After a rough start due to a few administrative delays with National Smallbore Rifle Association’s (NSRA) competition department, the club selected new members with a some very successful bonding night on Wind St before beginning training in earnest.

Rifle’s BUCS competition differs from most sports at Swansea University, as the first five rounds are a postal competition where targets are shot and then sent away to be marked. Using aperture sights, not scopes, 10 shots are fired at a target 25 yards away. While rifle might not be the most active sport, it requires a great deal of mental flexibility that only comes with a lot of practice! The postal competition was finally started towards the end of November, so, in 5 sessions, as opposed to 3 months, the Rifle club managed to get all 70+ targets shot and sent off for Rounds 1-3!

Early December allowed the club the opportunity to experience its first friendly competition of the year, with a weekend away at Cambridge Rifle Associations Open. With a team made up of all members from all three BUCS divisions, finishing in 5th place was extremely respectable. Ollie Lake also beat out all competition to win his division!

Post competition saw the University teams muster in the illustrious Hawk’s Club; one of the oldest, and most prestigious sports social clubs in the UK. Here we learned the magic of the Tomahawk and Stephen Hawking cocktails, needless to say Wind Street had prepared us well for these concoctions! Thanks again to Cambridge University for inviting us and being fantastic hosts all weekend.

Mid December saw the club’s first foray into Fullbore shooting. This discipline introduces bigger ammunition and bigger rifles. Fullbore shooting is more technical with wind being a serious factor. Four Swansea members set up on Bisley’s Century Range, in the middle of a torrent of rain we all thought we might have left in Wales.

Although this was the first time a few of us had had an attempt at shooting at 600 yards, this did not stop us all from putting in a fantastic performance. Well done to Lauren Kinsman for winning the Wappenshaw open competition, having never shot fullbore before, with a fantastic score of 50.6v!

To close 2018, the majority of the club managed to get together for a fantastic evening at Grape and Olive. A change from the usual venue, the club would like to thank Grape and Olive for their hospitality and great food. Secret Santa gifts, as always, proved to be an interesting array yet was a great show of how close the team had bonded with no-one going away puzzled by why they had received what they did.

From all of us at Swansea University Rifle Club, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, and we look forward to 2019!

Rifle team at Grape and Olive
Rifle team dressed smartly
Rifle practice in a field
rifle team
Rifle team laying flat taking aim
Rifle practice set up