Monthly Archives: June 2015

Do you shoot Civilian Service Rifle? Mike Yardley thinks you’re ‘selfish and weird’

Tweed-wearing shotgun enthusiast Mike Yardley – once seen as a public spokesman for the sport of shooting – has launched a bizarre attack against his fellow shooters, labelling them “selfish and weird.”

In a series of increasingly erratic comments posted to his Facebook page, Yardley attacked shooters who have “some odd need to dress up and pretend they are in the SAS.”

“Get this,” he ranted. “Most people in the UK shooting community, let alone the UK general public, think this is entirely unacceptable. What you promote is selfish and weird and will damage shooting.”

yardley wibbling

UK Shooting News points out the 150 or so people who shot in the NRA Civilian Service Rifle matches (~110 individual competitors, plus entrants to the Falling Plates match) last week, and also highlights this most excellent photo album from the NRA’s media team.

“I do think certain modern weapon types should be more strictly regulated compared to traditional types because of their potential,” Yardley continued in a later post to his Facebook page, attempting to justify his outbursts.

The UKSN view

Yardley’s views are outdated, arguably bigoted and certainly not representative of the modern shooting sports. He may well be happy to pretend he lives in 1850, playing at being the Great White Hunter, but the great danger to the rest of us is that Yardley would forcibly drag us back to those times by advocating new restrictions on the shooting sports rather than accept the world has moved on.

UKSN supports those shooters who have written to UK shooting magazines calling for any existing relationships with Yardley to be ended immediately.

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Secret underground range, revolvers – what rubbish is this?

Left-wing magazine the New Statesman has published a story by journalist Suzanne Moore, who makes some very weird claims about meeting an ex-US cop in London who was armed with a revolver.

The first two paragraphs of the story will get anyone with any knowledge of British firearms laws shaking their heads:

He looked just as I imagined someone who loves guns would look, so it was odd meeting him in the reception of the old Guardian offices in the Farringdon Road. He was imposing, and before I could stop him, he started getting out his stuff to show me.

“I’ve brought this revolver just for you.” He had six guns on him. The security guards who never let me past reception hadn’t seemed to notice. I bundled him out into daylight. Soon we were underground in one of the city’s shooting ranges.

Revolvers have been banned in the UK since 1997, along with all other short firearms. While there are quite lawful revolvers in regular use for target shooting, they have long barrels and extended wrist braces to comply with the legal minimum length for a firearm, which is two feet.

Moore also described an underground range with an advancing target system:

The moving targets are of outlines of men coming to attack you.

UK Shooting News’ author doesn’t claim to be an expert on London ranges, but struggles to think of any civilian rifle club range in London that is both a) underground and b) has an advancing target system. Perhaps UKSN readers could let us know in the comments below if there are any?

An email has been sent to the New Statesman asking the obvious questions. We’ll post their reply, if we get one.

Update

Moore replied to UKSN’s queries, explaining that this was a memoir column referring to an event in the mid-90s. We are happy to make that clear. It would have been nice if she mentioned that in her original article…

Andrew Mercer: NRA may clear Bisley’s Caravan Site 7

NRA chief executive Andrew Mercer has confirmed that the association is considering whether to convert Bisley’s Caravan Site 7 into another set of serviced caravan pitches similar to the new Spencer Site.

Speaking at the NRA’s annual general meeting last week, Mercer said: “Site 7 is the hot favourite for the next one for redevelopment.”

An NRA member – identified only in the meeting minutes as Howson, a Site 7 caravan owner – had asked Mercer whether the drainage and ablution block on Site 7 would be upgraded. Mercer answered his question by explaining that the entire site could be redeveloped along similar lines to Site 4, which is now known as Spencer Site.

Confirming that the redevelopment of Site 7 would start “next year”, Mercer said:

“The next development – we are looking to deliver the serviced pitches at a capital cost of £4-5k. Our plans are something like this; we found selling expensive caravans a very
challenging experience, we’ve decided that on the next development we would prefer to give
people the option to buy their caravan, to a standard that is acceptable to us and we are
looking to provide pitches that provide hard standing for the car and the van, foul drainage,
mains water and main electricity.”

According to Mercer, the NRA spent £334,000 on developing Site 7 and received £188,000 from tenants – giving a net cost of “about £146k.” The RPI-linked ground rent is expected to yield the NRA at least £50,850 per year.

The Spencer Site offer means tenants must buy one of three NRA-approved caravan designs from Regal Holiday Homes. List prices for the vans ranged from £24,000 to £34,000 in a letter dated February 2015 which is available on the NRA website (PDF, 288kB). Ground rent alone is £2,000/year and the NRA letter discloses another £1,500 in upfront costs when tenants move in. The rent does not include utilities consumed by caravan users.

Howson asked Mercer about the cost of the new vans: “Are they going to be half the price?”

“Quite so,” Mercer replied.

The chief exec also declared that 25 out of the 26 pitches on Spencer Site had been let, adding that he hoped the final pitch would be let by the end of the Imperial Meeting – which would let him keep the £5 bet that he made when UKSN interviewed him a few months ago.

Update

Mercer contacted UK Shooting News to say: “We have not confirmed the redevelopment of site 7 – and have yet to finalise a camp-wide development plan that will include accommodation and caravan sites. I expect to publish plans later this year. The Bisley rumour mill does enjoy a good chunter but it is sometimes helpful to remind members of the facts!”

Accordingly, this blog post has been tweaked to make it clear that the NRA is looking at clearing Site 7, and has not actually stated it will go ahead just yet.

Wishful thinking by British Shooting

UK Shooting News spotted this (presumably deliberate) howler on the British Shooting Twitter page earlier today:

british shooting eh

Has anyone told the NRA, NSRA, CPSA, UKPSA… etc?

British Shooting is only concerned with airgun, smallbore and clay pigeon shooting at international level. It is not a governing body: it doesn’t set rules, though it does enforce the International Shooting Sports Federation’s rules at events it organises under those rules – much in the same way rifle clubs shooting at Bisley under NRA rules uphold those rules.

The organisation’s own website states: “British Shooting is an umbrella body, that supports the sovereign National Governing Bodies.”

While it’s great that they’re reaching out and advertising part of the sport to the wider world through social media, perhaps someone ought to have a quiet word in their shell-likes.