PRE­VIEW: Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show

The Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show has en­joyed such grow­ing sup­port over the past few years that it has out­grown its venue. Find out what’s new at the 2018 event

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

This year has seen some big changes for the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show; and when we say big, we mean mas­sive! Over the years, the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show has seen a steady growth of sup­port from the global shoot­ing in­dus­try, in­clud­ing coun­try­side or­gan­i­sa­tions. This has re­sulted in an in­crease in the num­ber of ex­hibitors at­tend­ing and record num­bers of visi­tors year after year.

After the 2017 event it was clear that if the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show was go­ing to con­tinue its con­trolled growth, some­thing was go­ing to have to change – and that some­thing was the venue. Stoneleigh Park has been the home of the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show since 2013 and has served it ex­tremely well, but the or­gan­is­ers’ vi­sions for its fu­ture and the shoot­ing in­dus­try’s needs meant that Stoneleigh Park was no longer go­ing to be big enough to host fu­ture events.

A new home for the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show was go­ing to have to meet cer­tain re­quire­ments. It was go­ing to have to offer size­able, first-rate ex­hi­bi­tion fa­cil­i­ties and also be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, not only for UK visi­tors and ex­hibitors but also for those trav­el­ling from Europe and fur­ther afield. The first job was to com­pile a short­list of po­ten­tial venues, and that list was very short in­deed. In fact, there was only one name on it: The National Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre (NEC), in Birm­ing­ham. With its cen­tral lo­ca­tion, 75% of the UK is within a three-hour drive and, once you ar­rive, parking at the NEC is free for visi­tors to the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show. If the thought of the UK roads is some­thing that doesn’t fill you with joy, there are 43 di­rect rail routes from around the coun­try straight into the NEC; with 25% off ad­vanced fares from Vir­gin Rail, why not leave the car at home and let Vir­gin Rail take you within two min­utes of the en­trance to the show? For visi­tors and ex­hibitors alike who are trav­el­ling from abroad there are 143 di­rect flights into Birm­ing­ham In­ter­na­tional air­port from European des­ti­na­tions, as well as di­rect flights from the USA and, with the NEC only 90 sec­onds from the ter­mi­nal, ease of ac­cess to the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show from in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions has never been eas­ier.

Shot­guns and shoot­ing ac­ces­sories

If you’re vis­it­ing the show with the in­ten­tion of pur­chas­ing a new shot­gun, or per­haps you are buy­ing your very first gun, you will find a host of stands dis­play­ing a huge range of ma­jor in­ter­na­tional shot­gun brands as well as fine English-crafted sport­ing guns. Whether you are look­ing for a Trap gun or a game gun, all the as­sis­tance you could pos­si­bly need will be on hand from the man­u­fac­tur­ers, with skilled gun­mak­ers to help you find the per­fect fit.

The Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show isn’t just about the guns and am­mu­ni­tion. There are a mul­ti­tude of ac­ces­sories avail­able for ev­ery shoot­ing sport – hand­made knives, elec­tronic calls, shoot­ing sticks, cloth­ing and footwear, hear­ing and eye pro­tec­tion, gun­slips and bags – the list of qual­ity ac­ces­sories for pur­chase is al­most end­less.

Gun­dogs and game­keep­ing

The pop­u­lar gun­dog trainer Andy Cullen will be hold­ing ques­tion and an­swer sem­i­nars and there will be a wealth of gun­dog demon­stra­tions and clin­ics held over both days of the show (as well as some fab­u­lous cook­ing demon­stra­tions and coun­try dis­plays). Get your re­tail fix and stock up on the things you need at the many trade stalls sell­ing ev­ery­thing you could pos­si­bly need to ful­fil your doggie needs. Dog-own­ers should note that dogs aren’t al­lowed in the NEC.

The Game­keep­ing Hall is con­ve­niently lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the Gun­dog Hall and, as well as pro­vid­ing the per­fect meet­ing place, it will be­come a tem­po­rary home to sup­pli­ers of spe­cial­ist game­keep­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices, in­clud­ing the must-visit NGO stand. Ev­ery­thing from bird health to pest con­trol and trap­ping sup­plies will be catered for, along with ad­vice on cover crops and UK laws and best practice.

Ri­fles, op­tics and reload­ing

From new, out-of-the-box fac­tory ri­fles to the finest spe­cial­ist cus­tom builds, the choice is al­most end­less and there are prices to suit ev­ery bud­get. There are ri­fles for ev­ery dis­ci­pline from pest con­trol and deer stalk­ing here in the UK through to big game ri­fles for the in­ter­na­tional hunter, and the tar­get shoot­ing dis­ci­plines are also catered for.

Check out all the hard­ware, dis­cuss the op­tions avail­able and get the lat­est tech­ni­cal and com­pe­ti­tion in­for­ma­tion. Air­guns are also well catered for with the lat­est mod­els and 34 man­u­fac­turer have-a-go air­gun lines.

Choos­ing the right scope for your set-up can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween a kill and a miss, and with over 60 op­tics brands rep­re­sented at the show there will be some­thing there for ev­ery shooter. For the se­ri­ous pest and ver­min con­troller there has never been a wider ar­ray of ther­mal and night vi­sion avail­able, with no less than three ded­i­cated dark tun­nels in which to test and see just how in­cred­i­ble this tech­nol­ogy is.

If you’re a shooter who loads your own am­mu­ni­tion, or you’ve made the de­ci­sion to take the plunge into the world of hand load­ing, then the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show is the only event of the year where you will find such a range of reload­ing equip­ment and com­po­nents.

In­ter­na­tional hunt­ing

Is a hunt­ing sa­fari some­thing that’s on your wish list? These trips are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar with in­trepid hunters who want to ex­pe­ri­ence track­ing and hunt­ing game in ex­otic lo­ca­tions such as the African plains.

The Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show has more pro­fes­sional in­ter­na­tional hunt­ing out­fit­ters at­tend­ing than in any pre­vi­ous year, and with the num­ber of different pack­ages that can be tai­lored to your spe­cific re­quire­ments, you might be sur­prised at just how af­ford­able the hunt­ing trip of a life­time could be.

Fes­ti­val of shoot­ing

What is the ap­peal of the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show? The an­swer is quite simple – the show fo­cuses on the needs of the gun trade and the needs/wants of the in­di­vid­ual shooter. For those of us who get to visit the big trade shows around the world (such as Shot Show in Las Ve­gas and IWA in Nu­rum­berg) we know how it feels to walk into these venues and have our jaws hit the floor with the sheer ex­panse of stands and prod­ucts.

These in­ter­na­tional shows are not just trade events, but offer a vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence. They bring the Wow Fac­tor and that is some­thing that we need to have in this coun­try. The move to the NEC gives the Bri­tish Shoot­ing Show the venue, and the shoot­ing in­dus­try the stage, on which to de­liver and present a truly spec­tac­u­lar in­ter­na­tional shoot­ing show here in the UK.

The show is an op­por­tu­nity for first-timers to speak to gun ex­perts

There is al­ways a wide range of shoot­ing ac­ces­sories

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