Dorchester Rifle & Pistol Club

Sandringham Sports Centre, Fordington Fields, Dorchester


Dorchester R&PC v. Amicale des Tireurs Bayeusains at Dorchester

Lady Luck on Dorchester’s side!

The 6 shooters of the Amicale des Tireurs Bayeusains arriving last weekend [21-23 June] for the annual rifle and pistol competitions between the twin towns of Dorchester and Bayeux had a relaxing Friday morning around Queen Mother Square at Poundbury followed by lunch with their hosts. A few days previously one of their key firers had slipped and fallen on his wrist meaning he could not shoot the single-handed pistol competitions. To maintain the tradition of five person teams, six Dorchester shooters fired in those matches and afterwards drew coloured discs from a bag to determine who would be in the Bayeux team.

The first match at the Sandringham Sports Centre range in Dorchester on 21st June 2017 was the 10m precision air pistol competition; a total of 30 scoring shots on 6 targets. The Dorchester shooters beat the visiting team by 33 points [1272 to 1239] despite Bayeux taking two of the top placings. Jean-Jacques Durand with 278 was some way ahead of Scott Civil, 265, for top score. Michel Huart was a further 8 points behind, 257, and the luck of the draw put Dorchester’s sixth scorer in the Bayeux team!

The Police Pistol competition followed, advancing towards the targets from 20m to 15m, 10m, and a supplementary 7m potential tie break shoot with air pistols. Dorchester won comfortably [1187 to 984] with Steve Maros top scoring [256] ahead of Andy Macklin [252] and Gill Carter [230], and with Jean-Jacques Durand [231] leading the Bayeux shooters. These competitions were followed by a Club social at the range where the shooters and friends met the Mayor of Dorchester and had some opportunities for field target air rifle shooting to give everyone a flavour of this expanding form of shooting.

On Saturday morning at the Piddlehinton range the wind was coming over the left shoulder and down the range at variable speeds. Each Bayeux shooter was twinned with a Dorchester shooter and a traditional style vermin control .22 sporting rifle to shoot 20 scoring shots at 50m followed by 20 more at 100yards, giving a highest possible score of 400. Because a bipod support and telescopic sights are allowed the 50m target is quite small; the circular Cadet one designed for 25 yard shooting. In the first round at 50m Richard Burden [187] led the way from Marie-Claire France [186] with Mark Phillips a close third [185].

Using standard competition targets at 100 yards Richard Burden [189] was 3 points ahead of Paul Cooke [186] with Mark Phillips again third on 185. Jean-Jacques Durand and Marie-Claire France were the highest French scorers on 182. The combined scores of both ranges saw the Dorchester team win by 1819 to Bayeux’s 1784 with Richard Burden [376] top score 7 points clear of Mark Phillips [370] who just edged Paul Cooke [369] into overall third place. Marie-Claire France was just a point behind on 368.

Following lunch at The Poachers the 25m black powder pistol competition, using replica historic arms similar to those used for duelling or by highwaymen, was shot with the wind gusting from the left, making it difficult to hold the pistols steady. The shooters measure their own powder and load the lead ball down the muzzle of the pistol between each shot. There are clouds of smoke and because of the variability the loading creates they are allowed 13 shots with the best 10 to count for the match.

As with the rifle competition, shooters were twinned with a pistol. The windy conditions, and possibly the lunch, led to scores being lower than expected. Chris Slade shot a very creditable 90, 8 points ahead of Mark Chegwidden [82] who was a further point in front of Ian Davison [81]. Jean-Michel Samson was the top Bayeux shooter on 80. The luck of the drawn meant that Dorchester’s sixth shooter was drawn for the Bayeux team so Dorchester ended up 21 points ahead of Bayeux [375] with 396. Bayeux have a well-earned reputation for their pistol shooting, and this is the second consecutive time Dorchester have won this match on their home range.

Towards the end of the afternoon, the Mayor and Mayoress of Dorchester, Richard and Carolyn Biggs, joined the teams and were instructed in how to measure the gunpowder, load the lead ball, and experience the cloud of smoke when the pistols are fired. The Mayor presented medals to the winning team and the highest scorer on the losing team.

Dorchester and Bayeux shooters and supporters gathered on Saturday evening at The Gamekeeper, Charminster, for a celebration Dinner. Further medals were presented, and at this time of commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the liberation of Bayeux the shooters exchanged appropriate mementos.

Richard Burden, Chairman
RFB 27 6 19 / 5 7 19

Score Sheets