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Ferndown Gun Club - Competition Presentation Evening

John Whitehead Memorial Shoot - Hurn vs. Ferndown - Saturday 12th August 2017

A shoot comprising competitions for .22 Sport Rifle and Centrefire Gallery Rifle was held with our friends at Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club who hosted the event on the 12th of August 2017 in memory of our dear friend John Whitehead. An entry fee was charged and all proceeds went to cancer research. It was good to catch up with old friends and the event was enjoyed by all.

The results are posted on the competitions 2017 page, but this event wasn’t about winning. The event raised £160.00 for Cancer Research UK.

Open Disability Sports and Leisure Day - Saturday 8th July

Rossmore Leisure Centre, Herbert Avenue, Poole, Dorset, BH12 4HR

Sean Gabriel, the Centre Manager is opening Rossmore Leisure Centre up to an Open Disability Sports and Leisure Day on Saturday July 8th. It is a culmination of many months of hard work between himself and Sue Coombs, Club Secretary of The Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club and Disability Sports Dorset.

There will be 10 demonstrations running during the day including:

11.20 Special Olympics
11.45 Disability Cricket
12.10 Hapkido/Wheelchair Self-Defence
12.35 Every Ability Counts Sports
13.00 Wessex Warriors Powerchair Football
13.00 - 15.00 Trampolining
13.25 Wheelchair Rugby with The Dorset Destroyers
13.50 Wheelchair Tennis
14.15 Wheelchair Badminton
15.05 - 16.00 Swimming
The event is FREE to everyone to try out the sports and leisure activities and there will be some manned stalls to talk about the sports and events going on. You don't have to be disabled to try out some of these sports, it's your chance to see what they are like.
It's a community open day with the emphasis on having fun and it's undercover so no matter what the weather, it will be running.

Ferndown Gun Club will be running a stand at this event; so if you are interested in finding out more about Target Shooting, then visit our stand on the day.

Wheelchair Target Sprint

Target Sprint is an internationally recognised air rifle discipline run under International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules which combines running with target shooting to develop shooting skills and physical fitness. Consisting of three 400m running stages and two 10-metre air rifle shooting stages, competitors must sprint as well as shoot 5 drop-down targets at each stage.

Ferndown Gun Club is now developing and trialling a wheelchair version of Target Sprint as part of the Disability Target Shooting activities which we have been running at Rossmore Leisure Centre during the past 6 months.
On the 2nd June, Nick Coombs of Disability Sports Dorset volunteered to race in a specialised wheelchair over a set distance and shoot at a set of knock down targets between races twice to establish what constitutes a resonable distance for wheelchair target sprint.

The following texts reflect Nick's comments on the trial afterwards:

'Wheelchair Target Sprint? What's that? There is an able bodied sport called 'Target Sprint' which involves running 400 metres, shooting at 5 knock down targets, running 400 metres, shooting again, and then running 400 metres again.

But what we are doing is developing it for people with a disability. We provide wheelchairs so you can go around on the course. In the trial we conducted, we did it inside just to make it easier to show what was happening. We did 8 circuits (approximatey 100 metres total), shot 5 knock down targets, 8 more circuits, shot 5 knock down targets and then 8 more circuits again.

Now as it's just at the developing stage, we could do 2 versions. If there is a lack of room we could do timings against the clock, if there's plenty we could race 4/5/6 people against each other.

We can also adapt the length of the course, so beginners, intermediates and advanced courses can be set up. Maybe an obstacle course even? We can make this sport very inclusive. For those that have never shot before, we can do a practice run beforehand.

The great beauty of this sport is that it's not necessarily the fastest that win, because you could charge ahead and then get to the shooting and be so out of breath that everyone catches up with you.

When I first started racing I was a bit wary and thought "Is this something that could really work?" but then as you approach your 7th lap before shooting your mind goes into overdrive and you start thinking "I need to slow down, get my breathing right and to take it easy for the first 20 seconds".

But as you can see from the video by the time I got to the shooting, I had overdone it, and it took me 30 seconds to slow down. You can see the air rifle moving up and down as I was breathing heavily...

But in all honesty it's very exciting to do it and that was just me in a small court area practising it. I could imagine it would be even better with 5/6 people jostling alongside you to get ahead and to shoot. It is a very exciting sport for disabled people and with the help we get from Ferndown Gun Club and Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club they can help load up as well for those who find it a bit more difficult.

After all, this sport can be very inclusive.... '

Wheelchair Target Sprint Trial

'John Gillingham from Ferndown Gun Club has been instrumental in setting up this sport of Wheelchair Target Sprint. When we first started the disability shooting club, I discussed with John about setting up something along the lines of Cross Country Skiing and Shooting and John said there was 'Target Sprint' and we could adapt it to fit in for a new disability sport.

So for the last few months we've worked out bits and pieces, in between things getting in the way and eventually on Friday June 2nd I just said to John "I'll get in a wheelchair and have a go".

From a sports point of view it is a real cracker. Something that has some serious potential to even be a Paralympic sport in the future. Combining wheelchair racing and shooting is fantastic.

From my point of view, I don't use my wheelchair all day and night so it was going to be a bit of effort to be able to get round and to shoot while my arms were pumping ten to the dozen. After 3 shots I started to understand where my breathing was going so I aimed at the right time, and then relaxed more.
It worked and I managed to hit the target 5 times with 5 pellets spare to use. John had given me 15 pellets for each shoot, so considering I only shoot once a month for about 30 minutes and I didn't use my rest I was very surprised by this.

I then did another 8 circuits and went back to shoot. This time I slowed down in the wheelchair as I was going round and I started hitting the target on my 3rd shot again. I managed to knock all 5 targets down with 2 pellets left. I then finished off with another 8 circuits and it was very exciting.

Wheelchair racing is an ok sport, one that I probably was not very good at. My shooting is quite good and I'm happy with it, but putting the two together makes it something special.

It's hard to get your breathing right at first as you try and over compensate on what you're doing, but you soon catch onto it....'

Paralympic World Class Programme

British Shooting and Disability Shooting Great Britain (DSGB) are delighted to announce the imminent transfer of the Paralympic World Class Programme to British Shooting.

From 1st April 2017, both the Olympic and Paralympic world class programmes will operate under the same organisation bringing greater scope for collaboration, integration and even more progress than has been achieved in recent years.

With the support of UK Sport, the two organisations have been working closely for some months to bring about a smooth transition. With the onset of the new Olympic and Paralympic cycles, the timing couldn’t be better to take target shooting to the next level. UK Sport has announced two funding awards to British Shooting for the period 2017-2021 with awards specifically for the Olympic and Paralympic programmes.

Further information can be found here:

Home Office Approved Clubs - New Fees Proposals 

Open letter from Andrew Mercer, Group Chief Executive & Secretary General, National Rifle Association UK

The Home Office has published a consultation which seeks views on the implementation of new fees for firearms licences that are issued by the Home Office including fees for Approval of shooting clubs.

The proposals are based on setting the level of fees at rates that allow full cost recovery; the view of the NRA is that the rates quoted are wholly disproportionate to the actual work required and are either incorrectly calculated or represent a fundamentally inefficient processes.

The proposed fee changes are as follows:-

Application Type


Current Fee

Proposed Fee

Club (grant)

6 years



Club (renewal)

6 years



Club Variation (major)




Club Variation (medium)




Club Variation (minor)




Full details of the consultation, fees proposals and impact assessment can be found by following https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/firearms-licensing-fees

Please note the following:-

(1) The Impact Assessment (page 15) reports a ratio of Home Office (administration) to Police (background checks, interviews, site visits etc.) costs incurred of nearly 6:1. To assert that it costs six times as much to process a two page application form compared to the practical and detailed checks on the ground is astonishing.

(2) The Impact Assessment gives no breakdown of the actual work flow involved in processing a club application; the cost is calculated by estimating a percentage of the total cost of funding the department. This allows no scrutiny of the efficiency or otherwise of the departmental processes and operations.

(3) Variations such as reporting changes in club officers are routine; using the 6:1 ratio per (1) above it surely cannot cost the Home Office £94 to produce a new certificate showing a change of Club name, much less £403 to produce one showing a change of named official to a club officer whose integrity has been checked by the police at a cost of £67, or probably £nil if the officer, as is highly likely, already holds a Firearm Certificate.

(4) In the proposed fees it is suggested that the cost of varying an Approval to take account of new storage location is £470.  Since the police, under best-practice full-cost recovery principles already assessed and agreed, can issue an entire Firearm Certificate which must involve background checks on an individual and assessment of security of firearms storage, for £88, what is it that the Home Office are spending the other £382 on?

(5) The NRA has 881 affiliated organisations of which 484 are Home Office Approved Clubs. The Home Office has estimated there are 434 Approved Clubs; this means that the fees proposed will over-recover costs by around  12%. The fact that the Home Office cannot provide an accurate count of the number of Approved Clubs does not reassure us that their systems and records are either efficient or cost-effective.


(1) Rifle clubs are diverse organisations; many shoot full and small bore rifles but only need Home Office Approval for their full bore shooting activities. In total the NRA represents 881 clubs, schools and associations that have a combined membership of 53,000.

(2) Home Office Approval (HOA) is primarily sought by our clubs to provide access for members to club rifles; it is also a condition required by the MoD to book their ranges where much of the full bore shooting is conducted. Membership of a HOA club is the legal requirement to secure the grant of a FAC for target shooting; reducing the number of HOA clubs would significantly reduce the opportunities for many to enjoy full bore shooting.

(3) Access to club rifles is critical for the training of probationary members and allows the instruction of safe handling, marksmanship, range safety etc. They also provide shooting opportunities to those with low incomes including young shooters.

(4) The value to the public purse and benefits to public safety of carefully supervised, properly trained shooters that result from the HOA scheme is obvious. Furthermore clubs are also beacons of volunteering excellence, relying upon unpaid members to serve as officers, administer the considerable paperwork, train new probationary members etc. The existence of a substantial network of small clubs is a contributor to public safety; the close personal contact in a club is one of the best measures to weed out those unsuitable for a FAC at an early stage.  

(5) The proposed increases are simply unaffordable for the vast majority of our clubs; they would lose the rifles and the exemption of the need for a personal Firearm Certificate that allow them to train probationers in safe shooting and would deny the opportunity for young shooters and those on low incomes to enjoy our sport. Many of our clubs have a rich heritage reaching back over 100 years; there would be uproar if they were forced to close their doors because of punitive increases in fees. Most clubs operate on a not-for-profit basis. An average HOA club has 41 full bore shooters and 76 total members; I would expect the HOA fee to be largely funded by the full bore shooters. 

(6) At the NRA, although we consider the proposal grossly unreasonable, we would not be unduly affected with 8,000 members.  A university club, on the other hand, with perhaps 30-40 members, would be significantly hit, particularly with a £470 fee, probably every year, to change the named individual on the Approval to be paid on top of the 6-yearly renewal.  It is likely that fullbore shooting would immediately become untenable within universities.

(7)  I understand the primary requirements of a HOA Club is to (a) be a properly formed organisation with appropriate constitution (b) have competent and responsible officers (c) have reasonable access to range(s); and (d) provide safe storage for any firearms it holds. Of these (a), (b) and (c) are within the knowledge of the NRA; (d) is readily assessed by the police. We have offered to assist the Home Office in the basic administration of the HOA scheme.

The NRA accepts the principle of the shooting community paying fair fees for services rendered; however we cannot support the current proposals for the reasons above and urge members in general and club officials in particular to respond to the consultation by either Respond online or Email to: firearmsconsultations@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or by writing to : Firearms Consultation, Home Office Drugs and Firearms Licensing Unit, 5th Floor Fry Building,  2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

Yours sincerely

 Andrew Mercer

Group Chief Executive & Secretary General
National Rifle Association

Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club

A great Christmas card received from the Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club. Some of the people featured have been involved in the air rifle/pistol target shooting activities being run at Rossmore Leisure Centre by members of Ferndown Gun Club.

Disability Air Rifle Target Shooting - Rossmore Leisure Centre

On Friday 14th October, Ferndown Gun Club ran the first (of many) disability air rifle and pistol target shoots at Rossmore Leisure Centre, Poole. This external event was held at the request and invitation of Nick Coombs, founder and chairman of 'Dorset Destroyers' wheelchair rugby club.

The activity was managed by Allan Goulding - FGC President, John Gillingham - FGC Secretary, and Tim Worner from Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club (HRPC). Tim was invited to assist as part of the increasing collaboration between FGC and HRPC, especially for disability shooting.

The evening was judged to be a great success by Nick and from the positive feedback received.

We look forward to the next session on Friday 11th November.

Southern Schools 10M Air Pistol Championships

On Wednesday 12th October 2016 the Southern Schools 10 Metre Air Pistol Championships were held at Leweston School in Sherborne. A total of 161 competitors from Southern England and Wales took part in event.

John Gillingham from Ferndown Gun Club was one of the team of 22 people from shooting organisations and clubs who helped in the running of this very successful event. 

The successful finalists from the North and South will now go forward to the National Final which will be held at Sports Wales National Centre in January 2017, hosted by the Welsh Target Shooting Federation.

John Whitehead Memorial Shoot - Hurn vs. Ferndown - Sunday 20th August 2016

A shoot comprising competitions for .22 Sport Rifle and Centrefire Gallery Rifle was held with our friends at Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club who hosted the event on the 20th of August 2016 in memory of our dear friend John Whitehead. An entry fee was charged and all proceeds went to cancer research. It was good to catch up with old friends and the event was enjoyed by all.

The results are posted on the competitions 2016 page, but this event wasn’t about winning. The event raised £200.00 for Cancer Research UK.

Final of the UK Target Sprint Series 2016 - Sunday 31st July 2016

Target Sprint is an internationally recognised air rifle discipline run under International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules which combines running with target shooting to develop shooting skills and physical fitness. Consisting of three 400m running stages and two 10-metre air rifle shooting stages, competitors must sprint as well as shoot 5 drop-down targets at each stage.

This seven event series began in March and comprised seven regional events which took place across the UK.
The 6 fastest athletes in each category (U15 Girls, U15 Boys, U18 Girls & U18 Boys, Open Ladies, Open Men) at each regional event qualified for the final.

This weekend the competition concluded at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff, with the last qualifying event taking place on Saturday 30th July and the National Final taking place on Sunday 31st July.
John Gillingham, Secretary of Ferndown Gun Club, assisted in the running of the National Final as one of a team of volunteers from various target shooting clubs and organisations across the country, alongside representatives from British Shooting, which organised the event and Air Arms UK which sponsored the series.

A video of the finals is available here.
The ISSF Target Sprint Rules are available here.

Target Sprint: 10m Air Rifle and Running - Wednesday 27th April 2016

Leweston School, Dorset
On the 27th April, two members from Ferndown Gun Club helped in the running of the second qualifying round of the National Target Sprint Competition organised by British Shooting.

This is an internationally recognised air rifle discipline that combines running (3x400m) with target shooting (x2). The run course is short and is interspersed with the shooting of knockdown targets. First past the post wins in this contest of accuracy vs athleticism.

This is an exciting new activity which is similar to the Winter Biathlon event where athletes ski with a rifle on their back and then stop to shoot at targets, except in this event competitors run and shoot with the Air Rifles left on the shooting range during the run elements.


The Tunnel Target Sports Club - Inter-club Competition

Two members from Ferndown Gun Club took part in an inter-club competition between clubs from Devon and Dorset at The Tunnel Target Sports Centre, Charmouth on Sunday 10th April.
They came second
to the Dorset Police team in the 100m full-bore rifle competition by just 7 points and they also came second in the 25 metre small-bore rifle competition.
Well done to Ian and Glenn!

Extract from the NRA Bulletin n.11 2015‏ - FAC Renewal

From the Firearms Liaison Officer:

"An increasingly frequent question from members is along the lines that a certificate has been submitted for renewal in good time but the police are simply unable to meet the expiry date, so where does the member stand in law? Here’s my answer to the latest such:

If your FAC runs out and you don’t have any other authority to possess your firearms and you retain possession you are in breach of S1(1) of the Firearms Act 1968. Possession without a certificate is an absolute offence – the failings of your licensing department may be mitigation, but they are not a defence.

If you have applied in good faith and in good time, the licensing authorities should issue you with a permit under S7 Firearms Act 1968 to enable you to retain possession of your firearms and ammunition. Ask them for one. Such a permit is issued at their discretion, so their refusal to do so doesn’t make it legal for you to retain your firearms. Neither does a simple assurance from the licensing department make your position legal.

If that fails, you need to place your firearms in a situation where they may legally be held. If your club has variations available on its FAC, you may be able to lend the firearms to the club. Otherwise, before your certificate expires, you should place your firearms with a Registered Firearms Dealer until the situation is resolved. If you are within delivering distance of Bisley the NRA will accept your firearms for storage (subject to space being available); if the issue is entirely due to police delays the NRA will store your firearms without charge.

Note that lack of physical possession of your certificate does not make it illegal to possess your firearms, as long as the certificate exists and is valid. So, if the police have your certificate for renewal but it is still valid and in date, you do not break the law by moving your firearms to a dealer, though if you are stopped by the police in the process they have the (discretionary) power under S48(2) Firearms Act 1968 to seize the firearms if you cannot produce the certificate.

Shotguns are easier to deal with in that any friend who has a shotgun certificate can take possession of your guns on your behalf provided that they have the space to store them.

Explosives will have to be placed with another licensed holder. Note that, because of the effect on permitted quantities of other stores, the NRA does not store black powder."

John Whitehead Memorial Shoot - Hurn vs. Ferndown - Sunday 9th August 2015

A shoot was held with our friends at Hurn Rifle and Pistol Club who hosted the event on the 9th of August 2015 in memory of our dear friend John Whitehead, who sadly passed away earlier this year. An entry fee was charged and all proceeds went to cancer research. It was good to catch up with old friends and we hope to make this an annual event.

The results are posted on the competitions 2015 page, but this event wasn’t about winning. The real winner was cancer research who are £165.00 better off.
My thanks go to Keith and Norman, and thanks to the members of Hurn for a warm welcome.
Peter E

FGC - National Paralympic Day - Sunday 26th July 2015

Shooting venues all over the UK joined 'British Shooting' to celebrate National Paralympic Day 2015 on the 26th July 2015.

A total of 17 clubs hosted shooting activities to celebrate the third year since the British public came together
to make the home Games of 2012 the most successful Paralympics ever. Nearly 200 members of the general public up and down the country registered to participate in shooting and sample the thrill of hitting a target.

One venue that hosted an event was Hannah’s Shooting Club in Devon, who had a free have-a-go-day with air pistol and air rifle. British Shooting's Regional Development Activator and London 2012 Olympian, Gorgs Geikie, attended the Devon event and was delighted to see how many attended. She said: “It was great to visit Hannahs and be involved with their's & British Shooting’s National Paralympic Day celebrations. I love the way the sport of shooting can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone together. I competed at the London 2012 Olympics and yet it’s a Paralympic event as well. I hope the NPD2015 coverage on television/in the media and events hosted around the country like the one at Hannahs, will help to inspire the next generation”.

Shooting is definitely a sport for all and that was highlighted no more so than when a mum of two attended Hannah's with her two daughters - one of whom has a disability and the other does not. The mother explained how difficult it is for her to find a sport that both daughters can enjoy together. "I have two daughters, one has a disability and the other not" she said. "I find it so hard to find activities that they can both enjoy doing together. When we saw the piece in the newspaper about National Paralympic Day being celebrated at close-by Hannah's, we all jumped at the opportunity. Both my daughters adore sport, so Paralympic Day encouraged them even more to come”.

Wheelchair user and MS sufferer, Sonja, attended the Ferndown event and her feedback at the end of the session was fantastic. She said: “It was the most amazing experience ever. I really enjoyed myself. Everyone was so lovely and friendly. I will definitely be back".  Secretary of Ferndown Gun Club, John Gillingham, was delighted with the success of their event. He said: "We had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day; which meant we could each provide one-on-one assistance and guidance. "In total we had some 12 disabled people visit - three paraplegics; one quadriplegic (with very limited upper body ability); one lady with MS and others with limited limb ability/mobility and/or upper body strength. There were a lot of smiles all round during the day as both disabled and abled bodied novices found they could shoot well with the right guidance and encouragement”.

FGC Clay Shooting Competition - Saturday 11th July 2015

A clay shooting competition was held at the Purbeck Shooting School, Wareham on the 11th July for club members and their guests.
The competition was open to both experienced clay shooters and novices and included some personal tuition.
A charity event was being held at the venue at the same time and it is understood that there was a good deal
of fraternisation and collaboration between the two groups - which worked well in everybody's favour.
Two guests of Gun Club members won the medals...the less said about that the better!
A good day was had by all those who attended - with a strong request to hold another such event.....
Well done and thanks to Tracey C for organising the event.

Dorset Schools Summer Games - Wednesday 24th June 2015

Future sporting champions in the making took part in a unique event to celebrate sport in Dorset.
Over a thousand school pupils from 90 schools competed in the Dorset Summer Games, which took place at Bryanston School, Blandford.
The students participated in a variety of sports including athletics, cricket, rowing, rounders, tennis and equestrian.
There was also a cultural village where the participants could have a go at a range of activities such as shooting, taekwondo and steel band playing.

During the day, over 150 students received basic instruction in using air rifles and air pistols and were able to try the sport of target shooting.

Members of Ferndown Gun Club helped to run the shooting activities which were organised by British Shooting.