DAD AND HIS LAD

Tim Fin­ley and son ex­pe­ri­ence the de­lights of a proper shoot­ing club

Airgun World - - Tim Finley -

Shoot­ing in your back gar­den is fine, as long as it’s done safely, of course, but I can­not rec­om­mend enough for shoot­ers to join an air­gun shoot­ing club. I joined one in the 1980s and never looked back. Shoot­ing clubs have come a long way since I started, and I wanted my son Ge­orge to ex­pe­ri­ence a proper, pro­fes­sional club en­vi­ron­ment with his new HW30 S spring ri­fle. The South York­shire Shoot­ing Club is such a place, so I booked a cou­ple of lanes as a non-mem­ber. The club has 16 in­door lanes, and even has its own café – park­ing is free and it’s open seven days a week. It’s all very civilised in­deed. The com­fort­able café area leads into the club’s premier 33-yard long, six-lane air­gun shoot­ing range, fit­ted out with a whole host of metal tar­gets, elec­tronic mov­ing pa­per tar­get hold­ers, even CCTV sys­tems to check out where your pel­lets are hit­ting and there are com­fort­able benches and seats to shoot from.

I liked the pa­per sys­tem be­cause it is man­u­ally op­er­ated so you can set the zero where you need, and on the back wall of the big range be­low the view­ing win­dow, there’s an air­gun tra­jec­tory in­for­ma­tion sheet – very use­ful and in­for­ma­tive. Stairs then lead up to a new, benchrest-style, 33-yard range, and that’s where we were booked into.

TASTER SES­SION

The club of­fers a taster ses­sion for peo­ple want­ing to get into shoot­ing, so if you’ve never even shot be­fore you can get a feel for air­gun shoot­ing in a very safe, con­trolled way. It’s a £35 one-off fee for adults, and £30 for ju­niors aged nine-plus, for a one-hour ses­sion with a range mar­shal giv­ing in­struc­tion on the skills of be­com­ing a com­pe­tent air­gun shooter. They go for nine years of age be­cause by then, chil­dren should be able to sit at the shoot­ing benches at SYSC and con­trol a rested gun. Ge­orge is ten, so it was all good to go for us.

Af­ter a taster ses­sion, you can choose to be­come a mem­ber, the cost of which is £55 a year for an adult – ju­niors pay £50.

Once a mem­ber, you are en­ti­tled to use all the club’s fa­cil­i­ties and there’s al­ways some­one at SYSC. Book­ing a shoot­ing lane for an hour costs £8, and it does get very busy. Air cylin­ders are pro­vided for PCPs, and to hire a ri­fle costs an­other £8 an hour, but not for su­per­vised ju­niors – their club gun hire is free. This is an­other way in which SYSC ac­tively goes out of their way to get young­sters into shoot­ing. Well done, I say! I could come back with Ge­orge to book a PCP for him to shoot, even as a non-mem­ber.

Down­stairs, next to the gun shop area, they also have a four-lane, 13-yard pis­tol range. Two of the lanes have Olympic ri­fle and pis­tol tar­get set-ups, and the other two lanes have metal tar­gets for a bit of ‘fast-fire fun’ with BB CO2 pis­tols. I liked the look of that, be­ing a big

I know we were at a shoot­ing range. but I in­sisted on Ge­orge wear­ing eye pro­tec­tion.

Ge­orge loves the shoot­ing range.

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