SOSP&RC Newsletter

Stourport On Severn Pistol & Rifle Club Newsletter 

M L A G B Newsletter

Welcome to the MLAGB February 2018 Newsletter

Hello Members

Another month slipped by and we are now looking froward to the weather improving and making shooting more pleasant. At the UKPSA AGM Stourport Pistol & Rifle Club had 2 people collecting Medals for the Summer Postal Competitions.

Rob Forbes took 2nd Place for the LBR competition.

Graeme Cooper took 1st Place in the Rifle Standard Competition.

A great result for the club, and we had high numbers shooting in each UKPSA competition. We would like to have even more entrants in 2018, so come along and support the shoots.  Email sprcpractical@gmail.com for details.

We have shot the UKPSA Winter Postal Competitions for Shotgun and LBF, with a great turnout and some good shooting.  See Results Section below for more details.

Good news just in for ALL pistol shooters; you can use use any iron sighted, muzzle loading pistol or revolver loaded with nitro OR black powders in Midland League comps. (DON’T use both at the same time as it might spoil your gun as well as your fingers!) This will be a great help especially to any member interested in taking up some competitive shooting as it avoids the need for a BP certificate. Happy shooting, (smokeless or smelly)

SHOOTING AT COMMONWEALTH GAMES BIRMINGHAM

All shooting has been airbrushed out of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. This despite a number of the smaller countries lobbying hard for them to be included.The reason given is that there are no suitable facilities in the area and so the events would have to be held at Bisley which is the world mecca for target shooting where they regularly hold international competitions for small and full-bore rifle and shotgun. It’s a long way: 130 miles.  But not as far as the London Velodrome for the cycling events.   Also, the Manchester games in 2002 had all of their shooting events at Bisley and you can’t tell me that Manchester is closer to Bisley than Birmingham!

The 2012 London Olympics had to have shooting included to mount a successful bid and they also refused to use Bisley (<40 miles away) preferring instead to build a brand-new range at Woolwich Barracks which was bulldozed after the games. Cynics would say that this was deliberate act to ensure that there was no legacy infrastructure for the shooting sports after the games (mandatory for other sports).  Whatever, it was a clear sign that the writing was on the wall and funding for shooting has been progressively cut.

Here's a petition that aims to get the shooting sports re-instated for 2022 : https://tinyurl.com/y8gwjp3g


BASC Action Alert

Home Office review of airgun legislation - consultation ends 6 February

Dear Mr

The Home Office is currently reviewing airgun legislation in England and Wales. The review, which concerns airgun security, manufacturing standards and access by young people, opened to the public on 12 December 2017 and submissions close on 6 February. BASC has responded robustly to the review and is encouraging members to submit their own views to the consultation (email link below). More information about the review can be found here

We have highlighted the following points:

• Current legislation already addresses the issue of storage and under-18 access

• Airgun fatalities are extremely rare. The Home Office has been able to identify only four involving minors since 2005. A national licensing system would lack proportionality

• Airgun manufacturers already supply products that are safe, fit for purpose and fully comply with firearm and consumer laws. If an airgun is modified without proper authority, then the person making the modifications is responsible, not the manufacturer

• The police already struggle to properly service existing certificate holders and simply do not have the resources to deal with millions of additional certificates

• Airgun restrictions would have unintended consequences including a collapse in sales for the trade and a loss of opportunity for young people to learn marksmanship and proper firearms handling. Restrictions could also undermine conservation efforts as airguns are used to control grey squirrel populations.

Members should submit their own email responses by 6 February to firearmsconsultations@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Thank you for your support.

Some Information on Nitro Propellants - If you Reload you need to read this explanation lifted from Full-Bore UK

With regard to propellants, the REACH proposals are implemented as of 01.06.2018 which means any non-compliant products cannot be imported into the country / EU on or after that date. Anything arrived and through customs before that date is OK and can still enter the distribution / retail chain.

Edgar Brothers is still ordering affected products and hopes to get as much as possible in before the axe falls, and no doubt odd tins will still turn up in retailers' cupboard in 20 (50?) years time given the number of ancient steel grey-painted tins of ICI Nobel powders around that have somehow survived. The problem Edgars have is that they already have literally thousands of pounds of Hodgdon powder on back order whose chances of eventual delivery even without the REACH cut-off is small to nil. (Let's be honest and just say nil!) So, although some more is going to arrive, it won't last long. All European manufactured grades are OK - so Viht, Nitrochemie (Reload Swiss), Alliant ATK Reloder rifle grades (all made by Bofors and Nitrochemie), Ramshot (manufactured by PB Clermont in Belgium, part of the SNPE Eurenco group); SNPE Vectan are compliant.

Losing their CE certification as of 1st June next year are:
All Hodgdon ADI Manufactured extruded grades (also includes two IMR branded grades - 8208 XBR and Trail Boss), so H4198 through to H1000 and Retumbo 'gone'.

All General Dynamics St. Marks Powder Florida factory grades bar maybe a couple - all Winchester powders and nearly all Hodgdon 'spherical' powders are non-compliant. Hodgdon Lil Gun is compliant, and there is a question mark re the most recent introduction - H. CFE223. So, H335, BL-C(2), H414 and so-called 'Hybrid' powders made by St Marks (H100V and a few more), H. Super and Lever ... formance spherical powders will no longer be imported from the middle of next year.

All 'legacy' IMR powders made by General Dynamics Canada, in Valleyfield, Quebec are non-compliant, ie the traditional grades made by the Du Pont Corporation in the USA and taken to Canada under new ownership are non-compliant. Ie IMR-4198 through to IMR-7828 and including many old favourites such as 3031, 4895, and 4064.

GD Canada has introduced five new 'green' pistol / revolver grades and four rifle grades that are all REACH compliant, although not all may have been CE certified under the new standards yet. In rifle propellants, that's the new IMR 'Enduron' quartet - and I would hope that this number will be expanded but have no hard information as to whether that is a possibility. The Endurons are: IMR-4166 (H4895 / VarGet replacement); 4451 (vice IMR/H4350); 4955 (vice IMR-4831/H4831); 7977 (vice IMR-7828/H1000). 4166, 4451, and 7977 are CE certified and available now - having tried them, I'm impressed and reckon they will fill many gaps. IMR-4955 has only recently been introduced and hasn't got here yet.

UKPSA Winter Postal

We have completed the UKPSA Winter Postal Competitions for Practical Shotgun and LBF. W e had 10 entrants for Shotgun and 14 for LBF - 7 shooting Rifle Open, 2 Rifle Standard, 2 LBR and 3 LBP - a great selection and good representation from the club.

Shoots for February

Sunday 4th - Guest Day

Sunday 11th - Practical Shooting - B Range

Saturday 24th - Speed Steels - A Range - 0900 -

Contact Rob Forbes to book a place 

The scores will be submitted - watch this space for results !

SHOOTING & TRAINING

Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from Shooting & Training Division.

To get in touch, please call 01483 797 777 x 160,139,146,149 or email: shooting@nra.org.uk

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RANGE SERVICES

Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from the Range Office.

To get in touch with Rick Wells, please call 01483 797 777 x 182 or email: richard.wells@nra.org.uk

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MEMBERSHIP

Click on the More info link below to find out the latest news from Membership.

To get in touch with the Membership Team, please call 01483 797 777 x 122, 138, 142, 162 or email: membership@nra.org.uk

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NRA DISCIPLINES

Click on the link below to find out the latest news from the NRA Discipline Reps.

To find out more about any NRA discipline, please email: disciplines@nra.org.uk

2018 Events

Guest Days will be the first Sunday of each month commencing 4 February.

Please see below the provisional shoot dates arranged for 2018.  These will also be sent out on email to all members on the Practical Shooting mailing list.  You should check any dates closer to the event to ensure there have been no changes.

The dates marked ‘Practical Shooting’ will be events such as Bianchi Shooting etc – see Rob or Mark for further details.

The UKPSA Winter Postal Competitions need to be shot on 1 day – 13 stages – which will require some management but can be done.  Shotgun will be on Saturday 20 th January and LBF (.22 s/a Rifle, LBP, LBR) on Sunday 28 th January – subject to enough people wanting to shoot.

In 2017 we had excellent entries for the UKPSA Summer Postal Competitions – but not everyone shot in every round which affected their overall positions.

We are sending out the provisional dates for the whole year – subject to receiving the courses of fire in time – so that hopefully people can plan and attend all 4 rounds of Shotgun or LBF (or both)

If you have any queries or questions please get in touch

As reported previously, Stourport did exceptionally well in the UKPSA Postal Competitions in 2017.In 2018 we have entered the Winter and Summer Postal Leagues.Would be great to have a large number of entries for the LBF (.22 SA Rifle, Underlever Rifle, LBR or LBP) - and for those people to shoot the Winter Postal and all 4 Rounds of the

Summer Postal.  All dates are listed in this Newsletter for your diary.

Note -  for the UKPSA Events you should email sprcpractical@gmail.com to ensure the competition is running and confirm your attendance.  These competitions will only run if sufficient people are interested.  Also dates may need to be moved due to relying on the courses of fire being received from the UKPSA.

Report on West Mercia & Warwickshire Firearms & Explosives Licencing Independent Advisory Group Meeting on 23rd November 2017 27th July 2017.

Long Barrel Pistols I advised after the last meeting in July that it was illegal to loan or let anyone use a long barrel pistol not on their licence. I had asked for clarification as – like much firearms legislation – it was an anomaly. In short, do not expect any changes. As stated previously:- It is illegal for long barrelled revolvers (or any long barrelled pistol) to be borrowed at a range for use by any other club member. If you own a long barrelled pistol only you can use it! Licencing Very pleased to report that processing of renewals and new applications has reduced from the backlog of 7,400 to a 1,000 which represents a maximum waiting time of 3 months. Therefore, get your renewals in promptly you receive your renewal notice. No new temporary permits are now required. In fairness, this has been a good turnaround, let us hope it continues. One development is that due to very wide fluctuations in the numbers of various applications per year, 2017 being a “high” year, shotgun certificate holders applying for renewals are being asked over the next few months if they will take a shorter period for their licence from the normal 5 years to 3 or 4 (at pro-rata fees) to smooth things out for future years. If there are not sufficient takers, they are to move on to firearms licence holders. If they do, I see problems for coterminous licences. The Warwickshire / West Mercia licencing web-site is continuing to improve. Any changes or additions are being notified to Clubs and Dealers via email, therefore we should all get notifications early. They are trying to set up a forum for Clubs and Dealers to comment, which is very proactive for them! Can only be useful if it works. They have promised to have on-line licence renewal applications and payments working by August 2018. Next was the issue of GP letters for renewals. They on line application / renewal forms are to show a full list of illnesses, etc., on their application forms for which a doctors letter is required. Some horror stories were given (not by police) of the situation in Lincolnshire whereby GP’s were stating if their fees were not paid, they would advise police that the applicant was not suitable, i.e. blackmail! This appears to have been stamped on. The Thames Valley GP’s were advising the police that applicants “may or may not be suitable to hold firearms” to remove any associated liability to them in the event of an incident. If anyone is still having problems with licence renewals, please let me know. Offensive Weapons Legislation Consultation There were no comments regarding acid / corrosive materials and knives for this proposal, other than it is badly worded. However, the proposed firearms sections produced a very active debate as follows:-

1. Banning of .50 Cal Weapons The police stated at the meeting that they have “little influence” over legislation, although they have been asked to comment. They said they merely have to implement the law with regards to licencing. 2 The huge anomalies in the proposals were pointed out, particularly as there has been an amendment to “include other similar high powered rifles”. It was pointed out that .50 Cal rifles would include black powder, so would they be banned as well? Black powder rifles can go up to .75 Cal and beyond. Are they going to try to ban heavy sporting game rifles? Other “high power” rifles in other calibres are not defined, although their main concern seems to be the Browning and Barrett M107, one of which was stolen this year. These is can use anti-materiel bullets i.e. armour piercing, expanding and tracer, but I don’t think any licence holder has permission for that ammo! Barrett also do sniper rifles in .338 and .400 Cal which also have effective ranges of 2,000 yards. The .50 Cal is 57 inches long and weighs 28.5 lbs, plus ammo clip of 4.17 lbs. Not exactly easy to cart around for terrorists. It appears they are concerned at terrorists getting their hands on high powered sniper weapons, but I asked how many terrorists have used such weapons for sniping over the past 25 years or so in the UK and Europe – none it appears. Sniping was carried out in Northern Ireland during the troubles, but using different weapons. Terrorists (and to a much lesser extent criminals) have used close quarter weapons in this country and Europe for their atrocities, favourites being AK’s. It is obvious AK’s and similar are relatively easy for terrorists to obtain abroad as they seem to favour auto weapons for maximum destruction. I suggested if they are trying to ban any “high power rifles”, they need to specify a full definition (max 10,000 ft muzzle energy?). Better still to actually specify the individual weapons they want to ban. The ammo situation is already covered. This will not, of course, affect terrorists who will obtain whatever weapons and ammo they want illegally. It is the normal knee jerk reaction to something that has not happened. I suggested – and all non-police persons present considered these to be fair and accurate reasons – for the Public Consultation to be poorly presented, not evidence based and is fatally flawed. The Impact Assessment in the Consultation suggesting only a few would be affected is rubbish, with their estimate of costs way below what they would actually be due to the much higher number of weapons which would actually be banned. It was suggested to the police that this would make a rod for their own back due to lack of proper definition, making it very hard to implement. The Home Office should go back to the drawing board and issue a proper and meaningful Consultation document instead of the current one. There was a certain tacit agreement from the Firearms Dept. that there will be problems in its current form.

2. Manually Actuated Release Systems (MARS) The general opinion was that if the only problem was to ban the VZ58 MARS Rifle, then specify this in the legislation, including the Cal of the weapons. Most such weapons use a double trigger release or trigger and lever for each round fired. Yes they can fire rapidly, but any terrorist or criminal would want to use a fully automatic weapon such as the AK47 or 74 which can be set to single shot with one trigger pull or empty the clip by keeping your finger down giving a rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. Many of us own an under-lever rifle (explained to the new Superintendent as “the type John Wayne used”) which could come under the definition of MARS, as these fire rapidly. So too, does my semi-auto shotgun. There was no history of any crimes being committed using a licenced MARS rifle in the UK. If there is a genuine problem, spell it out and give something evidence based. Yet again, the Consultation is seriously flawed, as is the Impact Assessment with estimated costs far too low and totally wrong. 3 Proposed Legislation for Antique Firearms I confess to knowing too little about antique firearms and “old” calibre ammo to have given any meaningful contribution. However, I would ask Club members to let me know what they consider to be any flaws in the proposed legislation and I will do my best to pass on constructive information, etc. Overall Please, every member should write to the Home Office and their MP giving the reasons for this Consultation to be poorly worded, presented not evidence based and specify why. If it would help for anyone to receive a copy of this document in Word format to assist, just ask. The proposed legislation if unchallenged will give a dangerous legacy to all shooters.

Sorry for the length of this report, but it is necessary to give as much information as possible.

PLEASE SEE BELOW INFORMATION RE FIREARMS LICENSING

Home Office Consultation - Firearms Licensing Fees 16th February 2017
The Home Office opened a public consultation in regards to the proposed changes to Firearms Licensing Fees. We have set out below various points for you to consider when responding to the consultation which covers proposed fees for Section 5 dealers and carriers, Museums, Olympic and Commonwealth Games shooters (pistol) as well as Approved Shooting Clubs and other licences.
Club Approval fees are proposed to rise from £84 to £1050 for a grant and £900 for a renewal lasting six years. It is vitally important that clubs and individuals respond before the 9th March 2017. There may be insufficient room on the online consultation document for all your comments so we advise you send a covering letter / email if needed. The Consultation Document can be found here and the Impact Assessment can be found here. For best effect, please send a copy of your response to your local MP. Better still, if you have the time and can get an appointment please visit your MP at their surgery to discuss your points.

Points you might like to make (in your own words);

Home Office Approval of clubs claims to be a 'matter of public safety'. If this is the case then the cost should be paid out of the public purse from general taxation. If this argument fails then we should be pressing for inflation based (RPI) increase since the fees were set in 1995. This would lead to an increase from £84 to £152 for a six year approval. We do not accept that shooting in general and un-certified shooters in particular present an increased risk to public safety. Indeed, approved clubs are legally required to inform the Police when an individual first applies to join the club and are generally under one-to-one supervision until they have proved themselves safe and competent. The Home Office has failed to provide any detailed justification for these proposed huge increases. When FAC/SGC fees were being revised last time the Home Office provided a detailed breakdown of the number of minutes different grades of Firearms Enquiry Officers in the police spent on each part of the process of the grant/renewal. They haven't this time which leads to the suspicion that they would struggle to justify their figures. The British Shooting Sports Council has asked the Home Office for this information on behalf of all Shooting Organisations.

Most of the work involved with club approvals is undertaken by the Police. The Home Office no longer send out reminders when club approval is due for renewal (cost saving). They only send a letter requesting payment once the police recommend approval and then send the formal approval document once payment is received. In other words they provide limited administrative support to the process. The Police have a list of questions as part of their enquiries which takes a maximum 20 minutes to answer. In some Police forces where their intelligence databases indicate there are no problems with the club they will deal with the questions by telephone and not carry out a club visit. Clearly the time taken on the above enquiries and the salaries of staff making them cannot justify the proposed fees. Even if the staff costs were trebled to include overheads they still come nowhere near the costs claimed. The Home Office is based in a very expensive part of London for office rental costs, which means higher overheads, although in view of their limited input to the process it is unlikely to make a big difference. The 'Impact Assessment' claims that the police role which involves interviews, possible club visits and report writing, currently costs £69,000 per year while the Home Office costs are claimed to be £596,000 per year for a bit of administrative support. Although limited numbers of licences are granted for Olympic and Commonwealth Games pistol shooters it is proposed that a fee of £470 will be charged for a three year licence. Firstly, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games cycles are each of four years, so a three year licence is of no use and a five year licence would be much more sensible which would bring it into line with normal FAC's.

The shooters are sponsored by British Shooting which limits the need for additional security checks on the individuals involved. There are more rigorous requirements on the storage, transport and use of pistols. None of this adds up to much additional work by the Police or Home Office. In summary please respond to the consultation right away and make sure you do it well before the 9th March deadline. Please also send a copy to your MP. Do not leave it to somebody else, encourage every club member to take part and have your say.

SPRC Newsletter Team