Date: 13th July 2013
Location: Colchester Rifle Club
Cost: £1 each plus £4.70 for ammunition.
Rules: In the qualifying rounds, shooters fire 150 shots; 50 in each the prone, standing and kneeling position in a time limit of 135 minutes. The eight shooters with the best score progress to the final where they fire 10 shots in the standing position. These are fired on command with a time limit of 75 seconds per shot. The target is 50 metres away and divided in to 10 rings. The shooter with the best combined score from the qualifying and final wins.
London 2012 Winner: Jamie Lynn Gray, USA.
Sarah: It was our second visit to the Colchester Rifle Club, following our Health & Safety introduction at the start of the year, and we unexpectedly got to tick an event off the list! The rifles are so heavy, but thankfully don't have much kick-back. I was wary on my first shot, following the kick-back from the Trap and Skeet shotguns, but the trigger was super-sensitive and there was hardly any jolt. The prone position gave us chance to get used to positioning the rifle, and time to understand how to scope for each other and call the hits so the shooter could adjust their aim. Ellie is ridiculously accurate; look at her targets! Feeling confident, we attempted the kneeling and standing positions, which quickly brought us back down to earth! The weight of the gun meant it was basically impossible to keep still, and I feel pleased I even managed to hit the card. We had to complete the event on an indoor 25 yard (23 metres) range, as the 50m shooting range is outside. The club understandably doesn't allow beginners on outside targets; if the shot were to go in to the air, it can travel for up to a mile and have the same force on impact.
Ellie: It was such a pleasure to finally meet Bernie at the Colchester Rifle Club. We've been in contact since Christmas but a list of unfortunate events has stopped us meeting until now. It's also a total shock to be able to write this event up. We assumed we'd meet and talk through what we needed to do and maybe have a look around, but Bernie was straight in there. After safety talks, registering, jokes and offers of drinks it was 'discovered' that I am, annoyingly, left-handed and I was given a beautiful and expensive (£1200) rifle. We were allowed to change the shells ourselves and this made me feel much more comfortable and, in a way, connected to the sport. The other difference I felt between this event and the Trap and Skeet is the weight; the rifle is crazy-heavy. I think this is why I didn't get a good shot on target when kneeling or standing - I was so wobbly! I hit the paper and that is good enough for me on this occasion. I'm really proud of my grouping when in the prime position as well. And now we have these beautiful score/shoot cards. I find them so nice to look at that I'm going to frame mine!
Big thanks to Bernie and all at Colchester Rifle Club for their patience and hospitality! www.colchester-rifle-club.org.uk