate, with a fine score, considering the conditions, of 421.32, with Gareth James (Wales) second on 417.36 and Angus McLeod third on 415.35.
In the closed events, The English Eight, Cottesloe’s Cup was won by Rob Lygoe and the Welsh Rifle Association Cup by Gareth James. The Scottish Eight Cup was won by Mike Baillie-Hamilton with Angus McLeod second and Hugh Butcher third with 409.29.
Mike Baillie-Hamilton also took the open Welsh Rifle Association Aggregate and the Martin Smith Challenge Cup (Sunday Aggregate). The 1200 yard Aggregate went to Rob Lygoe.
Kate Fitton won the Powell Trophy for Ladies with 383.16, followed closely by Hannah Fisher with 382.20 and Fiona Day with 382.13. Hannah was, however, rewarded by winning the OCRA Trophy (Under 25), beating off competition from Ashley Abrahams (378.22) and Michael Boucher (363.21).
Despite all the battering from wind and rain taken by competitors, this meeting was greatly enjoyed by most – and supported by excellent organisation and very good marking throughout. Those markers certainly had to work very hard to find our shots during the two days – the surprise shots being those in the centre.
Full Results on English VIII web site
NRA Range Conducting Officer - Status
NRA RCO qualification lasts for 6 years after last renewal/successful course completion.
If you have a NRA RCO card then please check it to ensure it is still valid. There is only a certain amount of grace period for renewal. Otherwise the full course will have to be completed again.
To all Scots and interested Match Rifle Shooters:
HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL RIFLE CLUB OF SCOTLAND
Rosemary Meldrum has completed her manuscript of the History of the NRCofS, after more than ten years of research and writing. It is a remarkable piece of work, covering the club’s entire history in great detail from the beginnings of Match Rifle and the Elcho Match in the 1860s through to 2008, with an epilogue extending to 2012 and Scotland’s series of four consecutive Elcho victories. Perhaps unusually in accounts of full-bore shooting, it provides extensive and fascinating coverage of the development of shooting in the late nineteenth century, drawn from the many notices in the press at the time when rifle-shooting was a prestigious sport that attracted much public attention.
The narrative is organised into chapters by periods of captaincy, with a section containing some elegant descriptions of the captains themselves—excluding those still living! The problems and challenges faced by the early captains seem very little different from those encountered today. Text and illustrations are followed by numerous appendices that include complete details, for the entire period, of all aspects such as members of the VIII, the officers of the club, membership numbers, shooting venues, winners of club crosses and trophies, Scottish winners of NRA trophies, rules of the Elcho, target dimensions etc etc. Most of this does not exist in a single coherent form anywhere else.
Early discussions with an editorial and production agency in Cambridge indicate that the work will make a book of about 250 pages. Produced in paperback to an attractive and professional standard, in a print-run probably of about 50 to 100 copies, it is hoped that the price to individuals can be in the region of £30 to £35, with publication in 2014.
The purpose of this notice is to gauge the level of interest among shooters. If you think you would be likely to buy one or more copies could you please, without prejudice at this stage, contact Mike Baillie-Hamilton, Captain or to Joanna Campbell-Smith, Hon Secretary. We hope that the book will appeal to shooters of all nationalities as well as to Scots.