Blairadam Shooting Association

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Fife & Kinross Full-bore Rifle Club

Latest update: - 17 June 2017

Blairadam Shooting Association

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Backgound

The BSA is not F&K, nor vica versa.  However F&K shoots on the Blairadam range which is controlled by the BSA - i.e. there is an overlap and an abuttment of interests. The BSA controls access to its facility for a number of local shooting clubs.  The F&K secretary is web-master for F&K, and is bookings' officer for the BSA and thinks it appropriate that F&K host this HTML page.

Current Bookings

This file  pdf details current bookings, last updated 28 June 2017 .
Members of the public should not enter the range during the hours noted, nor when ever the the range is in use, i.e. the warning flags are flying.

Contacting the BSA to make a range booking

The Blairadam Shooting Association runs the Blairadam range. The Blairadam range offers one the few full-bore shooting facilities in central Scotland, and bookings can be made with the confidence that there will not be last minute cancellations due to changing military priorities.  Further the range is not encumbered with recent energy control proceedures.  Shooting clubs which wish to use the facility should either:

Directions to the range

The range may be most easily reached by coming off the M90 at junction 5; turn east on B9097 towards Glenrothes; turn right [i.e. south] on the B996 towards Kelty. After about 1mile turn left towards Ballingry. The range is about 0.5 miles on the left.

Map from Microsoft's Bing :-

A link to bing.com or from a screenshoot from Bing.com

OS style map

Map from Google :-

View Larger Map

The barrels

As noted above, the range has been in operation for in excess of 100 years. However recent Health & Safety legislation has impacted.  A house holder living near Kinnaird [see above map], but between the B996 & M90 raised a complaint. This inspite of being next to the M90 which is a 24x7 source of noise! The local authority felt duty bound to progress this complaint - spending the tax payers', i.e. our, money. The shooting clubs do not have similar deep pockets, and the cheapest viable course of action to avoid litigation was to shoot through the accousticaly lined barrels.

HME

For your convenience, follow this link for details of 'high muzzle energy' regulations that apply to MOD ranges. However the Blairadam facility is not a MOD range, and one is permitted to shoot up to and including 375 H&H calbre.

History of Blairadam range

It is commonly believed that the Blairadam range was part of the Royal Navy's facility at Rosyth.  Not so, the Navy's range was Knockhill, which was turned into a motor racing circuit in the 1970s.  The Blairadam range is a Volunteers' range.  That is it was set up during the Napoleon III invasion scare of the 1870s -- in contrast to Rosyth which was setup as a consequence of the jingoism and German threat of the Edwardian era [read Erskine Childers's novel "Riddle of the Sands", was part of the jingoism to get Rosyth built.]

With the closure of the of Knockhill, the Royal Navy's facility at Rosyth did use Blairadam.  When the Navy withdrew from Rosyth, the dockyard was passed to private ownership, and the Blairadam range facility had no military sponsor. The BSA was formed as an umbrella organisation.

In the mists of time [i.e. pre-WWII] maps show that the range had a 600 yard firing point, which required shooting over the road.

Also see this further information, provided by Jim Brown; Honourary Member of F&K, ex secretrary etc. concerning the history of TAVRA ranges in Scotland, of which Blairadam is one: -

Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force 1859-1908

7th (CLACKMANNAN & KINROSS) VOLUNTEER BATTALION,
PRINCESS LOUISE'S (ARGYLL & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS).
Regimented District, No. 9l. Headquarters – Alloa

The first meetings with a view to the formation of volunteer rifle corps in Clackmannanshire were held at Tillicoultry on the 4th, and at Alloa on the 5th November 1859, but it was not till March 10, 1860, that the services of the Tillicoultry Corps, of one company, and June 2 that those of the Alloa Corps, of two companies, were accepted, the delay being due to the absence of the Lord-Lieutenant. The Tillicoultry Corps was at first numbered 1, but this was afterwards changed, the Alloa Corps becoming the 1st and the Tillicoultry Corps the 2nd, the officers of both being gazetted on June 29, 1860. In 1862 both corps were attached to the 1st Administrative Battalion, Stirlingshire Rifle Volunteers.

On November 5, 1867, the 1st Corps was increased to four companies, the fourth (D) being at Dollar, and it and the 2nd Corps were taken away from the Stirlingshire Battalion and formed into the 1st Administrative Battalion, Clackmannanshire Rifle Volunteers, with headquarters at Alloa, to which the 14th Stirlingshire Corps at Alva (raised on October 17, 1868) ,was added in 1868, and the 1st Kinross Corps in 1873. The latter corps had been raised as a subdivision at Kinross on October 31, 1860, and increased to a company on May 1, 1861, and had hitherto been attached to the 1st Administrative Battalion Fifeshire R., whose changes of uniform it had followed.  

In February 1880 the battalion was consolidated as the 1st Clackmannan and Kinross Rifle Volunteers, with headquarters at Alloa, and seven companies, lettered as follows: A and C, Alloa; B, Sauchie; and D, Dollar (all late 1st Clackmannan); E, Tillicoultry (late 2nd Clackmannan); F, Alva (late 14th Stirling); and G, Kinross (late 1st Kinross). In 1882 a section was formed at Clackmannan, and in 1883 it was increased to a complete company and lettered H. Since then, with the exception of the formation in 1900 of a section of H Company at Kincardine and of a cyclist section at Kelty, attached to the Kinross Company, in 1903, there were no changes in the organisation of the battalion.

As headquarters for the battalion, Alloa prison was purchased in 1882, and enlarged and completed with drill-hall, offices, armoury, etc. The battalion had its rifle-range up to 900 yards at Hillend, near Alloa, and G Company had a separate range up to 600 yards at Blairadam.

Above extract by the kind permission of the Library of the Scottish United Services Museum, Edinburgh Castle.

Historical Maps

Blairadam, 1896 & 1924 maps.
Please note the 600 yard firing point at Blairadam and how, to use it, requires shooting over the road - believed to be a cart track, and that the railway prevented longer ranges. I guess access to the range involved alighting from the railway at Blairadam station.
Alloa, 1904 & 1924 maps.
On a modern map, to find the Alloa range, follow:- http://www.bing.com/maps

Opening ceremony of range under BSA control

Guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Mrs Audrey Jenkinson [TV actress & authoress].

Opening shot

Opening shot - "I won't stop you now; go on."

Guest of Honour

Didn't I do well?

Assembled Company
GFalls and Audrey Jenkinson

The guest of honour 
with GFalls


Unveiling Plaque

In 2014, as part of the general improvement in awareness of the Great War, the BSA decided to better inform the general public of what is the Blariadam range, and why the Blairadam range is here. This was done 4-August-2014 -- 100 years to the day from the commencement of WW1.  The BSA made a donation to the British Legion.

Blairadam Rifle Range

The exact date of construction of the range is unclear, with some suggestions giving a date as early as the 1860’s possible in preparation for the Napoleonic conflicts, although this is unconfirmed.  We do know however that the range was used in the 1870’s and has been in continuous use ever since.

The range was constructed as a “Tavra”  (territorial and Volunteer Reservist Army) range. Originally the range had the facilities to shoot at 100yds, 200yds, (now fully covered for inclement weather shooting) 300yds, 500yds and 600yds, it was limited only by the existence of the railway, which prevented it going back beyond this point. Access to the range was probably by the Blairadam station, no longer in existence.  Shooting at 600yds involved shooting, over a main road, although probably just a dirt track in those days.  With the increasing popularity of motorised vehicles and the greater use of this road, shooting from the 600 yd point ceased sometime prior to the second world war.

The range has been used to train soldiers in all of the great conflicts from the 1870’s up and until the early 1990’s.  When the Royal Navy pulled out of Rosyth and it became privately owned, the range  then  had no MOD sponsor and the MOD informed the three main clubs, Fife and Kinross Fullbore Rifle Club, Fife Centrefire Rifle Club and the Civil Service Shooting Club (Rosyth) the range would have to close in late 1992.

Volunteers from these three parent clubs quickly got together, and within a few months were in a position to take over the running and control of the range.  The Blairadam Shooting Association was then born and formally took over the range on the 1st of April 1993.  The Association or (BSA) is not a shooting club in its own right, our sole objective is the maintenance, upgrading and the day to day running of the range.  In addition to the traditional office bearer functions of Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary, the BSA also has a Bookings Officer and Range Manager.  And we currently have a full calendar of bookings for this year.  The range is not only used by the three parent clubs previously mentioned but now hosts guests from shooting clubs all over Scotland.

Thankfully the range no longer trains troops for conflict but does train shooters to perfect their craft many of whom have gone on to represent Scotland and Great Britain internationally.

As well as playing host to clubs where enthusiasts still use vintage and historic firearms, where clouds of smoke from black powder rifles can be seen blowing across the front of the Binn hill when the weather condition are good.

A donation was made the the British Legion, and their "thank you" letter is here.

Plaque on wall

Plaque

Plaque

Plaque

Unveiling

Unveiling

Members at unveiling

Members at the unveling

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