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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

Providing support for smallbore, fullbore, and black powder shooting clubs in the county

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Michael Mott
(1861) Trophy

The Notts RA BP Open Meeting

Epperstone Range
27th May 2024

This year the annual black powder jamboree usually held at Thorpe Cloud in June had to be re-located due to a decline in enthusiasm for the traditional venue. This engendered a good deal of tooth sucking as to where else it might be held and still attract a reasonable entry. After considering the alternatives the most obvious, without the need to travel to either Bisley or Wedgnock, was Epperstone Range which has the major advantage of the same distances to shoot over and is within the county.

It was not possible for the Association to book the range due to its popularity with so many clubs; but thanks to Wayne Asher secretary of the Nottinghamshire Society of Riflemen who were prepared to host a much shorter program of events than we usually run, on one of their practice days, and with the kind permission of Richard Higgs one of the co-owners of the range, it proved possible to run the Volunteer Cup in the morning and another Enfield competition on the 100m range in the afternoon.

The date selected for the event was May 27th, a Bank Holiday Monday. The number of entries received soon overtook those of recent years and those for the Volunteer Cup filled the three available firing points.

1861 pattern targets

The Volunteer Cup format followed the established pattern of muzzle loading Enfield rifles but instead of the 400yd distance we were able to go back to 500m as there is sufficient room on the firing point at Epperstone. The usual 1861 pattern square target was used with the now familiar scoring of 1 for a shot in the white, 2 for an 'outer' black and 3 for an 'inner' black at both 200m and 300m; at 500m scoring was 1 in the white and 2 for anywhere in the black. One warmer at 200m only and then one non-scoring sighting shot and five shots to count at each distance.

Competitors Briefing

With everyone briefed the competition got under way just after 9am with the weather being benevolent and with only a hint of rain from time to time.

At the first distance of 200m most competitors got off to a good start; however, two found that they had unexpected difficulties and withdrew. At 300m, there were some good scores but uncharacteristic low scores too. There had been minor delays at both ranges which meant that by the time the 500m detail had started it was apparent that it could not be completed before the noon deadline. Accordingly the Volunteer Cup competition was settled on the first two ranges. Some competitors did shoot at 500m and their scores are noted below.

    200m   300m   Total   500m
A Russell121022
J Womble10919
N Aspinshaw109193
J Buckingham118195
W Parnham12719
R Scott127183
S Brewer97164
J Cooper10616
R White78154
A Wike10515
M Hunting86143
J Privett86144
M Palk7411
H Aspinshaw6410
S Aram73102
M Hunting presents
Volunteer Cup
to winner A Russell

The Volunteer Cup is a closed competition for members of clubs affiliated to the Notts RA and was won by Andrew Russell, with Jerry Womble in 2nd place counting out Jason Buckingham; all were awarded a bottle of wine.

The open competition is for the Notts RA Michael Mott (1861) Trophy, presented in memory of Michael Mott, who for many years was the driving force behind the Thorpe Cloud meeting. This was won by Jerry Womble.

After lunch and the prize giving, we moved to the 100m range to take part in a new competition.

The Hay Challenge

General Hay targets

This was for Enfield muzzle loading rifles, off hand, standing, at 70m. The target was modelled on the design by General Hay in the 1860's and used by many Volunteers. The aiming mark is a vertical oblong 9" x 4.5" within an inner scoring zone 18" x 9", with the outer scoring area being 27" x 18". Similar scoring being used to the morning competition of 1 in the outer white, 2 for the inner white and 3 for the black. 15 rounds were required for the course of fire, to be completed in 10 minutes.

Ten people took up the challenge, which seemed to be enjoyed by all. The trick is to make a good shot, not a very quick but wild one: easier said than done when you know the clock is ticking!

Ready at 70m Range for the Hay Challenge

The resulting scores are noted below. John Cooper, Andrew Russell and Jason Buckingham all received a bottle of wine each.

   Shots  Score
J Cooper1430
A Russell1529
J Buckingham1525
W Parnham1323
A McBaine1222
J Privett1321
S Brewer1219
M Hunting1319
R Scott1017
R White67

The Credits

That concludes the report for this year's meeting. It just remains for me to thank all those who took part and made the day run so smoothly and enjoyably. A special thank you to Wayne Asher for his help in the butts and as one of the range officers, to Malcolm Palk for scoring the General Hay targets, to Andrew McBaine for his help with the Volunteer Cup score cards and to Michael Hunting for his usual work with the flags and, by no means least, to all those who acted as scorers on the various details, it really does help. Thank you!

Andrew Russell, Black Powder Secretary,
Nottinghamshire Rifle Association.

Photo credits - Andrew Russell and John Cooper

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