Sporting Rifle

Sporting Rifle April 2020

The first and market-leading rifle shooting mag in the UK, Sporting Rifle covers rifle sports of all kinds, from rimfire rabbits to big game overseas and everything in between. With the very best writers on board, we cover foxing and UK deer stalking extensively in every issue, with tips and tricks as well as stories from the field to help your outings be more successful.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd


onwards and upwards

With this issue getting sent to the printers just days after the British Shooting Show, Sporting Rifle’s win in the Outstanding Contribution to Conservation award is still fresh in the memory. As a member of the judging panel, I discovered some weeks before that Sporting Rifle had won, but was unable to share the good news with all our contributors and readers until the award was given out at the show. For this award is unique in that there wasn’t an individual up for the gong. It was everyone who has ever contributed to Sporting Rifle’s Save The Rhino sporting auction initiative – not just me, but the whole magazine team, publishers, everyone who has ever donated a lot, placed a bid, or simply spread the word. This award is…

lead shot phase-out in five years

The age of lead-based shot is officially coming to an end as leading shooting organisations issued a joint call for sportsmen to phase out their use of lead, and single-use plastics, within five years. This announcement focuses on live-quarry shooting with shotguns for now, though rifle shooters who use lead-based bullets will likely be encouraged to make the switch in time too. The GWCT, British Game Alliance, BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the CLA, the Moorland Association, the NGO, Scottish Land & Estates and SACS all cosigned the announcement, which aims to ensure shooters take responsibility for the move away from lead – rather than having politicians dictate when and how it happens. Their statement reads: “We wish to see an end to both lead and single-use plastics in ammunition used by those taking…

field sports united against raptor crime

Leading shooting organisations issued a joint statement making it clear they are completely opposed to any form of raptor persecution. BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the Moorland Association, the NGO and the CLA made the statement condemning the practice: “The shooting community has been tarnished with a reputation for persecuting raptors, and while many reports of such persecution have proven to be false and confirmed cases are decreasing year-on-year, the illegal killing of birds of prey continues to be carried out by a small minority of irresponsible individuals. “We strongly condemn their actions and have a zero tolerance policy towards any such incident. “All incidents of illegal persecution are extremely harmful to the reputation of shooting and we are working in partnership with the police and wildlife agencies, as well as developing a number…

“real countryman” at the helm of defra

Shooting organisations have hailed the arrival of a “real countryman” at the heart of government after George Eustice was named the new environment minister. Mr Eustice held the farming and fisheries brief at DEFRA from 2015 to 2019 and comes from a farming background. His family still run a fruit farm, restaurant and farm shop in Cornwall. Christopher Graffius, BASC’s executive director of communications and public affairs, said: “George Eustice is a farmer with a sound knowledge of the environment and rural affairs. “His appointment means that we have a real countryman at the helm and this can only be of benefit to conservation, shooting and rural affairs. “BASC will be contacting Mr Eustice immediately to set up a meeting with him to discuss issues like general licences that are causing real concern to…

shoot for just £5 at nss

The Northern Shooting Show has unveiled another welcome initiative to get youngsters into shooting, which it’s calling the Passport to Shooting. Under 16s can already get into the show free when accompanied by a paying adult, thanks to a partnership with BASC; now, by buying the Passport to Shooting for just £5, they’ll get access to taster sessions in a whole range of field sports activities. These include clay pigeon shooting with the CPSA coaches on the clay line; air rifle shooting with the Weihrauch HW30; a go on the BASC shooting simulator on the AimCam stand; a go at Bell Target shooting with the Lincolnshire Bell Target League; and a game preparation demo from Simon Whitehead. AimCam’s CEO Jamie Marston said “We are proud to sponsor this new initiative and look forward…

general licences relief – for now

DEFRA have extended the temporary general licences in England until the end of July, meaning any changes to the licences won’t take place for six more months. BASC have said that this gives a “window of certainty to the rural community.” DEFRA is still reviewing the licences, but the UK’s largest shooting organisation says the extension allows the countryside to operate as normal at a crucial time of year. The announcement follows lobbying to ensure the licensing process was not allowed to lapse and cause similar chaos as when they were revoked in April 2019 after a campaign of legal pressure from Wild Justice. Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “There is still much work to be done and BASC will not let up on this issue after previously stating our…