Membership

 

The club presently has room and is looking for new members.

Rules Juniors Safety Subscriptions



SBFTC has been in existence since the 1980's and on the current grounds since 2014.  Primarily we are a field target club affiliated to the British Field Target Association (BFTA), but we also welcome and encourage other styles of air rifle shooting. 

Being a BFTA affiliated club, we offer:

Full insurance
BFTA qualified club instructor
Links to many other clubs and associations

Joining the club involves a short probabion period of an initial visit which is free then 3 visits (£5 per visit) during which time we can get to know each other and allow you to decide if you want to join at the end of the probation period.  During the probation period we need to assess how safe you are (we provide a mandatory safety briefing and club tour on your first visit) and that's generally the pass criteria.  For some experienced shooters joining a club is very different to what they may have done previously, at a club you have a number of people in very close proximity so we take safety very seriously and old habits can be hard to shake if you've always had the whole woods to yourself.

On your first visit it's appreciated if you could let us know you're coming in advance and try to be there before 10. 

If you already have a rifle we need to check the power level over a chronograph before you can shoot it and every new rifle that any member brings to the club is checked. If you don't yet have a rifle don't worry, we have club rifles you can hire for a few quid for 50 shots and you're often far better doing a bit of research at a club before buying anything, it's not as straight forward as the bloke in the shop that want's you to part with £500 reckons it is!  We occassionally see new shooters that have spent a load of money on something that's 'not very good' based on an online review or a shopkeepers recommendation when they could have spent the same or less on much better equipment. 

At the end of the probation period there will be a decision made, usually to offer membership which we hope you'll take up.  At that point our insurance requires that you must join the club in order to carry on shooting and we offer 2 different types of membership.  We welcome Junior members but they must be accompanied by an adult who also holds membership to the club at all times, but this is offset by a very low Junior membership fee. 

We shoot in a wooded area that's shaded by mature trees keeping off the sun on hot days and light rain away when it's wet.  We're really fortunate to have some pretty varied terrain to shoot over but this does bring some mobility issues.  There is an area near to the car park which provides easier access but the nature of the sport means we shoot within wooded areas that are not level, may have areas that are slippery and is often muddy.  We've worked hard to improve access but like many other clubs the ground we use is an area of little to no commercial use to the owner and that usually means slopes, mud, tree roots, poor drainage and poor access.  The area we shoot is in a relatively steep valley and stout boots are pretty much required all year, but we can build some outstanding courses.

As a result there is a fair amount of upkeep required and some preparation needed when we host or run competitions so help is always appreciated.  Occasionally we stay on later on a Sunday or when we're hosting competitions a few hours on a Saturday and a really early start on the Sunday.  The general view is if you intend to shoot a competition then you should be prepared to help set it up as everyone pays the same fees and it only works because of members volunteering their time.

Shooting is only on Sundays and we're limited to 28 days per year, we're not permitted to use the grounds at any other times.  If we do go on a Saturday for maintenance activities it's always with prior permission from the estate.  The grounds are on private property and there are no public rights of way anywhere close to where we shoot so being there at any other time is not permitted.  The estate uses the grounds for other activities during the week, including other shooting activities so the chances are you will be noticed.

Being in a rural setting we don't have access to either electricity or water, so ensure you bring drinks as it can get quite hot in summer and some nibbles to keep your sugar levels up.  We do now have permanent toilet facilities on site in the form of a composting toilet. We have a gas stove you can use but you'll need to bring pots and stuff, we have mice and worse in the woods so we don't keep anything food related in the club hut.

Some of our members don't compete, so if you're not looking to take up competitive FT you're still very welcome and won't be in any way excluded from club activities. 

I'm probably not going to join but can you fix my rifle?

We're occasionally asked to fix equipment or set it up for prospective members, whilst we may be able to offer some advice or wisdom unfortunately we're unable to perform any work on your equipment and you're much better asking a gunsmith as they'll have insurance and the correct tools to do the work.  Performing maintenance on a really delicate piece of engineering in the woods with a Swiss Army knife, a burred over screwdriver, a small hammer and pair of mole grips is likely to end very badly!


!!BLING WARNING!!

As a club that has many active competition shooters you'll often see members with some pretty amazing gear as you pull into the car park, don't let that put you off as most of them can't shoot for toffee.  If you come to our summer league competitions you'll soon get to know all of the usual excuses for missing the target and who uses them most frequently.  Having £5000 worth of shiny top end kit still relies entirely on the trigger monkey having some skill, which is quite unfortunate for many of us.  Some of us have been shooting for 20+ years and over that time we've gradually assembled our competition rigs but we all started off exactly where you are now.


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