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Target Shooting Show 2021

Target Shooting Show 2021

The Target Shooting Show, held at Stoneleigh Exhibition Centre in November, is now three years old and looks like it’s here to stay. This is great news, since what the show lacks in size, it more than makes up for in focus. If you are already into target shooting, in any discipline (or want to see if it’s for you), then all the people you want to talk to and all the kit you want to see, are right there under one roof. If you’re mission-oriented you could be in and out in half an hour, but I think that would be missing the point, and a unique opportunity to meet some of the most committed, enterprising and innovative people in shooting today: both exhibitors and visitors.

Focus means what’s not there, too. There’s no tat, no padding and no profusion of overpriced catering outlets, although there’s a hot breakfast at the Farmers Fayre café. This is located between the well-marshalled, queue-less car park and the exhibition hall and is well worth a detour, especially after an early start.

What about the guns?

First of all, there was solid support from major distributors. Sure, GMK and Viking missed out, but Highland Outdoors, Edgars, RUAG and Raytrade were all there, albeit on different scales.

For RUAG and Raytrade, this meant a joint display incorporated into the Shooting Supplies (Tippmann Arms/FAB Defense) stand. The space was small, but the guns were well-chosen for the audience and accompanied by expert demonstrators in the shape of Richard Ryan (Raytrade) and Kevin Sayers (RUAG). Highlights included some nice new (green, gold) finishes for Chiappa’s innovative Rhino long-barrelled pistols and Weatherby’s deluxe MkV Carbonmark rifle, plus Kevin’s custom Bergara and Anschutz long-range rimfires, topped off with scopes from Meopta. Shooting Supplies, meanwhile, were doing a brisk trade in FAB Defense’s great range of polymer accessories for AR, AK and 10/22 rifles.

Edgar Brothers had their own interestpacked stand, centred on Hornady reloading and ringed by racks packed with rifles from Barrett (MRAD), Daniel Defense (Delta 5 Pro), Savage (A & B-series Precision), Schmeisser (SP15, AR22), and even an example of Q’s lightweight tactical bolt-action The Fix: a rare bird, indeed

The Highland Outdoors stand focused on optimal builds for PRS, with personal rigs brought along by Ryan Charlton and his colleagues, providing stellar examples of the genre: all super-capable and individually configured to their owners’ unique build and shooting style. Notable, too, was a Howa/MDT XRS/Tier-One/Sig Sauer combo: an ideal entry-level rig for PRS that is both good-to-go and ideally suited to future upgrades. My top pick, and hot-from-the-drop, was MDT’s HNT 26 chassis. It’s an adjustable, carbon-fibre and magnesium-alloy gem that tickles the scales at just 26oz. The aim – brilliantly executed - is to give the shooter all the strength and precision of a chassis rifle in a package designed to make light work of the hardest hunt.

What else?

There was more serious PRS tech at Black Rifle, who import the Masterpiece Arms range of ultra-customisable chassis and accessories. Front-andcentre was their flagship Matrix chassis, which offers an incredible 100 different grip permutations to give users the optimal combination of dimensions, angle and support, in a choice of eight Cerakote colours, from FDE to NRA Blue and USMC Red.

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Also bringing an exciting splash of colour and competitive ergonomics to the party were Magload, whose burgeoning inventory comprises a multitude of ingenious products designed to accelerate reloads, slash splits and boost scores, whether you shoot shotgun, handgun or mini rifle. New to the show was a striking competition grip for the Chiappa Rhino LBP. Easy-to-fit, and with a 1911 grip angle, it is available in tomato red, lime green, banana yellow or plain black.

Further pistol upgrades were to be found at M9 Engineering (Nick Hulme), who has devised a raft of neat devices and attachments to turn GSG 1911s into first-rate competition guns. Most are user-installable and for those that aren’t (rear extensions), parcel post is all you need to get your frame to Nick and back.
The big news for pistoleros was surely the arrival of the Shield KMR S-01, a high-spec .22LR variant of the CZ Shadow 2, available pre-fitted with a slide-mounted SMSc 4-MOA micro red-dot sight, and complemented by a suite of optional extras, including a frame-mounted optics base, slideracker and magazine extensions. 10 and 22-round magazines are available, three of the former being supplied with the gun, which comes cased as standard. You also get a set of recoil springs for the perfect tune with your preferred cartridge. Shield Sights have worked closely with renowned Czech customisers, KMR to hone the accuracy and reliability of the pistol and the result is a truly top-flight, UK-legal IPSC handgun.

Interestingly, Shield was located directly opposite Cotswold Classic Arms (CCA), importers of another unique Shadow-based pistol, the Antreg Zenith. The choice is a hard one. The supersmooth operation of the CSA Zenith’s hand-fitted action combines with the inherent accuracy of its fixed slide to make it the slicker option, whilst integrated optics, accessory options and slightly lower price lend strong appeal to the KMR S-01. But how fantastic to have both options at all, and just three good paces apart!

For mini-rifle shooters, both Shield and CCA offer neat alternatives to the AR platform derived from pistol-calibre PDW/PCC originals. For CCA this is the Grandpower Stribog (FKA the Taranis), and for Shield, the Kriss Vector. The Vector now sports a great-looking, full-height handguard with M1913 rails and M-Lok slots. The Stribog is offered in both fixed/12.5” and folding/16” stock/ barrel combinations. Its stock is well-proportioned but somewhat basic, so an adapter is under development to provide options at the back end

Wait, there’s more!

ARs were represented by Calibre Innovations and show-sponsors, The Tunnel Target Sports Centre. CI’s guns are their Side Charging AR (CISCAR), a mil-spec series with a sub-MOA guarantee, in .223, .300BLK, 9x19 and .308, plus the new Renegade, a billet UK-made rifle with a proprietary zero-wiggle receiver design. TTTSC meanwhile, has a brand-new range dubbed the T2. Also UK-made, with stunning angular looks and stylish Cerakoting, and built-to-order in 9mm, .223, .300BLK and – oh yes! - .22WMR, the T2 was a true highlight of my show experience. Plus, the designer is currently working on a new-build BREN gun!

Now for the honourable mentions: great field and range targets from The Steel Target Company (I bought 4!) and Scattertec; programmable Steel Alive target signalling and brilliant Real Helios torches from East Midlands Regional Range; immersive Oculus VR Practical Shooting from software-developer Blobworks; awesome exhibits by the 50-Cal Shooters Association (Ma Deuce included) and Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association (Mauser T Gewehr included); outstanding selections of classic and eclectic military and civilian guns for sale from South Hants Classics and Bolt Open Classics (Mateba Carbine included); bleeding-edge tech from Hammer Pair (jaw-dropping IWI Arbel accuracyenhancer, £1.3K powder-trickler system, and a Voere K15A); top drag-bags from AIM Field Sports; and finally, perfect stocking-fillers in the form of unique cartridge paperweights, coasters and fairy-lights from Gunfellas.

The end

My thanks to organiser Mike Darby and his team, to the show’s sponsors (Shield Sights, T2, the GTA, the UKPSA and the NSRA), and to all the exhibitors (justly mentioned and unjustly overlooked here) for all their energy and commitment, enthusiasm and ingenuity. It’s what makes this show such a great place to be. Here’s to TSS 2022!

Contact: The Target Shooting Show - www.targetshootingshow.co.uk

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