The Balcombe Rifle and Pistol Club was first opened in November 1906 after meetings held earlier that year to form a committee, choose the site, plan then build the range.
When pistols were legal, 0.22 small-bore pistols were used in the range. We also had use of Paddockhurst sand quarry for full-bore pistols (plus 50/100 yard small-bore rifle), but the quarry re-opened, and so the outdoor range was no longer available to the members.
A new outdoor range has been recently opened allowing us to shoot 50/100 yard small-bore rifle.
The South African campaign of the 1890’s, in which the weaknesses of British marksmanship were highlighted, awakened a more general interest in rifle shooting throughout Great Britain.
The value of accurate shooting received new appreciation. Before the campaign, young men (sport was, at the time, almost exclusively a male domain) had little opportunity of even handling a rifle, unless he belonged to one of the Military Auxiliary organisations.
Consequently, many of the newly formed volunteer army who went to South Africa had received little training in the use of weapons.
Lord Roberts inaugurated the Local Rifle Clubs which were formed to secure “The Defense of the Realm” and it is to him, and this objective, that most of the small-bore rifle clubs can be traced.
The range is sited in Stockcroft road between the Victory Hall and the Parish Room.
The range is available to members at any time (within reason) but the main meeting times are:
Mondays 7pm -9pm
Thursdays from 5pm till 7pm for juniors, from 7pm – 9pm for adults.
The rifles we use are 0.22 live firing, two types:
one is the standard bolt action ‘open site’ single shot rifle (normally used for prone deliberate target shooting at 25 yards)
the other is a ‘light sporting rifle’ which has a spotter scope and ammo clip which self loads up to 10 shots. This is normaly fired from a standing position, rapid or deliberate at 20 meters.
We shoot mainly postal competitions, in which all members are strongly encouraged to take part. The year is split into summer and winter leagues.
There are also ‘shoulder to shoulder’ shoots with local clubs, home or away, which are normaly followed by refreshments and maybe a drink!
We have outings to Bisley Ranges around 5 times a year, usually Thursdays, with a program of:
Clay shoots in the morning (club shotgun available)
- A break for a picnic or hot lunch (there are facilities on site)
Full-bore target shooting in the afternoon (the club will hire a rifle from the NRA armoury on site if needed).
Membership and Costs
Rates for the year (1st October -30th September) are as follows.
£70 per member (£105 concession for couples) £30.00 for juniors (12-18).
Targets, use of club equipment and competition entries are included.
Ammo is on sale at cost price from £2.00 (box of 50) upwards.
All equipment needed is available for members to use at the club.
New members are always welcome.
President: Mrs Greenwood
Chairman: Dave O’Dell
Secretary: Ian Pratt
Treasurer: Roger Jones
Further information can be obtained from the Secretary, Ian Pratt on 07709 302756