Updated: Jul 4, 2022
The Civilian Service Rifle Winter League 2022 has now finished. Two shooters from RSC competed this year and showed exceptional skill in finishing 6th (Trev Eeles) and 21st (Simon Devlin) respectively in the Service Optic class. Medals are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class on each stage.
Trevor won 1x Gold and 1x Bronze medal this season with Simon picking up 1x Bronze. No easy feat given the standard of shooters in this class and others.
The competition is a national competition shot largely at Bisley on the Century range but on occasion also takes part on Military ranges like Ash near Aldershot and Pirbright which backs on to the Bisley complex.
There are 4 classes to shoot in:
Historic: Any SMLE/ No.4/ No. 5 rifle, service pattern as issued, with no attachments
Any Iron: Any rifle with iron sights, with no restriction on slings (but rests may not be used)
Service Optic: Any rifle with optic sights, max 4.5 magnification with no restriction on slings. Rests may not be used. (Any vertical or angled fore grip, if fitted, may be used)
Practical Optic: Any rifle with optic sights, with no restriction on slings or rests. If any rest is utilised it must remain fitted to the rifle at all times during the match
The Service Optic and Practical Optic are the most popular with around 80 plus shooters in each class entering.
The Winter League runs from October to April with a competition shoot made up of at least two stages, usually an AM and PM shoot, these are monthly with a total of 14 stages or competitions in total. Stages are mixed and shooters can be firing at distances from 500 yds down to 25 yds testing multiple shooting positions including Prone, kneeling, kneeling supported, sitting, squatting, standing, standing supported and standing fire trench.
Targets are military style targets (Triple Figure 11, Figure 12, Figure 12c, Figure 14) which have scoring zones giving 5 and 4 points with some shoots (Long range) also giving 2 points. All targets are shown for a number of seconds with shooters expected to react and get into a specific position and shoot. Some shoots involve running/jogging down range (500 to 400, 400 to 300 etc) to get into position and shoot under timed conditions. (don’t worry, you don’t need to be a sprinter!).
In the service optic class, shooters typically use a straight pull AR15 rifle, and in the practical optic are mixed between a straight pull AR15 and a bolt action rifle. Shooters in all classes are mixed on the firing point and all shooters will work the butts and targetry as well as marking other shooters targets.
This discipline is open to all ages and genders, in fact there are a number of female shooters on the range too and even some young 14/15 yr olds 🙂
If you are interested in exploring CSR and want to get involved or talk to someone about it, you can usually find Trevor and Simon at the range on any Saturday morning. There is no need to shoot a whole season if you don’t want to, if it is something you fancy having a go at you can book onto a single day, morning, afternoon or whole day to get the experience, you will be paired with an experienced shooter for your first shoot as there is a lot going on when you get onto the firing point. The NRA do run CSR introductory skills courses, these are excellent and highly recommended as they take new to CSR shooters through safety, positional shooting, rules, scoring and competition, they are run at Bisley by the NRA CSR team, and for those who do not have an AR15 for the course, you can hire one to use from the NRA armoury along with ammunition.
Equipment, and what you need, the list is not long, but there are some considerations. As a basic, you will need a rifle (that meets the class minimum), ammunition, one or more magazines that hold 10 rounds or more (recommend 5 magazines), and lastly a set of waterproofs, as the winter league tends to be somewhat wet throughout 🙂
Its a blast and extremely satisfying to shoot in a practical style with a .223/.308 rifle 🙂 Few pics from across the season:-