A bit specialist, I know, but I do enjoy the Shooting Show. We went on the first day, arriving very early in wintry weather at Stoneleigh in order to grab a warming coffee and bacon sarnie before the show opened.
I’ve got my beautiful Daystate Pulsar to play with, so I wasn’t shopping for new guns, but I did buy one treat: a really nicely engineered Smartrest “Nitro Force SR01” gunrest.
When we went to the Game Fair back in the summer, I had a go with a Daystate air rifle – one with an electronic trigger. I marvelled at just how good the gun was, mainly because there’s no perceptible lag between pulling the trigger and the pellet leaving the barrel. So even those of us with less than steady aiming skills are flattered by the gun’s performance.
Here’s my new toy:
We’d arrived early at the Ragley Hall Game Fair with the intention of looking at air rifles and maybe having a go with a couple that I’d shortlisted. So I was slightly disappointed that none of the airgun manufacturers was there. There was, though, a shooting line at which you could try out a selection of guns for a modest fee. I was particularly keen to try out the FX Wildcat and the Daystate Pulsar. (Notice that airguns, the lowest powered beasts of the shooting world, get the most aggressive names. A big game rifle will be called something much milder like “Safari”.)
Anyway, I had a chance firstly to try the Wildcat. It’s made by FX in Sweden, and has a high reputation. It’s a so-called bullpup configuration, much more compact than a traditional rifle, and allegedly much handier to shoulder and to aim.
So this weekend we went to the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. And it was excellent. Nearly but not quite 100%.
The scale of the show is vast. Here we are just inside one of the entrances looking out over just a fraction of the show. The fishing lake is to the left, and the main bulk of the show ahead and to the right.
I haven’t had a session with the air rifles for a while. First up, my favourite gun, a Weirauch HW100tk in .22 with a Falcon Merlin 4-14x56IR scope:
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.
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: