Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Taster Session?
A taster session is one on one tuition with a range marshal used for an introduction to your chosen target sport. It’s advantages are as in the name a ‘Taster’ for a one off fee of £35 Adults and £30 Juniors, you get a great feel for the sport without having to commit to an annual membership should you not enjoy it ! You will receive tuition on all the fundamentals of your chosen sport in a 100% safe environment.
Do I have to participate in a Taster Session?
Yes, if you have no previous experience with target sports.
No, if you have had more than 12 months experience with a rifle or pistol and can honestly say you are completely safe around other people, have full knowledge of the law and fully understand the workings of your equipment.
Can I use my own equipment on a Taster Session?
We do not object to you using your own equipment but we do ask that if you are using the shooting range your rifle be zero’d to 25 yds before starting the session and a suitable pellet available to use, or we find that we spend half of the session setting up your gun and you lose valuable tuition time.
Once you become a member we will give you free tuition setting up any of your airguns and accessories.
Do you supply charging adaptors for all airguns?
We carry some of the more popular fitting, but recommend you bring your own just to be on the safe side.
Do you have any age restrictions?
We do recommend a minimum age of 9 yrs old, only for the reason that anyone under the age of 9 can’t generally reach the bench from their stools. Should your child be big enough to reach safely un-aided, we have no problem with them joining and being supervised by a parent or guardian.
What are the membership fee’s?
Please click here to see our up to date membership packages
Do you offer corporate packages?
Yes we do, from £50+vat per head. Please call 01709 837906 or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org for a full description on the activities available.
Why do I pay up front for my Taster Session?
The Target Sports Club is extremely busy and lane hire is booked in advance. If we take a Taster Session booking and you do not turn up, we are left with an empty lane, a range marshal to pay and existing members that could have used the range during that period of time.
Can I cancel my Taster Session?
No. You can re-arrange the session to a more convenient time with 24hrs notice.
I’m not happy about that?
Please do not book the Taster Session unless you are 100% sure you can attend. We will be able to re-arrange it for you.
My membership has expired, how do I renew it?
When you book your next session your renewal will flash up on our system and we will inform you that the renewal is due.
Can anyone enter the club competitions?
As an active member, yes. Speak to a range Marshall and they will set you up.
What is the difference between the Annual Competition and the Monthly Shoot Out?
The annual competition is scored over a 11 month period starting in January, with the highest score in each discipline being rewarded at our Christmas party with a Trophy (Free to enter) Our Monthly shoot-Out is a £3 entry competition that varies in discipline each month with one winner receiving a cash prize for the highest score at the end of the month. (Handicaps are used for a level playing field)
How do I get a handicap?
Submit 5 club competition targets to Mike.
Can I shoot Rimfire or Centre Fire on the Range?
Can I bring my friend and look after them on my lane?
No. We are a Membership run club and have the responsibility of safe conduct within our centre.
Do the Rifles kick or recoil and are they loud?
No, Airguns are quiet and have no kick.
Do you offer First Aid within the premises?
No, but we will call the appropriate services.
Can I leave my child in the cafe whilst I shoot?
No, all children need to be supervised.
Does my airgun need to be in a sleeve or case?
Yes at all times until you are allocated a lane.
Can I turn up on the day?
Yes, but we do recommend booking to avoid disappointment.
Do you sell Guns, Pellets and Accessories?
Yes we do. We stock equipment that we know are reliable in our Target Centre.
Can you help me with my equipment?
Yes once a member, ask any time for help.
Can I refill my Air Cylinder at the range?
Yes as a member free of charge during your session.
Do you refill 3/4/7/12 ltr Air Bottles?
Yes £4.50, please make sure your cylinder is in test.
What happens if my Airgun is over the UK legal limit?
As a member we recommend you take advantage of our free chronograph service for peace of mind. The Law states as a registered RFD we will confiscate the gun until it is back to a safe legal limit. Our Service centre will carry this out for you from as little as £60.00
Can I use BB’s in the Pistol and Rifle Range?
No on the Rifle Range, *Yes on the Pistol Range, subject to all other members using the range at the same time agreeing and wearing suitable eye protection at your own risk. BB’s return from the steel plate as fast as they go out.
What are the loud bangs on the shooting range?
Some of our targets hold a .22 starter cap and when shot make a very loud bang.
What do I do if my lane carriage stops working?
Make your gun safe and call over the range Marshall.
Can I show my friend on another lane my gun?
No. Always bring your friend to your lane.
I’m not happy about the running of the Target Sports Centre what should I do?
We have spent the last 5 years developing the Target Sports Centre and are open to constructive criticism, Please do not vent your feelings at our staff they do not make the decisions, speak to Mike the manager of the club.
What happens if I am rude to a member of staff?
We do not tolerate any aggression in our club and will not hesitate to call the Police armed response with your membership revoked with immediate effect.
Air Rifle Code of Practice
The most important rule of gun handling……
NEVER POINT ANY RIFLE, LOADED OR UNLOADED, IN AN UNSAFE DIRECTION.
It is estimated that there are four million air rifles in the UK, the vast majority of which are used in a safe and responsible manner. This code offers guidance to those who shoot with them. It does not apply in Northern Ireland where firearms laws are very different.
Above all, safety is the most important consideration. Always know where the muzzle of your air rifle is pointing and NEVER point it in an unsafe direction.
Whenever you shoot, make sure you know where the pellet is going to end up before you pull the trigger.
The law makes no distinction between air rifles and more powerful guns for which you need a licence – they are all classed as firearms. This means that any offence you commit can carry a very heavy penalty – and there are at least 38 different offences. Following this code will help you to keep on the right side of the law, but, if you have any doubt, seek advice from BASC (www.basc.org.uk) or your local police firearms licensing department.
Air gun security
From February 2011, the Crime and Security Act 2010 makes it an offence for a person in possession of an air gun to fail to take “reasonable precautions” to prevent someone under the age of 18 from gaining unauthorised access to it.
The legal advice contained within this publication remains unchanged e.g. 14-17 year olds may still use air guns unsupervised on private premises where they have permission etc.
For further advice about reasonable precautions for storing for air guns not in use please contact BASC or seewww.basc.org.uk for a copy of our fact sheet Young People and Airguns.
Who can shoot
If you are 18 years or older there are no restrictions on buying an air rifle and ammunition, and you can use it wherever you have permission to shoot.
14 – 17 years
- borrow an air rifle and ammunition
- use an air rifle, without supervision, on private premises where you have permission
- buy or hire an air rifle, or ammunition, or receive one as a gift. Your air rifle and ammunition must be bought and looked after by someone over 18 – normally your parent, guardian or some other responsible adult. have an air rifle in a public place unless you are supervised by somebody aged 21 or over, and you have a reasonable excuse to do so (for example, while on the way to a shooting ground).
Under 14 years
- use an air rifle under supervision on private premises with permission from the occupier – normally the owner or tenant. The person who supervises you must be at least 21 years old.
- buy, hire or receive an air rifle or its ammunition as a gift, or shoot, without adult supervision.
Parents or guardians who buy an air rifle for use by someone under 14 must exercise control over it at all times, even in the home or garden.
It is illegal to sell an air rifle or ammunition to a person under 18 years of age.
Where you can shoot
Where you intend to shoot, always ensure that you are authorised by the landowner or person with the sporting rights and that you know precisely where the boundaries are. Get permission in writing, if possible, to remove any doubt.
Whenever you are in a public place you should carry the rifle in a gun cover and always ensure that it is unloaded and not cocked.
Going on to private land, or water, where you do not have permission is trespassing, and if you are carrying an air rifle it becomes armed trespass. Whether the gun is loaded or not, or whether you are carrying pellets, is irrelevant – armed trespass is a serious criminal offence carrying heavy penalties.
Only shoot where you have the permission of the landowner or tenant.
Firing pellets beyond your boundary
It is an offence to fire an air rifle pellet beyond the land where you have permission to shoot, unless the occupier of the neighbouring land has also given you permission. Where someone under 14 is shooting, both the young person and the supervising adult can be prosecuted.
It is also against the law, in England and Wales, to fire an air rifle within 50 feet of the centre of a highway if this results in someone being injured, interrupted or endangered. These offences could be committed, for example, when someone is shooting in their garden close to a road and the pellets ricochet onto the highway.
It is an offence in Scotland to discharge any gun in a culpable or reckless manner. This means shooting without caring about the safety of others.
What you can shoot
Principal quarry for air rifles
- BIRDS: (covered by the general licences – for details visit www.basc.org.uk/en/shooting/general-licences.cfm) crows, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, jays, woodpigeon, collared doves, feral pigeons.
- MAMMALS: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits
If you want to practise on your own premises make sure that you have an effective backstop. Soft earth or chipboard is ideal, but don’t use any hard, polished surface because it is likely to cause a dangerous ricochet or could cause the pellet to rebound and hit the shooter.
Remember that you can be prosecuted if any pellet goes beyond your land, whether it is directly fired or an accidental ricochet.
Live quarry shooting
Many people shoot live quarry, either on their own land or where they have permission. The species which you can shoot are limited by the law and by the effective power of an air rifle.
All birds are protected, and although there are seasons when you can legally shoot game, and some wildfowl, they are not suitable quarry for air rifles. However, as long as you are complying with firearms law, you can shoot certain pest bird species. These are covered by general licences which, in simple terms, mean you can shoot the birds listed, provided you have the landowner’s permission and provided you are doing it for one of the reasons allowed by the licence.
These reasons include:
- to protect crops
- to protect game and wildlife
- to protect public health or safety
BASC recommends that anyone wishing to take bird pest species should read BASC’s advice on general licences, which is available on its website www.basc.org.uk
You can shoot mammal pests at any time provided you have the landowner’s permission. Air rifles are suitable for: brown rats, grey squirrels, stoats, mink and rabbits.
Respect for the quarry
Always shoot well within your capabilities. Practise on targets, never on live quarry, to establish the maximum range at which you and your rifle can consistently hit the point of aim that will ensure a clean kill; this is usually the head, and normally has a maximum diameter of about three centimetres (an inch and a quarter). Practise regularly to improve your shooting and stalking skills.
Make sure you know where the kill zone is for each species that you are going to hunt. For mammals the side-on head shot is the preferred target. For birds, head shots are effective but difficult because the target area is very small and rarely holds still. Shots to the breast or body cavity give a bigger target area but remember that dense feathers or a crop full of grain will limit the pellet’s effectiveness. The area under the wing is a good place to aim for.
You must zero your rifle and sights (check their correct alignment) before starting any hunt; usually a riflescope will come with instructions on how to do this, otherwise there are many books which explain the principles.
It is your responsibility to be able to recognise your quarry and know when and where you may shoot it. Never shoot unless you have positively identified your quarry.
Always despatch wounded quarry quickly to minimise suffering, either with a second shot or a sharp blow to the base of the skull. Be particularly careful when dispatching wounded rodents – they can bite and scratch with a risk of serious infection. DO NOT TOUCH RATS. They may carry fatal diseases, so you should lift them with a fork or shovel.
Suitable air rifles for hunting
Always ensure that your air rifle is powerful enough to achieve a clean kill of your chosen quarry and do not attempt a shot of more than 30 metres. Generally the ideal power level is just over 11 ft lb (15J). For an air rifle that is more powerful than 12 ft lb, (16.25J) you must have a firearm certificate.
Never shoot at partially obscured quarry or shoot at quarry which could escape into cover before it can be retrieved. For example, do not shoot rabbits which are less than two metres from their burrow.
Certain types of air rifle are more suitable for hunting than others. Avoid those air rifles which take excessive time to charge, load and fire. Repeating air rifles give an immediate second shot which is always an advantage. All air rifles must be well maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. If in doubt, consult your local dealer.
Choose pellets which are designed for hunting. These will produce a cleaner kill than those which are intended for target shooting. Check every pellet before loading to ensure that it is not damaged or deformed.
Check list in the field
- Always check with the landowner, in good time, if you want to go shooting.
- Always confirm with the landowner what quarry you may shoot.
- Always respect the owner’s property, crops, livestock and fences and follow the Countryside Code (http://www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk/).
- Always treat an air rifle as though it is loaded and keep its muzzle pointing in a safe direction.
- On picking up or being handed an air rifle, check immediately to ensure it is not loaded e.g. that it is uncocked and that there is no pellet in the breech. Be particularly careful when checking pre-charged pneumatic air rifles.
- Before you fire your rifle, consider where the pellet could go. Be sure that no damage can result if you miss your intended target.
- Always bear in mind the possibility of a ricochet.
- Never put down a loaded air rifle or leave it unattended.
- Use of a silencer can minimise disturbance to wildlife, livestock and other countryside users.
- Remember that all shooters will be judged by your actions and ensure that your conduct is always above reproach. Encourage the same attitude in your shooting companions. Above all, be safe and be sensible.
At the end of the day
Always leave your shoot in the condition in which you would like to find it. Make sure that you collect all your equipment. It is courteous to thank the landowner and to offer him something from the bag if you have shot any edible quarry. Take care of your edible quarry – remember it is food, store it in a cool place and never waste it.
Non-edible quarry should be disposed of discreetly, carefully and should not create a health hazard. This is a legal requirement. Under most circumstances deep burial beyond the reach of a carnivorous animal would be appropriate.
The displaying of carcasses on fences or on a gamekeeper’s “gibbet” serves no useful purpose and may offend other countryside users.
Care and maintenance
Take care of your gun; it is built to precise standards and damage or mistreatment can seriously affect its performance and safety. Do not attempt to strip an air rifle without having the proper tools, facilities and knowledge to do so safely. Many air rifles contain powerful springs which can cause serious injury if released in an uncontrolled manner.
After shooting, ensure your air rifle is dry and free from dirt before storing it. Metalwork may benefit from a wipe down with a lightly oiled rag or a silicone cloth. The barrel should be cleaned using a proper barrel cleaning kit, and again lightly oiled. Only use the correct lubricants in accordance with the rifle manufacturer’s instructions. Always carefully wipe the oil from the bore before shooting.
The BASC ideal is …
That all who shoot conduct themselves according to the law and to the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship and courtesy, with full respect for their quarry and a practical interest in wildlife conservation and the countryside.
Never guess at what the law allows. If in doubt, contact BASC or your local police firearms licensing department.
BASC gratefully acknowledges the endorsement of this code by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
BASC is a representative body for sporting shooting.