Accessories

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Essential accessories

Your sight and hearing are irreplaceable, and your eyes and ears need protecting whilst shooting.

Eyes: Shooting exposes your eyes to bits of broken clay, falling shot, bits of wadding and burnt powder blowing back in your face, spent cartridges from the shooter next to you etc. An eyeful of burning powder is no fun. The club recommends that you wear shooting glasses – especially when clay shooting. If you wear glasses you can get prescription lenses. Coloured lenses are very handy when shooting in dim or very bright weather; the shooting press is full of advertisements for protective glasses.
If you wear glasses you may find that your existing 'everyday' prescription is not suitable for shooting – in which case a visit to the optician is needed. Rifle and pistol shooters can buy special frames that put the lenses in the right place – Stewarts Opticians at Bisley are the people to speak to.

Ears: Repeated exposure to gunfire will damage your hearing. We insist that you use some form of ear protection – earmuffs are best, but some people prefer earplugs.
Wearing muffs allows you to concentrate on your shooting, and many people believe that if you cut out the noise of the report, the perceived recoil is reduced.

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Clothing:

Shooting is an all year, all weather sport. If you are half way through a competition on the range and the heavens open, you just have to stay and put up with it.
Similarly, during clay shoots, we have shot in everything from summer’s heat, to blizzards so severe that one member could not see the other!

As fine weather is not a problem, clothing boils down to wet/cold weather gear – i.e. coat, hat, boots and gloves.

  • Coat: you need something warm enough and weather proof, most of us wear wax cotton Barbour style coats
  • Hats: anything waterproof
  • Boots: Wellingtons are fine, but can be very cold
  • Gloves: Shooting gloves are very useful, but you might want to take them off to actually shoot. You can always put your hands in your pockets
  • Leggings: Useful when rifle shooting as you can get puddles forming around your legs


Army surplus/DPM clothing: a lot of people buy this kind of gear because it is practical, cheap and effective. Please bear in mind, however, that this type of clothing can convey the wrong kind of impression to the casual, non-shooting observer. We are not a force in training and that is the impression that this clothing can convey. Please note that it is not permitted at Bisley Camp for civilian shooters.

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Useful, desirable accessories:

Clay Shooting:

Gun Slip: It is a good idea to carry your gun in its slip at all times. Note that you should always have your gun in a slip or case when you are carrying it in a public place.
A car is a dangerous place for a gun – they slide around. Put it in a padded slip or hard case to avoid damage.

Shooting Vest: It is not always cold and wet, a lightweight shooting jacket or 'Skeet vest' has plenty of pockets for cartridges.

Cleaning Kit: All guns should be cleaned – always carry a cleaning rod and appropriate brush with you.

Shooting bag: you will need some sort of strong bag to carry all of your gear in – particularly cartridges.

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Rifle Shooting:

Range bag: Rifle shooters cart around lots of odds and ends, so a large bag or box (preferably with a shoulder strap) is very useful.

Spotting Scope and Stand: This is a telescope that you use to 'spot' your shot.  In small-bore you can actually see the shot holes, in full-bore you can see the spotting disc and marker panel (see the section on ‘Targets and Marking’).

Shooting Jacket and Sling: If you want to shoot prone rifle (full or small-bore) then eventually you will need a “proper” prone shooting jacket and a single point sling. (See pictures in the gallery) The jacket is not essential for 'F' class full-bore -but is handy- and it is not required for small-bore lightweight sports rifle or gallery rifle.

In the prone position, the sling is a vital tool used to support the rifle: it is almost impossible to hold a full weight target rifle steady for any length of time without using the assistance of the sling. Even if you do not have a shooting jacket, you should invest in a sling. There are two basic types:

Two-point sling: so called because it attaches to the rifle at two points, one at the front of the foreend, the other just ahead of the trigger guard. This is a rather old fashioned arrangement, but still has adherents in full-bore shooting.

Single point sling: this sling attaches to the rifle’s fore-end, usually with a quickly detachable claw fitting. The other end goes round the biceps of the supporting arm in a loop or cuff. Most shooters leave the sling permanently fitted to their shooting jacket. The single point sling is the most popular type of sling, and is much better than the two-point sling. The Gallery contains pictures of slings and jackets in use.

Gun Cover/Slip/Case: You will need something secure to transport your rifle in. Hard cases are fine, but a very well padded slip with a shoulder strap is easier if you have your hands full with other equipment.

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Cleaning Kit: Full-bore rifles require a thorough cleaning after each shooting session to remove powder and metallic fouling from the barrel.
You will need a cleaning rod, and a selection of brushes, jags and patches. You will also need a cleaning solvent such as Youngs 009, Hoppes etc.

Small-bore and gallery rifles are usually used with lead bullets and should not be troubled by metallic fouling; they do not need such regular barrel cleaning. You should, at least, have an appropriate cleaning rod and brush.

For all other cleaning needs, some rags, WD-40 and gun stock oil will suffice.

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Ground Sheet/ Shooting Mat: Shooting full-bore rifle outdoors means that you have to lie on grass/ concrete / gravel/ tarmac firing points. Often these are very wet, so some type of waterproof ground sheet is handy (polythene, sacking tarpaulin etc).

A shooting mat is an alternative – this can be bought, or a piece of carpet can be used. The mat is waterproof, padded and has a non-slip area where you place your elbows. Shooting without some form of padding under the elbows for some time can be agonising.

Shooting Glove: Shooting prone with a sling is uncomfortable; the solution is to wear a glove or mitt on the non-trigger hand. You can buy special shooting gloves, but just about any stout glove will do.

Bipods/ Front Rests: Full-bore ‘F’ Class rules allow the use of a support for the front of the rifle. The use of a rest means that you do not need to use a sling, and, in theory a rested rifle should shoot more accurately than one supported by a sling. The rest can consist of a fully adjustable rest/ a bipod/ a block of wood/ your range bag etc. The adjustable stand is the best but expensive. Bipods are cheaper, lighter and much easier to carry about.
Target rifles, both small and full-bore, are usually fitted with a small bipod simply to rest the rifle on the ground while it is not being shot.

Breech Flags: Club rules and common sense require that guns are safe unless being shot at the firing point.
This means that guns must be unloaded, and everybody can see that they are unloaded, when they are not actually being shot. On indoor ranges the Range Officer will inspect weapons before they are taken out of the range.
The N.R.A. rules stipulate that rifles may only leave the firing point or be carried around Bisley Camp with 'Bolts out or flags in'. This means that the gun must be made inoperable by removing the bolt, or by inserting a 'breech flag' into the chamber – these render the gun unfireable and also lets everybody see it. Breech flags are very cheap – it’s better to use a flag than remove the bolt, as bolts can get lost.

Ammunition boxes: You can of course use ammo from the boxes you bought it in, but small-bore ammo comes in little boxes which are difficult to empty when laying on the firing point. Most shooters transfer the cartridges to separate 10 round wooden blocks, held in a wooden box holding 50 rounds.
Full-bore ammo usually comes in cardboard or plastic packaging, but reloaded ammo needs to be put in something – most shooters use plastic boxes, which keep the ammo secure and dry.

Tools

If it can break or fall off it will; a basic tool kit is a good idea – particularly screwdrivers and Allen keys. A small, soft-faced hammer is useful for clearing stuck cases.
A notebook is useful for recording scores and sight settings.
A soft cloth can be used for on range for cleaning, keeping rain out of the action etc.

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