MEETING & GREETING!

The action intensifies on the Sniper Shoot!

The action intensifies on the Sniper Shoot! - Credit: Archant

Paddy Egan describes the latest UBC get-together

Jason Curtis was the official Top Gun, but everyone was a winner on the day.

Jason Curtis was the official Top Gun, but everyone was a winner on the day. - Credit: Archant

Having held our meets twice a year for five years, June 1st was the 10th Umarex Boys Club meet. Time flies when you’re having fun and that is what these meets are aimed at. At each one we set an overall theme and for this one we went for the History Channel’s Top Shot.

Little Dan showed us the way on the pistol range.

Little Dan showed us the way on the pistol range. - Credit: Archant

Serious fun - just as it should be.

Serious fun - just as it should be. - Credit: Archant

The Preparation

Nothing happens without the essential help of our marshalls and sponsors. Thanks all!

Nothing happens without the essential help of our marshalls and sponsors. Thanks all! - Credit: Archant

I normally start planning these meets immediately after the last one, while it is still fresh in my mind. I get the foundations ready and then develop the details bit by bit.

Ready to go on the Western Range.

Ready to go on the Western Range. - Credit: Archant

We invited Air-Targets with their automated turning targets, Simple Targets to test out some more prototype set-ups and Solware, a local RFD who brings a wide variety of airguns and airgun-related merchandise. The venue is the Greyhound Gun Club in Coventry. They have always been so accommodating to us, even making structures dedicated to our meets!

At the British Shooting Show, Umarex and Armex representatives came over to us while we were running the air pistol range and were clearly impressed with how we performed. We got talking and they were very keen to sponsor us. After I spoke to Nigel Silcock, from Brocock, he was happy that Umarex was interested in us and said that we should go with them as we are Umarex Boys Club after all. I have a lot of respect for Nigel as he did sponsor us for some time and gave me the opportunity to get some great things for the club. We are really grateful for all the support that Nigel and Brocock gave us.

Generosity abounds

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Following on from the Shooting Show I was invited to go to Armex’s warehouse to collect a winner’s Smith & Wesson 686 pistol, Walther Lever Action rifle as a club gun, raffle prizes and a whole load more courtesy items from Umarex and Armex.

One UBC member, Ian, donated a pistol for a raffle prize and from there a thread was put on the UBC internet forum and we had a snowball effect with more and more donations rolling in. Not for the first time, we are so grateful for the generosity of UBC and people within the shooting community. The top shot theme among other things that had to be prepared was the competitor packs, scorecards and targets that needed to be colour-coded to go with the four teams - Blue, Green, Red and Yellow - with four timed shooting areas:

Sniper Rifle, using a PCP multi-shot rifle on five special military-style targets.

Screen Shooting, using Co2 multi-shot pistol, shooting either side of a screen.

Western Plate Shooting, using a Co2 multi-shot pistol and lever action rifle.

Speed Memory Shoot, using a Co2 multi-shot pistol on a set of coded metal plates.

The Day unfolds

Saturday morning came and the sun was shining with just a mild wind. Final preparations had to be made with Solware and the setting up for Air-Targets and Simple Targets, and my daughter and son’s girlfriend, who are my indispensable admin team, were ready to sign people in, hand out their competitor packs and give out their team colour neck lanyards. I performed the safety brief and stressed that the day is aimed at fun and only the safety had to be taken seriously.

All set ...

The marshalls were in place with their orange hi-viz vests and official gold dog tags made by Nick from Magic 9 Design and we were all ready to shoot. Putting people into teams within the Top Shot theme went down really well with banter flying all over the place. When people were getting timed you could hear them say,’add a few seconds to the Blue Team’ and vice-versa.

People were enjoying the varied shooting set-ups that were put out for them and appreciated the way we were patient and helpful to first-time shooters. We also have a loan policy so those who don’t have a certain type of pistol can use a loan pistol so they can enter everything available. Again, new people to the meets were really appreciative of this.

One of the Top Shot areas was a Western Shoot where you would use your own multi-shot pistol to hit five metal plates, then swap to the lever action rifle and shoot the five plates again as fast as you could. Everyone who entered this was handed over a raffle ticket. This was for the chance of winning the Umarex S&W 686. The way we see it, it’s best that these sorts of prizes go to anyone and not just the people who are the best shots.

Keith Newman and Terry Evans from Armex were in attendance and were again impressed by the way the whole day was set up and how it was being run. They had more time to see more of what we actually do and what we are about. We all had a good chat with Jason, our club founder, about future developments, testing and reviews, but that is for another story.

Time was nearly up and the day just seemed to fly by. All score cards were in and my admin team tallied up the scores, worked out the winners and also the lowest scores for the coveted UBC Wooden Spoon Awards.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I actually came 2nd in the Green Team and overall 3rd in Top Shot, using a pistol I had yet to fire, which I bought about two months ago. The sun certainly did shine on me and that pistol; indeed, it was given a baptism of fire that day. Jason who came first in the Red Team and 1st overall, said that he is normally a target shooter and had never really done speed shooting, but he really enjoyed it and noticed that he felt more relaxed shooting this compared to when he shot the 6-yard paper targets where he came 6th overall. Maybe it was the atmosphere around him with the banter going on at the same time, or just that he is a natural good shot and easily adaptable?

Me, my youngest daughter, and Armex handed out the awards and did the two raffles. The winner of the Umarex S&W was really pleased, and at the end he went up to Keith and Terry, shook them by the hand, and told them that he loves these pistols. After the main raffle I came home with a Barnett Nitro 45 gat-style air pistol, which should be a laugh to use, while a good deal of people went home with one prize and some with quite a few!

Conclusion

All in all, it was an excellent day with a large number of people coming over saying what a great time they’d had, which is nice because it makes all the effort that we put in worthwhile. After we had taken everything down, tidied the grounds and put the gear away, we went to the Greyhound pub (literally next door) to have our customary farewell drink, until the next time we meet up.

Sapphire, my youngest daughter, is our official UBC photographer and if you would like to see more photographs of the day go to http://s22.photobucket.com/user/PaddyE/slideshow/?sort=2

I have already started planning and making phone calls for the next meet which will be in October. Anyone is welcome and you don’t have to be a UBC member to attend these meets. We will be happy to show you just how much fun shooting can really be!