OSRA has been testing the waters of the ‘new normal’ at NRA Bisley following lockdown. After a couple of tentative socially-distanced shoots in June, in July, following some relaxation of regulations, two groups of five shooters were able to attend Bisley and, finally, do some proper team training.
We were particularly excited to shoot our new rifle, Vera – nickamed ‘V’ because that’s all she shoots – which we had managed to purchase during lockdown. Despite some confusion with bolt allocation, Harriet Aburn was able to do V justice by shooting a 48.4 (ex. 50.10) at 900x.
While social distancing has radically altered daily life, shooting at Bisley in the open air across vast acres of Surrey land makes such measures easier to implement. We are now allowed two firers per lane, which means that, in our groups of six, we are able to do a good amount of shooting over a weekend.
After an enjoyable first day, the OS team was ready to face long range. Unfortunately the barmy conditions on Saturday gave way to light rain and drizzle on Sunday morning. 900x at 8:30 also saw far fewer Old Suttonians than the day before; it turned out that socially distanced festivities the night before had left some thick heads in the morning.
Anthony got down first, faced with a hazy target and drizzle at his back. While a fuzzy sight picture – caused by mist – makes shooting more challenging, it does encourage a firer to focus on other aspects of their shooting – position, breathing, etc. – which can lead to some successful scores. Accordingly, Anthony was able to shoot a 49.6, losing one to a particularly obscure sight picture.
Chris Youngman, proudly displaying his first HPS
Chris Youngman was next up. They say Youngman’s new Barnard is shinier than the silverware he plans to win with it. Sure enough, after a couple of weekends of easing into the rifle, Youngman shot his first HPS with a 50.4, an exceptional shoot, especially at long range.
It was at this stage that Chris Dale swaggered to the firing point, nearly tripping over the night before. After some general hungover procrastinating, Dale was persuaded to get down in a pair with Anthony. Getting down on the firing point and feeling the full weight of his thirty-one years, Dale seemed undaunted by the task set before him. Shooting shot-for-shot with Anthony, Dale managed to score a 50.4, matching Youngman’s fine performance, and exceeded only by Anthony’s 50.7. Two 50s on the same target proves that it really is possible.
To finish the weekend off, Harriet, who had been getting used to the new rifle, proved that Vera was worthy of her name, and shot a 48.4 – great shooting.
Anthony Bromley and Chris Dale with their joint HPSs
Overall, July saw OSRA return to Bisley in fine form. It was great to see Harry Percival, who is just getting back into shooting after his training at Sandhurst, shoot a 70.8 at 900x. Seeing mentors help and coach mentees was also a delight. Ted Ervine and Chris Pawlik have formed a great mentor-mentee partnership: it’s clear that working together, both practically on the range and theoretically over Google Meet, is paying dividends.
This attitude is reflective of the culture that OSRA has cultivated since its inception two years ago: collective support produces the collective growth to achieve collective potential. OSRA is a team and in that team we trust.
TABLE OF SCORES