November Bisley 2021

Last weekend saw a group of 25 DURC members travel down to the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey to take part in a weekend of shooting against other uni teams from across the country. The weekend was organised by the British Young Shooters Association and around 130 students and exec members attended. Despite a long coach journey down, which luckily avoided traffic, everyone was up for a camp familiarisation scavenger hunt put on by our Exeter counterparts to get everyone familiar with the various clubhouses and other buildings on camp. The evening progressed to socialising with the other unis until the small hours of the morning, chatting all things shooting and student life-related!

An early start on Saturday was necessary to get everyone out on the 300-yard range for the morning set of activities which included rifle familiarisation and most members’ first experiences shooting fullbore rifles. All members coped with this learning curve incredibly well and there was plenty of promising scores coming off the range. Lunch was followed by an afternoon at 1000 yards which proved to be quite the challenge given the wind conditions and quality of the ammo provided! Luckily a very kind member of Caterham Rifle Club let members use his scoped sniper rifle whilst they were waiting, an experience which is completely different to target rifle and one which everyone enjoyed greatly.

After a long days’ shooting, the rifles went away, BYSA bonfire lit and bbq fired up to fuel the evenings’ events. I am delighted to report Durham was victorious in both the BUCS team of 6 and international Boat Races, which began an evening of catching up with old friends and meeting new, the majority of the team burning the midnight oil whilst socialising with their peers from the various other universities.

Sunday again saw an early start with the order of business being at 600 yards until lunch combined with a top team of 10 match against Exeter, results to follow! Despite a certain member losing their car keys which subsequently left us short on kit, members were able to get multiple shoots in before lunch, being able to put into practise some of the advice gained on Saturday. Packing kit followed lunch and final goodbyes before boarding the coach for the long journey back up to Durham.

Overall despite the challenges at 1000 yards, the weekend was a great success, provided a much-needed respite for members from studies and gave everyone a great chance to meet others involved in the shooting community, both new and old!

I’d like to thank the British Young Shooters Association for organising the whole event, Christina for planning DURC’s involvement and Walter for driving kit down in his microwave on wheels!

Until next time, Message 10 with Compliments!

-Miles, Club Captain

The Imperial Meeting 2021

This year’s Imperial Meeting promised some semblance of normality with around 750 individual entries, and it certainly felt like the good old times were returning!

On an individual note work experience and employment scuppered the chances of more club members entering the Grand Aggregate and Queen’s competitions but Club Captain Miles and newly elected Events Officer Christina represented DURC, shooting incredibly well throughout the week.

Christina finished 55th and Miles 94th in the Grand Aggregate (out of a total cohort of 588), this being an aggregate of 12 individual shots at varying distances and the most comprehensive test of a marksman/ woman’s ability across multiple days and varying wind conditions.

Christina shot an incredible 50.10, a perfect score, in the Alexandra and as such qualified for a tie-shoot against a very experienced GB shot for the victory. A huge crowd of DURC members, alumni, friends and family amassed behind the firing point as the sun set over the range for the tie shoot which comprised of 1 sighter and 5 shots, the person with the highest score at the end being the victor. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Christina, narrowly missing out by 1 V-bull (smallest, most central scoring ring on the target) to her opposition and therefore placing her second in the competition.

Miles then went on to make the final of the St George’s competition, one of the two main multi-stage competitions that round out the Imperial Meeting. Miles shot well in the final and despite being deserted by his 3/4 minute elevation group which he had been shooting all week, managed to finish 66th place, just missing out on the top 50 and renewing his X-Class (the highest class a competitor can be)

The first round of the Queen’s competition came but unfortunately, both Miles and Christina weren’t able to progress to the second stage, both being caught out by the difficult and varying wind on a few too many occasions.

DUARC, the new alumni section of the club were out in force as well, during the meeting, with Ex- Captains Henry Marden, James Tunsley, Anthony Bromley and Tom Smith shooting incredibly well throughout, the latter breaking his T class at the earliest available opportunity. Anthony was selected for Kent in the Counties and shot very well indeed, including a 100.11 at short range. Furthermore, Tom made the second stage of Queen’s and was supported throughout by fellow alumni, current students and friends as he tackled the incredibly strong wind and hot conditions. Unfortunately, progression to the final was not to be this year, but with shooting like that we look forward to seeing him on many a prize list in the future!

This brings us on to the team matches which concluded the meeting this year, with Christina and Miles both being selected to represent Yorkshire at short and long range. Furthermore, and owing to Christina’s fantastic shooting in the Grand Aggregate she was selected for the England team in the National match, with Miles being selected for Wales. Normally England seal the victory in this match with straight shooting and accurate wind reading, however this year the victors were Wales, for only the second time in the history of the match, much to Miles’ jubilation!

This led us into the Universities competitions on the mornings of Friday and Saturday, the short range being contested first. We were fortunate to be joined by James Dixon (Club Secretary) and George Oakland (Social Secretary) for the two days to make up a competitive team of 4 with the hopes of retaining the short range victory from last year. Christina was chosen to shoot for GBU25 in the equivalent of the international match, which allowed her scores to count concurrently with the rest of the team’s.

With some interesting sighting shots fired given James and George hadn’t shot for 9 months we thought it was all over at the first counting distance. However we settled into 500 and 600 yards, everyone clearly remembering how to shoot well, and posted some very competitive scores which we knew, towards the gritty end of the match, would result in a very close outcome between first and second place.

With the last shots down the range and some furtive glances between friends and colleagues from the other Unis, the results were revealed and Durham had placed second to Southampton by only 1 point!!! Unfortunately, we were unable to repeat the success of 2020, however, it was certainly payback given we beat them by 1 point back then! All to play for next year then!

We hoped to continue this good form at long range on Saturday morning, and armed with our new scopes and stands generously provided by the Team Durham Development Grant, we started off impeccably at 900 yards with Christina and Miles both shooting perfect 50s. James and George followed up strong to leave us only 6 off after this distance. 1000 yards always promises to shake things up a bit and it certainly delivered this year, with a steady start by Christina and Miles, unfortunately, giving way to a few wayward and uncharacteristic shots by the latter firers which culminated in a 4th place finish out of 9 teams, a huge improvement on last years result.

Thanks must be given to our guest coach Katie Hinkley who was calm and collected as ever in the chair and made some fantastic wind calls to save as many points as possible! Thanks must also go to Stacey Josling, newly appointed Social Sec, for being our reserve and helping organise kit and logistics behind the firing point!

With the conclusion of shooting in the form of the Queen’s final on Saturday afternoon, the meeting came to an end for another year. The celebrations went on into the early hours of the morning with both joy from the last 10 days of shooting and sadness, ‘The Bisley Blues’, that it’s all over for another year being felt in equal measure.

We already look forward to next year’s Imperial, with the hopes of fielding the largest and most competitive DURC team ever for the Universities competitions.

See you then and Message 10 for those who know!

Miles – Club Captain

Imperial Meeting 2020

DURC has seen unprecedented success at the The Imperial Meeting over the past week with impressive individual and team performances in this international fullbore shooting competition at Bisley.

With the advent of Covid-19, entry numbers were somewhat diminished, however a very strong cohort of about 300 firers from all over the UK showed up to compete over the week.

With the sun blazing and wind posing a threat, Miles and James negotiated their way through the first few shoots of the Grand Aggregate with focus and a calm attitude. James shot very well, however rifle malfunctions saw Miles drop a few more points than he would have liked!

With it all still to play for, and with some solid scores rolling in, it was left to 1000 yards with 10 counting shots, and 600 yards with 15 counting shots to decide the final placings in the aggregate. James shot incredibly well, placing 67th overall, maintaining his A class for another 3 years, with Miles finishing very strongly in 92nd place.

Sadly no BUCS points were on offer this year due to current circumstances, however an unofficial ranking was compiled with James placing 5th and Miles 6th out of the university shooters competing in the meeting.

The Wednesday saw a team of four firers comprising of Miles, James, George Oakland and Henry Marden shoot their way to success in the Musketeers competition edging out Southampton uni by 1 point! A combination of fickle winds and a loose rear sight meant we were not so fortunate at long range, however! The team had a great day and bbq afterwards, and congratulations must go to Oxford for their long-range win and Cambridge for securing the Chancellors and unofficial BUCS wins. Thanks goes also to our external coach Katie Hinkley who did a superb job on the wind reading!

Miles was also selected to shoot for Wales in the Lawrence (short-range) and Mackinnon (long-range) matches and so counted his scores concurrently with Durham. He shot a very pleasing 149.20 at short range, sadly dropping his last shot at 500 yards! Long-range threw all sorts of challenges at the shooters, and after a 7-minute wait for the wind and a pilot shot, Miles managed a 96.8.

Thursday brought the next main competition, the St Georges. From the cohort of 300, the top 120 were chosen to progress to stage 2 at 600. James narrowly missed the cut, but Miles made it through to the second stage by a number of V bulls! In a move that can only be described as mad, Miles chose not to convert his second V sighter at 600 and went on to shoot a 74.11 which placed him in the top 50 who then progressed through to the final stage at 900 yards.

As the sun was setting, Miles managed to grasp a hold of the refreshing breeze that encapsulated Stickledown range and put in a 73.7 for a total of 147.18. This, incredibly, placed him in 13th for the whole competition and reward him with X class for the next 3 years!

A massive congratulations must also go to Christina Cuming, who will be joining DURC next year, who placed 6th with 148.19 after some very straight shooting!

With that, it was just left to the final competition, H.M. The Queens Prize, to round out a great week of shooting. Unfortunately nobody from DURC made it through to the final, but we had a great day on the range supporting our fellow uni shooters and friends that did!

Thanks to everyone for helping and supporting us both on and off the range and we are all already looking forward to next year’s meeting and the shooting in between.

We look forward to welcoming new members back in Durham and stay tuned to our social media pages for updates as to how we are proceeding under these exceptional circumstances!

Year 2020/2021 : Captain’s Welcome

Hello and welcome to Durham University Rifle Club’s website!

DURC is a friendly and inclusive target rifle shooting club hosting both Fullbore and Smallbore shooting disciplines as part of Team Durham.

Smallbore shooting is our most common discipline and involves firing live .22 rimfire calibre rounds at distances from 25 up to 100 yards. DURC holds weekly training sessions in our dedicated range where members have access to all the kit, rifles and ammunition they need to improve their shooting ability.

DURC also offers its members the opportunity to shoot Fullbore target rifle, which consists of firing .308 calibre projectiles at distances ranging from 300 to 1000 yards! DURC runs termly trips to the National Shooting Centre, Bisley in Surrey which is the most comprehensive and well-equipped venue for Fullbore shooting in the country. Historically, these trips have proved to be hugely successful, spurring on members to enter national competitions in the summer.

Our team has seen success in BUCS competition, most recently with members placing in the top 50 nationally in postal league competitions. Furthermore, DURC is home to members who shoot for GBU25, national and county level which provide the club with a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be passed on to our new and existing members.

Feel free to have a browse of the website to meet our current exec and view a gallery of pictures from recent club events! If you want more information or to see regular updates, don’t hesitate to contact us via any of our social media accounts!

Facebook: @DURifles

Instagram: @durifles

I look forward to meeting you on the range!

Miles Horton-Baker, Club Captain

Michelmas Term: Captain’s Review

As the Epiphany term is underway, I would like to reflect on our achievements so far this year. Michelmas 2018 has seen the largest influx of new members in recent club history, with incredibly busy taster sessions at the start of term. With a range of prior experience, the new members have brought a vibrant colour to the club, getting heavily involved in our socials and coming up with some of the most creative outfits I’ve seen in my time at Durham, let alone DURC! Those wishing to compete have benefitted from time with the experienced shots and our coach Richard Stebbings, and have gone on to perform extremely well in the first rounds of BUCS Smallbore Short Range.

On the subject of Smallbore success, we were proud to send a team of 4 to the Cambridgeshire Shooting Association Inter-Universities Smallbore Match. CUSBC proved excellent hosts, entertaining our team with an enjoyable day of shooting and a memorable evening. The Durham Team of Kelsie Peters (capt.), Isabel Snell, Jonathan Whitaker and James Tunsley performed admirably to place 3rd, behind Cambridge’s two top teams. Isabel proved her reputation as Top Gun to lead the team with 289/300 contributing to our overall result of 1128/1200.

The BYSA hosted a Fullbore training weekend at their annual Bonfire Bonanza event to which DURC took 12 members, 7 of which were new to the discipline. The experienced shots got a chance to train and the new members enjoyed a taste of Fullbore, with many eager to shoot more in the future. This was also the unveiling of the new DURC flag, which I hope will have these same shooters competing under it in the near future. The BYSA showed us a good time in true Bisley fashion, with unforgettable scenes from our Fullbore Captain who proved that hands are not needed to enjoy Milano’s.

So on to Epiphany term: the postal league will conclude, giving the first test of the club as a whole. Judging from our predicted scores so far, there will be some proud shooters in every team that have exceeded their expectations. We must now look to Smallbore Long Range training to be fully prepared for the Appleton BUCS competition coming up soon! We are also trying our hand at Gallery Rifle this term for the first time, which will hopefully be the birth of a new direction within DURC.

I look forward to another term of fun and success with DURC!

Henry Marden, Club Captain

DURC Taster Sessions and Freshers’ Fair

Freshers’ Week is the perfect time to try out new sports, but sometimes there are too many sports and not enough time to try them all in just one week – that’s why at the Rifle Club, we will be holding Taster sessions in the week after Freshers’ Week too! The range will be open for non-members on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 pm for both Freshers’ Week and the week after (up until 14th October). On each of these days, an Exec member in a blue club sweater will wait at the top of the steps of the DSU (the Students Union building) at 2 pm to guide you on the 10 minute walk to the range. You can also come in your own time within this time; the location of the range is on our Facebook page and website.

The best way to come and ask us about the club is at our stall in Freshers’ Fair. The Fair is being held at DSU on Tuesday 2nd October from 12 pm – 6 pm, as well as Wednesday 3rd October from 10 am – 5 pm. Here you can talk to some of our Exec Committee about life at DURC, as well as see some of the equipment we use. You can also sign up to our mailing list to receive more information about the club. On Wednesday, there will still be a walkdown to the range from the DSU at 2 pm but we might be hard to find due to the queues of people!

The taster sessions themselves will consist of shooting a 10 bull target with polo sweets stuck to each of the bullseyes. If you hit it, it explodes and you feel the satisfaction of knowing you hit the target. If you have some experience of shooting and want to get a step ahead towards being competition ready, talk to the Exec member and ask to try grouping instead. All shooting is done lying down and on a stand to rest the rifle on so please wear clothes you don’t mind laying down on a mat in. Hit all 10 polos to receive a prize – your own packet of polos! Please remember that safety is a priority, and you must listen to the supervising Range Officer’s quick briefing before you shoot.

Shooting is a sport that simply requires practice once you’ve learnt the key skills. Novices can shoot very impressive scores within a couple of months with the right attitude, and a visit to the range each week. Our first BUCS competition begins in November and we always enter enough teams to ensure that there are new shooters representing Durham. Last year our C team won its division, with 3 novice shooters in the team! This year, that could be you. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Henry Marden, Club Captain

Welcome to the new DURC website!

After 7 years, the DURC website has finally had a refresh, with a brand new logo! You can find useful information, photos of the club and its activities as well as contact details if you want to get in touch!