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Hello and welcome to our web site.
Porthcawl (Bell Target) Air Rifle Team shoot in the Bridgend & District Air Rifle League, with our home range in Kenfig Hill Labour Club.
The Bridgend Air Rifle League had it’s inaugural meeting of the Bridgend & District Air Rifle League in July 1907 at Ewenny Priory. There are currently 6 teams, Ffordd-Y-Gyfraith, Tondu, St Brides, Eagles, Hawks and Porthcawl. League matches are shot on a Monday, with two Leagues running alongside each other (highest scoring League and a handicap League), predominantly cup matches are on a Thursday. League matches are shot with a team of 10 with cup matches being anything from 2 to 10 people, depending on which cup competition is being shot. No matter which competition is being shot, every shooter will shoot 8 shots, the first one being a sighter (so not counted), with the remaining 7 shots as the scoring shots. We generally have our (Porthcawl) practice nights on a Sunday. The League generally runs from September to April, with a presentation night normally in the Summer.
I have the minutes book for Porthcawl Air Rifle Team and this dates back to 1968, I do not know if the Team was formed prior to this, or not. In the past the Team has shot in the old Sportsman’s, The Lifeboat and the Pier In Porthcawl. Back around 2007 the Team needed to move to a new range and so decided to share a range with Ffordd-y-gyraith, in Kenfig Hill Rugby Club as they were unable to find a suitable venue in Porthcawl. A more detailed history after 2007 can be found further down.
I recently found out from an article, that, Bell Target shooting was started in the 1890’s after Queen Victoria had been advised of the poor standard of shooting in the Boer War. By 1905 there were 1600 teams in the Birmingham area alone, with 4000 nationally. Shooting typically took place (and still does) in pubs and working men’s clubs and can be as serious or as casual as you like. To that end, it is apparently one of the oldest pub and club sports still going today.
The premise is simple. An open or diopter sighted .177 air rifle (no telescopes or red dots!!), is used to fire a pellet, at a steel plate target, 6.4 metres away and just over 1.5 metres off the ground (I will cover more on the guns used below). There are scoring rings on the target, with the main aim to put the .177 pellet through the 9.5mm hole at the centre of the target. By doing so the maximum score of 5.1 is scored and the bell behind the target will give off a distinctive “DING”. Hence the sport is called “Bell Target Shooting”. All shooting is done in the free standing position. If the shot doesn’t catch the hole then the shot is scored by where it has hit the steel plate, using the scoring rings, that are cut into the target.
The guns used are .177 only. They have a muzzle velocity of approximately 6 ft/lb. As a rule, if you were to go to your local gun shop and buy an air rifle, you would probably be leaving with a gun that fires with a muzzle velocity of around 11.7 ft/1b, which is far too power full to use on our ranges. From what I can gather, in Germany, you can purchase an air rifle up to 6 ft/lb without a licence, anything over and you have to have a licence. So the majority of air rifles in Germany are powered to 6 ft/lb, hence why a lot of the air rifles used in bell target & 10 metre shooting are German guns. The majority of the guns used are Anschutz, Feinwerkbau and Walther makes. As said above, all the shooting is done in the free standing position and on an indoor range. The guns tend to be on the heavy side (but lighter ones are available) as this helps with balance, plus we don’t have to walk any great distances with them. Age or gender is not a problem. We have a good mix of Seniors, Male, Female and Juniors with competitions, and practice sessions to suit everyone. As long as you can hold the gun safely and are prepared to listen and be taught you will be fine. We also have 4 Youth Proficiency & Club Instructors within the Team.
As a team, we also have socialising days out that are not necessarily related to shooting, these have included things like ten pin bowling, crazy golf and archery.
So, the only thing left to say is if you like pubs, shooting and socialising then why not drop us a message using the contact page and come and have a go!! Don’t worry about guns to start off, as there are Club & League guns that can be used.
A quote from Gary Wain of Airgun World, who wrote an article about his recent return to Bell Target Shooting: “I retired to the Bar for a beer or two, to give my excuses and recount the glory of ringing the bell. Surrounded by fellow shooters and like minded sportsmen, I felt that lovely warming glow of kinship, accomplishment and belonging”.
A brief history of Porthcawl Air Rifles Team since 2007/2008:
So I am going to start this from the 2008 / 2009 season which is when myself, Caroline & Jasmine first started shooting. Unfortunately, I have limited information prior to this.
We started after Jasmine attended a Youth Proficiency course on how to handle and use air rifles. We turned up at a practice session with the intention of joining one team, but we were promptly pointed in the direction of Porthcawl as we were told we wouldn’t get much of an opportunity to shoot with our preferred team, so we joined Porthcawl Air Rifle Team.
Porthcawl as a team, wasn’t really that good when we first started. They hardly had any practice sessions. We were also sharing a range at Kenfig Hill Rugby Club with Ffordd-y-Gyfraith, which was OK, but not ideal.
The first season (2008/2009) we won the Perring League (Handicap), but I don’t think we ended up winning any matches in the Phillips and Stockwood League (highest scoring matches), so we ended up winning the wooden spoon and knife!! Although Jasmine & Caroline won the Handicap Pairs that year, and Jasmine also won the Committee Cup.
2009/2010 season. Again we shot at the Kenfig Hill Rugby Club, the team didn’t fare any better, in fact worse!! The team only won one Cup, the BEHA Handicap Cup, and we ended up with another 2 wooden implements (but we did actually win some Phillips and Stockwood matches), Jasmine & Caroline were runners up in the Handicap Pairs.
2010/2011 season. We were still shooting at Kenfig Hill Rugby Club, we did not win any team Cups but at least no wooden implements!! Dave George won the B Cup, Jasmine the Christopher Wools (Junior Cup), Brian runner up in the Ray Lewis Cup, and Sion & Richard Brunsdon were runners up in the Western Mail Pairs.
2011/2012 season. We were again still shooting at KHRC with Ffordd-y-Gyfraith, and another baron year, 2 wooden implements and a “C” cup winner.
2012/2013 season is when things started to change. We changed venues to our current venue Kenfig Hill Labour Club and started having regular practice sessions. We finished 3rd and 4th in the Phillips and Stockwood Leagues respectively, and won the Perring League (Handicap). Jasmine again won the Christopher Wools Cup and was the winner of the “D” Cup. Other members of the team also won the “D” cup runner up, Ray Lewis Cup, Robert Thomas Cup and the Western Mail Pairs.
2013/2014 season. We did not win any team silverware or any wooden implements. Sion was the “B” Cup winner and Jasmine won the Christopher Wools and the “D” Cup runner up. Other individuals won the Most Improved Average, “A” cup runner up and Ray Lewis Cup.
2014/2015 season. We won the Phillips League (yay!!) by 1 point, along with the York Hotel, S Simmonds and JE Williams cups. Individual winners were Huw with the Highest League Average under 32.5, “C” Cup runner up was won by Dave George, Jasmine again won the Christopher Wools Cup and other individual trophies won were the “A” Cup, “C” Cup and Bertorelli Pip Pairs runners up.
In the 2015/2016 season we successfully defended the Phillips League, we also won the BEHA Cup. Jasmine won the Sandra Saunders Cup (Highest Ladies Average), (New) Perkins Cup (Highest League Average for under 18’s), “B” Cup, Christopher Wools Cup. Jasmine and Caroline won the Bertorelli Pip Pairs cup. Neil Knight won the “D” Cup.
2016/2017 season is the best so far. Again we successfully defended the Phillips League, but added the Stockwood League to our titles. The team also won the S Simmonds, JE Williams and Nigel Phillips cups. We were also the runners up in the Edgar Williams Fours. Jasmine and Caroline were runners up in the Western Mail Pairs and Bertorelli Pip Pairs. “B” Cup winner was Mike. “C” Cup winner was Neil Knight. Brian won the Highest League Average (32.5-33.49). Caroline won the Highest League Average under 32.5. Jasmine won the Sandra Saunders Cup again, and other individual trophies won were Highest ladies League Average runner up and “B” Cup runner up. I think you will agree that this was an amazing season compared to when we first started shooting!!
2017 / 2018 season was even better than the last….We retained the W. Phillips League (for the 4th year), along with the Colonel Stockwood Cup. The Team also won the J.E. Williams, Nigel Phillips, York Hotel and Beha Cups. They were also runners up in the J.E. Perring League, S. Simmonds and Edgar Williams Cups. Individuals also won the Sandra Saunders Cup for Highest Ladies League Average (Jasmine King), Highest League Average 32.5 to 33.49 (Caroline King), Frank Bertorelli Pairs (Jasmine King and Mike Ratcliffe) Lord Swansea Pairs (Tim & Cameron Kale), ‘A’ Cup (Jasmine King), B Cup (Sion Evans) and Christopher Wools Cup (Jareth Kale). There were also runners up in ‘A’ Cup (Dai Jones), ‘C’ Cup (Jareth Kale) and Highest Ladies League Average Runner Up (Caroline King),
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Kale for designing and building this web site, Kenfig Hill Labour Club for their continued support and the past and present members of Porthcawl Air Rifle Team.