The Shooting Show was at Stoneleigh this year, one of my favourite locations. The halls are sensibly sized so that you can be sure that you’ve covered everything, and there’s plenty of outdoor space too – this was the showground for the Royal Show until it closed a few years ago.
We arrived bright and early on Saturday, after the worst of the previous day’s storm had blown itself out. Airguns first, before the show became too crowded. We weren’t looking for anything special, but almost immediately, these caught my eye:
It’s probably a rule of guns and shooting that if something catches your eye, don’t buy it. It’s too indiscreet.
Evanix, a Korean manufacturer, was a new name to me. As well as the sniper-style rifles, they also make a much more classic airgun, which I genuinely did take a fancy to, called The Windy City. Bizarre name, but a good-looking gun, with a nice sepatia (or really beautiful walnut) stock, a smooth side-lever action, and a lovely balanced feel. Nigel Allen, who edits Airgun Shooter, was enthusiastic about Evanix when we spoke to him on his stand, which is plenty of endorsement as far as I’m concerned!
Bling is allowed in certain categories. Here’s the Air Arms FTP900 for field target work:
But some of the classics still have a lot of attraction.
I wasn’t really on the lookout for gadgets, but I did like these targets, which swivel automatically so they only present themselves for a few seconds at a time:
Maybe we’ll try clay pigeon shooting sometime this year. Some of the guns are really beautiful, but I really mustn’t start lusting after posh shotguns.
One or two things amused me. Obviously in recent years there’s been a huge increase in fox control by means of rifles. This company name got right to the point:
My nervousness about bling means that I don’t own any Realtree camouflage (OK, maybe a pair of gloves). But you have to hand it to them – their stand showed this wonderful Realtree wedding dress:
… as well as the sort of thing that the bride can expect to bag when she’s wearing it:
Finally we went to watch the dog scurries, which are always great fun.
Now, about that clay shooting course …