Stourport On Severn Pistol & Rifle Club Newsletter
M L A G B Newsletter
Welcome to the MLAGB July 2018 Newsletter
Another month has slipped by, and we are enjoying some great weather right now (or by the time you read this we HAD some great weather ......
It has been another busy month for the Practical Shooters, with 3 Speed Steel Events, the usual Bianchi day, but also UKPSA Postal Competitions in Shotgun and LBF (.22 s/a Rifle, LBR, LBP). We had good turn outs for all of the competitions, with some excellent scores. Have a great July, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and make the most of time on the range.
SPRC Newsletter Team
Events for July
Sunday 1st - Guest Day - 0930
Sunday 8th - Practical Shooting (Bianchi) - 0930
Thursday 12th - Speed Steels - 1800
Thursday 26th - Speed Steels - 1800
Sunday 29th - UKPSA LBF Postal Round 3 - 0930
BLACK POWDER MATTERS.
Important to read this if you shoot Muzzle-loaders.
I apologise for the length of this part of the mail, but it IS important.
I have received an e-mail from Rick Wells, Head of Range Services, NRA which says .. “I know that you are very active in the BP Pistol world and therefore thought I should pre-warn you that we, the NRA, are in the process of adopting MLAGB regulations. As they are a fellow governing body we believe this is the correct route to take and will be consulting them on all matter BP.”
On the face of it this seems to be a sensible move but there does not appear to have been any discussion in the NRA Shooting Committee about this, or informal meetings with “interested parties” and such a move may have a wider knock-on effect than just the use of Black Powder -- especially in NRA-affiliated Clubs. Another point is that Black Powder is not ONLY used by muzzle-loaders: early breech-loaders use it (or substitutes) so it would not be logical for the NRA to “be consulting them on all matter BP.”
This announcement may in part be related to a longstanding discussion about the use of Powder flasks, which are banned in MLAGB Rules, requiring firers to use vials with measured charges. Obviously, this would lead to more accuracy (especially for single-shot pistols and rifles) but the reason for the ban on powder flasks is ostensibly for safety. Many Club level shooters use flasks with revolvers and could therefore be affected by the adoption of the “ban”. If anyone has any data on accidents caused by the use of flasks when REVOLVERS are in use I would be grateful for that information.
However, I am concerned that MLAGB Rules have over the years focussed more and more upon the perceived requirements of the MLAIC and their “best 10 of 13 shots in 30 minutes” course of fire, which does not seem to attract the majority of revolver shooters. Some NRA Matches (at the Imperial Meeting and Trafalgar) use more dynamic courses evolved from the older courses pre-Dunblane - and even pre-WW1 - as do the “RP Meetings” which have been run over the last 3 years. One would hope that these would continue … and I am sure that they will, albeit that some changes are needed in order to recognise what has happened with “handguns” (I hate that Americanism!) in the last 20 years.
Current NRA Rules are simplistic where M-L Pistols are concerned.
A Muzzle Loading Pistol is defined by NRA Rule 173, viz. “As permitted under the 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act” and Rule 174 requires originals to use B.P.
This means that everything from a cheap Italian repro Colt type worth £50 to a £1000+ specialised target version such as the Feinwerkbau revolver is lumped together with single-shot pistols and also what I call the “Modern Muzzle-Loaders” such as the Westlake.
Certain NRA Courses are obviously suitable for different types and “grades” of pistol … e.g. the Slowfire “SCOTT”, and others only suitable for “repeating” pistols … e.g., the GRANET - but if they are all in the same “Class” then human nature being what it is, it is less likely that someone with a “basic bundhook” would fancy setting up against someone with a “Formula 1”, hence a possible reason for the declining numbers of entries for ML pistol.
MLAGB Rules do NOT permit the use of Black Powder substitutes in their competitions.
In many Clubs the use of BP is not permitted, thus denying members the chance to practice for MLAGB competitions, one possible reason for the decreasing entries in the MLAGB “Nationals” for Pistol and Revolver and, of course giving a good reason for someone NOT to join the Association.
The MLAGB Rules take no notice of the post-Dunblane developments in “smokeless muzzle-loaders”. These firearms may be converted 19th Century designs principally using the #209 shotgun primer ranging all the way up to modern-looking DA revolvers (such as the Westlake) and then on to the “Patriot” block-loader. They attract many of the shooters in the Clubs so it is logical that the NRA if adopting MLAGB Rules should ALSO ensure that their Rules attract them as well. IF the MLAGB recognised these developments they might well get more members and by recognising what is being shot elsewhere and adding to their Programme they might also get more entries / income – something which would benefit us all.
MLAGB Rules do NOT permit the use of Powder flasks in their competitions.
How might that affect us? Many Clubs allow the use of powder flasks, and in practice this is mainly for REVOLVERS in pistol ranges, but I think that it is very common for shotgunners. Some people used fillers in revolver charges (a sensible way of increasing accuracy by using reduced charges) and many would have TWO “flasks” – one for powder and one for filler. Would the use of a “FILLER” flask be difficult to police? Or would ALL flasks be banned? Some flintlock shooters use a special Priming flask and one can also get reproductions of the 19th Century NIPPLE primer which is, in effect, a miniature flask. How would these be treated? Apart from the fact that it could put off a number of people from shooting if they are obliged to use vials or to use an intermediate (single-charge) receptacle between flask and revolver the real issue is that of Insurance. At present if a MLAGB member uses a powder flask in a competition / activity organised by the Association or one of its Branches they are not covered by the MLAGB Insurance policy -- they would need to rely upon the policy in use by their Club or Association or an individual policy.
MLAGB Rules do NOT permit the use of a two-hand hold for pistol events.
It would also seem to be logical to admit 2-handed shooting in parallel with the offhand courses, especially as we all seem to be getting older ;-).
What if the NRA just adopt the MLAGB Rules as they stand?
There are two aspects:-
(1) Firearms: one would hope that the NRA would rationalise their definition of a Muzzle-Loading pistol to cover all types now in use. I certainly cannot see them restricting things to what is in the MLAGB Regs.
(2) Black Powder – ban on the use of powder flasks: That could have repercussions as – logically – if the NRA had a global ban on the direct loading of firearms from a Powder Flask (because that is what is in the MLAGB Rules) – then anyone using one might not be insured.
Thank you for getting this far … ... … I do hope that you all realise that I am NOT “knocking” the NRA or MLAGB. I joined the MLA in about 1964 when things were very different. I was involved with the NPA “Classics” and a member of NRA Council and the Pistol Sub-Committee for some years: I wrote the R&Rs for much of what is now the basis for the NRA “Historic Arms Meetings”, trying to make sure that there was an opportunity for as many types of Historic firearm to be used (and thus for a person to have a “good reason” for the slot on their FAC).
I am still firmly of the opinion that every target-shooter should belong to a National Body -- and that ideally we ought to only have one! Pie in the sky?
What I am REALLY worried about is the gradual decline of our sport – how can we stop it, and also attract younger people? One possibility is to make things cheaper and also more dynamic – without, of course, losing our tradition of International target-shooting at all levels and in many Disciplines. Adopting restrictive regulations will not help us - should we not offer the widest possible opportunity for individuals to use those firearms which are still available to us (although the latest Offensive Weapons Bill on its way through Parliament might be the next thin end of the wedge to have even more of our target-shooting traditions taken away from us).
SHOOTING & TRAINING
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Items For Sale
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Contact Rob Forbes
The Air Weapon Review: The Director met (with representatives of BSSC), the Home Office Minister, Nick Hurd, on 26th March and made a presentation on air weapons. The presentation covered the recent Home Office safety leaflet, of which we, and our members, are currently circulating some 80,000 copies, the need for better education of both the police and the airgun owning public, the possible revival of the GTA Airgun Range in a Box scheme, the need for better law enforcement and encouragement for more prosecutions by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
The question of licensing was addressed and the Director pointed out to the Minister the cost involved in licensing. Some B million hours of 'back office' work, for the 4 million airgun owners, would require 22 new people in all 41 forces, the cost of staff alone would amount to f500,000 per annum for a five year period.
The Minister and the Home Office commented that our presentation was 'very clear' and they were listening. We await an answer from the Minister when the Review has been adequately studied. At present the timescale is not known as the Government has many other pressing issues including addressing the new crime figures which show a rise in both knife and gun crime.
A new EU Regulation (EU) 2018/337 was published on 5th March 2018 and comes into force on 28th June 2018. This new Regulation was also discussed with the Minister on 26th March and the consensus of opinion is that there is little that the UK can do at present to make changes. This Regulation, which is direct acting, changes, yet again, some of the specifications for de-activated firearms. In effect it will mean that some de-acs, to the 2016 specification, will now have to be re-deactivated to meet the new specs before being placed on the market.This will mean very considerable hardship for those companies which sell de-activated firearms and will further diminish the value of those de-activated to the latest spec as these items become less and less attractive to the collector
EU 91/477 Firearms Directive: The finalised version of the revised EU 91/477 Firearms Directive has been published and the new Directive, 2017/853, is now in force. The UK is now obliged to transpose the regulations into national legislation and must meet several dates to accomplish this. The first of these dates is 14.09.'18 for Member States (MS), to have in place electronic means of exchange of information. A further date for MS to have in place an electronic system that allows RFDs to immediately notify transfers to the Authorities is set for 14.12;19. A link to the Directive may be found here:
We are still unaware of what Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will mean to the Directive and the UK until we see the result of the Government's position.
GDPR: ln the centre pages you will see some comments, and some questions and answers, on the new data protection legislation, GDPR, which comes into force on May 25th this year. GDPR appears to be a minefield for the unwary and we would suggest careful reading of the documents available before any action is taken.
Edward Klng: On a final note I would like to pay personal tribute to Edward King who has served unstintingly as GTA Chairman for more than a decade. Edward has given so much of his time to the Association that 'thank you' hardly fits the occasion. Edward is modest in his acceptance of praise but on this occasion, I feel that we should recognise his help and support over the years by shouting his praise and contribution to the GTA from the rooftops. I know that I shall miss his advice and his wise words.
UKPSA Postal Competitions
We had 10 people shoot 3 Stages of the second round of the UKPSA Postal Competition, with some excellent scoring. For Round 2 of the UKPSA LBF Postal we had 8 Rifle Shooters along with some LBR and LBP entrants complete 4 stages, again with some excellent shooting. These scores will be entered for the individual and team competitions and we will report back once the 4 rounds are complete.
Several Speed Steel events have run through June. Individual scores were sent out to competitors - and on average 10 shooters turned out for these shoots.