Gary Chilling­worth reports on the RSN10 Air Arms Memo­rial Shoot

Gary Chilling­worth reports on one of the high­lights of the com­pe­ti­tion year

Air Gunner - - Contents -

One of my favourite shoots of the year is the Air Arms RSN10 memo­rial shoot. This event has be­come a ‘must do’ com­pe­ti­tion for the vast ma­jor­ity of HFT shoot­ers, and there is no doubt that it has achieved al­most cult sta­tus in our lit­tle com­mu­nity. The shoot is a memo­rial shoot in mem­ory of Bob Ni­cholls; Bob was the founder of Air Arms and the fa­ther of the cur­rent MD, Claire West.

The event it­self is prob­a­bly the most civilised event of the year. As you ar­rive, you are ush­ered into a won­der­ful club­house where ba­con rolls and drinks are avail­able. Then, af­ter the safety brief, you are al­lo­cated to shoot ei­ther the blue or red course – you will shoot both dur­ing the day. Af­ter you have shot your al­lo­cated course, it’s time to re­turn to the club­house for lunch and a nat­ter, and when you are fully re­freshed, you head out to shoot the other course, then af­ter com­plet­ing the two cour­ses it’s time for tea.

Now, tea has be­come a huge tra­di­tion for the RSN10 and, to be hon­est, yes there are sand­wiches and sausage rolls, but what there is in huge abun­dance is cake. There is no bet­ter sight then watch­ing a huge throng of hun­gry shoot­ers sit­ting down with slabs of choco­late cake and happy faces. As I said, this is prob­a­bly the most civilised way of shoot­ing HFT in the coun­try to­day, and I think this con­cept of shoot­ing plus cake should be ex­panded.


The ac­tual event was an ut­ter suc­cess as usual. The ever-youth­ful Andy Simp­son and his team of min­ions had spent the week set­ting out the two, 25-shot cour­ses, and they had done a ster­ling job. It has to be said that Andy will be a huge loss to the course-set­ting com­mu­nity. This event was his fi­nal swan­song be­cause af­ter many years of set­ting cour­ses for the HFT World Cham­pi­onships, Na­tional Cham­pi­onships, South­ern Hunters, SiHFT and many oth­ers, he has de­cided to take a well earned rest and I, for one, will miss shoot­ing his cre­ations. I will not miss the tears that I of­ten shed af­ter coming off one of his cour­ses, though. It is ru­moured that he drinks the tears of HFT shoot­ers to keep him­self young. Per­son­ally, I don’t be­lieve this, but it is pos­si­ble.

The two cour­ses set were the lake course, and the woods. The lake course that we started on was a beast with range traps and a field sec­tion that took no pris­on­ers. As you ar­rived in the field, the first tar­get that you saw was a 40- yard, 25mm lol­lipop that was 20 feet up a pole. With a wind blow­ing from left to right this tar­get was a real bum­clencher and as you looked through the scope there was a real chance that you could miss the tar­get com­pletely. I was lucky and man­aged to knock it down, but two groups back was for­mer Na­tional cham­pion, Richard Woods, who went to take the shot and as he pulled the trig­ger, we could all hear the deaf­en­ing sound of si­lence as his pel­let sailed past the tar­get for a big fat miss. Now, I don’t tell you this to brag about killing the tar­get with my springer, I tell it, purely to poke a bit of fun at Richard and to show how tricky this course was.


The lake sec­tion was vis­ually stun­ning, but was dif­fi­cult to shoot. When you are in wood­land, you can pick a point halfway to the tar­get, rangefind it, then dou­ble, and you won’t be far off, but with open wa­ter, this isn’t re­ally pos­si­ble and it makes rang­ing tar­gets dif­fi­cult. The wood­land course was also dif­fi­cult. I would tell you more about it, but as it de­stroyed my score and any chance of win­ning the trophy, I am des­per­ately try­ing to block it from my mem­ory be­cause it makes me very sad.

The RSN10 is not just about top shoot­ers, though. It’s about get­ting ev­ery­one to­gether to have fun and shoot and it doesn’t mat­ter if you shoot an Air Arms, Daystate, Steyr, BSA or even SMK – if you love shoot­ing and cake, then you are very, very wel­come.

There were some shoot­ers who took to the chal­lenge and showed they were a cut above the rest, and the 2018 win­ners were as fol­lows:

In the Open Class, Jack Houghtonh won with an HFT 500; in the Ladies, Karen O’Mara was vic­to­ri­ous with her Pro-Sport; in the Re­coil­ing, Danny Roff took the ti­tle with a TX200HR, and the Vet­er­ans was taken (as usual) by Mike Burgess with his FTP900. The .22 was taken by Jason Lockett with his S400, and the Ju­niors went to Scott Sommerville also with a S400. This is the first time in eight years that all the win­ners were us­ing Air Arms ri­fles, and Claire West could not have been hap­pier.

There was also a raf­fle and a plethora of goodie bags handed out, and the big prize of a HFT 500 was won by Wen­dover shooter, Simon Mar­riott.

The RSN10 is a won­der­ful day out and a fit­ting memo­rial to Bob, so if you are go­ing to shoot any events next year, make sure it’s this one.

RIGHT: Simon Mar­riot the win­ner of the stun­ning HFT-500

BE­LOW: Bob Ni­cholls was the founder of Air Arms

BE­LOW: This is the first time Danny Roff has beaten me. I think he was happy

RIGHT: An­gus Wil­liams shows that the MPR is still a force to be reck­oned with

LEFT: Don Vick­ers tucks into the bestever choco­late cake

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