South Yorkshire Shooting Show
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- Last updated: 24/01/2018
Now in its fourth year, the South Yorkshire Shooting Show & Game Fair came around again. My son George and I loved it last year, so were looking forward to it hugely. The venue of Doncaster race course is ideal, with great facilities and free parking. The main sponsors this year were Nightmaster, Swillington Shooting Supplies and Pentagon Jeep – George took a liking to one of the Jeeps; to be fair, it was a cool looking rig.
We knew a little of what to expect from last year, but this year they had different stuff, including an optics viewing area in the grandstand. You never get to really tell how good a scope is when you look around in an exhibition hall on a trade stand. Here, there was a full mile or terrain to look at, over Doncaster race course. It was here that I spotted a really neat new laser rangefinder from Hawke.
The LR600 is a very compact rangefinder and I ran it through its paces from the grandstand; the bigger LR900 was okay but for pure pocket dump usefulness the LR600 is a good buy. MTC optics were also up in the viewing area, as was Zeiss from Swillington.
Nightmaster, the other main sponsor, were there in force, and this year had the great idea of running night-time demonstration evenings, how good is that? You can actually try out the kit in real conditions, they ran it on the Saturday night and was free to ticket holders starting at 7.30pm.
Hull Cartridge was showing off the new HW44 pistol in the only indoor shooting range, and it was always busy when we walked past. George got his shooting fix at the ATEO (Airgun Training Education Organisation) stand, where my old mucker, Dave Mills, had him shooting with the new Brocock Bantam Compatto precharged pneumatic air rifle fitted with a MTC scope.
The 10-round magazine and Bullpup configuration performed flawlessly, as did my George; he has been using a junior break barrelled spring rifle at home, so his trigger technique and follow through are coming on, and it showed using the recoilless Bantam. Or was it the tutelage of that airgun stalwart Dave Mills? He loved it too, only missing one out of his 10 shots.
There was another outdoor airgun range run by Rochdale Air Rifle Club – they were here last year also and their stand was as busy as the ATEO stand.
It was the knives that caught my eye this year; there were two stands with UK-made knives which, for the money, were outstanding. Greenman Forge is the name behind Jeff Wiggin’s, aided by his wife, Euphemia. His range of 01 steel fixed blade knives is bang on the money when it comes to field sports and bushcraft. He does everything himself, from forging to heat treatment to making the leather sheaths. It’s clear he knows what is needed in a knife and I picked up a fabulous 2½-inch blade neck knife with a Kirinite orange handle, brass pins and leather sheath for just £35. He has a website too and when I got back home I had a gander and ordered a Nessmuk hunter, check it out at www.greenmanforge.com. His knives range from £35 to £120 depending upon what you want, I also like the fact he is based in my home county of Yorkshire.
The other knife stand that caught my eye was Blue Mountain Forge from London, their speciality was in all things Damascus. A UK-legal carry knife with a green mammoth bone handle drew my attention and for £45 (show price) with a leather belt pouch I had to have it. Mark, the man on the stand, was a knowledgeable guy too. They also make knives for some very well-known gun makers to be stamped with the gun maker’s own logos; sorry, I cannot tell you who they are.
The folding knife I bought was unmarked and the quality is truly outstanding. Mark showed me the very popular small camp hatchet they make, it’s great, he said, for dressing rabbits and small game. It had a razor-sharp edge and did handle well, it had a ‘heft’ to it and I can see me making a purchase. Check them out at www.bluemountianforge.com.
I also bought two UK-legal carry folding knives from Chris Grant trading. He had a very nice selection of knives on show from Boker, CRKT, Opinel, Old Bear, Buck, Victorinox, Kershaw and Whitby. The two I got were from Whitby and were a drop point with zebra wood handles; at only £12 (show price) that’s why I bought two.
Wentworth Sporting Supplies were in attendance with a big stand, so I picked up some reloading stuff from their very well-stocked stand.
In all, there was much to see, including birds of prey, various demonstrations in the arena, and everything from ferrets to chainsaw carving. The food was bang on too – Harvey’s awardwinning sausage’s being mine and George’s favourite bite, last year and this one too.
I will be back at the South Yorkshire Shooting show next year, as too will George, so make a date in your diary for the 29th/30th September 2018.