The Shooting Show

Last weekend, we went to the British Shooting and Countryman Show at Newark. It was, I have to admit, a special treat for me, and perhaps less than a special treat for Jean, who gallantly accompanied me. The show covers shotguns, rifles, and airguns, gamekeeping and gundogs, game fishing and bushcraft. It was a pretty foul day so I didn’t get many pictures, but fortunately much of the show is under cover.

This person, in what must have been the most uncomfortable job of the show, was raising funds for the England Women’s Flyfishing Team:

Staying with the fishing for a moment, the highlight of the show for me was a flycasting lesson given by the great Mike Marshall. In spite of the gusty conditions, I got more benefit from that half hour than any previous lesson that I’ve taken.

But we’d gone there primarily for the airguns. Here I am taking wobbly standing shots on one of the many practice ranges.

I was severely tempted by some Firebird reactive targets. They go flash bang when hit, accompanied by a satisfying cloud of smoke. Unfortunately the shooting range that we use wouldn’t allow them. But how cool is that …

I did buy a few toys, including an Accucover for my new rifle, and a fun target, and some fittings for the compressed air bottle, but managed to resist anything too serious, although I was tempted by a Huggett silencer. Eighty five quid, unfortunately. They’re beautifully made, though.

We’d seen enough by mid-afternoon. We didn’t even cover the whole show thoroughly, but there’s a limit to the fascination of racks of guns, unless you’re very geeky, and we’re not really into gundogs. It was all great fun and very good humoured. I wouldn’t at all mind a replay next year …

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