Colchester Rifle Club

Small-bore shooting section


CRC is fortunate to have a particularly active and effective small-bore shooting section, with indoor facilities for 25 yards, and 50 metres and 100 yards outside.

The Club has a healthy number of junior members from 14 to 18 years of age shooting small-bore rim-fire rifle. Currently, one young lady member has become Essex Junior Champion, (open to either gender - thus she beat all comers), and is being coached to National level. She will soon be in competition with the senior shooters, already matching and exceeding the scores of some of the best. Several senior CRC members also shoot in the Essex County Small-bore Rifle Association's County Team.


Even in recent years, the club has hosted members who have achieved notable successes, not least of which is the winning of the Lord Roberts main National event at the Bisley annual small-bore meeting, where the competition is as great as it can be, short of at the Commonwealth and Olympic games or World Championships.

One member who started shooting air-rifle as a junior, and who is now in his early twenties, already shoots for England, and is now trying out for qualification in the 3-positional discipline for the Olympics in 2012.

There are a number of members who shoot their veteran and classic .22 rifles for pleasure and competition in the HARC Miniature Rifle Leagues and occasionally sojourn to the Bisley Historic Arms meetings. See Historic Rifle Shooting

In addition to the many and varied NSRA affiliated league competitons shot, there are a number of Essex based local leagues in which members shoot their modern .22 target rifles at a more relaxed, but still individually competitive, level.

As already mentioned, the club has an indoor range for distances up to 25 yards, and a comfortable club room at the rear.

There is an eight-point outdoor range for 50 yards or metres, and 100 yards, with a further 50 metre 10 point range about to be recommissioned. The site is reasonably well sheltered and outdoor ranges have covered points with a large ante-room for preparation on the main range. The club has only this year (2010) acquired the freehold of its premises and ranges, and there are plans afoot for considerable improvements to the facilities now that the club's tenure has become totally secure. One of the first aims is to increase the membership to enable these plans to be implemented to the greatest advantage.


We have access to two articles that may give you an insight to the club's small-bore shooting activities.


and of one younger member's success in 2004 ..........Miller shoots to the Top


and of another young member's success in 2008 ...........Gold in her Sights

The small-bore section of the Colchester Rifle Club is one of the oldest in the country.

Shortly after the Club was formally instituted in 1900, a proposal was put forward to the committee, of what was then solely a full-bore and service rifle shooting club, that a "Miniature Rifle" section should be formed.

A report of the introduction of that new section was published in the local Essex newspaper, and is shown left.

The absent Committee Chairman, Mr. L.R. Tippins, was a founder member of the C.R.C., and a particularly successful and renowned gunsmith and rifle shot.

His son John, killed in action little more than a decade later in the First World War, was an equally famous rifle shot. Reported here as having won the Club Championship in that year, he was well known in the Essex area and at Bisley ranges for his beautiful Rudge motor-cycle on which he travelled around the country.

It will be seen that the proposed subscription for membership of the Miniature Rifle shooting section was a mere half-crown - or 2/6d (a little over 12 pence in post 1971 decimal currency). A further half-crown gained entitlement to the "full range club".

It is interesting to note that, at that time, the C.R.C. evidently had no miniature-calibre rifles of its own, for one of the Committee members, a Mr. Marlar, offered to loan suitable rifles. Subsequently, reference is made, in an August 1901 newspaper report, shown right, that a Morris Tube match had been organised and shot between the Colchester Rifle Club and the 1st. Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.

The Morris Tube, or aiming tube, was a .295/.230" centre-fire calibre sleeve that could be fitted into the barrel of either the .45/70" Martini-Henry rifle or the then more recently introduced "Long" Lee-Enfield magazine rifle of .303" calibre. The miniature calibre Morris cartridge afforded indoor or short-range practice with a degree of economy over the expense of full-bore Service ammunition.

Aiming tubes were soon to become of .22" rimfire calibre for use with the 1903 introduction of the S.M.L.E. ( Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle.

In its .22" Long Rifle configuration, that cartridge is still in use today in National and International competition, including the Olympics.



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The Editor









Shooting: Miller shoots to the top

Extract from the archive of the Billericay Weekly News first published Friday 28th May 2004.

"Abberton teenager Alexander Miller shot to success to become the under-16s British Short-Range Rifle Shooting champion.

Sharp-shooter Miller, a member of Colchester Rifle Club, was taken aback at his national success but is delighted to be a champ.

He said: "I didn't expect it at all. I am not too bad a shot but obviously I did quite well in that competition to become champion."

The 16-year-old Colchester High School pupil fired ten shots over 25 yards at each of three cards, at the Colchester Rifle Club in Layer-de-la-Haye.

The cards were then sent off to be scored.

Miller, who was aged 15 when he fired the winning shots, has been shooting for three years and had previously competed in club competitions - but this is his first national honour. "

Published Friday May 28, 2004

From the archive
© Newsquest Media Group 2004




From the archive, first published in the Echo News Thursday 14th Feb 2008.

TEENAGER Annabelle Fearn is a Colchester shooting ace with gold in her sights.

A Colchester Rifle Club member, the 16-year-old .22 rifle shooting champion, has a burning ambition to represent England and Great Britain in a future quest for gold medals at Olympic and Commonwealth Games, plus the World Championships.

And the Colchester Institute student (studying sport and fitness) is definitely heading in the right direction if all the early signs are anything to go by.

The current Essex Junior Champion (boys and girls) and county D Class Champion, Fearn also won Colchester Rifle Club's C class gold medal, aggregate gold medal and 50-metre pairs gold medal with Adam French during the last year.

Just for good measure, she also shot in the National Championships at Bisley in the past two years and the English Small Bore Union title events. She told the Gazette: "My immediate aim is to compete more on a national scale and I'm working very hard towards this.

"I would love to go on and represent England and Great Britain sometime in the future in the really big events like the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and the World Championships.

"My proudest moment so far this year was purchasing my own rifle and being presented with a silver spoon for a first maximum score of 100."

New rifles don't come very cheaply either.

Fearn said: "I saved up my whole year's wages as a housekeeper at Milsom's Hotel in Dedham and splashed out £1,500 on a new lightweight rifle because the one I was borrowing from the club was too heavy.

"I practice twice a week, on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings, to fit in with my college work and it costs me between £10 to £15 every week for ammunition.

"Shooting definitely doesn't come cheaply and I am also saving up now for another £200 to buy a new pair of (rifle) sights to save me wearing out the ones I've already got by moving them too much."

Fearn only took up the sport of shooting two years ago at the age of 14, following a trip to the Tendring Hundred Show where she recorded a maximum score.

She promptly joined the Colchester Rifle Club and has improved in leaps and bounds from then on, moving from the lowest Class E to Class B as one of the finest shooters in the club.

Already competing with the Essex Juniors and Essex Ladies, she currently has another promotion in her sights.

From the archive
© Newsquest Media Group 2008



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