Umarex Boys Club
Join the boys of the U.B.C., for a great weekend at the 2018 Midland Game Fair
Paddy Egan and crew report on the Umarex range success at the Midland
“a week before the show, I had everything packed, labelled and ready to go”
Hi, it’s Paddy Egan, here, one of the founder members of the Umarex Boys Club. Back in February, Umarex asked us if we could run their range at the Midland Game Fair. They would supply the Airguns, CO2, air and pellets, whilst we could use our own targets, set-ups and themes. When it was time to get the team together I asked UBC members, Luke and Ade, if they could help, and then Jason, the club founder. Next on the agenda was targets, so I asked Mark and Paul from Air-Targets if they would like to join us and they gladly accepted – their targets are amazing – and by a week before the show, I had everything packed, labelled and ready to go.
Normally, I like to go the day before to help set up and get a clear picture of the venue, but with this one I had to work on the Friday afternoon, so setting up was left to Mark and Paul, with Bevin and the rest of the Umarex guys.
FUN AT THE FAIR
On the Saturday morning we all met up and sorted out the airguns, including LGV, LGU spring rifles, 850 Magnum, Walther underlevers, CX4 Storm CO2 rifles and RM8 PCPs. We didn’t have the same variety of pistols because they are harder to control safely in such an open, busy environment, but we’d brought the new Glocks and a Beretta 92FS. Generally, at shows like these, rifles are more prominent and that’s something we would like to change in the future.
Mark and I were on the Air-Targets booths, with the Umarex underlever and Beretta Storm – both guns are ideal for the illuminating targets and the public loved it. There were eight circle targets with lights in the middle, which lit up one at a time, randomly. I set the bench mark with 11.06 seconds and a young lad smashed my time with 9.55 seconds. I was happy for him - honest!
Mark was looking after the booth to my left and he had the Beretta Storm. I tried it on the 16 illuminated plate target and boy, was this fun! Mark was extremely good with the public, showing them how to shoot, and he also coached the ladies who soon got into the swing of things.
The range area was very spacious and bigger than some clubs I’ve seen. Unboxing the kit was fun and gave me a chance to familiarise myself with some new stuff. I haven’t had
much experience with PCP rifles, but after some tips from Jason, I was confident enough to be able to demonstrate everything on offer.
The majority of people had some experience of rifles and were knocking down the targets out to about 50 yards without too much trouble. Some of the younger shooters had a little difficulty because we only had adult-sized rifles, but with some help with loading they were able to hit something.
I spent some time with the pistols and found it interesting that virtually all the younger shooters were drawn to these first. I’d estimate that 90% had never shot a pistol before, but some were obviously naturals because they were hitting those mini-terminator figures time and time again. The non-blow-back Glock 19 was very popular and show-goers were pleasantly surprised when told the price was around £99. The Glock 17 with blow-back was available on the Sunday and this was also very popular, especially when people learned it was a pre-production model.
It would have been good to have more variety of pistols, especially as we are primarily promoting pistol shooting, but we’ve already got a plan to present to Umarex, to make the experience even better for people at the British Shooting Show.
Saturday morning began with me learning how to gas-up and load the NBB Glock 19 pistol before demonstrating it. I hadn’t been very excited about the NBB. I already own several airsoft Glocks that I felt no need to replace, but becoming familiar with the NBB 19 quickly changed my mind. I’ve spent some range time with a Glock 23 and 22, and the replica felt just like the real thing. The two Glock 19s fired somewhere near 6000 BBs over the weekend with no failures or stoppages – an impressive performance, and they were extremely gas-efficient getting over 120 shots per bulb.
James from Umarex UK mentioned that they had a couple of blow-back, pellet-firing Glocks on the stand, but he wasn’t sure if they were functional due to being pre-production models that had been to several shows already. They’d had thousands of pellets out through them and days of being relentlessly dry-fired. An hour later, James reappeared with a blow-back Glock and three magazines, we found that it worked flawlessly and were allowed to keep it for the next day’s demonstration.
To my surprise, despite the heavy blow-back I was able to hit the centre of a knock-down target at 10 yards repeatedly, and the shot count of 60-odd was really good for a blowback gun. The Glock was fantastic fun to fire and there were no major issues, aside from a little bit of cool down from being rapid-fired again and again, which we resolved by acquiring another gas mag’ from the Umarex stand. The only downside was that I had to
“I asked her mum to take her to a range and nurture her natural talent”
load 1000 pellets into the magazines, but that was eased by the ingenious built-in pellet seater, which undoubtedly helped with the reliability demonstrated by the pistol.
It was an amazing couple of days, hard work and tiring, but amazing. I spent the weekend on the rifle side of things, and all the guns performed perfectly. Three-quarters of the people I met had never shot before, so I got to see a smile when they first squeezed the trigger and hit a target. The youngsters were even better – they got so excited.
There was a young couple in their early twenties – the boyfriend shot the RM8 and hit five out of eight targets and bragged to his girlfriend, “I bet you wish you could do that!”
“She’ll outshoot you, anyway,” I said and showed her how to shoulder and hold the rifle. After a couple of deep breaths, she hit six out of eight targets. Her boyfriend wasn’t quite so smug after that!
A while later, a little princess come up to me. She was only six and had an angelic smile and huge blue eyes. “Am I big enough to have a go, please?” Like I could say ‘no’ to that! All you dads out there with daughters know the look. Her mum looked petrified, but I reassured her .I have taught hundreds of little ones to shoot. I grabbed an 850 Air-Magnum and explained how to hold, shoot and where to place the cross hairs. On her first shot, a 15-yard spinner spun for all it was worth, followed by three Dalek targets out at about 30 yards. I was impressed, to say the least. Eventually, the only challenge left was a 50-yarder, and I explained that she had to aim above the kill zone to allow for pellet drop, and showed her where to aim. You could have knocked me over with a feather when that light went out. I said “Do that again,” and she did. I asked her mum to take her to a range and nurture her natural talent because she could be a future Olympic champion – good luck, Princess Sniper.
If you didn’t get a chance to shoot with us, have a look on our website where you can meet the gang on the forum and join in our competitions. Happy shooting!
PADDY’S END NOTE:
Thank you to Umarex for putting their trust in us in running their range with our shooting set-ups. I think we did both them and us proud. Thanks also to the guys who gave up their spare time – we never stopped, and we didn’t leave the confines of the range area. People donated generously to the charity box that the Midland Game Fair organisers asked us to put our range and we were later told that we’d raised the most money! What a fantastic weekend we had, made possible by the equally fantastic people in our sport. See you next year, everyone! I
Umarex UBC and Air-Targets - as one.
A ffne selection of Umarex rifles.
Star Wars plates.
Nice sniper hold there.
Even the dog was focused on target.
I was rather busy at times.
Air-Targets portable shooting booths