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Note: These Regulations will be amended as necessary and range users must check the current definitive version displayed in the Range Office.
These Regulations govern the safe conduct of shooting on the NRA ranges at Bisley. All users of the ranges are bound by the Regulations, other than HM Forces and Government agencies operating under their own procedures with the prior approval of the NRA. The Regulations are augmented by, and should be read in conjunction with, the Rules of Shooting published annually by the NRA, the Instructions for Butt Markers and the regulations governing the administration of the ranges, which can be seen in the Range Office. In the interests of safety, any breach of these Regulations is to be reported immediately to an official of the NRA.
The NRA disclaims responsibility for any accident, injury, loss or damage arising from non-compliance with these Regulations.
Throughout these Regulations, unless the context explicitly makes clear otherwise, the expression “CE” means the Chief Executive or his authorised officers.
2 Firearms and Ammunition
All shooters are responsible for ensuring that their firearms and ammunition are safe to use. All firearms and ammunition must be made available for inspection and testing whenever required. The regulations concerning dangerous ammunition are laid out in Appendix VI of the NRA Handbook, Rules of Shooting (the Bisley Bible), which is available on request.
Unless the CE has given prior permission in writing, use of the following on Bisley ranges is prohibited:
- Tracer; incendiary; armour piercing; armour piercing incendiary (API); depleted uranium; ammunition containing any igniferous or explosive substance.
- Projectiles of any construction other than lead core with gilding metal or soft iron jacket, including specifically mono-metallic bullets (ie made from a single metal); except solid lead bullets.
Cartridges which, when normally loaded, would exceed the ME/MV limits of any specific range, may not be used on that range even if downloaded.
Limits as to Calibre, Muzzle Velocity and Muzzle Energy
No firearm and ammunition combination which develops a muzzle energy exceeding 7000 J (5160 ft lb) may be used on any of the Bisley ranges without the specific permission of the CE which must be sought in writing well in advance of the planned use. The following limits apply:
- for Rifle ranges, no specific calibre limitation but:
a maximum muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s (3280 ft/s) and a maximum muzzle energy of 4500 J (3319 ft lb);
- for Gallery Rifle and Pistol ranges, no specific calibre limitation but:
a maximum muzzle velocity of 655 m/s (2150 ft/s) and a maximum muzzle energy of 2030 J (1496 ft lb).
- for High Muzzle Energy (HME) firearms (see sub-para g below) the limits are:
a maximum muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s (3280 ft/s) and
a maximum muzzle energy of 7000 J (5160 ft lb);
- In this case, special zeroing procedures are required as explained in regulation 2gi below.
Additional Limits on Rifles other than Gallery Rifles
Rifles other than Gallery Rifles are to be fired from the prone or back position or from a bench except where expressly provided by the conditions of a particular discipline or approved competition rules. The intention to fire from any other position must be notified to the Range Office at the time of booking to allow suitable target allocation on the range.
Additional Limits on Antique and Muzzle Loading Rifles, Muskets and Pistols
- None of the above firearms may be discharged on the 300m electronic target, Zero, Running Boar, Running Target or any of the Clay, Small-bore or Air Gun ranges;
- Permission for Muzzle Loading Rifles/Muskets to be discharged on any of the pistol ranges or at any electronic target must be obtained from the CE in advance.
- Permission to fire firearms of large calibre whose ammunition is initiated by a black powder or equivalent charge, eg cannons, must be obtained from the CE in advance.
Additional Limits on High Muzzle Energy (HME) Firearms
- A High Muzzle Energy (HME) Firearm is defined as any firearm which, using a particular round, develops a muzzle energy (ME) in excess of 4500 J (3,319 ft lb). A special zeroing procedure is required with these firearms before they may be shot at any distance on any range at Bisley. The firearm may be zeroed on the NRA Zero Range using a special target supplied by the Range Office, under observation at the start of the practice for shooting at less than 200 metres or, prior to shooting at greater distances, at a distance of 200 yards on a special target under the direction of a RCO qualified to conduct HME zeroing (see regulation 5 below).
- The muzzle energy of a firearm may be calculated from the bullet mass and the muzzle velocity. The attached graph may be used to determine whether a particular firearm/ammunition combination is HME or not. If the ME exceeds 4500 J then the advice of the Ranges Supervisors should be sought.
- .338” calibre HME rifles may not be used on any of the ranges due to Range Danger Area and Air Danger Height requirements, which exceed the available range safety template and air danger height.
Additional Limits on Section 5 Firearms
The use of Section 5 firearms is only permitted with prior permission in writing from the CE personally. Such permission will rarely be given. The request to fire Section 5 firearms must be in writing and must detail the type of firearms and the personnel attending.
Additional Limits on Shotguns
- Shotguns may be used on Clay Target ranges. Solid shot or slug is not permitted on Clay Target ranges. Restrictions on the size of lead shot which may be used on Clay Target ranges may have to be applied from time to time.
- Shotguns may be used elsewhere on Bisley (eg for vermin control) only with the prior permission of the CE.
- Plastic wad ammunition may be used on the NCSC layout. Plastic wads designed to remain attached to the projectile may be used when firing slug. Plastic wads are otherwise prohibited.
Additional Limits on Black Powder Firearms, Muzzle Brakes and Tables/Benches
- Firers who wish to use Black Powder firearms or muzzle brakes or who wish to shoot from a table or bench should inform the Range Office at the time of booking so that appropriate separation on the firing point can be planned. Any firer who does not give advance notice of such requirement may find that proximity of other firers prevents their desired activity.
- Shotguns may be used on Winans Range with prior permission and within the limits for the range.
- Shotguns may be used on Time Limit range with the prior permission of the Chairman BSRC.
- Shotguns may be used on Stickledown, Century, or Short Siberia ranges provided that the intention to do so is notified to and approved by the Range Office in advance. On these ranges, projectiles other than solid shot or slug may generally only be used on Butt Zero (between the 800 and 900 yard firing points on Stickledown) unless the match conditions of an event authorised by the NRA requires their use elsewhere. All such use must conform to range safety parameters.
3 Ranges and permitted Firearms
Ranges and the firearms permitted on them are as follows:
- Stickledown (Gallery, 800 – 1200 yards). Rifles; gallery rifles, shotguns and pistols by special arrangement only.
Note: All firearms within range limits may be fired on Butt Zero (left hand side of Stickledown, using the prepared face of the 800 yards firing point as the bullet catcher, 5 – 75 metres, turning targets and moving target). Firearms and courses of fire must be specified at time of booking; unusual combinations may be subject to additional constraints.
- Century (Gallery, 100 – 600 yards). Rifles; gallery rifles, shotguns and pistols by special arrangement only.
- 300m (Butt 10) (Gallery, 100 yards – 300 metres). Rifles; gallery rifles, shotguns and pistols by special arrangement only.
- 300 metres (electronic) (Gallery, 300 metres only). Target rifles and rifles conforming to ISSF Regulations not exceeding 8mm, limited availability.
- Short Siberia (Gallery, 100 and 200 yards only). Rifles; gallery rifles, shotguns and pistols by special arrangement only.
- Zero (No Danger Area Range, 71’ 7”). Fullbore rifles only. The prone or supine (back) positions only may be used.
Gallery Rifle and Pistol Ranges (unless excepted max MV 655 m/s, max ME 2030 J)
- Fullbore centre fire rifles other than gallery rifles may never be used on pistol ranges unless approved in advance by the CE. Small-bore target rifles used for prone or 3-position shooting to NSRA or ISSF rules may be used on Melville and Cheylesmore but only by prior arrangement with the Range Office.
- Melville (Gallery Rifle and Pistol, turning targets up to 50 metres). Gallery rifles and pistols; muzzle loading rifles and .22” target rifles for prone or 3-position shooting by special arrangement only. Firearms exceeding the GR MV and ME limits only in exceptional circumstances with prior written permission of the CE.
- Cheylesmore (No Danger Area Range). (Gallery Rifle and Pistol, turning targets at 25 metres only). Rifles within GR ME and MV limits. Pistols other than air pistols. Bisley Range Safety Regulations version 2016/1 dated 12 March 2016
- Time Limit (Gallery Rifle, 10, 25 and 50 metres). Gallery rifles, shotgun within GR MV and ME limits, air rifles and air pistols only. Administered by the British Sporting Rifle Club.
Moving Target Ranges
- Running Deer (Running and Static Targets). Administered by the British Sporting Rifle Club.
- Running Boar (Running and Static Targets at 50 metres only). GRCF, GRSB and small-bore rifles only. Administered by the British Sporting Rifle Club.
- Running Target (Running Target at 10 metres only). Air rifles only (in the Clubhouse). Administered by the British Sporting Rifle Club.
Clay Target Ranges
- Cottesloe Heath Sporting Clay Target and FITASC Sporting and FITASC layouts. Shotgun only. Administered by Bisley Shooting Ground.
- Long Siberia Sporting Clay Target and FITASC Sporting and FITASC layouts. Shotgun only. Administered by Bisley Shooting Ground.
- Shorts Clay Target Ranges. Skeet, Olympic Trap, ABT, DTL and Practice. Shotgun only. Administered by National Clay Shooting Centre.
Small-bore and Air Gun Ranges
- Winans (No Danger Area Range, up to 25 metres). Air guns and .22” rimfire rifles. Shotguns using birdshot and rifles up to GR MV and ME limits by special arrangement. Range-specific orders apply, and can be inspected on request to the Range Office.
- NSRA International Range (No Danger Area Range, 25 and 50 metres). Small-bore rifle and pistol only. Administered by the National Small-bore Rifle Association.
- NSRA International Range (Air Gun, 10m only). Air rifle and air pistol only. Administered by the National Small-bore Rifle Association.
- Field Target Air rifles only. Administered by the Bisley Field Target Organisation.
4 Range Use
- No rifle or pistol ranges may be used without the prior permission of the NRA. For routine use, not requiring the prior permission of the CE, the allocation of range space by the range office constitutes permission.
- The ranges are reserved for the use of NRA members and members of Associations and Clubs affiliated to the NRA. Other persons or bodies may only use the ranges with the prior permission of the CE.
- All users of NRA ranges (other than those using clay target ranges or airguns or engaged in single shot .22” rimfire shooting in practices governed by the rules of the NSRA) must be in possession of a current Certificate of Competence, or be coached or certified on a one-to-one basis by the holder of such a certificate. Such a certificate is only valid if it bears the signature of the individual’s Club Chairman or the CE of the NRA. The certificate must be valid for all the firearms that the user intends to fire on Bisley ranges. The certificate must be produced to the Range Office staff when signing-in as an individual shooter. ROs must certify (see regulation 5) that all members of their group will comply with the above.
- No shooting is permitted other than on approved ranges, except with the permission of the NRA.
- On the NRA ranges firers must use only the targets and the distances allocated to them by the Range Office. The use of extraordinary target arrays or firing points is forbidden except with the prior authority of the CE. Any concerns or queries in connection with the targets provided must be reported to the Range Office before firing commences.
- On the NCSC Clay Target ranges the layouts to be used will be as allocated by the National Clay Shooting Centre. Only shooters and supporting personnel authorised by the National Clay Shooting Centre are permitted on to the firing point/line.
Dates and times of shooting
The rifle and pistol ranges are normally closed to non-commercial users on Mondays (except Bank Holidays), Good Friday and between Christmas Eve and New Years Day inclusive. The Clay ranges may be open during the Christmas holiday period and at times other than those stated for the rifle and pistol ranges. Other closure periods will be notified at the gate or in the Range Office
All ranges except Cottesloe Heath, Long Siberia, NSRA Ranges, NCSC Clay Ranges, Cheylesmore, Winans and Zero Range:
Weekdays: 08:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:00
Weekends: 08:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:00 (16:30 March)
Weekdays: 08:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 16:30
Weekends: 08:30 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 17:30
Cheylesmore, Winans and Zero Range:
As authorised by the Range Office.
NCSC Clay Target Ranges:
The NCSC staff in consultation with the Range Office will arrange shooting times.
Cottesloe Heath, Long Siberia, Field Target and NSRA Ranges:
As published by the range operators.
Signals Indicating Commencement and Cessation of Firing
Normal operation: Cheylesmore, Sporting, Melville, Stickledown, Winans, Zero, Century and Siberia Ranges
Unless prior permission has been requested and granted, the start and conclusion of shooting periods will be indicated by siren and must be strictly observed. One blast on the siren is the signal to ROs that they may permit shooting to commence. A cease fire at the end of a shooting period will be notified by two blasts on the siren at an interval of about 15 seconds. All shooters must cease fire and unload.
Emergencies: All ranges except NSRA ranges
Should an immediate cease fire be required at any other time this will be indicated by four (or more) blasts of the siren: all shooters must cease fire at once. All ROs and radio users must select the emergency channel on their radios and await instructions. If general permission to continue firing is granted, it will be indicated to ROs by one long blast on the siren. Specific permission to continue may be granted range by range by telephone or radio.
Restrictions on Targets
Unless prior permission has been obtained from the CE only targets from the NRA approved set may be used. The more commonly used targets are detailed in the NRA Handbook Appendix IV, and the full target set may be consulted on application to the Shooting Division NRA. Targets are to be used in the frames or holders provided and are to be engaged only from the recognised firing points and appropriate shooting station or peg. Snap targets are to be exposed in or in front of target frames. No laterally-moving target may be used on gallery ranges without the permission of the CE. Skittles, falling plates or other hard targets may not be engaged at a distance of less than 25 yards (22 metres) without the permission of the CE.
Restrictions on Firing
Indiscriminate firing is forbidden. Regardless of the time constraints of any particular practice, firers must prioritise the requirement to hit the target over the need to meet any time limit.
5 Range Officer (RO) – appointment and duties
- An Association, Club or group of persons intending to shoot on any range must appoint a Range Officer (RO) who will be present on the range while shooting is in progress and whose responsibility it is to ensure that range activity is conducted in a safe manner and in accordance with these Regulations. An individual shooter will be regarded as his own RO.
- Before commencement of shooting the RO must sign the register in the NRA Range Office, thereby accepting responsibility to ensure that range activity under his supervision is conducted in accordance with these Regulations. He must also sign off when shooting is completed and report any infringement of these Regulations to an NRA official as soon as possible. Having signed the register, the RO acts as an official under orders of the CRO within the meaning of NRA rule 112.
- The ROs responsibility and authority extend to the safety and supervision of any person assisting in the shooting activity, such as instructors, register keepers and range rigging crew. In particular, on a Gallery Range (Stickledown, Century or Short Siberia), the RO is also responsible for the butts party. The NRA will train and supervise its own staff and accepts the associated responsibilities, and the RO should exercise his authority over NRA staff through the Range Office and Butts supervisor as appropriate. The RO is responsible both personally and as representative of his Association Club or group for the training, competence and supervision of any person other than NRA staff employed (whether for payment or otherwise) to work in the butts on target lanes under his control. The NRA Bisley Target Markers Training Syllabus is available on request from the Range Office.
- The RO must ensure that persons under his control are fully covered by insurance, including third party public liability cover. Individual NRA members are so insured. Members of affiliated clubs who are not individual NRA members may only shoot when their club has booked the range space, either directly or through another club by mutual arrangement on an official club day.
- If the RO intends to conduct zeroing practices with an HME firearm (see regulation 2g i above) he must hold the RCO (HME) qualification. Once the HME firearm has been correctly zeroed, firing at any other distance or on any other range may be conducted by any RO, who need not hold the RCO (HME) qualification.
6 Safety Regulations
- Unless prior permission has been obtained from NRA, no firearm may be loaded or fired before the siren has indicated the commencement of a shooting period. No firearm shall be loaded or fired until the (C)RO has given the order to do so. Firearms may not be placed on the firing point except under the direction of the RO; see also d(i) below. Equipment, including ammunition, may be placed on the firing point at the (C)RO’s discretion once all movement of personnel forward of the firing point has ceased in preparation for firing.
- Aiming or “snapping” an unloaded firearm is NOT allowed in any public place except as part of a properly organised course of instruction, or when in the firing position on a firing point with the permission of the RO, and then only if it would, in all respects, be safe to fire a live round.
- At no time may any part of the body be placed in front of the muzzle of a loaded firearm.
- Except when otherwise prescribed in the conditions of a discipline or competition:Firearms may not be placed on the firing point except under the direction of the RO and where it is safe in all respects to fire.No firearm is to be loaded until the shooter is in the firing position on a recognised firing pointA loaded firearm must at all times point towards the butts observing NRA Handbook Para 117.When loading, unloading or checking a firearm, the barrel must at all times be pointed in a safe direction observing NRA Handbook Para 116.
- Individual firers are responsible for ensuring that their firearm is safe at all times. On the conclusion of a shoot or stage, or on the order of the RO, all firers must:unload their firearm and inspect the chamber, action, boltface and magazine (if one is fitted) to ensure that the firearm is clear,==if requesting inspection by a person other than the CRO or a range official, dismantle their firearm to the extent necessary to permit a clear view through the chamber and barrel,==present their firearm to the designated person on the firing point and have them inspect and confirm that the firearm is clear,==for a Service Weapon complete the unload in accordance with the current Service procedure,==either keep the bolt removed or insert a breech flag (or both) for any bolt-action rifle, or carry out the equivalent procedure for other firearms (which may include casing in accordance with GR&P procedure)before leaving the firing point and before anyone goes forward of the firing point. Where applicable the firer must also ensure that the coach, register keeper, RO or RCO signs their squadding card as having inspected and cleared the firearm.
- A firer using a bolt-action rifle must carry it either with the breech open and a breech flag, which must protrude into the chamber, clearly inserted, or with the bolt removed from the rifle, except when on the firing point. Para 113 applies.
- As an exception to the above civilian service rifles or practical rifles which are able to utilise a magazine fitted loading block which locks the working parts to the rear may do so.
- Unless GR&P rules apply, a firer using a self-loading rifle must carry it unloaded, ie no magazine on it, no round in the chamber, working parts forward, not cocked and safety catch at ‘safe’.
- Firearms specified in the NRA GR&P Handbook (published separately) must be carried in accordance with GR&P rules.
- All other firearms must be carried in a manner such that they are as clearly unloaded as is possible for that type of firearm.
- A competitor acting in a dangerous manner will forthwith be forbidden to fire again or take further part in any shoot at Bisley until a report has been made to the NRA and the circumstances have been fully investigated. Where considered appropriate the matter will be reported to the NRA for possible disciplinary action.
- Care must be taken when changing distance or crossing a range. Any person must immediately call an emergency cease fire (“Stop, Stop, Stop”) if it appears that a person is likely to enter the danger area. Particular care must be taken on days when reverse echelon firing (500/600 yards on the left hand side and 200/300 yards on the right hand side of Century Range, or 1000 yards on the left hand side and 900 yards on the right hand side of Stickledown Range) is operating.
7 Safe Custody
Firearms and live ammunition, when not in the personal care of the person responsible, must be kept in an armoury, under lock and key in secure accommodation or otherwise in accordance with Home Office guidance. Responsibility for the safe custody of firearms or ammunition lies with the individual owner. In particular firearms are not to be left unattended on the ranges.
- See para 5c above regarding responsibilities of an RO for a butts party.
- Markers are to enter and leave the butts by the covered and recognised safe approaches provided and within the markers gallery; on no account are markers to use the roads in the butts while firing is in progress. Markers and all others in the butts must remain within the protection of their gallery and under the mantlet while shooting is in progress. All who are working or marking in the butts must wear hearing protection.
- No object may be thrown or placed upon the face of the butt or mantlet.
- Butts must be tidied before the marker leaves his position.
Minors under the age of 14 must remain under the supervision of a parent or guardian or other competent adult at all times during shooting periods. Their hearing must be fully protected. They are not allowed as markers in the butts. There is no minimum age limit for minors to shoot on Bisley ranges. However, for minors under the age of 14 an application for permission to shoot must be made to the NRA well in advance of the planned visit. This does not affect any cadet or other recognised youth organisations whilst shooting at an official event.
Spectators are to remain behind the firing point at all times and are to comply strictly with the instructions given by the RO or any NRA official. Adequate precautions must be taken by spectators to protect their hearing and eyesight.
11 Use of Radios and Emergency Procedures
Communications between users and ROs on the ranges and the Range Control are normally by radio. The control channel on NRA radios is on the furthest clockwise stud on the frequency knob. In the event of an emergency ROs should switch to the control channel and pass the message “Emergency, Emergency, Emergency, Hello Control this is (eg) Range 13 at 300 yards, firer injured and requires . . . ”. In this case, all other radio users are to remain off the air until the emergency has been dealt with. First Aid equipment is available in the Range Office and the NRA vehicles. Trained First Aiders are on duty in the Range Office. All injuries are to be reported immediately to a member of the Range Office staff who will, if necessary, call an ambulance (and post a guide at the entrance to Camp) and enter full details of the occurrence in both the Accident and Incident Books. The control channel is monitored continuously when the ranges are open, and is the simplest and fastest method of contacting the NRA staff and of obtaining help in an emergency.
In view of the potential permanent damage which can be caused to hearing, all persons involved in a shoot, or in close proximity when shooting is taking place, must wear hearing protection. The wearing of hearing protection is mandatory when in the butts. The wearing of eye protection by all pistol and gallery rifle shooters and by spectators on the range, is highly recommended at all times and is mandated in several circumstances. See the NRA Eye Protection Policy at Appendix III to the NRA Handbook.