Well we are now heading towards the end of the GP season with round 8 being held near Bournemouth at the Purbeck Shooting Ground. This ground is another new ground to us all and reminds me slightly of Sywell or Lea Valley with open ground and bowls where the shotgun shooting took place.
Having left the Island on the 730 boat with Holly and Richard Green, who shot Buccaneers about a month ago borrowing Barry’s Steyr. Richard was borrowing Barry’s Tsar this time. After about an hour drive we arrived at the ground. The first thing that you got to was a member of Purbeck who directed you to where to park and gave us a map of the course layout.
After booking in, we wondered over to the onsite café for a cuppa, or in Holly’s case a sausage and egg roll as well. To stretch our legs both myself and Richard went for a walk to see the course. From where we booked in you could see the first 2 lanes.
The plinking range was behind the café shooting towards the back end of one of the shotgun bowls. For me I found this did not really help that much, really just telling you that it was not going to be an easy day. For example, from where you sat you could feel the wind coming in from the right with the windicator going nearly horizontal only to see the pellets land on the crosshair at 55yds. I got 4 shots in a very small group, then with nothing else changing the next landed nearly 2 inches further left and a bit lower. The next landed where the blown pellet had followed by the next 2 back on the original group. Holly was finding the same thing. Oh this was going to be an interesting day.
So to the course, you started by a carp lake, the first lane was across the corner the lake with the targets on the backside slope on the first of the 2 shotgun bowls. The next lane was a few yards further along with the targets running along the side the lake and at an angle to the first lane.
You then had a walk to the first of the shotgun bowls where there were 3 lanes. The targets were placed on the flat or slopes of the bowl and with a wind that was coming over the lips of the bowl, the pellets went wherever they felt like. With the grasses moving in both directions you really had to be on your toes. The last of the 3 lanes in here was a kneeling lane, the first longer target placed on the edge where the berm dividing the two bowls so was catching the wind coming round from that bowl.
Then another walk to 2 more lanes both sitters with the chrono between them. The long targets on both lanes where on the rear most berm and looking at the long grasses lower than the target moving right to left and above going left to right. With the grasses closer to the shooter going bother ways as well, getting it right was a challenge. A very short walk to a standing lane which had curved round slightly so the targets were running along the side of the rear berm. 8 lanes down and another short walk you got to the clubs airgun usual plinking range. There were 4 lanes here, with a bank to the left and a large group of gorse on the right and open behind the targets. The wind I found came from just about anywhere, the longest target here on the second lane the faceplate looked like it had been used as a shotgun pattern plate with pellets in no sort of group and they were left, right high and low. The last standing lane of the course was the fourth in here, with a 18yd 25mm.
After all these bowls and open area, a walk though the gorse you then got to the edge of the pine woodland. Here the firing line was on the edge of the woodland with the targets out in the dark of the wood, made mentally darker with the line in sunshine. Here I found the wind quite difficult to understand or work out at times. Cleared the first lane and the first of the next lane. However whilst aiming at the right side of the faceplate on the second target making a decision on where the wind would make the pellet land, I decided that it needed straight down the middle but my brain seemed to send the ‘squeeze the trigger’ signal to the finger before I had aimed in the right place. A right doughnut moment.
Cleared the next lane, then only got 1 of the next 4 targets. The wind was much stronger at the targets than the previous lanes and only a few yards from them. The second kneeling lane was in the middle of the 9 lanes in the wood. Height, angles and wind made this quite a challenge for me.
Once finished here, we walked back along a track with lanes 22 & 23 shooting in the opposite direct of lanes 6 and 7 with the third kneeling lane as lane 23. The last two lanes were a bit further along but this time fully open area so would catch any wind.
So to the scores, I shot a 30 but redeemed my positional shooting by only missing 2 out of 10 and as all taken standing really happy with that. Barry shot a 32 with his Steyr and Richard shot a 35. Holly, shooting Open shot a 36, says he won but the rest of us slightly disagree as he sat down for them all.
A bit of a break between now and GP9, so a little more practice needed.
Would I go to Purbeck again, well myself and Richard would but Holly has said no as he seems to have an aversion to shooting Shotgun grounds.