On Friday, 16th February 2018, our BUCS A Team travelled to Chesterfield in advance of the much-anticipated BUCS Finals weekend. The team consisted of both Committee and new members: Club Captain, Harry Percival; General Secretary, Xav Iafrate; Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert; Smallbore Captain and Publicity Officer, Liv Haworth; Ed Norman; and Danny Lay. Our team would be competing in the BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Team Finals on the Saturday, and Liv would be competing in the Individuals Finals on the Sunday.
We rose early on the Saturday morning and arrived at Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club in plenty of time to sign in, collect our targets, set up the rifles and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. We would each be shooting two rounds of two consecutive cards during the course of the day, with a strict time limit of ten minutes per card.
Up first at 09:30 was Jason, who scored a respectable 95 on each of his Round 1 cards. After Jason, at 10:00, Ed shot a 91 in his first card and a 97 in his second card. Next up, after a detail’s break, was Xav, who scored a 90 followed by a 93. In the fifth detail of the day, at 11:30, Liv shot a 92, then a 90. She was followed by Danny, who scored an impressive 97 and 98. To conclude Round 1, Harry scored a 91 and a 93 on his first two cards.
As we prepared for Round 2, we were more familiar with the range and more comfortable with the atmosphere of a six-lane, shoulder-to-shoulder match and prepared to improve our scores from the previous detail. The team worked well together, ensuring that everyone was helped with their equipment and changing targets, and offering moral support throughout the day.
The afternoon saw an improvement in scores for most of the team. Jason scored 91 and 97; Ed 91 and 93; Xav 95 and 97; Liv 96 and 95 (despite having to leave the range between cards to find an Allen key!); Danny 96 and 98; and Harry, who rounded off the day with a pleasing 95 and 97.
Pleased with our Round 2 scores, we packed up the rifles and our kit and awaited the results. With a total of 2264, we placed 5th – just 1 point behind 4th! Imperial took 3rd place, Edinburgh took 2nd, and Cambridge placed 1st overall. In the evening, we headed out for the customary EURC Nando’s and reflected on how the competition had gone.
On Sunday morning, we enjoyed a more relaxed start as Liv’s first detail was at 12 noon. We went for breakfast, then returned to the hotel to pack up and check out. Arriving at the range at 11:00, we unloaded the kit, set the rifle up and collected the targets. In Round 1, Liv scored 85 and 94, having had trouble with the sights on the first card. Round 2 was also the final detail of the day at 15:00, in which she shot a 94 followed by a 91.
After the final detail, we packed up and drove the 240 miles back to Exeter, arriving at around 20:00 to unpack the kit and return the minibus.
The BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Finals were the culmination of several months of postal cards, training, and preparation by all of our teams. We are very proud everyone who has represented the Club over the past few months and look forward to our next event!
We also extend our thanks to the Exeter University Athletics Union, who have helped us with entering the teams and has supported us with arrangements for the Finals; to the organisers at the NSRA and BUCS for arranging the competition; and to Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club for hosting the Finals at the weekend.
On Friday, 3rd November, 35 of our members, including Committee and alumni, ventured up to the National Shooting Centre at Bisley for a weekend of fullbore shooting organised by our Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert. Our trip coincided with the BYSA’s “Bonfire Bonanza” weekend, which meant we were introduced to other university rifle clubs and young shooters. Friday night saw us settling into our accommodation at the Inns of Court and Bunhill Lodge, and socialising with the other shooters.
We rose early on Saturday in order to be set up for our first detail on Century Range at 08:30. Once set up at 300yds, the details ran smoothly with Committee taking turns to coach and a rota in place for butt marking until 12.30, when the klaxon sounded for lunchtime. After lunch, we continued to shoot at 300yds until the klaxon sounded again at 16:00. By the end of the day, all of our fullbore novices had had a shoot (or three!) and tried their hand at marking the targets. Despite the rain, an enjoyable day on the range was had by all.
In the evening, we exchanged our waterproofs and woolly hats for something a little smarter and headed to the Inns of Court for dinner and the BYSA’s social.
We had another early start on Sunday morning to ensure we were set up on the firing point by 08:30. Our novice shooters then had the opportunity to develop their skills at 600yds and learn about the alterations made to the sights and foresight elements when shooting at different distances. We were very fortunate to be joined by alumnus and GB U25 shooter Liam Cheek, who assisted us with coaching and shared plenty of useful tips! When the klaxon sounded for lunchtime, we headed inside out of the cold, packed our bags and cleaned up our accommodation, before making our way back out to Century for the afternoon.
Sunday afternoon, in keeping with tradition, was dedicated to shooting “fun guns” at 300yds. Our Armourer, Dan Studholme, kindly allowed us to use his Lee Enfield no4(T) and was delighted (and trying hard to hide his astonishment) when he managed to score a V-bull with it! A TR with a scope (which was not a favourite with our Treasurer, Joel, who learnt the importance of maintaining distance between the eye and the scope the hard way) and an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare were also provided for us to try. The smallest grouping was by our Assistant Armourer, James Mac-Taggart, with his five shots on the TR falling within half a V-bull.
At the sound of the final klaxon of the weekend, we cleared up the firing point and arranged ourselves for the annual November Bisley group photo. A beautiful sunset over the range was tinged with sadness as we packed up the vans and left Bisley Camp. Joel’s Bisley playlist cheered us up as we drove back to Exeter (via KFC, of course) and started counting down the days until Easter Bisley.
Check out more of our photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @uoerifleclub.
Welcome to our new members! It was fantastic to see so many of you at the Freshers’ Fair yesterday and we can’t wait to get stuck into training next week.
Our Committee has had an incredibly busy Freshers’ Week. We spent Monday and Tuesday promoting the Rifle Club on Campus, handing out flyers and talking to new and returning students about what we do. Wednesday and Thursday were dedicated to our Taster Sessions and barbecue – over 150 students came and had a shoot over the two day period! Thursday evening saw the first social of the year, with a ‘Meet and Greet’ evening at The Monkey Suit. The culmination of the week was Saturday’s Freshers’ Fair, where we took over 100 sign-ups for memberships. We are delighted with how the week has panned out, and are very excited to welcome our new members into the club.
For those new members who are yet to connect with us on our social media channels, we’d like to invite you to ‘like’ our Facebook page and join the ‘EURC Socials’ group so that everyone knows what’s going on and when! We’d also encourage everyone to follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@UoERifleClub) – who knows, you might be featured in one of our posts!
If you didn’t make it to the Freshers’ Fair and want to join EURC, come along to training next week to sign up. As usual, we will be training on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 6pm and 9pm.
Welcome again to our new and returning members; we wish you the best of luck with the start of term!
We have released the dates for our hotly anticipated Freshers’ Taster Sessions on our Facebook page along with all you need to know to get involved in Freshers’ Week.