Friday, 22 February 2013

The British Shooting and Airsoft Show

A couple of weekends ago, me and a number of other airsoft buddies [so 5 of us in all] went along to the British Shooting Show, now incorporating the British Airsoft Show as well, and had a very enjoyable day out

The .22 rimfire copy of the famous M1 Garand, produced by Chiappa Firearms

The event was held at the show ground at Stoneleigh over two days and on the day we went, which was the Saturday, it was very well attended, so much so that by the time I got there it was proving a little difficult finding a convenient place to park the car

One of the guys originally thought he might get a little bored after an hour or two but in the end he needn't have worried. I arrived not long after 11, eventually managed to meet up with the others, who had come in two parties, and proceeded to while away the following 5 and a half hours or so looking at guns, learning about guns, chatting to people, drinking coffee, eating fast food, making the odd purchase and having my first ever 'go' with a .22 semi-automatic rifle, the highlight of mine and the rest of the lads' day!

A selection of the many .22 tactical rimfire weapons on display at the show

We've all been airsofting now for a number of years and more recently have been contemplating trying our hand at target shooting with 'real' guns. Most of us have decided to join gun clubs and apply for our FAC's and so it was that we ended up at the BSS, to educate ourselves and 'get the ball rolling' by immersing ourselves for a few hours in the world of shooting sports

As an airsofter, I was particularly interested to see what sorts of 'replica' weapons were available that would give me a similar feel to the kind of thing I was used to using on the skirmish field. Since the show I've been scouring the internet for manufacturers and retailers of these more tactical firearms

Suffice to say there was far more at the show than we, or anyone else for that matter, could ever hope to take in in a single day, let alone a few stolen hours, but one thing we were all struck by was just how 'relaxed' the whole thing was and, dare I say it, how normal it all seemed

Being a fan of anything WW2, and especially anything WW2 and German, this is what I was really drooling over. I want one! Made in Germany by GSG this is a faithful 1:1 replica of the real world weapon, the grandfather of all assault rifles, in .22 rimfire calibre. Gorgeous!

Nothing to boast about really but seeing as it was my first ever go with a real live firing weapon I was quite pleased to get nearly all of the 20 shots I paid for on target, and the grouping of some of them wasn't too bad. This was done with a Smith and Wesson M4 replica .22 rimfire rifle. Nice!

One of the group bought a beautifully hand-crafted hunting knife, designed and made by a French couple who trade under the name of Wild Steer, two of the others bought a couple of cheap and cheerful range bags and a pair of boots, another invested in an air pistol, a replica of a Heckler and Koch if memory serves, while I bought a couple of Lithium Polymer batteries for my airsoft guns. I walked away with far more than that though. I am now determined to join a gun club and apply for that FAC. A whole new world of adventure is just around the corner!

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