15 April 2016

Shooting trip: Full-bore Training

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At Easter, the CCF shooting section took part in a four-day full-bore training trip at Bisley Camp. The trip was especially anticipated by me as it was my first time shooting full-bore rifles after three years shooting small-bore.

On the way to Bisley, Mr West informed me that I would need every skill I had acquired through small-bore shooting in order to fire a full-bore rifle. It turned out that this was far from the extent of what I would require to practice this new discipline.

I had not fully grasped the substantial difference between the two kinds of shooting until I saw the vast six-hundred yard range stretched out before me at Bisley and compared it to our 25 yard range back home in Sevenoaks. Almost everything in full-bore shooting is scaled up from small-bore; the round, the target, the range. I quickly learnt that the pace of full-bore was greatly accelerated to that of small-bore; we were never idle. We shot three to four times a day each, for the rest of the seven hours out on the range we cleaned rifles, filled out our scorecards or marked targets. All of this was physically taxing in a way that small-bore shooting isn’t.

Shooting fully exposed to the elements was also new to me, and far more testing. With the help of the more experienced shooters, I got to grips with new concepts such as adjusting for the direction of the wind or getting used to the enormous difference in recoil from the rifles I had previously shot (something my fellow shooters found highly amusing). For me, this actually made for a more exciting experience.

By the end of the three full days of shooting it’s needless to say we were exhausted. Nonetheless, this in no way affected the immense enjoyment of this rare opportunity to fire these larger calibre rifles. I can now say that the wait was fully worth it.

Dominic Wilks

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