In the 10 years+ of shooting practical competitions in the UK its always been a source of confusion to us that some competitions needed specific training or licences to compete and some did not but as with all new entrants we followed the rules and the variety of reasons given. As we developed first the outdoor ranges and now the indoor tactical training ranges we continued to follow the same rules but watched, with some concern, how these ‘basic safety’ courses morphed and developed into something far more complex and some now look more like training courses for Range Officers not just someone wanting to shoot practical matches.

Over time we have tried to suggest that the route these training courses have followed has become a negative feature of our sport especially when you consider that there is no IPSC mandate that these courses must be completed or indeed that the UK is one of the few IPSC regions that demand their completion to compete but in general our suggestions have been ignored or sometimes deliberately misconstrued as something politically motivated.

The fact is practical shooting is a one to one shooting discipline, ie the shooter has their own dedicated Range Officer with them at all times so in fact safety is primarily controlled by the Range Officer and we really dont understand how a shooter can enter an NRA practical match with no formal training at all but to enter a UKPSA match requires formal training and issuance of competition licences, especially when the actual courses of fire shot are pretty much identical.

Previously we followed the rule here that to compete shooters either needed a UKSPA safety course or taken our safety course or those offered by other ranges such as Lumley Ranges or had shown previous experience shooting either NRA or other practical competitions. At the same time we have run for several seasons our Winter League practical competitions which we have designed for new shooters to encourage them into the sport with less courses of fire and more active guidance from the Range Officers; rather than being simple policemen for the sport they act as guidance and support for shooters. The Winter League has been a tremendous success, every round has had new shooters entered and despite any formal training there have been no safety related incidences at all.

So, we have decided that from now on we will adopt the NRA guidelines and no longer require any formal training for shooters to compete here.

Now we are not suggesting training is bad, far from it, it is excellent and any shooter wanting to improve their safety or performance would benefit from training as any sports person would so we have created a Basic Safety Course Video which we hope will aid new shooters to the sport get an idea of what to practice and what to expect.

The video is in two parts, the first details the exercises you would undertake when taking a formal safety course as well as details certain aspects of the sport in terms of starting, safety and general participation. The second part is to show new shooters what to expect and how to act at a competition so their first match they at least have some idea of what to expect.

The videos are not designed to be an all encompassing training course for practical shooting, simply a useful ‘heads up’ in terms of the sort of exercises any new shooter will be expected to master to be considered safe as well as a guide of what to expect at a competition.

If you are considering taking up practical shooting then we recommend you watch them, if you are intending on competing here we will at least expect that. It wont change other ranges rules or entry requirements at all and they are not designed to replace training courses for those wanting to take them, simply replace the requirement that a course has to be taken in order to compete.

Part 1
Basic Safety course, exercises and aspects of competing to follow.

Part 2
What to expect at a competition.

We will likely now go back to creating training course to help develop shooters skills and performance rather than basic safety as well feel there are more shooters out there who want to get better but no infrastructure for them to help that.

Shoot safe.