Cartridge Pistol Shooting: Further information

You may be aware that ownership of cartridge pistols (as opposed to air pistols) by the general public is banned in this country.  Well, not quite.  It is still legal in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but in fact the mainland ban isn’t quite watertight either, as a particular type of single-shot .22 target pistol has been approved for general use.  It’s called a ‘long arm’ pistol. It’s academic for anyone in Lothian though, as there are no ranges approved for cartridge pistol shooting.

There’s also a branch of target shooting called ‘Gallery Rifle and Pistol Shooting’. Both the rifles and pistols used are either .22 or larger calibres such as .38 or .44 and the pistols can be either revolvers or single-shot.

These pistols get round the UK legislation which banned ‘handguns’ after the Dunblane tragedy in 1997 for the reason that they have a minimum overall length of 60cm and a minimum barrel length of 30cm.  In the eyes of the Firearms Act they are a kind of short-barrelled rifles that happen to be capable of being used in one or two hands pistol-style.

There is one range in the south of Scotland near Galashiels which permits such shooting, and the club there is the Joint Services Pistol Club.  I believe it is open to all, so if you are interested in this I’m sure they will be happy to take your enquiry via their website.

Here are some further links which will give you information about Gallery Rifle & Pistol shooting (all will open in a new tab or window):

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