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Fife & Kinross Full-bore Rifle Club

Last update   25 April 2017

FAQ

This is an expanding list of frequently or pertinent questions:-

Some Target Rifle Shooting links

I have never shot before, what should I expect on a guest day?

You must bring hearing protection; either ear defenders or ear plugs. Those who wear spectacles should bring a small blob of Bluetack so that we may lift the spectacles to get a better sight line.

You should bring lunch; the shoot divides itself into a morning session when we shoot at 300 yards, and an afternoon session at 500 yards. Each session consists of at least two details; in the first details those not shooting, mark targets, and in the second those that marked, shoot; those that shot, mark.  Each session takes about an hour.  Of course the members spend additional time setting up, and tearing down the range; target to and from the  target shed, range safety flags etc.  

You should arrive at least half an hour before the 'start time'; i.e. 9:30 for 10:00, so that you may be slotted into the proceedings, get a preliminary safety briefing, see and get seen by the members.

Additionally we will have to decide whether you wish to shoot TR or F style, or differently at each range. This takes time.

In each session, you will have an opportunity to shoot towards the end of the second detail. You will receive personal supervision; this is both for safety reasons, and necessary coaching in a skill you have never previously experienced.

In the first detail of the first session, you will observe how we shoot from behind the firers at the firing point. You will observe the safety proceedures, and you will observer how people shoot, how we record scores, the challenge of target shooting etc.

Having shot, had lunch, you will, in the first detail after lunch, accompany the butt party and will aid them marking the targets in the butts. You will learn how to mark, again with one to one tuition.

At last, you will return to the 500x firing point for the second detail, and again be given opportunity shoot. Having shot, you will observe [participate in even!] the tearing down of the range and depart to mull over your experiences.

What is the process to join F&K?

New/non-FAC holders

Joining a shooting club isn't just a matter of turning up and filling in a membership form. Although beginners are allowed to join. Each year the Club applies to the Regional Police permission to hold a number of 'Guest' days. This gives the Police the opportunity to attend such days as they deem necessary. It is during 'Guest' days that beginners may attend. Consult the Programme page for a list of 'Guest' dates.

Beginners will be supervised at all times by an appointed experienced Full Club Member and must follow their instructions.

All shooting clubs including Fife & Kinross Full-Bore Rifle Club have specific membership requirements that new members must meet before they can join. This includes being sponsored by an existing club member. Before being granted full membership, beginners will usually have to go through a 'probationary period' minimum of three months. This probationary period may be waived if the applicant is already a Full Member of an Approved Shooting Club (such details will be verified). As part of the application process and probationary period, you'll need to let the club know if you've ever tried to apply for a firearm or shotgun certificate and been rejected. You will also be required to provide 'Referees' to verify your character (such details will also be verified).

Police are very aware of the possibility of people joining a club so that they can own a firearm, and keep in contact with approved clubs (in Scotland it's by the Scottish Executive). For this reason, the club will keep track of how often members attend club shoots. If a probationer/member hasn't shot at the club for 12 months, the police will be told of this, and will investigate accordingly.

If you have attended many of the Club shoots during the probationary period and shown to be of a safe and reliable personage, the Club Committee will make a decision as to whether you will be granted Full Membership. If on the other hand this is not the case you will be refused Membership. In either case the Police will be informed as to the outcome.

On becoming a Full Member and you are subsequently granted a Firearms Certificate (N.B one of the FAC Application Form Referees must an Official of the Club) by your local Police Authority thence obtain you own firearm you are required to have its use logged by the Club at each of the shoots you use it at.

Thanks to Jim Brown, for the above

Clarifications:

FAC holders

The process is somewhat more simple, as you are might imagine.  Merely approach the club, fill in an application form. There is the probationary period and then full membership. 

Contact

If you wish to contact the Club Secretary (Peter Baxter) by email then please use the following email address in your email application:  The application form is available here(PDF logo)

Scoring system

The target has marked upon it a number of rings. As the capability of shooters and their equipment has improved, those rings have been made smaller. Originally and until the 1970s we had 5 scoring areas.  In the 1970s to further separate scores an inner 'Vee' ring scoring 5.1 was introduced.  The capabilities of an F class rifle are such that even the Vee bull is too generous, and a smaller mark was introduced. [For F&K, for 2009, as decided after the AGM, TR-F remains on the TR target]

The target is marked from centre outwards with differing green / red coloured discs.  The scorer applies the score appropriate to the discipline followed by the shooter in the score card.  Additionally for F-open and paddle along the bottom of the target is used.  The position and colour is noted in the above table. Therefore :-

Scoring disc
  F-open
F-TR TR
Disc Colour   score paddle
  score   score
Red Vee
5.1 extreme-Right Vee 5.1 Vee 5.1
Green Bull
5
extreme-Right Bull 5 Bull 5
Red Inner
4
Right
Inner 4 Inner 4
Green Magpie
3
Left
Magpie 3 Magpie 3
Red Outer
2
extreme-Left Outer 2 Outer 2
Green Hit
1
extreme-Left Hit 1 Hit 1
Inward scoring (with .308 gauge irrespective of calibre)
In some F’ Class competitions a V-Bull will count as 6

A photograph of a marker, in the butts, and his target is available on the gallery page of photograpghs.

May I zero my stalking rifle?

Beyond the legal issue of you using expanding ammunition in your stalking rifle, and target rifle shooting is required to not use expanding ammunition, there is the issue that we shoot at 300 & 500 yards.  Further using calibres outside of 223R & 308W, would mean your stalking rifle would not be competive against (say) 6.5x284, or 6.5x55 Swedish.  In my opinion you would be better served by approaching one of the other clubs that use the BSA facility.

I am under 18; May I join the club?

This is more a matter of the impact of legislation than attitude of the club.  The club only has a few members.  None of the members have Disclosure Scotland accreditation.  Hence the club is unable to act in-loco parentis, and minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Also the club does not accept members younger than 14 years old; the reasons for this are partially legal, and partially practical - we believe that shooters should learn with rifles that are both lighter and have less recoil; i.e. .22LR or air rifles.  Your point of contact for such clubs is the NSRA.

What about a [club] rifle?

The club has 3 rifles [TR-5.56NATO, TR-7.62NATO, TR-F-7.62NATO] for use by members, free of charge.  The club also stocks 7.62 & 5.56 ammunition for members, at cost.  However, please note, that to ensure these are available on the range for your use, the club officials need to be contacted in good time. [A photograph of the ammunition we use is available here.]
The same applies to ammunition: to ensure that ammuntions is at the range, you need to have forewarned the Firearm's officer.

After I shoot, what else?

On the range there are a number of tasks that must be completed to enable anyone at all to shoot. Therefore there is a reasonable expectation that if you are not shooting, then you are marking, etc. These tasks include setting up the range, 'Range-Officer'-ing, marking, clearing away the range after shooting. The Blairadam range requires range flags be positioned at the top of the hill (about a 20 minute climb), and at the north and south extremeties. When clearing away the range, it is necessary to rake the sand up into the shot holes of the stop butt. As can be seen this requires colaborative efforts on all attendees, and the day's CRO will endeavour to share the load appropriately, but it is never possible to guarantee that each participant will merely do one marking detail.

A photograph of a marker, in the butts, and his target is available here.

How do I fill in a score card?

When shooting, you will be given a score card, like this

When on the firing point, you will be shooting in a pair, or (sometime, less usually) a three-some.  If a pair, you exchange cards; if a three-some, the card goes one place to the right. Shooting commences with the right hand man. Having shot, the target will be marked.  The register keeper (for that shooter) will call out the value of the shot in a clear voice (e.g. "Vee-bull", "Bull-five", etc.) and mark the value in the scorecard.  The next firer then fires.

After the two sighting shoots ("A" & "B"), the register keep will enquire of the firer what he wishes to do; Does he wish to (a) discard the score of both sighters and commence with the next shoot as his first to count, or (b) convert only the second sighter as his first to count, or (c) convert both sighters as his first two counting shots?  In cases b and c, the register keeper copies across the appropriate values into box 1, or 1 and 2.  It is usual to only convert bulls, although this is always at the firer's discretion.

This cycle of shooting and register keeping repeats untiul all counting shots have been fired.

At the end of the shoot, the register will first check that the shooters rifle is clear; that is he will confirm by looking up the barrel from the breech (sans bolt) that there is no round or empty case in the rifle. He will voluably announce this as such ("clear"). Probationers should request that the RCO do this task.  Then count up the score, and agree with the firer that it is correct. Then sign the card - this is important; you have certified the rifle is "clear".

Also, ensure you enter the serial number of the rifle that you use in the box provided.  As explained elsewhere (also), this is so that the club may track your usage of rifles; this is a legal requirement for target [rifle] clubs.

Note : It is a condition of Club Approval that clubs record not only that you have shot, but also the rifles you used. To that end the score card includes a box for your rifle's serial number. It is in your interest to fill it in. Please do so!

How do I fill in a plot sheet?

Plot sheets include boxes to record the elevation, wind, your score and numerous other things.  One of the more difficult but useful features are the graphs; the elevation graph (L or R of the main diagram), and the windage graph (below the diagram.)  As these graphs are built up they show trends and the limits of the conditions.

Alternatively one could be like the South Africans who disregard plot sheets and spend all their non shooting time glued to the spotting 'scope, tracking the mirage. In RSA there is much mirage, and quick changing light airs; the veldt is high up and dry, unlike Bisley that is nearly at sea level and as moist air. SA shooters, if they plot at all, will merely record whether they missed up/down/L/R using marks on an 'X'! Australians and Americans do not plot, for they string shoot, and tend to chase the spotting disc: - shoot, target down, target up, oops missed R, add L, shoot, and repeat.

The following example plots sheets are believed to be free for personal use; as PDF
format

What does it cost?

Perhaps this should say, Isn't full-bore shooting expensive? Of course that begs the question of what is expensive! For sure shooting costs more than playing football on a public pitch, and shooting costs more than golf on many public links. However compared to many pursuits, golf at a private club, anything to do with horses, or anything to do with an internal combustion engine or sailing, shooting is not more expensive. I have just read that most well known championship golf courses charge 300 per round! [Carnoustie, Turnburry, Lytham, Hoylake etc.] Running costs at less than 1-00 per bang, to cover the ammunition, barrel wear, etc; i.e ~30 per day. Equipment costs could approach about 4000 if one went immediately for the best of rifle, 'scope, and other equipment. By way of a contrast, the last rifle I purchased, cost just 50-00 and even after rebarreling I had change from just a few hundred pounds. My jacket cost me $70-00 [second hand]. And shooting equipment does not become obsolete; the rifle I purchased in 1979 is still competitive; i.e. accurate. And of course one does not need to purchase all the things we target shooters seem to end up with. In fact sometimes I think having less means having to carry less on the range which is a good thing!

Is shooting dangerous?

Dangerous to whom? The participant? The general public near the range? The general public at large? In all cases the short answer is [Target Rifle] shooting is not dangerous. My personal longer answer is ...

Which ever way you look at it, the statistics show that target rifle shooting is not dangerous, primarily because the Target Rifle shooting community manages that danger.

Concerning the individual, shooting is not classified as a dangerous sport in the way that [say] skiing, climbing etc is; as demonstated by insurance underwriting rates. Shooters take safety seriously [hence the Range Rules, which are published on this site.] Hence that danger to the participant is controlled. Second, by law, before a firearm may be sold it must be proofed at the Proof House. At the Proof House, the firearm is tested with an over powerful load, so that having passed that the firer can be sure of the ability of the firearm to handle standard ammunition safely. Hence that danger to the participant is controlled. [The Proof House, Proof acts etc, exist because in days of old, metallurgy was a less exact engineering discipline and there was a real risk that firearms might not cope with their ammunition.]

Concerning the general public near the range, again there is near zero risk. Rifle ranges, and the range orders used on ranges ensure shooting poses absolutely minimal risk to the public. Range geometry is designed to prevent escape of projectiles outside of the designed danger area. Further 99+% of target rifle shots go into the 'black' - never mind the whole target face - and hence are trapped in the bullet trap made of tons of sand in stop butt. So walking in the danger area, whilst target shooting was in progress, would be safer than crossing a busy road. But then again if any one is seen entering the danger area shooting stops - see the range rules. In fact, target shooters are more a danger to the general public when motoring on the public highway to and from their sports ground (the range), than when they are when on the range.

Concerning the general public at large, again look at the statistics. For instance, perversely, the number of injuries due to firearms has gone up, even after pistols were outlawed. See the latest Scottish figures. Why? Because criminals still have access to firearms and have little practical problem acquiring them. The law is followed mainly or only by law abiding citizens. Shooters, keenly aware of the priviledge of their FACs, are amongst the most law abiding citizens there are.

Just why, as a society, we do little about one [3000+ per year], whilst being parnoid about the other [~1 per year] is beyond me. That is not to say that legally held firearms have not caused some terrible events, it is just the proportionality of the response that concerns me. Again using the road anology, in Britain, you are more at risk of harm when crossing the highway than you are from firearms.

Range Rules

Range rules are avalible in the Member's Documents, and here

Vehicles on the range

At the [2009] BSA AGM, the issue of cars on the range was raised once again, and there is now some clarity of what the rules are.  

But first some back ground:- The lease that the BSA holds for use of the field, which the BSA inherited from TAVRA, covers use of the firing points and a small strip at the left hand edge of the field.  The TAVRA right of vehicular access for was presumed to be one Bedford truck that could deliver and remove stores [e.g. amunition] and act as an ambulance. For the first 20 years of my membership of F&K, F&K managed without any vehicles on the range. And that was not because the membership was younger; we had then retirees - sadly now passed on, such as Tim MacMillan, Bert Schnazel etc. It is only in recent years that members have taken vehicles on to the range, and in increasing numbers.

At the meeting, it was mentioned that the owner of the field [Mr Meikland] had sought out a member of the BSA committee and that he was 'really agitated' and had said 'sort it out or else I shall padlock the gate'. Perhaps because in the past few years the field was used for animals this has not been an issue, but this year it is an issue for it is a commercial crop.  It is most important that clubs & members using the BSA facility do not abuse the terms of BSA's lease nor damage relationships with the owners, especially because the BSA hopes to negotiate an extension to the lease.

Hence the following extra range orders: -

  1. Shooters must be aware of possibilty of crop damage on the range, and shall conduct themselves accordingly.
  2. The Range Duty Officer for the day may designate at most one vehicle which may drive up & down the range.
  3. The RDO may decide that it is inappropriate to take any vehicle what so ever into the field, for reasons of crop or field damage.
  4. The designated vehicle will make at most two return trips up & down the range.
  5. So as to minimise crop damage, the designated vehicle shall be driven as close as sensible to the North [i.e. LH] boundary of the field.

Whether that means that the one vechicle shall be a 4x4, I leave to other drivers to decide; I, for one, do not drive my [saloon] car up the range. The BSA AGM further discussed the issue of car parking -- in the field. It is felt that parking cars at the bottom of the field (i.e. the triangular area bounded the gate, the acoustic wall and the fence, approximately) was OK, if treated as a priviledge for it is not a right. However again that has to be interpreted sensibly, for damaging any crops would be mega-unhelpful to the interests of shooters using the range.
Brian Woodroffe sec/treas. 21/May/2009

Additionally, the owner of the Binn wood has raised the issue of the [commercial] damage to timber and to chain saws due to bullets embedded in trees. I know most [all?] of these bullets have been found to be 9mm [i.e. military origin]. However you are reminded that the only place to fire bullets at is into the target face, or if zeroing or blowing off, into the sand. The range safety certificate is granted on the premise that, and the regulations are formulated around the premise that all shots are fired into the stop butt, and the purpose of the danger area is merely to capture ricochets.
Brian Woodroffe sec/treas. 2/Jan/2010

Classes of shooting

F&K shoots in the following classes, as defined by bodies such as the NRA, with bullet weights and targets as follows :-

Tr & Tr/F:
308W less than 156 grains, 223R no limit; NRA target
F-open:
no weight limit, F class target.
F/Tr
no weight limit, F class target.

Whilst there is a paucity of numbers, F/Tr scores will be classified together with F-open.  Tr & Tr/F will be separately classified.

References

Range Messages for TR & F Class Shooting

The following messages should be used for communication between the RCO and the Butts Officer (preceded where appropriate by the relevant target number).

  1. Firing about to commence - raise targets.
  2. No spotting disc visible
  3. Spotting disc unmistakably disagrees with signalled value.  Check that the spotting disc shows the last shot and signal its correct value.  (RCO to view target before passing Message 3 to the Butts Officer.) Confirm result by radio / phone.
  4. A shot has been fired but no signal has been made.  Examine target carefully and signal the shot if found or a miss.  Confirm result by radio / phone.
  5. Shooter has challenged for a higher value for his or her shot.  Examine the whole target and signal the correct value.  Confirm result by radio / phone.
  6. (SR only; Incorrect number of hits reported.)
  7. A miss has been signalled but the shooter has challenged for a scoring shot.  Re-examine the target carefully and signal the shot if found or a miss.  Confirm result by radio / phone.
  8. The spotting disc appears not to have moved. Butt Officer is to consult marker and confirm that the spotting disc is in the latest shot hole. If successive shots have been very close to each other the RO to be advised accordingly.
  9. Marking/Shooting appears to be unduly slow, please hurry up.  [Use with caution, it may upset the other end!]
  10. Stand easy. Half mast.
  11. It is suspected that the wrong shot hole has been patched out.  (Message 11 should only be sent after Message 4 or Message 7 has been sent.) Butts Officer to consult marker and confirm correct value. Confirm result by radio / phone.
  12. Stand easy.  Lower target, patch out and put target back up.
  13. (MR only; lower the targets whilst blow-off shots are being fired.)
  14. It is suspected that there is a second shot on the target. Inspect the target and indicate any further shot found, in addition to the shot presently shown.  Confirm result by radio / phone.

Range  setup

Setting up the range involves a number of steps:

Range danger flags

The range requires setting out six [6] red range safety flags.  They are kept in the BSA target shed.

Range semaphore

The range semaphore (aka red triangle, aka paddle) is kept in the BSA target shed.  This needs placing in its socket besides where the steps down into the butts are.

Targets

The target legs, and the counter balance weights live in the BSA target shed, todether with targets.  (F&K's targets are in its shed).  Targets should never be moved by just one person, nor should one person try to mount them into or unmount them out the the legs.  Trying this by oneself is a recipe for hurting oneself - do not do it!

It is important that you keep control of the frames at all times and do not let them run uncontrolled, for if you do, whilst one end slams into the ground, the other end flies upward and jumps out of the frame and remains wedged!  (With difficulty, using something acting as a hammer and/or a prise-bar, one can "persuade" the recalcitrant frame back in position.

Safety kit

One of the club's safety kit from the F&K store, must remain in the butts, and one must go to the Firing Point.

Wind flags

From the F&K target shed, ... When shooting at 300, one flag goes in the edge of the 200 FP, and one is manouvered into the inter-field fence.  When shooting at 500, one flag goes in the edge of the 300 FP (RH), and one is manouvered into the inter-field fence.

Telephones

The club possesses four [4] iCom walkie-talkies; one should be used by the FP and one by the butt party.

Range tear down

Upon message-10, and upon confirmation that the range is cleared of all rifles,

The BSA's official version is here

On creating a shooting calendar

You will have seen the calendar. I hope you are able to come to the events. You should know of some of the constraints that occur when setting the programme: - 

  1. Do not choose a day other than Sundays; We tried a Saturday booking and some of the membership came on the closest Sunday.
  2. Do not choose a date already picked by any of the other BSA clubs.
  3. Do not choose a date that conflicts with any of the open SRA meets; e.g. West of Scotland, East of Scotland, Tayside, Inverness-shire, Scottish and Scottish Long range.
  4. Do not choose a date that conflicts with West Atholl events; Many members have multiple memberships.
  5. Do not choose a date that conflicts with major F-class events.
  6. Do not choose a date that conflicts with 'my' shift pattern; Somewhat difficult to coordinate amongst multiple members :)
  7. Do not choose a date that that has inadequate light, warmth or too much precipitation; British summer time pretty much guarantees the first and helps with the others.
Given the above, find at least 12 dates, preferably before the big meetings of July.  OK, not all the constraints are hard, such as avoiding double bookings, but you do see the issues and if the calendar causes you problems, at least you know what I had to deal with!
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